Compared to how things were in the past decade, it is now relatively easy to get a new Nigerian passport or renew an expired Nigerian passport in the UK. This is because the Nigerian High Commission has automated their services thereby reducing the time-wasting bureaucracy characterizing the process 10 years ago. This is definitely good news for those with permanent UK residency as they require new passport affixed to their residency status.
The expediency has come with an unlikely price because all applicants must make it to the Nigerian Consulate in West End of the city of London no matter where they reside in the United Kingdom. The reason for this is best known to the Nigerian government and it would help very much if they brought the services closer or in a more central place, or better still open other satellite offices in the United Kingdom.
However, the opening of a new consulate in Manchester City may be some kind of light at the tunnel’s end although Nigerian High Commission’s official website has not made any mention of whether the new consulate will handle any passport renewal process as yet. For now, just contend with the fact that you can only apply for the renewal of your Nigerian passport at just that particular location. Back to the subject, how do you renew a Nigerian Passport in the UK?
The first thing you need to know is that the process can be divided broadly into two stages. The initial stage is the internet application (e-passport) for renewal and the second end involves visiting the Nigerian Consulate either in Manchester or London to finalize the application process which requires your physical presence as the applicant. Here are the two parts.
A. Online Nigerian Passport Application (e-passport)
This process is very simple because it can be filled in the comfort of your home or office. All you need to have is internet enabled computer device such as a tablet, smartphone, laptop or desktop PC. Here is how to carry on with this online application process:
Step 1: Locate Nigerian High Commission’s official website
The first place to start your online application process is locating the Nigerian embassy’s official website (http://www.nigeriahc.org.uk.) and feed it into your browser. Once you are on the website, just click on the passport link you will find on the homepage. This will lead you to another page where you will find the necessary requirements for renewing your passport. Read the requirement carefully then look at the tail end of the page to find the option that applies to your situation.
Step 2: Select the type of e-passport
The option you selected above will lead you to another page which is the homepage for the Nigerian Immigration Service. At the navigation panel at the top, click ‘Apply Online’. The page that will open is the passport section. Click on ‘e-Passport Application form’. This will present you with two types of passport: Standard e-Passport and Official e-Passport. Opt for Standard e-Passport which will land you at the payment stage.
Step 3: Make the required payments
The step above will transfer you to a company referred to as SW Global LLC. You will be required to begin Application by logging into SW Global. Logging-in is only possible with Yahoo, Google, or Facebook ID. Those who do not subscribe to any of the services mentioned can create an open ID provided by SW Global LLC. After successful login, then ensure you review the terms as well as conditions for using the site before making payments with your personal debit or credit card.
When the payment has been made successfully and received, you will obtain acknowledgement along with other information some of which are outdated. The information includes everything you are required to take with you when you visit the Nigerian consulate offices for the second part of the passport renewal process. The requirements will be the printed form and other things like:
- Your outdated Nigerian passport (for renewal or reissue)
- Duly completed electronic passport application form
- Internet application payment slip for confirmation
- Acknowledgement slip for e-Passport application
- Booking slip for Appointment (At a later step of the process)
- Applicable fee in postal order
Step 4: Book an Appointment with the Nigerian Embassy
The last undertaking for this part includes returning to the High Commission website once more. Under Immigration navigation, look for the e-Passport appointment booking port. Choose the best slot and date. You will also need to provide your application ID as well as the Reference number and book an appointment to visit the Nigerian Consulate.
Inasmuch as you make an online appointment and even book a slot, it will surprise you to realize you have to join the queue when you make it to the consulate as services are offered on first-come, first-served basis. Besides, it is not possible to book same day appointments, therefore, you need to give yourself enough time.
B. Appointment at the Nigerian Embassy for E-Passport
When the day of the appointment comes, you will be expected to appear at the embassy with the above-listed documents. You have to make sure you carry all the required documents as failure to do so could mean you have wasted your time and money because they will turn you back. The High Commission has a number you can call for any inquiries so that everything is in order before you journey to the embassy.
Since the documents have to be in a printed form, ensure that happens. In case you are not able to print them, then the High Commission service centre gives applicants an opportunity to print out their documents at the site. When it gets to your turn, you will be presented with a number and then required to wait until you are called.
When you are called, you will be asked to hand over your documents before being asked to wait at the bio-metric waiting room after which you will be invited into the room and your biometrics, taken. After that, your visit to the embassy is finalized. You will be provided with a receipt containing your personal details plus the due date for your new e-Passport. The waiting period is just about a week or so.
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