Nigeria is a country with vast resources and a very large population consisting of over 150 million citizens who do co-exist with everyone in the entire universe. With businesses such as the oil exporting industry, many live outside the country, especially in the United States of America since it’s the 2nd largest supplier. With many of them living outside Nigeria, the passport might expire any time when in a foreign country, like U.S.A, and immediate renewal is needed. This is made possible with the presence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria embassy in Washington, D.C and Consulate in New York and Atlanta, Georgia. If one is renewing their passport, a sticker indicating the next expiration date, which is five years from the present date of renewal, is placed on the observation page. One can renew their passport through the internet if it has not exceeded ten years or visit the embassy.
For one to be able to renew a passport, first and foremost, the applicant must be a Nigerian passport holder and should have evidence that they did have a passport and it is actually expired by producing it when asked for it. From the 1st July in 2007, the Government of Nigeria decided that it was time to go digital and ensure that all passport application procedures are made online. This is done through two steps. The first part involves the online application process which will proceed to the payment which is payable through the credit card or money order at the SW Global for the thirty dollars used to process while the second step is getting an appointment to the Nigerian High Commission in the passport area.
For anyone to be a viable candidate for the renewal of a passport, one should ensure that the online application procedure is completed with every information given being accurate. This is done by printing out the form together with the appointment booking document, application payment confirmation document, online application acknowledgement paper and also a postal order fee of thirty dollars. Two other important factors to consider is that one should produce the previous passport and also ensure that one appears in person at the embassy on the appointed day.
The official site for a passport application and any other immigration related questions is https://portal.immigration.gov.ng/pages/welcome and one should be aware that a Nigerian passport has a 10 year period before its expiration which includes a 5 year initial validity. The site provides very clear information on the activities of passport related issues which makes it easier for Nigeria’s interests to grow.
PROCEDURE FOR THE RENEWAL OF A PASSPORT
Since everything was made online officially on 1st July, 2007, everything has to be done through the internet.
1. Once one has logged in to http:/portal.immigration.gov.ng/pages, there is a passport menu tab. Select the E-Passport Application Form and if one has a yahoo or Google account, it is even easier as logging in from those two sites is quite easy. If not, one should just create an account to continue with the process.
2. After filling in the form, one should print it and submit it through the online link.
3. If the application is successful, a reference number and application ID shall be provided, of course and the applicant should print it out because it is of great importance in process of application.
4. To continue the process, click the close button and then the proceed tab to commence the payment process. Payments should be made from a valid credit card or visa card.
5. Do confirm on the cart page to make sure that everything is in the correct order and then proceed to pay online.
6. One can choose to pay with either the credit card or money order option, depending on the preferred option. If one uses the credit card method, for payment to be able to register every possible information that is important, it is good for one to allow a 30 minutes time frame for that process and one should make sure that the credit card being used belongs to them and no one else.
7. After payment is completed, visit https://portal.immigration.gov.ng/pages/welcome and chose the E-Passport to enter both the reference number and Application ID given earlier and afterwards search on the record section.
8. Through all this, a receipt is presented and one should also print it out with the application confirmation.
9. Attach all the printed documents to the expired passport and visit the Nigerian Embassy on the appointed date.
After completing the whole filling of documents, one can just mail the papers to the embassy or consulate through their addresses, but paying a visit there is still mandatory. If documents are not filled completely, they will not be accepted when handed in and therefore the process will be futile. Some advantages of this whole procedure is that it is done online and therefore saves time and the resources that one might use to go back and forth if any information is not filled to the satisfaction of the procedural requirements. Another thing is that the process is notably extremely efficient and very fast when compared to how the whole procedure was in the last decade.
Always remember that Nigerian passports are only handed over to Nigerian citizens, which is a very important identification document and if the passport has expired, renewing it is extremely easy and reliable on this present century at such a time in history, where technological advancements are very great. With some of Nigeria’s Diplomatic representation in the U.S.A, it should be very easy for Nigerian citizens in the states to feel at home because they can just present their cases in one of these places, and any assistance will be provided if for example, a passport renewal is needed for one to travel, even if it means one wants to visit Nigeria. So, one should not even wait until it is too late to try to renew their passport. Just visit the official website and apply from the comfort of one’s chair.
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