The Federal Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, in continuation of implementation of passport administration and immigration service reforms, have launched a special fastrack service that enables Nigerians with expired passports living in foreign countries return home without any hindrance at all ports of entry.
The ongoing dedicated diasporan service available from December 12, 2022 to January 31 2023, allows Nigerian passport holders in the diaspora to board at their countries of residence and be admitted into Nigeria with their expired international passports.
The service, which will be available for two months, also gives the returnee Nigerians opportunity to renew their Nigeria passports during their stay in the country as part of the multi-layer strategic reforms of passport administration in the country.
Comptroller-General of Immigration, Isah Idris, had in a circular dated December 9, 2022, forwarded to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, all Heads of Foreign Missions, all Immigration Attaches, all Airport Comptrollers and all airlines, stated that the special arrangement was approved by the Federal Government.
Idris added that all airlines in Nigeria were requested to allow holders of expired Nigeria passports to board without any hindrance, while all Nigerian diplomatic missions abroad were also requested to circulate the same information to airline operators and border authorities of their host countries for compliance.
Speaking further on the special fastrack service, Public Relations Officer of the NIS, Anthony Akuneme, a Deputy Comptroller of Immigration, said dedicated Diaspora Desks had been set up at all international airports across the country to ensure Nigerians returning home from abroad have hassle-free passage.
He added that the Comptroller General of Immigration had also directed Passport Control Offices to accord priority to the returnees and their families bearing in mind that most of them have specific time they must return to their countries of residence after their holiday in Nigeria.
Akuneme encouraged Nigerians in the diaspora to take advantage of the Federal Government’s kind gesture, while stating that applicants for the new enhanced Nigerian e-Passport whose biometrics had been captured at the NIS offices at the Nigerian missions in their respective countries of residence did not have to start fresh application.
While restating that the procedure for application and processing of Nigeria passport has been simplified and faster, Akuneme, said all that fresh applicants for the enhanced e-Passports are required to do is log-in to NIS website, https://www.passport.immigration.gov.ng and apply online.
He added that the application process includes: making payment for preferred passport type via approved payment platforms, after which they are to visit the passport office of their choice indicated on the application form, taking along with them the required documents including the National Identity Number (NIN), which is mandatory among other necessary documents.
The spokesperson also said applicants interested in taking advantage of the special window can visit their selected passport office between Monday and Wednesday each week throughout the special window
Akuneme reiterated that supply of NIN was mandatory for issuance of the enhanced e-Passport, while also advising passport applicants to ensure their personal information in the application form and NIN match as any mismatch of information would render their application incomplete and would not be processed.
Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has commended the NIS boss for launching a dedicated service to meet the needs of Nigerians returning home from abroad, saying the step would go a long way to ease the burden of citizens coming back home to celebrate the yuletide.
Discussion about this post