This question is similar to that of the UK and the answer will surely take the same line of reasons in that the issue of ‘how long does it take to get a Nigerian passport’ has taken a universal dimension and the root is in the type of personnel administration Nigeria is having in the country oftentime.
The question ‘how long does it take to get a Nigerian Passport in the US is frequently asked by mainly Nigerian expatriates residing in the United States and beyond. The question seems to be simple but on enquiries, we discovered that the answer is very complicated and somehow embarrassing.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A NIGERIAN PASSPORT IN THE US
The respondents, all Nigerian citizens whether residency in the US or those in Nigeria that have strong ties or connections to overseas, that’s those that having family or friends in the United States and other advanced countries
THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION, HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A NIGERIAN PASSPORT IN THE US.
The answer is the same for all countries where Nigeria maintains missions and is approved for issuance of an Electronic passport.
The timeline of six weeks is what is officially set for the collection of a fresh passport and three weeks for the reissue of a Nigeria passport anywhere or anyplace that is officially designated as passports issuing centres, including the Nigeria Missions abroad. This is the answer we got on enquiries unofficially from some officials of the Immigration Service, Nigerian residents abroad and from applicants who recently acquired a Nigerian passport.
When a passport applicant applied online for the Nigerian passport and he or she was called to come for the biometric capturing. The system will issue the person a white paper, telling him or her to come for the collection in six weeks or three weeks as the case may be. The same procedure is applicable abroad where the Nigeria Electronic passports are being processed and it is the same timeline given in all normal circumstances. In a nutshell, six weeks is what it takes to get a Nigerian passport.
STILL ON HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A NIGERIAN PASSPORT IN THE US
The case of the United States is somehow unique and different from other countries, in that US is a large country and the issue of distance is an important problem that added to the passport applicant’s difficulties in getting to, or returning to the issuing centre, hence some applicants sometimes abandoned the passport.
All these explanations depend on normal circumstances.
To buttress this answer, it is important to support this answer with the official announcement of the passport timelines made by the Minister of Interiors Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola at a press conference sometime in June 2021 and attended by the then Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Passport Control Officers, including Nigerian attaches in Nigeria foreign Missions, at the Immigration Headquarters, Sauka, Abuja, Nigeria.
In parts of his speech titled ‘A NEW DAWN IN PASSPORT APPLICATION PROCESSING,’ the Minister stated that “A timeline will be fixed for every application i.e., a collection date. This will be six weeks, comparable to what obtains in other countries. This is to allow for enough time to investigate and validate personal information supplied by the applicants. What we are driving at is the peace of mind that comes from the assurance of certainty. If there are circumstances that will make the date to change, it will be communicated to the applicant one week before the collection dates.
Applicants will have no basis for further communication with Officers, other than to complete their application process and leave the venue. The date for collection of their passports or any challenge to the application will be communicated to them. The technology for the efficient running of this system has been acquired and will be deployed.
We are publishing on our website the list of the backlog of passports that are ready which are yet to be collected by the owners. They will be required to go to the state command to collect them”
STILL ON HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A NIGERIAN PASSPORT IN THE US
THE ISSUE OF NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES
Availability or scarcity of booklets: One of the biggest issues why Nigerian passports are not coming out on time is the problem of scarcity of booklets, there are usually shortfalls in the number of booklets required by a particular issuing centre most of the time.
Facts of the matter. (1) More Nigerians are migrating from Nigeria: That’s a fact. If the current government should face the facts of the current situation in Nigeria, more passport booklets need to be supplied because more and more citizens are getting out of the country for divergent reasons, hence the high increase in demand for passports.
(2) The issue of some Immigration officers or embassy attache hoarding passports: On enquiries, many Nigerians living abroad complained about the corruption tendency of some Nigerian embassies officials. They created an artificial scarcity and outrightly hoarding passports, charging an exorbitant amount. To these set of people what they will get at a particular time and their selfish interests is what matters, not the image of the country.
(3) Many Nigerians who acquired passports refused to go for collection or abandoned them because of the attitude of corruption and the wickedness of officials who have turned passports into a personal business. It is a hopeless case because nobody is taking action against these highly corrupt and horrible individuals.
CONCLUSION ON HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A NIGERIAN PASSPORT IN THE US
Surprisingly, a Nigerian posted to the United States, a civilized country where things are working, we expect that any Nigerian official working there will not bring the usual greedy or acquisitive, frustrating and negative work attitude associated with public administration in Nigeria to the US. Getting a Nigerian passport supposedly to follow the normal administrative process, instead of a few bad officials creating bottlenecks to bastardised the system.
It’s sad that due to the negative perception of the Nigerian embassy officials by the Nigerian living in the US we asked for the address of the Nigerian embassy in the United States but most Nigerian citizens said they don’t want to have anything doing in that place. What a country.
The timeline of collection of passports should be adhered to and those Nigerian passport applicants who oftentimes fondly circumvents the system should be aware of the country they are living in, knowing fully well that circumventing the system can lead them to jail.
That’s all for now on how long does it take to get a Nigerian passport in the US.
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