Authenticating or legalising a document, which is also known as apostille, in Nigeria can be a very daunting task. The hurdles you have to jump before you get to the stage, where you present the document or documents to be authenticated, at the ministry of forengin affairs, starts right from your home.
The ministry of foreign affairs, like almost all federal government of Nigeria institutions, is located in Abuja. With no liason or satellite office in any of the states. You have to physically travel to Abuja, to get your document authenticated. You may however delegate the document authentication, to a Nigerian document authentication apostille services.
If you are happy to travel to Abuja to authenticate and legalise your documents yourself. We hope this simple guide on how to authenticate or legalise a document in Abuja, Nigeria will help reduce the stress and time wasting, associated with the document authentication process in Abuja.
A 6 Step Guide to Authenticating or Verifying your Document in Abuja
1. For the 180 million or more Nigerians, who do not live in Abuja. And the millions who do not live in Nigeria, you have to travel to Abuja to get the document authentication done. Depending on what you need the document authenticated for, you may need to have it notarized by a Notary Public first.
2. With all relevant documents collected and collated, proceed to the Legal Services Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You will need to fill out the authentication forms. Do not forget to take a pen or two with you.
3. The payment process for the document authentication services is yet to be modernise. You are not able to pay electronically. You will have to go out of the building, find a commercial bank, make required payment to a particular government account, specified by the Legal Services Department. You will be informed of the total cost you have to pay, which is worked out based on the number of documents you want to authenticate.
4. Once payment is made at a commercial bank. You need to return to the department of the Foreignt Affairs Ministry, where you started. Present them with the evidence of the payment you have made. You will be giving a piece of paper acknowledging the payment you have just made.
5. You can now submit the document that needs to be authenticated at the Legal Services Department, of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A date will then be set for you to return to collect the authenticated document. These dates are notoriously unreliable. You may have to visit the authenticated document points many times, before your authenticated document is finally available for collection.
Almost all document authentication processes at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, Nigeria goes through the steps outlined above. Some documents may required a few steps, hardly any document will require fewer steps.
Below is a list of documents that tends to require verification or authentication, plus a few handy hints, to help you authenticate the document with little or no hitches.
National Youth Service Corp N.Y.S.C certificate
Some employers require you to provide evidence that your NYSC certificate is a genuine document. Your verification journey once again starts with travelling to Abuja. But the NYSC verification process seems to be the only one that buck the mandatory Abuja travel trend: you have the options to verify it online. Please read Haba Naija’s How to verify your NYSC certificate online, to learn how you can save yourself the trip to Abuja by doing the verification online.
Birth Certificates and Attestation of Birth
You can have the ministry of foreign affairs to authenticate your birth certificate. Once you have gone through the 6 document authentication process outlined at the top of this post. The foreign affairs ministry will then liaise with the National Population Council (NPC), to verify the authenticity of your birth certificate or an affidavit attesting to your date of birth.
Marriage Certificates, Divorce Certificates, and Single Status Certificates
The certificates in this section, are particularly popular with Nigerian getting married to a foreign partner. After going through the 6 document authentication steps outlined at the top, the ministry of forgeign affairs may be able to authenticate your marriage certificate, your divorce certificate. They mmay also be able to certify that you are a single man or woman.
Most of the certificates in this section takes more time to authenticate, so you should be prepared for the long haul, to get your document authenticated.
International Passport Authentication
This is one of the few quick and easy authentications you can get done at the ministry of foreign affairs in Abuja. Though you still have to go through the 6 steps, however once the payment is made, the ministry just checks that your passport number corresponds with that of an authentic Nigerian passport. This authentication procedure is also used to validate identity.
Authentication of Credentials and Academic Documents
Verifying your academic document is one of the most long winded authentication processes. You will have to start your authentication journey at the ministry of education, where you must first have the documents certified.
Once the ministry of education certifies your academic credentials, you then come back to the ministry of foreign affairs, to complete the final steps of the authentication processes.
Even more Document for Verification and Authentication
The lack of trust, the prevalent of fake documents and 419 meant most documents are not take at face value. This is why almost every important documents, especially those required for international transaction needs to be verified.
The documents discussed above, are just some of the documents brought to the ministry of foreign affairs for authentication of verification. Additional documents that may need verification or authentication is listed below:
- Business Documents
- Sponsorship Letters
- Assets and Income Declaration
- Bank Statements Certification
- Police Character Reference
Document Authentication and Verification Services in Nigeria
Just reading about the processes required to get a document authenticated or verified at the foreign ministry in Nigeria, is enough to make you break out in cold sweet.
Most of the time, the need to have a document authenticated is associated with important life changing events, such as getting a new job abroad, getting married abroad, or travelling on an important business trip.
The preparation for any of the aforementioned activities is stressful in itself.
You can remove the additional stress of travelling to Abuja, by delegating your document authentication and verification services to Haba Naija authentication services.
We offer a prompt, transparent and affordable document authentication and verification. Please contact us, to let us know how we can be of service to you.