One thing parents have a hard time doing is travelling without their children. Not that it doesn’t happen, it’s just that parents prioritize family vacations over personal retreats.
So when you decide to travel outside Nigeria with your kids regardless of their age, you need to get them an international passport.
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With the recent shortage of booklets in most immigration offices around the country and the surge in the number of people travelling out, the application process has become daunting. This is because of the unavailability of passports and the somewhat demanding application process. In which case, we would suggest using the express option to apply and get your passport in record time. This guarantees you are high on the priority list when booklets become available in the immigration office you are applying through.
No one likes to feel like they have engaged in a fruitless errand. Before you go to the immigration office to get your child’s first passport, here are the documents required.
You will need to present the original government-approved birth certificate as a required document. This certificate differs from the one most hospitals give. It is given by the National Population Commission.
You will need to present the original government-approved certificate as a required document. This is to prove that both father and mother are parents of the child.
The original passports of both parents would be sighted and photocopies of the biodata pages taken. However, in the event that the parents do not have international passports, the original National Identification Card printout of your NIN or the actual NIN card should suffice. If this is not available, then parents are to provide evidence of the local government of origin. You just need these documents to show that the parents are truly Nigerian.
Letter of Consent
This needs to be written and signed by both parents. There is usually a preset format to use for this, and it will be given to you at the immigration office. If you are a divorced, you might need to attach proof of separation too. And if you are a single parent, you might need to swear an affidavit after the fact. The immigration officers will give you more details on this when you get there. They do this to ensure the child is not being trafficked out of the country. This process is accompanied by a call to the father of the child to confirm he agrees with the letter of consent sent in.
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E-Passport Application Form
You will be given an e-passport application form to fill out for your child. The form will require details like full names (as written on the passport), gender, date of birth, home town (i.e. your village), place of birth, date of birth, local government of origin, email, contact numbers, marital status, profession, next of kin and maiden name. They will type this info to form the content of your child’s biodata page.
Two passport photographs
These will be used for your file once it is opened. One is added to the letter of consent and they attach the other to the file/another document in it.
There are also some forms they will give you to sign too. Once you submit all these, they will open a file in your child’s name.
They will ask you to go for capture. This is the phase where your biometric data is taken and added to the biodata page info. Your child’s height will be measured, his fingerprints for his/her thumbs and index fingers will be digitized along with an on-the-spot headshot.
A confirmation slip/form will be printed for you with the date to pick up your passport appended on it.
These can take a day or two, depending on what time you get there. It is best to get there in the morning so you can be through by 5 pm. There are photocopying centres at the immigration office that can make getting photocopies of any document easy.
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