Steps, Requirements, Cost of Processing Expatriate Quota, Residence Permit in Nigeria


Image Credit: Aziza Nigeria

By Okpi Ibe Chinedu

A foreigner who desires to invest in the Nigerian economy or a Nigerian that wishes to engage the services of a foreign expert must make certain that a business entity is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a limited liability company (LTD).

Aligned with the conditions of the above assertion, it will be pertinent to take a critical look at the step by step guide, requirements and cost of processing an expatriate quota application, Subject to Regularization (STR) Visa and Combine Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien card (CERPAC) after the completion of an incorporation process.

The essence of fusing all three processes in an article is consequent from the fact that none of the process can stand alone. Any company that commences the process of an expatriate quota application must finalise it with a residence permit in that order.

Step 1 (Expatriate Quota)

The first step a wholly foreign company, a joint venture company (between a Nigerian and a foreign) or a Nigerian company wishing to have a foreigner in its employment will take in order to secure an officially permitted residence permit for its foreign employees are as follows:

  1. An application for an expatriate quota and business permit (for a joint venture company) addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Interior, Old Secretariat, Garki, Abuja, FCT.
  2. Certificate of Incorporation issued by CAC upon the completion of the registration process.
  3. Form CAC 2A and 7A or 1.1 (for samples of the forms visit: (
  4. Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company evidencing its nature of business.
  5. Feasibility report assessing the practicability and viability of the projects of the applicant company.
  6. Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) issued by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). The original must be presented for sighting.
  7. Bank reference letter showing financial capacity of applicant.
  8. Lease agreement confirming the applicant’s right to the use of a property for its business.
  9. Joint Venture agreement (in case of a foreign partnership)
  10. Evidence of capital and Machinery importation
  11. Proposed salary, job description and academic qualification of the expatriate(s)

Breakdown of Expatriate Quota and Business Permit Fees

 | S/NO | FEES                                                                    N

 | 1 | Online registration/Automation                          51,000

 | 2 | Processing fee                                                     30,000

 | 3 | Business permit                                                  100,000

 | 4 | Single quota position                                          30,000

(See reference for link regarding breakdown of expatriate quota and business permit fees)

After the grant of an expatriate quota by the Minister of Interior, the next step to take before a Nigerian green card is issued is to apply for a Subject to Regularization (STR) visa from the Nigerian embassy in the country of origin of the expatriate where he or she has been residing for the last six months and the requirements and cost are:

STEP 2: Requirements for the processing of a Subject to Regularization STR Visa

  1. Valid passport with a 6-month validity
  2. Letter of employment from the employer of the expatriate.
  3. Credentials of the expatriate
  4. Proof of online payment of Visa.

Total processing Fee: N70,000.

STEP 3: CERPAC (Residence permit application)

After the grant of an STR visa, the expatriate can come into Nigeria and regularize the visa with the following documents and fees

  1. Purchase of CR (Concessionary) Forms
  2. Four (4) Nos “2×2 passport photograph on white background.
  3. Application on the letter headed paper of the employer indicating acceptance of Immigration Responsibilities I.R endorsed by the Nigerian High Commissioner.
  4. National passport of the applicant with STR Visa endorsement and photocopies of relevant data pages.
  5. Letter of appointment and acceptance of the offer by the employee.
  6. Expatriate quota approval of the company issued by the Minister of Interior.
  7. Photocopies of applicants credential
  8. Duly completed forms IMMA 2.1 and E.20
  9. Particulars of incorporation documents as contained in the requirements for expatriate quota application.
  10. Qualifying certificate and Resume of expatriate
  11. Company Profile of the applicant.


CERPAC fee $2,000 per expatriate. (The new rate was introduced by the Minister of Interior since 2018)


After submission of the application, a temporary card valid for one year will be issued pending when the permanent card is ready (usually for a period of 2-3 months)

The application is submitted at the office of the Comptroller-General of Immigration (immigration HQ, airport road Sauka, Abuja)

The presence of the expatriate is required.

The expatriate can travel in and out of Nigeria with the temporary card pending when the original would be ready for pick up.


Okpi, Ibe Chinedu is the Principal Partner in the Law Firm of Ibe, Chido and Associates ( with extensive knowledge in Corporate and Commercial Law Practice. He can be contacted via phone: 07069279374 or email: [email protected].

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