The good news about obtaining a new Nigerian passport, renewing or having an expired one reissued is that the process is very fast and efficient compared with how it was about 10 years ago. The not so good news about the new more efficient set up includes the fact that regardless of what part of the UK you live, you have to travel to the Nigerian High Commission in the West End of London to complete the passport application process. (A new consulate is now open in Manchester, there is hardly any mention of it on the Nigerian High Commission’s website as at the tip of writing this article).
The process of obtaining or renewing a Nigerian passport can be broadly divided into two parts: The first part is the online application and payment, the second part involves making an appointment to visit the Nigerian High Commission passport section in London or Manchester to complete the process.
Apply for Nigerian Passport Online (e-passport)
To simplify the application process, the stages you need to go through will be listed. Your first port of call to kick-start the process is Nigerian High Commission website which is: http://www.nigeriahc.org.uk.
1. Once at the website, click on the passport link, you will be taken to a page where you will see all the requirements for obtaining or renewing a passport. Click on the link at the bottom of the options that apply to you.
2. The button you clicked in step one will take you to the homepage of Nigerian Immigration Service, on the top navigation menu, click on Apply Online. On the new page, in the passport section, click on ePassport Application form.
3. You will be presented with two passport types: Standard ePassport and Official ePassport. Select Standard ePassport, confirm the country you are applying from and you will be taken to the next stage which is the payment stage.
3. You will be transferred to a company called SW Global LLC . You are invited to Start Application by login into SW Global. You can only login with Google, Yahoo or Facebook ID, if you do not use any of the aforementioned services, you have to create a openID offered by SW Global LLC. Once you are able to login into SW Global LLC, you need to pay attention to the terms and conditions of using the site and the fact that the credit card you use must be yours (the name must match the name on your application).
4. Once your payment has been collected successfully, you will receive an acknowledgement from SW Global LLC, some of the information on the acknowledgement such as bringing 2 passport photographs with your application is outdated, ePassport does not require you to bring passport photographs, you photo will be taken at the High Commission by the High Commission staff at no additional charge to you.
You will find an up-to-date information on what you need to take to the High Commission on their website.
For passport renewal, here are the items you need to PRINT and take with you to the embassy:
Your old passport (for renewal or reissue)
Completed online passport application form
Online application payment confirmation slip
Online application acknowledgement slip
Appointment booking slip (you get this at step 5 of the process)
Applicable fee in postal order.
5. Now go back to the Nigerian High Commission website, under Immigration navigation find the e Passport appointment booking. Choose a suitable date and slot, you will be asked for your application ID and Reference number, provide it and book an appointment to go to the High Commission. Note that despite booking a slot online, when you arrive at the High Commission you will still have to join a queue, served on first come first served basis.
You also need to be aware that you cannot book same day appointment.
Second Part of Nigerian ePassport Application Process
Appointment at The Nigerian High Commission for ePassport
So as not to have a wasted journey, you must ensure you have all the documents you are required to bring to the High Commission, if you do not, you will be turned back at the door. The High Commission advertises this telephone number 020 7556 8131 if you have any questions about the application processes. If you are not able to print your documents at home, there is service centre in the High Commission where you can print out the required documents.
Once you are in the High Commission, you will be given a number, just take a seat and relax till you are called to present your documents, once you hand over your documents, you take a seat again until you are invited to the biometric unit’s waiting room. You will eventually be invited to the biometric room where your picture is taken, you sign electronically and your finger print take digitally.
Once you are done with the biometric unit, your visit is complete. You will be given a receipt with your personal details and the date you may collect your new ePassport. It usually take about 8 working days.
- The passport section is usually open between 9AM and 1 PM. (Not to be confused with this well advertised visit hours visiting hours other than for consular and Immigration purposes are from 11:00am-17:00pm .
- They don’t like you using a mobile phone on the premises, switch your mobile phone off before entering the High Commission.
- Customer Services Telephone Numbers: 020 7556 8131; 020 7556 8160; 020 7839 1244. Ext. 231 and 260
- There is hardly any mention of the Manchester Consular services on the High Commission’s website but it appears the address is:
Platt Lane, Manchester,
Greater Manchester M14 5NE
Personal Experience at the Nigerian High Commission London
by Bim Labi
First off, a big thank you to all those who have been kind enough to leave feedback on this post, its helping others who need to deal with Naija High Commission. We received an email from Ms Bin Labi about her experience renewing here passport. Here is a brief excerpt:
hought I will write my experience and how it worked in Nigeria high commission in UK as of yesterday (7th November 2013)
Guy( security) at the door checked confirmation of payment and ask that phone be switched off. You are asked to go downstairs to the waiting area( comfortable sitting area ) there is vending machine for drinks crisps and chocolate towards the back of the waiting area. There is service area for those people that forgot to print the necessary document from the internet at a price( not expensive though)
A small room by the left side on entering the waiting area, you will obtain the a ticket from another security guy ( new!! as people take more than one ticket and give to their friends), for some reason this guy asked for my old passport and didn’t even wait to see it before he gave me a ticket.
You can read her full story here.