• April 30 Deadline for Residence Card Applications
  • April 22, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has issued a directive to remind long-term foreign workers that they are required to apply for a Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC). To ensure compliance, affected workers will face possible deportation if they do not obtain a CERPAC by April 30, 2014. The CERPAC requirement does not apply to nationals of the 15 Economic Community of West Africa States countries or to short-term workers who hold a Temporary Work Permit and Visa valid for up to three months.

    The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) issued the mandate while introducing new CERPACs with enhanced security features and an increased validity of a maximum of two years — up from one year, although the validity of an individual’s CERPAC depends on the sponsor’s expatriate quota granted by the Ministry of Interior and the foreign worker’s Nigerian position.

    The CERPAC application process begins after a foreign national arrives in Nigeria under the Subject to Regularization (STR) visa. Foreign nationals who hold CERPAC cards valid beyond April 30, 2014 and those with CERPAC applications in process do not need to complete any additional procedures. Holders of CERPACs valid beyond April 30, 2014, will receive the new version of the card when they apply to renew their current CERPACs.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Employers should ensure that all affected foreign nationals working in Nigeria have applied for the corresponding CERPAC by April 30, 2014, as the NIS has announced that foreign nationals who do not comply with the directive could be deported.