The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has started issuing a new format Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC), also referred to as “Green Card”. The new format includes enhanced security features and contains more details regarding the date and place of issuance and the expiration date. The new format Green Card can be obtained for a validity period of up to 2 years as opposed to the previous 1 year, depending on employment duration and on passport and quota validity. Old format Green Cards remain valid until their expiration date.
With the implementation of the new format Green Card new sanctions were announced as well, which will go into effect on May 1, 2014: all foreign residents not holding a Green Card after this date may face deportation.
Other changes to the CERPAC process may be implemented soon – although it has not formally been announced yet, it is expected that some of the services from the NIS will soon be decentralized, and the responsibility for the Regularization of STR Visas is one of those that is mentioned as to be transferred from the NIS Headquarter in Abuja to the State Commands of the NIS. It is not clear yet if this transfer will result in changes to requirements, but an increase in efficiency and therefore shorter processing times might result from this decentralization.