U.S. Visas

English

U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country

Nigeria

Nigeria
Federal Republic of Nigeria

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 24 Months
A-2 None Multiple 24 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-2 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 24 Months
C-1 None Multiple 24 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 24 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 24 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 24 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 24 Months
F-2 None Multiple 24 Months
G-1 None Multiple 24 Months
G-2 None Multiple 24 Months
G-3 None Multiple 24 Months
G-4 None Multiple 24 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 24 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 24 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A 3
H-2B None N/A N/A 3
H-2R None Multiple 24 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 24 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 24 Months 3
I None Multiple 24 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 24 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 24 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 24 Months
L-2 None Multiple 24 Months
M-1 None Multiple 24 Months
M-2 None Multiple 24 Months
N-8 None Multiple 24 Months
N-9 None Multiple 24 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 24 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 24 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 24 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 24 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 24 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 24 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 24 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 24 Months
R-2 None Multiple 24 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8

Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes

  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

General Document Information

The rules and regulations regarding the maintenance of public records and the issuance of certificates in the 36 states of Nigeria are similar; however, those rules and regulations are often ignored.  Except for a few federal Government Agencies, no local or federal government body currently has a central database with digitized records.  Most records are stored on paper, filed by dates, location, and, in regards to divorce cases, presiding court.

Note: Since fraudulent documents can be easily obtained in Nigeria, the consular officer may wish to consider referring suspect documents to the Fraud Prevention Unit, U.S. Embassy Abuja or U.S. Consulate Lagos, for investigation.

General Issuing Authority Information

In Nigeria the maintenance of public records and the issuance of certificates fall within the jurisdiction of the local governments. Some exceptions apply to: civil marriage certificates which are issued under the authority of The Federal Marriage Registry; National Driver’s License issued by Federal Road Safety Commission; National Identity Card issued by National Identity Management Commission; Voter’s Card issued by Independent National Electoral Commission; birth, attestation of birth and death certificates issued by National Population Commission. These exceptions fall under the purview of the Federal Government, however, Marriage Registries and the National Population Commission have offices in all the Local Government Secretariats. Civil marriages can only be dissolved by State High Courts, and that Court has exclusive jurisdiction to handle matrimonial causes arising from civil marriages. Customary Marriages and divorces are seldom recorded.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

 

Available

Fees: Issuance of birth certificates is free for infants under 2 years of age. Fees may be required for children who are more than 2 years old.

Document Name:  Certificate of Birth

Issuing Authority: National Population Commission (NPC)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Multiple versions of this form are issued.  They are typically printed on white paper with green background lettering.  Seals are inked, most often in blue, black, or purple.  Bio-data may be typed or handwritten.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar

Registration Criteria: The birth of every child born in Nigeria shall be registered by the Registrar of the National Population Commission or any person working under his authority.

Procedure for Obtaining: Visit any National Population Commission office in any of the Local Government Secretariats or designated Primary Health Care Centers, and the birth registration and certificate issuance could be completed within 10 minutes by the Officials. Parents, heads of household or any person who has attained 18 years and present at the birth of a child may visit these centers with or without the child whose birth is to be registered and supply the necessary information to register and obtain a birth certificate on their behalf.

Certified Copies Available:  N/A

Alternate Documents: For people born prior to 1979 or in some cases prior to 1988, a birth certificate issued by a Local Government Authority or a hospital or a baptismal certificate is acceptable. There is also the National Population Commission Attestation of Birth Certificate issued to people whose birth occurred before 1979 when the National Population Commission issued birth certificate was first introduced as a pilot program. Any of these is acceptable.

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: The Compulsory Registration of Birth and death Decree of 1979 was a pilot program involving 4 States only in Nigeria, namely – Anambra (South East), Oyo (South West), Plateau (North East) and Kaduna (North West) States. NPC birth and death Certificates were issued under the 1979 Law in these States only. The 1992 Law (Births and Deaths, etc. (Compulsory Registration) Act, No. 69 of 1992 was made to make the NPC birth and death registration to be of Countrywide application.

 

Death Certificates

 

Available

Fees: Registration is free

Document Name: Certificate of Death

Issuing Authority: National Population Commission

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Size and format is comparable to birth certificates.  Multiple versions of this form are issued.  They are typically printed on white paper with green background lettering.  Seals are inked, most often in blue, black, or purple.  Bio-data may be typed or handwritten.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: The Registrar

Registration Criteria: The death of every person dying in Nigeria as well as the cause of the death thereof shall be registered as from the commencement of the Births and Deaths, etc. (Compulsory Registration) Act, No. 69 of 1992.

