IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) no longer recognizes Permanent until Review (PUR) certificates issued 20 years ago or earlier.
What does the change mean? Companies that were granted Expatriate Quota (EQ) approvals on PUR status on or before 1999 must apply for recertification to maintain a continuous legal basis for resident expatriates occupying the PUR EQ positions.
Background: The Federal Ministry of the Interior grants EQ approvals for top management positions by issuing PUR certificates that provide foreign investors and executives unrestricted access to the country to conduct business. The Federal Ministry of the Interior issues a directive whenever it requires recertification of certificates. However, over the last nine years, the NIS has been directing companies whose PUR certificates were issued 10 years ago and earlier to submit them to the issuing authority for recertification. This is the first time in over 20 years that the issuing authority is requesting recertification. After Oct. 31, expatriates whose PUR EQ positions have not been recertified will be in Nigeria illegally.
Analysis & Comments: The change is an effort by the Ministry to assess the number of investors entering the country regularly. All companies with eligible PUR certificates are therefore urged to apply for recertification well ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline. The application process takes up to six weeks. If the revalidation has not been completed by the deadline date, foreign nationals occupying PUR positions should be reassigned to relevant and available regular EQ positions, which are renewable every two years.
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