How To Become A Citizen Of Nigeria: A Step-by-step Guide

Becoming a citizen of Nigeria can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and guidance, it is achievable. Citizenship in Nigeria is governed by various laws and regulations that must be adhered to. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to become a citizen in Nigeria.

Legal Requirements for Nigerian Citizenship

Before we dive into the steps, it is essential to understand the legal requirements for Nigerian citizenship. Nigerian citizenship can be obtained by birth, registration, or naturalization.

By Birth

Nigerian citizenship is acquired by birth if one or both parents are Nigerian citizens at the time of birth. This applies irrespective of the place of birth.

By Registration

Nigerian citizenship by registration can be obtained under certain circumstances, such as:

  • A foreign woman who is married to a Nigerian man
  • A child who is under 18 years of age and was born outside Nigeria to a Nigerian parent
  • A person who has lived in Nigeria for a continuous period of fifteen years

By Naturalization

Nigerian citizenship by naturalization can be obtained if the person meets the following requirements:

  • The person must have lived in Nigeria for a continuous period of fifteen years
  • The person must be of good character
  • The person must be able to speak and understand the English language
  • The person must have a reasonable knowledge of the culture, customs, and traditions of Nigeria
  • The person must have renounced his or her former citizenship
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Steps to Become a Citizen of Nigeria

Now that we have established the legal requirements for Nigerian citizenship, let us delve into the steps to become a citizen in Nigeria.

Step 1: Obtain a Nigerian National Identity Card

The first step to becoming a citizen in Nigeria is to obtain a Nigerian National Identity Card. This card contains your biometric and demographic data, and it is used for various important transactions in Nigeria. You can obtain this card by registering with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). You will be required to provide certain documents such as a birth certificate, passport, and proof of residency.

Step 2: Apply for Naturalization

If you are not already a Nigerian citizen, you can apply for naturalization. This involves filling out an application form, providing your personal information, and submitting it to the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS). You will also be required to pay an application fee.

Step 3: Attend an Interview

Once your application has been received, you will be invited to attend an interview. This interview will be conducted by the NIS, and it is a chance for them to verify the information you provided on your application. You will be required to provide additional documentation such as your passport, birth certificate, and proof of residency.

Step 4: Take the Citizenship Test

If your application is successful, you will be required to take a citizenship test. This test is designed to assess your knowledge of Nigerian history, culture, and government. It is important to study and prepare for this test to increase your chances of passing.

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Step 5: Attend the Oath-Taking Ceremony

Once you have passed the citizenship test, you will be required to attend an oath-taking ceremony. This ceremony is where you will swear allegiance to Nigeria and renounce your former citizenship. You will be given a certificate of naturalization, which is proof of your Nigerian citizenship.


Becoming a citizen in Nigeria may seem like a complex process, but it is achievable. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of obtaining Nigerian citizenship. It is essential to remember that Nigerian citizenship is a privilege and should be treated with respect.


Q1: Can I retain my former citizenship if I become a Nigerian citizen?

A1: No, Nigerian law requires that you renounce your former citizenship if you want to become a Nigerian citizen.

Q2: Can I apply for Nigerian citizenship if I am married to a Nigerian citizen?

A2: Yes, you can apply for Nigerian citizenship by registration if you are married to a Nigerian citizen.

Q3: How long does it take to become a Nigerian citizen?

A3: The process of becoming a Nigerian citizen can take several months to complete.

Q4: Do I need to speak a Nigerian language to become a citizen?

A4: No, but it is advisable to have a basic knowledge of at least one Nigerian language.

Q5: How much does it cost to become a Nigerian citizen?

A5: The cost of becoming a Nigerian citizen varies, and it is advisable to check with the Nigerian Immigration Service for current fees.