You have a new business project or employment offer in Nigeria and your hiring organization requires you to obtain a Subject to Regularization (STR) visa before you can take on the role. 

In line with section 8(1) of the Immigration Act, "no person who is not a citizen of Nigeria, may take up employment in Nigeria other than employment with the Federal or State Government without the consent of the Comptroller General of Immigration. 

STR is therefore the prerequisite needed before one can take on a job offer in Nigeria. Let us go a little deeper to learn more. 

What is a STR Visa? 

The acronym STR simply means "Subject to Regularization". It is a single-entry visa that is issued to expatriates who have been invited to Nigeria on business or employment offers. 

STR allows for knowledge and skill transfer from competent expatriates to Nigerians while also helping businesses to grow and expand their operations. Once the STR is issued, the expatriate will be placed on the hiring organization's Expatriate Quota (EQ) in line with the duration of the expatriate employment contract.

What is an Expatriate Quota (EQ)?

An expatriate quota is granted to Nigerian registered organizations by the Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS) to reserve or provide job opportunities to expatriates with a specific number of job positions to be offered. This gives a hiring organization the opportunity to seek foreign expertise to handle certain job assignments.

What is the difference between a Temporary Work Permit (TWP) and STR visa?

Temporary Work Permit (TWP)  is a short-term visa for workers or contractors who are assigned to work for a limited amount of time in Nigeria. The duration is normally 90 to 180 days. This class of visa does not need an approved EQ. 

STR visa on the other hand is placed under an approved EQ and can be converted to CERPAC (Combined Expatriates Residence Permit & Aliens Card). Hence an expatriate on an STR visa can reside in Nigeria for a period of 1-2 years and can have it renewed or extended based on the hiring organization's discretion or the contract duration.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.