Please note that the Nigerian Consulate in South Africa has run out of visa labels/stickers. Therefore, visas can only be issued earliest from next week Monday or Tuesday (23/24 October 2017).
A Brief History
As the New South Africa was being born and South Africa was on the world stage, Relocation Africa started in 1993 in Johannesburg, South Africa, providing homefinding services to expatriates moving into Johannesburg. In 1997 the Cape Town branch was opened and Immigration services were included into the offering to support the client’s needs and in 1999 the international payment service was incorporated to support international clients needs to transact expatriate’s payments in South Africa.
In 2000 the Relocation Africa head-office was consolidated to Cape Town and an internal web-based system was developed to support the needs of the business and facilitate the centralised head office business model. The business decided to register a sister company called Global Expatriate Management (GEM) to take over the payments services as well as starting a payroll solution for clients who had regional offices across Africa but with a centralised payroll head office in South Africa.
In 2002 we made the strategic decision to expand relocation services into Africa. The network of consultants being recruited across Africa were able to provide housing data so in 2004 GEM formalised this housing data into a formal housing survey. We now run these biannual surveys across most countries in Africa. In 2005 GEM expanded to collect cost of living data with a network of field workers across Africa.
In 2006, due to client demand, we started expanding immigration services into other African countries. Our next key step was formalising a training department within the business in 2008 – prior to that, it had been the responsibility of the account managers to recruit and train consultants. The business has grown organically over the interleading years due to some key staff who always worked above and beyond what was asked of them.
In 2013 Relocation Africa rebranded into the Relocation Africa Group incorporating GEM’s services to formalise the service offering to clients with our four divisions, being Mobility, Immigration, Research and Remuneration.
Each division has a colour, icon and animal assigned with it and we use this branding to differentiate our services.
Africa is an exciting space to be working and we strive to deliver a consistent quality of service to all clients no matter where the services are delivered in Africa.
Being a cog in the machinery facilitating the development of skills across Africa is what drives the management of Relocation Africa to help upskill Africa.
In 2016 we discovered an inspiring organisation called Generation of Leaders Discovered or GOLD for short (www.goldpe.org.za). The are based in Cape Town near our head office, and they have an inspiring model which gives hope and skills to Africa’s disenfranchised youth. They identify young opinion leaders in communities and invite them to go through their program, they give them hope, give them skills and enable them to become peer educators and role models within their peer groups. The results of their programs is astonishing. Please email us if you would like to know more about GOLD and what they do.
We are currently developing an internship program with GOLD and we are building a relationship with them as what they do fits in with our philosophy of helping to develop skills across Africa.
Embracing the Unknown
Our vision is to be the preferred supplier in Africa of trusted seamless relocation services to our clients to ensure their assignees become effective employees quickly.
Our mission is to remain a reliable and consistent quality managed provider of a comprehensive range of services to companies moving assignees into Africa, by removing the fear of the unknown continent.
The new Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (”NIS”)
whose appointment took effect from 15th May, 2016 has issued a directive
to the effect that companies in the oil and gas sector must provide evidence of registration with the Nigeria Content and Development Management Board,(“NCDMB”) before a Temporary Work Permit (“TWP”) cablegram is issued.
The directive is to ensure that companies in the oil and gas industry are compliant with the federal government’s local content policy as well as forestall abuse of the TWP visa in the oil and gas industry.
What Companies and Foreign Nationals need to Know!
Companies affected should ensure that the necessary approvals are procured from the (“NCDMB”) and (“COREN”) before an application for a TWP visa is made.
For more information on updates please contact firstname.lastname@example.org – ask for Cassandra Weir.
What is the change? The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) is conducting a nationwide audit of all long-term work permits (known locally as the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card, or CERPAC) that have been issued to foreign workers.
What does the change mean? The long-term work permits of all foreign nationals must be submitted to the NIS by either the employer or the employer’s representative for verification between March 14 -31.
- Implementation time frame: March 14 – March 31.
- Visas/permits affected: Long-term work permits (CERPACs).
- Who is affected: Foreign workers with CERPACs.
- Business impact: The verification system is a reminder for companies to make sure they are in compliance with immigration and work permit regulations.
- Next steps: Employers must present the passports and CERPACs of their foreign national employees, a copy of the company’s expatriate quota and a copy of the company’s monthly expatriate quota return for February 2016 at their local NIS CERPAC Production Center. (There are eight such centers throughout Nigeria.) Foreign employees are not required to appear in person. BAL can assist in the process and present the required documentation on the employer’s behalf.
Background: The nationwide effort indicates that the government further clamping down on abuse of long-term work authorization. “The NIS going forward intends to ensure strict compliance of the long term work permit process and penalise companies that breach or abuse the process.” said Kunle Obebe, a partner with Bloomfield Law Practice in Lagos.
Nigeria passed an immigration law in June emphasizing compliance, and recently imposed new limits and monetary fines on business visitors who overstay.
What is the change? Nigeria’s Immigration Amendment Act, passed last week, revises the legal structure for issuance of work permits and imposes steep monetary penalties on companies for non-compliance.
What does the change mean? Companies hiring foreign workers may benefit from clearer rules but also have greater responsibilities to comply with all rules regarding work permits, expatriate quotas, timely renewals and monthly reporting.
- Implementation time frame: Immediate.
- Visas/permits affected: Work permits, residence permits.
- Who is affected: Employers and expatriate employees.
- Impact on processing times: The new framework may help streamline work permit processing.
- Business impact: The law imposes significant liability on companies to make sure they and their expatriate work force maintain compliance with the law. Companies face fines of up to US$15,000 for violations, such as failing to renew work permits or expatriate quotas in a timely manner.
- Next steps: Employers should be familiar with the new law and its requirements and may wish to contact their BAL representative for assistance.
Background: The Immigration Amendment Act 2015 was signed into law May 25 by outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan. It codifies the legal authority of the Comptroller General of Immigration to issue work permits.
Under the act, companies are required to “show evidence of immigration responsibility or any other security on behalf of an expatriate employee before a resident permit is granted.” This provision puts the onus on employers to make sure their expatriate employees are in full compliance with the laws. While “any other security” is not defined, it is being interpreted to mean that Nigeria may require employers to pay a guarantee to sponsor some work or resident permits.
If convicted of immigration violations, a company and/or employee will be liable for fines. Here is a summary of penalties:
- Companies are liable for approximately US$10,000 for any violation instigated by, or attributed to the neglect of, a company’s director, manager or secretary.
- A company that fails to renew its expatriate quotas on time or to file expatriate monthly returns is liable for approximately US$15,000 in fines. In addition, an individual company official responsible for the filings is subject to a fine of US$5,000.
- A foreign employee who changes jobs and does not obtain work permit approval from the new employer before starting work is subject to deportation.
- A catch-all provision covering violations not specified in the law imposes a fine of about US$5,000 and/or one year of imprisonment.
- An individual who alters travel documents is liable for a fine of US$10,000 and/or three years of imprisonment.
- Airlines will be fined US$10,000 for knowingly carrying a passenger who is not in compliance with immigration laws.