Procedure for Obtaining: When the death of any person occurs, information of such a death is given to the Registrar for the area where such a death occurred.

Certified Copies Available: No.

Alternate Documents: Medical Certificate of Death is acceptable for deaths of any person which occurred before the commencement of Births and Deaths, etc. (Compulsory Registration) Act, No. 69 of 1992. Sworn declaration or Affidavit is also acceptable in lieu of a Medical Certificate of Death for cases where the death occurred before the commencement of the Act, and no Medical Certificate was issued or the issued certificate is lost.

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: Most recent deaths occur in a hospital, and supporting hospital/medical records should also be available.  In a case where a death occurs at home, a medical examiner still performs the inspection, and some record of that should exist.

 

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

 

Available

Fees: Cost for civil marriage in the Registry would range from Five to Ten Thousand Naira.

Document Name: Certificate of Marriage

Issuing Authority: Marriage Registry

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Multiple versions of this form are issued in varying formats.  They are typically printed on white or green paper with green background lettering.  Seals are inked, most often in blue, black, or purple.  Biodata may be typed or handwritten.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar or Minister of Religion as the case may be.

Registration Criteria: Must be a marriage celebrated between a man and a woman of consenting age, with no legal incapacity to marry under Native Law and Custom or according to the Marriage Act.

Procedure for Obtaining: For registry marriages, issued by the Marriage Registrar or Minister of Religion upon completion of the marriage process as provided for in the Marriage Act. 

Certified Copies Available: No.

Alternate Documents: For marriages under Native Law and Custom, a Registration of Marriage Certificate is sometimes issued by the Local Marriage Registrar after presenting a court affidavit as provided for by the Registration of Customary Marriage Bye-Laws.

Exceptions: The vast majority of customary marriages will have no written record.

Comments: Nigerian law recognizes multiple types of legal marriage, each with their own requirements.  The two main types are customary marriages and registry marriages. 

1.) CUSTOMARY MARRIAGES:  While customary marriages are legally binding, no registration or written record of the event is required by law.  As a result, documentation of customary marriages generally does not exist outside of photographs taken at the ceremony.  Individuals will sometimes, when necessary, swear an affidavit in a court that they are married in order to provide written proof of such a marriage.  Some Local Governments will issue a certificate based on that affidavit by virtue of the Registration of Customary Marriage Bye-Laws.  Absence of an affidavit or certificate of this kind cannot be taken as lack of marital status.  [Note: The Bye-Laws mentioned vary from state to state and authorize Local Government Authorities (LGAs) to register customary marriages that take place in their jurisdiction.  The Bye-Laws do not exist in all states and several states that have them do not make registration compulsory.]  There are two types of Customary Marriage:  marriage under native law & custom (also known as traditional marriage) and Islamic marriage. 

1.)a.) Marriage Under Native Law & Custom: Traditional marriage ceremonies are based on local, unwritten customs.  In the case of Lagos residents, the customs of the local area or village where the family originates from (usually outside Lagos State) should also be considered.  Cultural context will determine whether a legally binding marriage ceremony took place, versus an introduction or other non-binding ceremony.  Some local customs permit proxy marriages, where the groom need not be present at the ceremony.  In nearly all Nigerian cultures, payment of a dowry or bride price is a key component of a traditional marriage ceremony.  The dowry may be in the form of money, gifts, or a combination of both.  Yams are a typical part of the dowry in many areas within Nigeria.  [Note:  Modernization has led to some evolution in traditional marriages, and payment of the bride price in some recent marriages is merely symbolic.]  Traditional marriage also allows for a man to legally marry more than one wife. 

1.)b.)  Islamic Marriage: The celebration of Islamic marriage ceremonies (called Nikkai) in Nigeria is governed by the Maliki Law.  The marriage must be between a male and a female that have agreed to marry if matured, or consent has been given by their father or male guardian if they are immature.  [Note: “Maturity” is not defined by a specific age, but is instead determined by the father or male guardian.]  The bride price, which is a minimum of N5000, is called the sadaq or dower, and is paid to the bride but received by her parents.  The ceremony is officiated by a Mallam in the presence of at least three Muslim witnesses.  After a celebration of Islamic Marriage, the couple may obtain a certificate from the Local Government Marriage Registry, but this is not required.  Islamic law allows a man to marry up to 4 wives. 

