By the end of neurogenesis in Drosophila pupal brain neuroblasts (NBs), nuclear Prospero (Pros) triggers cell cycle exit and terminates NB lifespan. Here, we reveal that in larval brain NBs, an intrinsic mechanism facilitates import and export of Pros across the nuclear envelope via a Ran-mediated nucleocytoplasmic transport system. In rangap mutants, the export of Pros from the nucleus to cytoplasm is impaired and the nucleocytoplasmic transport of Pros becomes one-way traffic, causing an early accumulation of Pros in the nuclei of the larval central brain NBs. This nuclear Pros retention initiates NB cell cycle exit and leads to a premature decrease of total NB numbers. Our data indicate that RanGAP plays a crucial role in this intrinsic mechanism that controls NB lifespan during neurogenesis. Our study may provide insights into understanding the lifespan of neural stem cells during neurogenesis in other organisms.