The Federal Ministry of Interior (“FMI” or “the Ministry”) on Friday, 19 July 2019, announced the commencement of the revalidation process for all ‘Permanent Until Reviewed’ (PUR) certificates issued on or before 1999. All companies that were granted Expatriate Quota (EQ) approvals on PUR status within the stipulated period are required to approach the Ministry from 22 July – 31 October 2019 for the revalidation of their PUR certificates.
The Ministry, upon request by companies, grants EQ approvals for top management positions, on a PUR status. The objective is to enable foreign investors have unrestricted access to the country so as to protect their shares and interests in their companies. EQ positions issued on PUR status are not renewed on a biennial basis like the regular EQ positions but revalidated as directed by the Ministry.
The recent call for the revalidation of PUR certificates is premised on 3 cardinal points;
- To enable the Ministry ascertain the utilization of the PUR facility by companies
- To access the continued eligibility of companies to retain the approval
- To ensure better management of the PUR facility by the Ministry
The Ministry further stated that any EQ on PUR status that is not validated as at 1 November 2019 will be deemed lapsed and can no longer be utilized.
Prior to this call by the Ministry for PUR revalidation, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), has been refusing to honour PUR certificates with more than 10 years validity. Companies were consequently compelled to apply to the Ministry for the validation of their PUR certificates before immigration facilities are granted to them. It is expected that this laudable call by the Ministry will bring to an end the practice, whereby NIS requests companies to revalidate PUR certificates with ten years validity.
Based on the foregoing, we therefore implore all companies in this category to heed the call of the Ministry and take advantage of the window provided to facilitate the recertification of their PUR certificates.
Though the Ministry is yet to provide a detailed process flow on how the recertification will take place, however, it is expected that the application will follow a similar process as regular EQ applications.