With waves upon waves of the japa pandemic crashing down upon Nigerians, it’s not out of place for anybody to be gathering necessary documents and identifications that will aid their movement as they search for greener pastures abroad.
But perhaps none of these documents and identifications is as important as the Nigerian passport. Without your Nigerian passport, you’re not leaving this place, and even if you somehow do, you would find yourself back in no time.
The problem, however, is that the cost of obtaining a Nigerian passport is usually exorbitant. This is because obtaining a passport is usually through agents. Many Nigerians do not realise they can easily apply for their passports online. Even when they do, like most things, they fear that the process either doesn’t work or would end up causing more complications.
However, this is far from the truth.
In this post, therefore, I will show you exactly how to apply for your Nigerian passport online through the Nigeria Immigration Service portal. I followed the same procedure to get mine. And while agents were charging between N50,000 to N60,000, I didn’t spend up to N30,000.
Step-by-step guide to get your Nigerian passport online
To begin, you must apply for the passport on the Nigeria Immigration passport application portal. Start by following this link. Then click on START NEW APPLICATION:
Step 1: Here, you’ll be required to select: passport type (standard), age group, processing state, processing centre, passport booklet type and validity period. Passport types include:
- 32 Pages with 5 years validity: This is the least category of Nigerian passport types. It has 32 leaflets and is valid for 5 years after which you must renew it. Application for this category costs N25,000 and a processing fee of N1,000, making a total of N26,000.
- 64 pages with 5 years validity: This is the second class of passports and offers 64 leaflets and valid for just 5 years. It costs N35,000 and a processing fee of N1,000.
- 64 pages with 10 years validity: This is the highest class of standard passports offering 64 pages with a validity period of 10 years. Application for this class of passport costs N70,000.
Step 2: This is where you fill in your personal details like name, maiden name, date of birth, place of birth, National Identification Number (NIN) etc.
At this point, it is essential to know that you must fill out your details exactly how they appear in your NIN. Any conflicting detail would automatically derail your application, forcing you to seek assistance from the immigration workers. The good thing is that they are generally quite helpful, but it may lead to delays in processing your application.
Step 3: This is where you fill in your contact details. They include your home town village, state of origin, phone numbers, permanent address in Nigeria etc.
Step 4: This is the next of kin section where you fill in your next of kin details, your relationship with them, their address and phone numbers etc.
Step 5: This is the payment section where you make payments online. Payments on the platforms are swift, and once payment is confirmed, a payment receipt will be generated and issued to you. Please download this and print it out. Also, download and print out your completed application form, Appointment Slip, and your passport guarantor’s form.
You’ll be required to select a capturing centre and a capturing date. Please don’t go to the passport office on a day different from the date issued to you; else you’ll be wasting your time.
Passport Guarantor: Every Nigerian passport application has a guarantor, but most passport applicants or holders don’t even know they have guarantors; talk more about knowing who their guarantors are.
This is because most people apply through agents, and these agents run it for them, using people the applicants hardly know. And this is probably because the immigration officers don’t pay much attention to it.
When you apply online, you’ll have to download and get your guarantor to fill out your passport guarantor’s form physically. The most important quality of a guarantor is that they must have a valid Nigerian passport.
In saner climes, your guarantor is supposed to be the person that guarantees that you will support yourself financially and not overstay your welcome wherever you travel to. They will also be responsible for the cost of returning you to the country if you do see the image below:
The guarantor’s form includes details like the guarantor’s name, where they work, etc. It also includes the Particulars of Assets section, but it is not mandatory to be completed, and you could skip that session or simply fill in ‘Not Available.’
The completed guarantor’s form (with passport photograph) is to be sworn to by a Commissioner for Oaths. They can be found in any court or local government council building. The form will be stamped and endorsed with a seal.
Ordinarily, this is supposed to cost about N250, as seen on the receipt below, but because of the Nigerian factor, you might find yourself paying up to N1000 or N1,500 for it. This is because na Naija we dey, and agents everywhere are prone to turn these government services into money-making ventures.
The applicant is also required to attach photocopies of the guarantor’s National ID card or driver’s license and the data page of the guarantor’s passport to the guarantor’s form.
Capturing: A successful applicant must visit the capturing centre on the day selected. You’ll be required to go with your:
- Appointment Slip
- photocopies of NIN
- Photocopies of Letters of Identification from Local Govt/State govt of origin or residence or National ID card
- Printout of application form
- 2 passport-sized photos signed at the back by the guarantor
- Completed guarantor’s form (attached with photocopy of the data page of guarantor’s Nigerian passport and guarantor’s National ID card or Drivers Licence)
- One passport photo of the guarantor
- Birth certificate (mandatory for people born after 1992) or age declaration (affidavit) for people born before 1992 that don’t have a birth certificate
- Receipt of payment
Please bring along a white file. You will be required to buy one there and trust me, it sells for between N500 to N1,000, depending on the centre. The sellers of this file are not immigration officers, but they are usually located around the premises. A white file shouldn’t cost more than N100 normally.
After capturing, you will be issued a confirmation slip containing all the details of your capturing, especially your signature, which wasn’t captured in any of the previous forms. This confirmation slip also contains your Nigerian passport collection date.
There you have it. Following these steps, obtaining the lowest class of Nigerian passport shouldn’t cost up to N30,000. Agents usually charge between 50,000 to 60,000 for this. But if, after reading this, you still feel it’s too stressful for you, use an agent by all means. But the truth is, it is quite easy and very much worth the money you’d be saving yourself.