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How to Obtain Nigeria Citizenship

A few hours ago, we reported a case of a foreign man residing in Nigeria who spoke out about his challenges of obtaining Nigeria citizenship despite her marriage to a Nigerian lady.

The law that makes provision for foreigners to become a citizen of Nigeria is called the Nationality Law.

Requirements on how to obtain this are clearly spelt out in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.

So…

What’s Nationality Law in Nigeria?

This law governs everything relating to citizenship and every other category of Nigerian nationality.

Types of citizenship in Nigeria:

  1. Citizenship by Birth
  2. Citizenship by Registration
  3. By Naturalisation
  4. Citizenship by Descent

Citizenship by Birth

This is for those who were born in Nigeria. Although being born in Nigeria does not automatically confer Nigerian citizenship.

Requirements for Nigeria citizenship by birth

1) Every person born in Nigeria after the date of independence (October 1, 1960), either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents belongs or belonged to a community indigenous to Nigeria;

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2) Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Nigeria by virtue of this section if neither of his parents nor any of his grandparents was born in Nigeria.

3) Every person born outside Nigeria either of whose parents is a citizen of Nigeria.

Requirements for Nigeria citizenship By Registration

1. If the applicant is of good character; two people to testify to that which one should a Religious minister.

2. He has shown a clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria; and

3. He has taken the Oath of Allegiance prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution.

Application:

Any woman who is or has been married to a citizen of Nigeria or every person of full age and capacity born outside Nigeria any of whose grandparents is a citizen of Nigeria.

Requirements for Nigeria citizenship by naturalization:

This is done through an application to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

1. The applicant must full age and capacity

2. He must of good character

3. He must be able to show that he had clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria

4. He is, in the opinion of the Governor of the State where he is or he proposes to be resident, acceptable to the local community in which he is to live permanently

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5. He must have assimilated into the way of life of Nigerians in that part of the Federation;

6. He must be ready to make significant contribution to the advancement; progress and well-being of Nigeria

7. He must have taken the Oath of Allegiance prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to 1999 Nigeria Constitution as amended.

8. He must have resided in Nigeria continuously for a period of twelve months, and during the period of twenty years immediately preceding that period of twelve months has resided in Nigeria for periods amounting in the aggregate to not less than fifteen years.

Requirements for Nigeria citizenship by naturalization

Applicant for this category of citizenship must fulfil the following conditions:

1. Must be of full age and capacity;

2. Must be of good character;

3. He has shown a clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria;

4. He is, in the opinion of the Governor of the State where he is or he proposes to be resident, acceptable to the local community in which he is to live permanently, and has been assimilated into the way of life of Nigerians in that part of the Federation;

5. He is a person who has made or is capable of making useful contribution to the advancement; progress and well-being of Nigeria.

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Requirements for Nigeria citizenship by descent

Child, at least one of whose parents is a citizen of Nigeria, regardless of the child’s country of birth.

REGISTRATION: The following persons are eligible to become citizens through registration: A foreign woman who marries a citizen of Nigeria.

Person who is of adult age (17), born outside Nigeria, any of whose grandparents is or was a citizen of Nigeria. A foreign child adopted by Nigerian parents.

Limitation

The President may deprive a person, other than a person who is a citizen of Nigeria by birth or by registration, of his citizenship, if he is satisfied that such a person has, within a period of seven years after becoming naturalized, been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than three years.

Loss of Citizenship:

This is possible through

  1. voluntary and
  2. involuntary

Voluntary:

Voluntary renunciation of Nigerian citizenship is permitted by law. Contact the Embassy for details and required paperwork.

Involuntary:

A naturalized citizen, before seven years of residence, sentenced to prison for three years or more. A registered or Naturalized citizen is convicted of acts of disloyalty to Nigeria and her law.

That’s how to obtain Nigeria Citizenship!

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