Nigeria has various types of citizenship categories. The three ways to become a citizen of Nigeria are through birth, registration, and naturalization, as stated in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution. An individual must fulfill certain requirements in order to be eligible to obtain any of these Nigerian citizenships. In this article, we provide information about the different types of Nigerian citizenship and how to become one legally.
ALL TYPES OF CITIZENSHIP IN NIGERIA
The following are the various Nigerian citizenship types and how to be a citizen in the country.
CITIZENSHIP BY BIRTH
The most popular form of citizenship in Nigeria is citizenship by birth. The qualifications for citizenship under this category are outlined in Section 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended.
The requirements for acquiring Nigerian citizenship by birth are listed below:
- If the person’s parents or grandparents were both born in Nigeria and they both arrived in the country after independence on March 1, 1960.
- If the person was born in Nigeria before March 1, 1960, and either of their parents or grandparents were members of an indigenous Nigerian ethnic group or tribe, such as the Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ibibio, Tiv, or Nupe, among others, then they are considered to be native Nigerians. Additionally, he or she must have ancestors who were born in Nigeria.
- If the person was born outside of Nigeria but one or both of his/her parents are Nigerian citizens. This is known as citizenship by descent or birth. (At the time, however, applicants seeking Nigerian citizenship cannot meet this specific requirement. Such a person should instead choose citizenship through naturalization or registration).
CITIZENSHIP BY NATURALISATION
Another type of citizenship in Nigeria is citizenship via naturalization. Individuals who have resided in Nigeria for a significant amount of time and integrated themselves into the local Nigerian culture typically receive this sort of citizenship. To become a citizen by naturalization, a person must file an application to the Ministry of Interior, which will then forward the necessary documents to the State Security Service, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the Governor’s office of the state, the police, and the head of the local governing body. The application would then be forwarded to the Federal Executive Council for a recommendation following this round. An individual must fulfill a number of requirements before the Nigerian President issues them with a Certificate of Naturalization. These consist of:
- The candidate needs to be of legal age and capacity.
- The candidate must possess high morals.
- The petitioner must have stated unequivocally that he or she wishes to reside in Nigeria.
- Any prior citizenship of a different nation that was attained by naturalization or registration must have been relinquished by the applicant. Only the applicant’s natural-born citizenship cannot be renounced.
- The candidate must have spent a total of fifteen years living in Nigeria.
- The candidate must have made or be able to make a significant contribution to Nigeria’s development, progress, and well-being.
The following papers must be submitted by the applicant in order to apply for citizenship by naturalization:
- Receipt for the application fee payment
- Formal application with the applicant’s correct signature
- Photographs for passports
- A letter of employment or other documentation showing one’s means of support
- Tax Clearance Document
- The applicant’s international passport’s first five pages, including the data page
- Curriculum vitae, two passports, at least two referee recommendations, and an international passport, driver’s license, or national ID card
- Proof of socioeconomic involvement
CITIZENSHIP BY REGISTRATION
Nigerian citizens can also become citizens by registering. Only two classes of people are eligible for this type of Nigerian citizenship, which is regulated under Section 26 of the constitution in Nigeria. These are what they are:
- Those who are of legal age and capacity and were born elsewhere than in Nigeria but have either of their grandparents who are residents of that country.
- Women who are lawfully wed to men from Nigeria. However, this does not apply to foreign men who are betrothed to Nigerian women.
People who fall into the second category must also meet certain conditions in order to be qualified to apply for Nigerian citizenship through registration. To qualify, a person must first be of good character and have two credible references attest to their moral integrity. The second need is that the person must have made it apparent that Nigeria is where they want to live. Finally, the person in question must have sworn the Oath of Allegiance required by the Nigerian Constitution’s Seventh Schedule.
Each group of candidates must have specific documentation in order to proceed with the registration procedure for this sort of citizenship. Women from other countries who are married to Nigerian men fall within the first group of qualified applicants for citizenship by registration and must meet the following requirements:
- Receipt for the application fee payment
- 24 passport photos
- Appropriately filled out application and information form
- Evidence of a source of income
- Document proving marriage
- If the person was born in Nigeria, their residence permit or birth certificate
- information about a prior marriage (if any)
- If the husband is deceased, documentation of his or his relatives’ citizenship
- Recommendations from at least two Nigerian-born referees. The two guarantors must provide their curriculum vitae, national ID card, driver’s license, or international passport in addition to passport photos.
There are specific requirements for registration for people in the second group, which refers to people of legal age and ability who were born outside of Nigeria but have either one or both of their grandparents who are citizens of that country. These are a few of them:
- Passport photo
- The applicant’s birth certificate
- Where appropriate, a marriage certificate
- Evidence of the applicant’s grandparents or great-grandparents’ Nigerian citizenship
- Letter from a minimum of two Nigerian-born referees. These referees must be in possession of a driver’s license, international passport, or national ID card, as well as two passport photos, a curriculum vitae, and all three.
If the established procedures are followed, acquiring Nigerian citizenship is rather simple. The procedure for applying for any of the aforementioned forms of citizenship in Nigeria is handled by the Ministry of Interior.