The expatriate quota application in Nigeria immediately comes after the registration of a company in Nigeria by any foreigners seeking to migrate to Nigeria to carry out any permanent work. Subsequent to a successful application of the Expatriate Quota in Nigeria, the business would be in a position to process a Subject to Regularization(STR) Visa for its expatriates, which will enable such expatriates to get the mandatory Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC) that will allow them to live and work in Nigeria.

The expatriate quota in Nigeria is actually the approval granted by the Minister of Interior Affairs to indigenous or foreign-owned companies to allow them to employ or perhaps recruit foreign employees or perhaps directors of the company to legitimately work and live in Nigeria.

The Ministry of Interior Affairs is actually saddled with the responsibility of issuing the expatriate quota approval in Nigeria. A Business Permit is typically processed together with expatriate quota in the case of wholly-owned foreign company. Every business that wishes to employ a foreigner is actually expected to get the Expatriate quota approval before processing the work permit, which is also known as the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien Card (CERPAC).

The Expatriate Quota doesn’t automatically grant CERPAC except that it might serve as a short-term stay during the pendency of an application to renew the CERPAC.


It is important to be aware that Regulations 11 of the 2017 Immigration Regulations exempts member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from obtaining CERPAC, provided that the citizens of member countries shall register with the service as nationals of ECOWAS.


The grant of Expatriate Quota depends largely on the nature, duration and relevance of the place to be held by the expatriate. Nevertheless, the Federal Ministry of Interiors currently issues Expatriate Quota for a period of three years. The application for renewal can be made upon the expiration of the quota.


  • Duly completed registration form
  • Incorporation documents to include a memorandum, articles of association, the share capital and also the particulars of director Feasibility report to be registered with CAC.
  • Certified current audited account and bank reference letter
  • Proposed annual salary to be paid to the expatriate worker indicating their duration, names, and designation of employment
  • Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) for partnership ventures between Foreigners and Nigerians, where applicable
  • Company’s Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Lease agreement or perhaps C of O for operating premises, where applicable
  • Particulars of training programs for Nigerians
  • List of Nigerians working in the company to understudy the expatriates
  • License permit from government agencies where company engage in specialized sectors like the oil and gas sector, health, telecommunications, etc.
  • Evidence of capital importation, where applicable.
  • Business permit
  • Payment of prescribed fees


Expatriate Quotas (EQ) is generally valid for three years. In case the EQ expired, it should be renewed by the organization before the expatriate is able to obtain or perhaps renew his or perhaps her CERPAC.

The requirements for the renewal of Expatriate Quota include the followings:

  • Copy of the expiring Quota
  • Certificate of Other incorporation documents and incorporation
  • Payment of prescribed fees
  • Other documentation accompanying the application, including the report of the use of the expiring quotas.

Application for expatriate quota can be made upon commencement of business or perhaps immediately after incorporation of a company and can certainly also be granted subsequent to an initial grant in a circumstance where a business would like to employ more expatriate.

In some sectors of the economy, like petroleum sector, the government agency supervising employment works together with the Minister of Interior to regulate the employment of expatriates in the sector.

The minister carries out the function of his office regulating foreign employment in the oil and gas sector through the Nigerian Local Content Development Board (the Board). Applicants are actually required to get the approval of the board in the form of a “Certificate of no objection” before applying for the expatriate quota.

Applicants are able to apply for as many quotas based on the slots required, though expatriate quota in Nigeria is strictly controlled and not just easily approved to companies in other to protect the Nigerian working population.

Companies are instructed to allow their expatriates pass on the knowledge of skills that are relevant entailed in the job to Nigerians understudying for the purpose of minimize the unemployment situation of the country and avail indigenes the chance to gain requisite abilities and take up jobs that are available in future from foreign employees relying on temporary expatriate quotas.


Lastly, the measure of expatriate quota approval put in place by the Nigerian government has enabled the federal government to manage the influx of foreign workers in various sectors of the economy where the local expertise can easily fit in.

The approval for a grant of an expatriate quota has been simplified and so as not to stifle the neck of investors willing to invest in the Nigerian economy to work or perhaps monitor the businesses of theirs.

Any prospective company seeking to apply for expatriate quotas must have a minimum of N10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira) share capital.


By Olusola Jegede, MCIArb, a Senior Partner at Resolution Law Firm