Nigerians who need to travel overseas whether, by air, road or sea need to own an international passport as part of the requirements to gain entry into a foreign country. There are five types of international passports in Nigeria and they are issued to individuals depending on their status. Aside from using a Nigerian passport for international travel, it can also be used as a valid means of identification within the country. In this article, we’ll be discussing the different types of international passports issued by the Nigerian Immigration Service to Nigerians for international travel.
The types of international passports in Nigeria would be discussed below:
In Nigeria, only certain individuals are eligible to be holders of diplomatic passports. It’s often issued to key government officials such as the President, Vice President, Senate President, governors, and some other ranking government officials. The immediate family members of these individuals with diplomatic status may also be eligible to apply for diplomatic passports for themselves. Unlike the standard passport which is green, the diplomatic passport is red and has the words “Diplomatic Passport” on the cover. This type of passport is usually valid for 10 years.
With a diplomatic passport, a holder can enjoy certain privileges from other types of passports he/she travels internationally. One advantage is that it clearly identifies the holder as a key government official in Nigeria and thus warrants special treatment when journeying overseas. The other numerous benefits include exemption from certain airport protocols like bag searches, permission to use diplomatic license plates when driving in a foreign country, and exemption from paying income tax on earnings and others resulting from traveling. Another perk diplomatic passports holders enjoy is the ease with which they can cross borders without the need for a visa, that is, visa-free entry to certain countries.
The Pilgrim Passport is a type of passport issued by the Nigerian Immigration Service to Nigerian citizens who wish to visit another country for pilgrimage. Mecca in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem in Israel are some examples of countries religious adherents in Nigeria go for pilgrimage. At the airport of the pilgrimage destination, the Nigerian Pilgrim Passport identifies the holder as a pilgrim. Unlike the other types of international passports that have specific colors, the colour of the Pilgrim Passports varies yearly.
To apply for a Pilgrims Passport, head out to the Nigerian Immigration Portal to carry out the application online. You should keep the following requirements close by before you proceed to apply for this passport: full names and other relevant details; date of birth; contact details; National Identity Number; permanent residence address; personal details; details of referees; and parents and next of kin’s information.
Nigerians who are sailors or are employed on a shipping vessel and need to travel overseas frequently by sea or ocean will need a Seaman Book. Apart from the purpose of traveling to another country by sea, the Seaman Book Passport also shows the qualifications of the holder as a seafarer. The requirements for obtaining a Seaman Book include a Local Government Letter of Identification, Birth Certificate or Age Declaration, and 2 recent colour passport photographs. Another requirement for a Seaman Book Passport is that the applicant must have a Guarantor with a Standard Nigerian Passport and either a Driving License or National Identity Card.
The Nigerian Standard Passport is a type of identity document that every Nigerian citizen is eligible to acquire for journeys outside the shores of Nigeria. This passport has a green cover. As a Nigerian traveling to a foreign country, the Standard Passport is what verifies your identity and confirms that you are from Nigeria, which in turn grants you safe passage and protection in the foreign country. This type of passport does not grant the bearer any special privileges at the points of entry to foreign nations.
The application for a “Fresh” Standard Passport or re-issuance of a new one is done online at the Nigerian Immigration Portal. After the application, the following documents are needed for the interview. They include a Local Government Letter of Identification, Birth Certificate, 2 recent colour passport photographs, a Guarantor’s form sworn before a Commissioner of Oaths/Magistrate/High Court Judge, Parent’s Letter of Consent (for Nigerians under 16 years), Marriage Certificate where applicable, and police report if the former passport got stolen or lost.
The Nigerian Official Passport is a type of passport that’s issued to government employees. Examples of government officials that can be bearers of this passport include ministers, permanent secretaries, the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, top officials of the Nigerian Police Force and the Armed Forces, Heads of parastatals, and more. The purpose of this type of passport is to inform the immigration personnel in the destination country that the bearer is on official duty, representing Nigeria in an official capacity. Unlike the Diplomatic Passport, the bearers of Official Passports aren’t granted any special treatment.
The process of applying for a passport renewal or a “Fresh” Official Passport is done online by visiting the Nigerian Immigration Portal. After successful application, some documents are required during the interview, they include a Letter of Introduction from the appropriate government organization/ministry/parastatal, a Marriage Certificate if applicable, and a Letter of Appointment/Last Promotion.
Now we’ve talked about the types of internal passports in Nigeria, let’s outline the steps to go about applying for a passport on the Nigerian Immigration Portal.
These are the steps to follow:
- Go to the Homepage of the Nigerian Immigration Portal
- Locate and click the “e-Passport Application Form” button to begin the process
- Select a passport type you want to apply for, either “Standard e-Passport” or “Official e-Passport”, and click
- Supply your information required on the Application Form
- After that, click on the ” I Accept Full Responsibility For The Information Provided In This Form”
- Then click on the “Print” button to print the filled Application Form
- Click on “Submit Application”
- Click on “Proceed to Online Payment”
- Click on “Select Payment Currency” and select either “Pay in Naira” or “Pay in Dollars” (for the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on the Naira payment)
- Click on “Continue” after you’ve selected the “Pay in Naira” option
- Choose either “Bank” or “Credit/Debit Card” and follow the prompt
- Click on “Print Acknowledgement Slip with Application ID and Reference Number”
- After successful payment, a “Validation Number” will be generated (this would be used to confirm the payment later)
Using Your Validation Number
- Go to the Nigerian Immigration Portal
- Click on “Query Your Application Payment Status” and enter your Passport Application ID and Reference Number
- Then input your Validation Number into the field provided
- Click on “Search Record”
- You’ll be redirected to your “Applicant’s Details Page” where the date for your interview has been generated.
- Print “Receipt” or “Acknowledgement Slip” by using the appropriate buttons
- Finally, print your “NIS receipt”