A REVIEW OF THE NIGERIA IMMIGRATION REGULATION 2017 – CORPORATE IMMIGRATION LANDMINES

    A REVIEW OF THE NIGERIA IMMIGRATION REGULATION 2017 – CORPORATE IMMIGRATION LANDMINES

    Introduction

    On March 20, 2017, the Honourable Minister of Interior (the “Minister”) Lt. Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau (retired), issued the Immigration Regulations 2017 (the “Regulations”). The key objective for issuing the Regulations is to create a legal framework for the implementation of the Immigration Act 2015 (“Act”)1 (Please refer to our article on the review of the Act) and a repeal of the Immigration Regulations 1963.

    The Regulations which have come into effect raise a myriad of compliance issues, which corporate entities that have foreign nationals, as employees, need to be abreast of and strictly comply with.

    This briefing seeks to highlight the provisions of the Regulations and in particular, the various compliance matters and red flags that both the body corporate and foreign national employees must be aware of.

    Highlights of the Regulations

    1. BUSINESS PERMIT

    The Regulations codify the need for a foreign national to obtain a business permit,2 prior to establishing a profession, business or trade in Nigeria. Thus, a business permit is issued to local Nigerian registered entities that have foreign interest or investment and the permit is issued in the name of the local Nigerian registered entity.

    It is pertinent to note that the business permit in itself does not grant the holder resident status. The holder must, in addition to obtaining a business permit for the requisite business, also apply for and procure the requisite visa or permit to reside in Nigeria.

    The Regulations also provide a penalty for failure to renew business permit3 failing which same may be revoked.4 It is germane to note that the practice, post issuance of the Regulation, didn’t require the renewal of a business permit. We therefore look forward to receiving further guidance from the Ministry in relation to the business permit renewal.

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    We are delighted to announce the tenth-year anniversary of Bloomfield Law Practice (“Bloomfield”). From our humble beginnings, Bloomfield continues to grow from strength to strength in Nigeria and the global market. We would like to thank God for the Grace that has seen Bloomfield through the many years; starting as a dream to serve, to its current state. We would also like to thank our clients who believed in our desire to serve and gave us the opportunity to be their trusted advisors.

    Further, I would like to thank my partners, Ayodele Oni and Adedoyin Afun who bought into the Bloomfield vision and have injected a fresh drive to build an institution that would outlive us.

    Additionally, I would like to thank both the past and current legal practitioners and administrative staff that have helped to build Bloomfield in one capacity or the other.

    As we celebrate this wonderful milestone, our desire to act as trusted advisors to our clients is further regenerated and our hope is to leave an indelible mark in the African market, wherein the name, Bloomfield, is synonymous with excellence in provision of legal services.
    Adekunle Obebe, Managing Partner