OVERVIEW OF CITIZENSHIP IN NIGERIA
The Federal Republic of Nigeria's 1999 modified Constitution (the "CFRN" or "Constitution") lists three ways to become a citizen of Nigeria: birth, registration, and naturalisation.
OVERVIEW OF CITIZENSHIP IN NIGERIA
A person who has citizenship has full, legally recognised membership in a state and owes that state their complete allegiance. Citizenship is a status that is legally bestowed to a person by a state, allowing them to take advantage of the rights and obligations that go along with it.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria's 1999 modified Constitution (the "CFRN" or "Constitution") lists three ways to become a citizen of Nigeria: birth, registration, and naturalisation. The Constitution lists the criteria that applicants must meet in order to be eligible for Nigerian citizenship through any of these routes, but the citizenship requirements handbook, published by the Federal Ministry of Interior's Citizenship and Business Department, includes additional information on the process and the paperwork needed.
A major requirement as provided for in section 28 (2) of the Constitution is that only persons who are citizens of another country by birth are allowed to obtain Nigerian citizenship through registration or naturalization. Where such persons are not citizens of the other country by birth, issuance of the certificate of registration or naturalisation is conditional upon effective renunciation of the citizenship or nationality of that other country within a period of not more than five months from the date of such registration or grant of certificate of naturalisation.
CITIZENSHIP BY BIRTH
The individuals who fall under this category's eligibility requirements are described in full in Section 25 of the Nigerian Constitution. Individuals who fall under this group are eligible for citizenship in:
Individuals born in Nigeria before October 1, 1960, either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents belongs or belonged to a community indigenous to Nigeria. This subsection emphasizes the word 'indigenous' to Nigeria, which means that that person must have blood ties to Nigeria. However, for a person to be a citizen by birth here, either his parents or his grandparents must have been born in Nigeria. Individuals that are born in the territory of Nigeria after October 1 1960 whose parents or any of whose grandparents is a citizen of Nigeria; and Individuals born outside of Nigeria either of whose parents is a citizen of Nigeria. This subsection deals with citizenship by birth via descent.
It is evident from the foregoing, particularly the third category, that one does not have to be born in Nigeria to possess a Nigerian citizenship. Even if you were not born in Nigeria, you are eligible to apply for citizenship by birth in Nigeria if your parents or grandparents are.
CITIZENSHIP BY REGISTRATION
This category of citizenship is covered under Section 26 of the Nigerian Constitution. Citizenship by registration is only available to:
Women5 married to citizens of Nigeria6. The Constitution does not state the same for a man who is married to a woman from Nigeria, due to the patriarchal nature of the society. Persons of full age and capacity born outside Nigeria any of whose grandparent(s) is a citizen of Nigeri
REQUIREMENTS FOR CITIZENSHIP BY REGISTRATION FOR WOMEN MARRIED TO CITIZENS OF NIGERIA (NIGER- WIVES)
Receipt of payment of application fee
24 passport photographs
Duly completed application and information form
Evidence of means of livelihood
Residence Permit/Birth certificate if born in Nigeria
First 5 Pages of International Passport Including Data Page
Letter of consent from husband/children/relatives in case of deceased husband
Particular of previous marriage(s) (where applicable
Evidence of husband/relatives' citizenship in case of deceased husband (state/local government certificate of origin or naturalization certificate)
Letter from at least two referees with the referee's passport photographs (2), curriculum vitae and ID Card (Driver's License/International Passport/National ID Card) of Guarantors
REQUIREMENTS FOR CITIZENSHIP BY REGISTRATION FOR PERSONS OF FULL AGE AND CAPACITY BORN OUTSIDE NIGERIA ANY OF WHOSE GRANDPARENT(S) IS A CITIZEN OF NIGERIA AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE HANDBOOK ON CITIZENSHIP DIVISION-
Applicant's birth certificate
Marriage certificate where applicable
First 5 pages of International Passport including the data page
Upload evidence of Nigerian citizenship of either parent/ grand parent/great grand parent
Letter from at least two referees with the referee's passport photographs (2), curriculum vitae and ID Card (Driver's License/International Passport/National ID Card)
CITIZENSHIP BY NATURALIZATION
A certificate of naturalisation may be requested from the President by individuals who fall under the requirements of Section 27(2) of the Constitution. Such individuals must convince the President that
He is a person of full age and capacity;
He is a person of good character;
He has shown a clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria;
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;
He is a person who has made or is capable of making useful contributions to the advancement; progress and well-being of Nigeria;
He has taken the Oath of Allegiance prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution; and
He has, immediately preceding the date of his application, either-
Has resided in Nigeria for a continuous period of fifteen years; or 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.
NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM
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