2.) REGISTRY MARRIAGES: The Marriage Act of 1990 is the primary law governing registry marriages in Nigeria.  One notable difference between customary marriages and registry marriages: men who marry at a marriage registry are legally permitted to have only one wife.  Therefore, men legally married to multiple wives by way of customary marriages would first need to divorce those wives under native law and custom before completing a registry marriage to a new wife.  Should a man wish to complete a registry marriage with one of his existing wives, he would first need to divorce all other wives under native law and custom.  The registry marriage ceremony is conducted by a minister of religion or the marriage registrar in the presence of witnesses.  A marriage certificate is issued at the completion of the ceremony.  Both federal and local governments perform registry marriages. 

2.)a.) Federal Marriage Registry: Nigeria’s Federal Marriage Registry currently has offices in only a few states, with plans to expand to include at least one office per state.  The office in Abuja has been operating since 2006.  The Ikoyi office in Lagos pre-dates the founding of Nigeria and may include records as old as 1802 [Note: They are filed by year and place of marriage and can be obtained by writing to the Marriage Registry, 19 Kingsway Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.]  In October 2016, additional offices opened in the cities of Owerri (Imo State), Port Harcourt (Rivers State) and Benin City (Edo State).  Even when marriages are properly registered at one of these facilities, there is no central database or system; all records are kept in paper files. 

2.)b.) Designated churches: Church weddings, or “white weddings” as commonly known in Nigeria, are performed widely.  Licensed places of worship can be authorized by the Federal Marriage Registry to perform marriage ceremonies “under the act.”  The church must create three copies of a marriage certificate using paperstock provided by the Federal Registry: one for the newly wedded couple, one for church records, and one for the Federal Registry.  While churches authorized “under the act” are required by law to file a copy of the marriage certificate, often the marriage record is never sent to the Registry.  In addition, many unauthorized churches perform wedding ceremonies that have no legal standing.  Marriage certificates issued by churches or other houses of worship not authorized by the Registry are not evidence of a legally binding marriage. 

2.)c.) State/Local Registry: The inaccessibility of Nigeria’s limited number of Federal Marriage Registry offices has led to the opening of local marriage registry offices by nearly all LGAs.  [There are 774 LGAs within Nigeria.]  Similar to the churches described above, some LGAs have been authorized by the Federal Marriage Registry to perform marriage ceremonies “under the act.” The vast majority perform marriage ceremonies without any federal authority.  The Federal Marriage Registry has stated that these ceremonies are not legal, however individuals who marry at LGA registries may not know that their marriage is not legally recognized by federal authorities.  LGAs authorized by the Federal Marriage Registry are required to use paperstock provided by the Registry for marriage certificates.  Other LGAs who perform civil marriages will issue a certificate titled “Unified Marriage Certificate.”  [Note: Many couples perform more than one type of marriage ceremony.  For example, couples may choose to have both a traditional and white wedding, or a traditional and registry wedding.  When this is the case, the date that the first legally binding ceremony took place serves as the date the marriage began.]  

 

Divorce Certificates

 

Available

Fees: Varies by location and court.

Document Name: Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute

Issuing Authority: The High Court of Justice

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Multiple versions of this form are issued in varying formats.  They are typically typed in Times New Roman font and printed on white paper.  Seals may be embossed, sometimes over a red sticker, or they may be inked, most often in red or purple.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Judge

Registration Criteria: Must be a registry marriage completed according to the Marriage Act.

Procedure for Obtaining: Divorce Proceedings in accordance with The Matrimonial Causes Act of Nigeria.

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: For marriages under Native Law and Custom, a divorce decree may be issued by a Customary Court.  For Islamic marriages, a divorce decree may be issued by a Sharia court.

Exceptions: Many divorces for customary marriages will have no written record.  Marriages under native law and custom will also be dissolved by custom; many of these divorces are not recorded while some are recorded by a sworn affidavit after the fact. Islamic marriages may be dissolved in a Sharia Court. 

Comments: Documenting a legal divorce is problematic.  Each type of marriage listed above has its own legal process for obtaining a divorce, thus it is essential to first understand what type of marriage took place before determining what documentation is acceptable to prove that a divorce is legal. 

1.) CUSTOMARY MARRIAGES: There is no legal requirement that a customary marriage should be dissolved by any court, nor any requirement that the divorce be registered or documented. 

