• Restrictions on Marriage to Nigerian Nationals Forthcoming
  • April 13, 2018
  • Law Firm: - Office
  • The situation

    Nigerian Immigration authorities have announced that they will be implementing restrictions aimed at preventing marriages to Nigerian nationals strictly for the purposes of obtaining a Nigerian residence permit.

    A closer look

    The new measures include the following:

    • Monitoring of marriages between Nigerians and foreign nationals in Nigeria;
    • Foreign nationals entering Nigeria under a holiday visa will no longer be allowed to marry Nigerian nationals but instead must obtain separate justified permission prior to entry in Nigeria;
    • Foreign nationals who marry a Nigerian national will have to stay in Nigeria for six months after marriage before they are eligible for a residence permit; and
    • Nigerian immigration authorities will restrict the types of jobs to which a foreign national married to a Nigerian national can apply, especially where local workers are available.

    Impact

    Foreign nationals seeking to marry a Nigerian national may experience the below immigration consequences:

    • Additional scrutiny on their applications, which may lead to extensive and/or delayed processing times; and
    • Delays or difficulties accessing various labor markets, especially where local workers are readily available.

    Background

    Previously, foreigners were being allowed to enter Nigeria under a holiday visa to marry a local. The authorities have discovered that most of these marriages are aimed at undermining immigration laws, and have started prosecuting violating Nigerian and foreign nationals.