Nigeria Releases New Immigration Regulations

The Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (Rtd.), on 20 March, 2017, released the new Immigration Regulations, 2017. The Regulations which is to take effect in retrospect from 27 February, 2017, seeks to provide an operational framework for the effective implementation of the Immigration Act, 2015, and to consolidate existing Immigration Regulations. The Regulations seek to address the contemporary migration challenges facing the country and provide a more enabling environment for new and existing businesses to thrive.

The new Immigration Regulations include processes and guidelines around:

  1. Entry and departure from Nigeria; business, residence, visiting, transit and temporary work permits, visa on arrival, etc.
  2. Residence and employment of foreign nationals in Nigeria; entry for business, residence or employment, entry for dependents of principal immigrants, foreign nationals married to Nigerians, deportation etc.
  3. Control of immigrants and immigrants’ registry; registration of all immigrants, registration of and permits to young immigrants, notification of arrival & departure of immigrants, change of residence, restriction of movement, requirements from hoteliers and boarding houses etc.
  4. Issuance of Nigerian passports and other travel documents
  5. Immigration offences and penalties
  6. Smuggling of migrants
  7. Command structure of the Nigerian Immigration Service; and
  8. Miscellaneous provisions.

Please follow link to view or download the Immigration Regulations, 2017.

Even though the goal of the Immigration Regulations, 2017, is that of straightening and facilitating immigration processes in the country, some of the provisions of the Regulations come across as extra levels of mandatory compliance requirements, which may defeat the good purpose for its promulgation.

Government should therefore put in place, measures to effectively facilitate and monitor the execution of the Regulations, to ensure that the expected goals of creating an enabling environment for businesses, simplifying cross border movements of individuals to and from Nigeria, are achieved.

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