1.)a.) Marriage Under Native Law and Custom: Traditional marriages are often dissolved without any written record.  One legal method of divorce involves the groom or his family returning the bride price to the bride or her family.  Divorces for some traditional marriages are documented by one or both parties filing an affidavit with a Customary Court.  Finally, traditional marriages may be formally dissolved by a Customary Court and a divorce decree issued by the court.  Where there is no Customary Court in the area, a Magistrate Court may dissolve a customary marriage.  The courts may dissolve a traditional marriage without one of the spouses being present or even knowing that the divorce took place. 

1.)b.) Islamic Marriage: Divorce is most often initiated by the husband.  Where a man tells his wife, “I divorce you”, that single pronouncement suspends the marriage.  Making this pronouncement 3 times permanently dissolves the marriage.  It is not clear if this must be at the same time or different times. However, the most common practice in Nigeria is for the man to write it on paper and give it to the woman.  Once this is done, the marriage is technically divorced and the couple can only remarry if the wife marries another person and divorces. The woman may take the paper her husband has written to the Sharia court to obtain a Certificate of Divorce.  Sharia courts have jurisdiction to dissolve Islamic marriages in many states in northern Nigeria.  In states where there is no Sharia court, the Customary Court may dissolve Islamic Marriages.  An Islamic marriage cannot be divorced in a Magistrate court unless there is no Customary Court available.  On the other hand, where a woman is dissatisfied with her marriage, she can initiate a divorce herself through a system called Khul, which must be done through a court.  The court will then require the woman to prove that she has brought her case under the permissible grounds of divorce in Islam.  Most times, Sharia court judges are reluctant to grant these petitions.  As in other customary marriages, there is the problem of documentation since the marriage and divorce could be oral.  

2.) REGISTRY MARRIAGES: Registry marriages, regardless of whether they are federal or local registry, can only be dissolved through a High Court.  Post often sees divorce certificates issued by lower (customary and magistrate) courts purporting to have dissolved a registry marriage; these divorce orders are not legally binding.  There is a strict divorce procedure for marriage contracted under the Marriage Act, as set out in the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1970.  One requires the services of an attorney to file a divorce petition and follow through with the legal processes in Court.  After filing the necessary papers in Court, there is a trial.  At the end of the trial, the Court may grant or refuse the Divorce.  Where the divorce is granted, the order is temporary and is called a Decree Nisi.  There is a three month period allowed in the event of reconciliation between the couple.  At the end of the three months, if the parties have not reconciled, then the divorce decree will automatically become absolute and a Decree Absolute is issued.  At this point, the legal bonds of marriage are permanently severed unless the couple remarries.  However, it is important to know that both parties are free to marry other parties once the Decree Nisi is issued; they need not wait for the Decree Absolute.  [Note: As stated above, many couples perform more than one type of marriage ceremony.  For divorce proceedings, once a couple has completed a Registry Marriage, the only legal method of divorce is through the High Court process.  The High Court process is also the only legal method of divorce for residents of Nigeria who married outside of Nigeria.]

Adoption Certificates

Available

Fees: Stipulated by Court during the adoption process

Document Name: Adoption Order

Issuing Authority: The Family Court or The Chief Magistrate’s Court

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Multiple versions of this form are issued in varying formats.  They are typically typed and printed on white paper.  Seals may be embossed, sometimes over a red sticker, or they may be inked, most often in red or purple.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Magistrate

Registration Criteria: By order of Court

Procedure for Obtaining: Prospective Adoptive Parent (PAP) to notify The Ministry of Social Welfare of the State where the adoption is to be done, of their intention to adopt. When a child becomes available, and the request is approved, there is a 3 month Fostering Period for the PAP to be in custody of, and bond with the juvenile, thereafter, application is made to the Family Court or the Magistrate Court to approve the adoption through an adoption hearing.

Certified Copies Available: Yes.

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: Only Citizens of Nigeria can adopt under Nigeria’s Adoption Laws. The following States do not have Adoption Laws and so cannot issue valid adoption Orders: Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kaduna, Bauchi, Adamawa, Gombe, Borno, and Yobe States.

Identity Card

National ID Cards

 

Available

Fees: Free

Document Name: National Identity Card

Issuing Authority: National Identity Management Commission

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: N/A

Registration Criteria: Must be a Nigerian Citizen of full age

Procedure for Obtaining: Register at the approved centers set up by the National Identity Management Commission.

Certified Copies Available: No.

Alternate Documents: Nigerian International Passport.

Exceptions: N/A

Comments:  Available, but not widely used.  All Nigerians should have a national identification number; however, registration for this number is rarely completed.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Court/Prison Records

 

Unavailable

Comments:  The police record gives all prison sentences, although reliability is questionable.

