Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and exploiting it, is the least myself and other entrepreneurs can do.
In May this year, my business partners and I packed our bags and moved over to Nigeria to launch our business. We were all so excited to move to one of Africa’s largest economy with a GDP of $ 569 billion at 2016.
Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa, with an estimated population of 182 million persons according to her National Population Commision. Other than her population, she is one of the most attractive country for most African entrepreneurs simply because of executive orders, policies and infrastructure.
However, there are some things we (myself and business partners) had to take care of before moving over to Nigeria. Just like other average African entrepreneur, we didn’t know many legal documents that would be required. I hope to share all these with you in this article.
As a foreign entrepreneur ready to exploit the largest economy in Africa, you must take note of several things including where to lay your head. But most importantly, the following things are important:
- BANK ACCOUNTS
- ADJUSTMENT TO BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT and
- NIGERIAN JOLLOF RICE
For this article, I will focus on VISA requirements and why it’s important.
Would you eat without a plate? I don’t think so! Would you travel to Nigeria without a VISA? Better ask twice.
Any foreigner planning to move and establish a business in the GREEN-WHITE-GREEN nation, should be aware of the visa regulations in force. Nigeria, has a good relationship with some countries, and you may not require a VISA prior to entry. Try check if your country is one of them.
There are different types of visas issued to foreigners, they are:
- Transit visa,
- Tourist visa,
- Business visa,
- Temporary Work Permit (TWP),
- Subject to Regularisation (STR) visa, and
- Diplomatic visa.
And since you are not going to Nigeria to play in the beaches, I think you will go for a business visa. And for a short business trip, I would recommend a business visa.
How to apply
You can apply and pay online for this kind of visa at the country’s immigration website.
If you intend to stay permanently and run your business in Nigeria, an STR (Subject To Regularisation) is recommended as this will enable you get a work permit shortly after arriving Nigeria. To be eligible for a STR you should be one of these:
- Expatriate employees of Companies and their dependants.
- Expatriate Technical officials of Missions.
- Foreign Students.
- Missionaries / Clerics and their dependants.
- Research Fellows
- Expatriate Staff of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and their dependants
- Expatriate Staff of International Non Governmental Organisations (INGOs) and their dependants
- Government Officials (GOs) and their dependants
- Expatriates employed by companies operating in Free Zones and their dependants
For Principal (Main Applicants)
- Formal application for STR Visa from the Employer / Institution accepting Immigration Responsibility
- Valid Passport with a minimum of 6 months validity and at least 2 blank pages for visa endorsement
- 2 passport sized photographs (35/40mm) taken within the last 6 months on white background
- Duly completed Visa Form IMM22
- Expatriate Quota Approval *
- Evidence of financial support
- Letters of Offer of Appointment and Acceptance of Offer
- Educational qualifications and Curriculum Vitae
- Extract of Board Resolution**
- Evidence of Regularization of Principal*
- Marriage Certificate of Spouse
- Birth certificate for children confirming nexus
More information can be found on the immigration website mentioned above.
Research is key! And so, knowing these requirements is super important. Nigeria is great but would be frustrating if you try to be over-smart with requirements. I will explain other needed requirements, lifestyles, my experiences in Nigeria in subsequent articles.
Kindly drop a comment please.