Following my previous post on how to renew your Nigerian Passport in Nigeria. This post is a guide on how to renew your passport in the United Kingdom (UK).
- Go to the Nigerian High Commission website and read ALL the instructions carefully.
- Then to the Nigerian Immigration Immigration Portal, fill out the form and follow the instructions carefully, particularly when making multiple applications or paying for someone else.
- It is not possible to make the application or payment at the High Commission, that MUST be done online. There is quite likely to be a massive crowd at the High Commission and the staff are usually swarmed with work, they cannot help even if they want to if you have not completed the online phase, so save yourself the needless hassle.
- Save and print the online application and payment acknowledgement slips
- Book your appointment date after you complete the online application and payment. You should be automatically forwarded to the appointment booking page. This may depend on the season and luck, but available dates are from about 3 weeks after your payment date. Print your appointment slip. Work towards arriving at the High Commission ( Address: 9, NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, LONDON WC2N 5BX) before 1pm. Entry is stopped at 1pm to give time to attend to all the people who have been admitted. Arriving first thing in the morning may not always be an advantage since many people work towards doing so. There might be a massive crowd of early arrivers and you may eventually be done at roughly the same time as those who come later. Provided that you arrive before 1pm, you are sure to be attended to that day.
- You MUST come with your old passport, the online application, acknowledgement and appointment slips. The website also says to come with two passport photographs but this was not requested of me. It is safe to have it anyway as well as a photocopy of your old passport data page.
- As a general rule, for any kind of application to be made at the Nigeria High Commission, make copies of every document you think you might need; the Commission is located in Trafalgar Square and may be confusing and very stressful to find a place to photocopy documents for people who do not know the area; moreover, staff at the Commission may not be willing to help.
- Go with snacks and drinks or you may have to go out to find something to eat. There is a canteen within the High Commission which I did not look into.
- Bring a book along even if you hate reading. You will be asked to turn off your mobile phone, there will be many babies, toddlers, and children, and you will quickly become bored. You will find lots of people using their phones, but this is not advisable. Walking into the Nigeria High Commission, London is walking into Nigeria by law and in reality; you immediately get a sense of being in the Federal Secretariat, Abuja. Those unsaid Nigerian rules (which you probably are no longer used to) begin to apply and things can escalate very quickly when staff see you using your phone.
- There are no clear signs or directions on what to do on arrival at the Commission. Do not knock on the main door of the Commission, nobody would be there. Walk past the main door to the side door (the second door after the main door), a faded piece of paper stuck on the wall on the side of the building has directions to the entrance for applicants.
- The security guard at the side entrance will confirm your appointment date and let you in. He will point you to the stairs to the right of the door going down to the basement. These short stairs take you to a waiting room.
- Go straight to the counter and meet any staff there (even if they are attending to someone else), politely inform them that you are there for passport renewal and ask for a number. It is important to get a number as soon as you arrive in order that you join the queue immediately. Numbers can go above 250 depending on your arrival time, but the waiting time depends on the number of people in the waiting room. Expect a minimum of 30minutes.
- A slip will be printed for you, take the slip and have a seat until your number is called and/or displayed on the screen.
- When your number is called, walk up to the counter that was announced. The staff will inspect your documents. You will be informed if you are missing any and be advised to go and get it. If your documents are complete, all including your passport would be taken from you and sent to the Biometrics office upstairs.
- You would also be told to go upstairs to the Biometrics waiting room to wait to be called. Here you will spend about 2hrs, depending on the number of people waiting and the number of computers being used for the biometric data capturing. The good news is that all biometric data capturing is concluded at 3:30, so however long you have to wait, your turn will surely come before 3:30pm.
- Staff come to the biometric waiting room at intervals to call applicants into the biometric office. Capturing takes 5minutes roughly. You will be given a collection slip at the end. You MUST come with the collection slip AND your old passport on the collection day. This usually a minimum of 7 working days
- There is a service to collect your passport on the same day as the capturing. This costs roughly a hundred pounds and may not be possible if the machine is said to be faulty.
- Passport Collection is between 10am and 1pm. Go to the same door at the High Commission as before, the security man would inspect your collection slip, let you in and ask you to place your collection slip in a box with collection slips of other people. You will also be asked to go down to the basement waiting room where you went on your application day.
- Passport Collection begins shortly before 1pm, staff seem to wait until the end of the collection time to begin giving passports.
- Passport Collection is at the small window on the far side of the basement waiting room. Names would be called after which you go to the collection window, show your old passport and collect the new one. You will be asked to sign for the collection in a book placed on a small table in front of the window.
As always, I hope this post is helpful to you. if it is, please remember to share this post. It is important to clarify that I am not a staff of the High Commission and this post is based on my personal experience renewing my passport here in the United Kingdom. In addition, the information provided here is valid as at May 2019 and subject to changes I may not be made aware of.
Have you renewed your Nigerian Passport recently? Got any tips to share?
Let me know in the comments!
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