 

Police Certificates

 

Available

Fees: Over the years, applicants are known to have paid five thousand Naira for the Police Character Certificate. The fee should be in the form of a bank draft payable to the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Fingerprint Section, Nigeria Police Force.

Document Name: Police Character Certificate

Issuing Authority: The Nigeria Police

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  They are typically printed on white paper with red background lettering.  Seals are inked, most often in blue, black, or purple.  Bio-data is typed in Times New Roman font. Fingerprint cards must be submitted along with the police certificate.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Central Registrar, Deputy Inspector-General “D” Dept., For Inspector-General of Police

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants need to contact the Deputy Inspector General, Criminal Investigation Department, Nigeria Police Force, Alagbon Close, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria.  The applicant should bring information regarding their full name, place and date of birth, nationality, passport number, date and place of issuance (for current passport or passport used during applicant's stay in Nigeria), exact periods of residence in Nigeria and addresses where applicant resided. 

Certified Copies Available: No.

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: Applicants outside the country are advised that mailed requests for police certificates are not an effective method of obtaining the records. It is recommended that applicants outside Nigeria obtain a police certificate upon their next visit, or enlist the assistance of a friend or relative able to physically visit the Deputy Inspector General. Note that each applicant 16 years of age and above must also provide (1) a copy of the first three data pages of his or her passport, (2) the pages containing Nigerian visas, entry and departure stamps and (3) a complete set of fingerprints taken by the police in the district where the applicant resides. The Police Character Certificate is obtained by applying to the relevant Police Department of the Nigeria Police

Military Records

Unavailable

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Travel Documents

 

Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.): All are available

Fees: Diplomatic and Official Passports are Free. Regular Passports when paying in Nigeria cost N8,750 ($65 when paying from abroad) for applicants aged 0 – 17 years, N15,000 ($94 when paying from abroad) for applicants aged from 18 – 59 years and N8,750 ($65 when paying from abroad) for applicants aged 60 years and above. These are for the 32 paged passports. For the 64 paged Passports, the fee is N20,000 ($125 when paying from abroad) across the board.

Document Name: Diplomatic Passport, Official Passport, Standard Nigeria Passport, Pilgrims Passport, Seaman’s Book

Issuing Government Authority: The Nigeria Immigration Service

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: N/A

Registration Criteria: Must be a Citizen of Nigeria.

Procedure for Obtaining: Pay the appropriate fee and provide the following:

1.       Local Government letter of identification.

2.       Birth certificate / age declaration.

3.       2 recent color passport photographs

4.       Guarantor's form sworn to before a commissioner of Oaths / Magistrate /  High Court Judge

5.       Parents' letter of consent for minors under 16 years

6.       Marriage certificate where applicable

7.       Police report in case of lost passport

8.       Submit application with supporting documents to passport office / Embassy / High commission

Alternate Documents: Emergency Travel Certificate issued to Nigerians abroad who lose their Passport for the purposes of traveling back to Nigeria. ECOWAS Travel Certificate issued to Citizens of ECOWAS countries for travel within the sub-region.

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: N/A

Other Documents Available: See alternate documents above.

Other Records

Education Credentials

Those who have successfully completed high school must take the West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations to receive their diplomas or enter a university.  The examinations are scored on a scale of 1 to 9, with 1 being the best and 9 the worst.  To enter a university, the applicant must have received credit (a score of 1-6) in five subjects.  For diploma programs, he or she must have received 3 or 4 credits.  Scores of 7 or 8 are only ordinary passes and give no credit.  A score of P8 or F9 indicates failing.  There is a national WAEC office in Lagos where all results can be checked to verify educational level.

Visa Issuing Posts

Post Contact Information

 

Post Title: U.S. Embassy Abuja

Address: Plot 1075 Diplomatic Dr, Central Business District, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria

Phone Number: +234 9 461 4000

Visa Services: NIV only

Comments / Additional Information: All applications are reviewed by appointment only.  See Nigeria.USEmbassy.gov  for more specifics.

 

Post Title: U.S. Consulate General Lagos

Address: 2 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria

Phone Number: +234 01 440 6218

Visa Services: NIV and IV

Comments / Additional Information: All applications are reviewed by appointment only.  See Nigeria.USEmbassy.gov  for more specifics.

Visa Services

 

Post Title: U.S. Consulate General Lagos

Address: 2 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria

Phone Number: +234 01 440 6218

Visa Services: NIV and IV

Comments / Additional Information: All applications are reviewed by appointment only.  See Nigeria.USEmbassy.gov  for more specifics.