The Immigration Bill 2014 was passed into law yesterday 25th May 2015, further to the issuance of the Presidential assent. The new law called the Immigration Act 2015 (‘the Act’), seeks to incorporate various changes in the functions and activities of the Nigerian Immigration Service that have evolved over time and it repeals the Immigration Act 1963.
The Act contains new provisions affecting the practice and procedure of the issuance of passports, visas, work and residence permits. The Act also addresses matters relating to:
(i) Migration to Nigeria;
(ii) Provision of remedies to issues arising from the smuggling of persons across borders and the proper penalisation of illegal migrants;
(iii) Domestication of the United Nations Protocol Against Smuggling of Migrants, supplementing the United Nations Convention on Organized Crime (the Palermo Convention), which Nigeria has ratified, to enable the Nigerian Immigration Service effectively combat the menace of illegal migration, along with other attendant trans-border crimes;
It is expected that the Act will lead to the adoption of more modern processes by the Nigerian Immigration Service. A detailed analysis of the Act shall be circulated at the earliest.