The Nigeria Immigration Service, popularly known as NIS, is a federal agency charged with the primary responsibility of supervising Nigeria’s immigration system. By and large, the immigration system involves the influx of people into and out of Nigeria and by virtue of this, the NIS executes several significant roles and partners with other law enforcement authorities such as the customs service, Nigeria Army and the Nigerian police. This article is primarily centred on the functions of the Nigeria Immigration Service. Since the functions are broad in scope, we have compiled as many as the Top 21 functions of the Nigeria Immigration Service.


Provision of Residence Permit to Foreigners

Besides Nigerian citizens, the Nigerian Immigration Service issues important documents –such as Residence Permit –to foreigners. Owing to this, foreigners will maintain the right to live in Nigeria without restriction. Not long ago, NIS came up with a document known as CERPAC (the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card). Importantly, it is compulsory for a foreigner to hold this document in order to authorize his stay in Nigeria.

Issuance of different types of visas

One of the major functions of the Nigeria Immigration Service is the issuance of different types of visas such as Business visas, Visitors visas, Tourist visas, Student visas etc to any intending visitors to Nigeria at our various embassies or missions across the globe. A foreigner cannot jump inside a plane and head to Nigeria without an approved travel document issued by NIS abroad, otherwise, the person will be refused entry.

Issuance of Travel Documents

The Nigeria Immigration Service maintains the right to provide home-based and expatriate Nigerians with travel documents. With the help of this, such Nigerians will experience no restraint in crossing the borders of Nigeria.

Provision of Emergency Travel Certificate. (ETC)

The Nigeria Immigration Service missions overseas are charged with the duty of issuing emergency travel certificates to any bonafide Nigerians that lost his or her international passport and needs to travel home.

By training NIS officers are the only authority that knows and can identify with ease those that claim to be Nigerians and need emergency travel documents to make a one-way trip home.

Control of Immigrants and Emigrants

As an authoritative body, NIS (Nigeria Immigration Service) is empowered to examine the people entering Nigeria and those leaving the country. By virtue of this function, NIS ensures that Nigeria is devoid of illegal migration.

Inspection of the Nigerian Borders

In as much as the Nigeria Immigration Service is charged with the responsibility of migration surveillance, its officers are empowered to check immigrants and emigrants at the Nigerian borders. Also worthy of mention is that NIS officers are authorized to check anyone living illegally in Nigeria.

Execution of Laws and Immigration Regulations

NIS is an authoritative agency controlled by the federal government. By virtue of this control, the agency is empowered to execute the laws, regulations and rules within its jurisdiction.

Arrest and deportations of Illegal or prohibited Immigrants

Under any circumstance, NIS officials are permitted to go round in search of foreigners who are residing illegally in Nigeria. Moreover, the agency (NIS) maintains the right to detain such foreigners for a specified time before eventually deporting them to their country of origin. It is their duty to prevent the influx of prohibited immigrants.

Keeping of Records

One of the basic functions of the NIS is to provide and keep accurate records of immigrants and emigrants including Nigerians and non-Nigerians. By doing this, such records could be used effectively for the purpose of research.

Execution of Intelligence-Based Tasks

The NIS (Nigeria Immigration Service) is considered a component of Nigeria’s paramilitary sector and by virtue of the training, they acquired. NIS officers are required to put their intelligence into practical use. Meanwhile, such intelligence is usually needed in unravelling crucial matters such as the distinct observation of travel documents.

Fostering Relationships with Other Law Enforcement Agencies

As an executive body, the NIS is charged with the responsibility of fostering relationships with several other law enforcement agencies including the customs service and the Nigerian police, NDLEA, etc. By doing this, law and order can be implemented and maintained effectively.

Investigation of aircraft, vehicles and boats

Regarding this function, the NIS is required to work hand in hand with the customs service particularly in order to investigate and confiscate aircraft, boats and other vehicles which have not been cleared or authorized for use.

By law, they have the power to enter and search any vehicle, aircraft or ship without the permission of any other agencies. In most cases, Nigeria Immigration Officers are the first to enter any Aircraft or Ships that landed on Nigeria territory.

Inspection of Travel Documents

In addition to the issuance of travel documents, the NIS maintains the right to scrutinize travel documents whether belonging to Nigerians or non-Nigerians. For the purpose of executing this role, the NIS is equipped with a forensic laboratory.

Organization of Training Schemes

The NIS sets up training schemes particularly for the orientation of its staff. Through these schemes, NIS staff members receive sophisticated training on how to implement laws and regulations effectively. Using its forensic laboratory, NIS has made a great impact in setting up training schemes for its staff members.

Keeping of Biometric Records

NIS officers are charged with the duty of obtaining biometric data from immigrants. This biometric data usually involves important information such as the fingerprints of the immigrants. Moreover, the NIS is required to keep updated records of this data after being obtained.

Creation of Employment

By way of enrolling new members to its staff base on a yearly basis, the NIS provides employment opportunities for the Nigerian populace. Moreover, the people so enrolled, are trained to become professionals in the execution and maintenance of law and order.

Being part of Nigeria’s National Stability

In certain capacities, the Nigeria Immigration Service is charged with the duty of contributing to Nigeria’s national stability. Meanwhile, the agency is expected to do this by coming up with innovative ideas and executing law and order effectively.

The organization, Maintenance, and provision of Equipment at various Training Schools

The Nigeria Immigration Service provide sound training, maintenance and providing equipment at its various training institutions across the Federation and sets up send-off parades for its students and this usually comes after the training schemes. Also, such students eventually become certified immigration officers on the completion of the training.

Security of the Nation

Through the surveillance of those entering or leaving Nigeria, the NIS tightens the security of the nation and ensures that both citizens and non-citizens are not subject to security threats usually resulting from illegal immigration.

Distribution of e-Passport

In accordance with the production of e-passport, the NIS adopts the function of distributing e-passport to every state in Nigeria. Regarding this, the agency ensures that all States passport offices get their e-passport for prompt issuance to the passport applicants

Fostering Nigeria’s Relationships with Other Nations

The NIS performs the function of fostering Nigeria’s relationships with other nations, by the establishment of foreign missions across the globe. Meanwhile, the agency achieves this purpose by involving international organizations such as ECOWAS in affairs relating to Nigeria and other nations.

That’s all for now on the Top 21 functions of the Nigeria Immigration Service, for more information you may contact the website.


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