Second Citizenship
April 12, 2023
Reading Time: 4 min

Multiple citizenships for Nigerians: everything you need to know

The Investment Migration Insider revealed that in 2019, the refusal rate for Nigerian nationals applying for UK visas was 32,16%, and the USA B1 visa refusal rate was even higher — 67,2%.

In order to avoid that, Nigerians choose to obtain passports in another country. Dual citizenship allow them to travel visa-free to more countries, create safe haven, and expand businesses

Lyle Julien
Lyle Julien

Explained how and where Nigerians can have dual citizenship

Nigeria dual citizenship

Multiple citizenships for Nigerians: everything you need to know

Ways to obtain citizenship for Nigerians

For Nigerians looking to acquire citizenship in other countries, there are several common pathways, including by descent, marriage, naturalisation, and investment. The specific requirements for each path may vary depending on the destination country.

By investment. Some countries offer citizenship by investment programs, which allow Nigerians to acquire citizenship by making a significant financial investment in the destination country. Requirements may include:

  1. Investing in real estate, government bonds, or other approved projects as well as making a non-refundable contribution to a government fund or other authorized entity.

  2. Meeting residency requirements, if applicable.

  3. Passing background checks and demonstrating good reputation and character.

  4. Applying for citizenship through the appropriate government agency.

By descent. Citizenship by descent is based on having a parent, grandparent, or sometimes even a great-grandparent who is a citizen of a certain country. This can be an attractive option for Nigerians with a clear lineage to another country. Requirements may include:

  1. Providing documented proof of your relationship to a citizen of the destination country (e.g., birth certificates, marriage certificates, or other legal documents).

  2. Meeting residency or language requirements, if applicable.

  3. Applying for citizenship through the appropriate government agency.

By marriage. Citizenship by marriage is granted when a Nigerian marries a citizen of another country. The process and requirements may vary but generally include the following:

  1. Registering the marriage with authorities in the destination country.

  2. Meeting residency requirements may include living with your spouse in the destination country for a certain period.

  3. Demonstrating language proficiency, cultural knowledge, or other integration criteria, if required.

  4. Applying for citizenship through the appropriate government agency.

By naturalisation. Naturalisation is when a Nigerian becomes a citizen of another country after legally living in the destination country for 5—10 years on average. Other common requirements include:

  1. Having a good moral character and reputation.

  2. Having no criminal record.

  3. Demonstrating language proficiency, cultural knowledge, or other integration criteria.

  4. Taking an oath of allegiance or attending a citizenship ceremony.

  5. Applying for citizenship through the appropriate government agency.

What do multiple citizenships for Nigerians mean?

Nigerians can have dual citizenship and be recognized as citizens in two countries. This means they can enjoy the rights and benefits which belong to all citizens. They also have two countries of residence; therefore, they can reside in Nigeria and another country they are citizens of.

Triple citizenship is also allowed so you’re a Nigerian by birth, you can obtain citizenship in two more countries. However, if you’ve become a Nigerian by naturalisation or marriage and want to acquire a passport in another country, you must forfeit the Nigerian one.

There are some countries that don’t allow multiple citizenships. For example, Austria and Germany require foreigners seeking to become citizens to renounce their first citizenship. So it is better to check in advance whether you can have dual citizenship with the chosen country.

What are the advantages of dual citizenship?

Dual citizenship has many advantages and some of them are:

  • access to social services — dual citizenship allows individuals to access social services, healthcare, and other benefits in both countries, ensuring a higher quality of life;

  • investment and business expansion — dual citizenship provide greater investment opportunities and the ability to establish businesses in multiple jurisdictions, leading to a diversified financial portfolio;

  • political rights — in many cases, dual citizens have the right to vote, run for office, and participate in the political processes in both countries, which allows them to shape their future;

  • security and stability — dual citizenship serves as a safety net during political, social, or economic instability as it provides the option to relocate to the other country and protect one’s family and assets.

What is the disadvantage of dual citizenship?

While getting dual citizenship can be amazing because of the benefits that accrue, there are also some disadvantages. They include:

  • double taxation — you might have to pay taxes in both countries;

  • being bound by the law of different countries — you must learn about different laws in different countries and how you stay bound by them;

  • the process of acquiring citizenship can be tedious — in the majority of the countries it can take 3—10 years to become a citizen by marriage or naturalisation.

Losing citizenship

A person can lose their citizenship unvoluntarily if they act against the country that has granted a passport. The major reasons are:

  • spying against your country, especially if you are not a citizen of that country by birth but by naturalisation or marriage;

  • getting imprisoned for a crime for more than three years;

  • committing treasonable offences.

In most cases, this doesn’t apply to people who obtained their citizenship by birth. For example, citizens by birth can’t lose their citizenship after getting imprisoned.

Dual citizens cannot be deported from the countries of their citizenship. However, if a person is deprived of their passport, the deportation is possible.

Countries that offer citizenship by investment to Nigerians

Citizenship by investment programs allows Nigerians to acquire citizenship in another country by significant financial investment.

Turkey. Turkey’s investment options include:

  • investing at least $400,000 in real estate, with a commitment to hold the property for at least three years;

  • investing at least $500,000 in government bonds or shares of Turkish companies, to be held for at least three years;

  • depositing at least $500,000 in a Turkish bank for at least three years.

You can obtain a Turkish passport in 6—8 months, and get an investment return three years after.

Vanuatu. Under the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program, you must make a non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund.

The amount of investment depends on the composition of the family. If the investor applies for themselves only, they would need to pay $130,000+, and a family of four would be required to invest $180,000+.

The application for Vanuatu citizenship can be filed remotely 100%. It takes 1+ month to get a Vanuatu passport — it is the fastest citizenship by investment program.

Caribbean countries. Five Caribbean countries have citizenship by investment programs. The most popular options are a non-refundable contribution to a government fund and an investment in government-approved real estate projects.

  • Antigua and Barbuda — minimum investment: $100,000 for a non-refundable contribution and $200,000 for a purchase of the real estate;

  • Dominica — minimum investment: $100,000 for a non-refundable contribution and $200,000 for a purchase of the real estate;

  • Grenada — minimum investment: $150,000 for a non-refundable contribution and $220,000 for a purchase of a property;

  • St. Kitts and Nevis — minimum investment: $125,000 for a contribution and $200,000 for a purchase of the real estate;

  • St. Lucia — minimum investment: $100,000 for a non-refundable contribution and $200,000 for the real estate purchase.

There can also be such investment options like business investment or a purchase of bonds.

Period of obtaining a Caribbean passport varies from country to country, however, in most cases it is 3—6 months.

The total comparison of the Caribbean and Vanuatu programs

Practical Guide

The total comparison of the Caribbean and Vanuatu programs

General requirements for obtaining citizenship by investment

The specific criteria for obtaining citizenship by investment depend on the country but investors must fulfil some general requirements to be eligible for these programs.

Age. Most countries require applicants to have reached the age of majority. However, certain programs may have higher age limits or additional conditions for younger applicants.

Criminal-free background. To ensure the safety and integrity of their countries, most nations demand that applicants possess a clean criminal record. This requirement entails undergoing background checks and submitting police clearance certificates from Nigeria and other countries where you have resided for a significant period.

Remember that even minor offences may impact your eligibility for citizenship by investment, so it is vital to address any legal issues beforehand.

Legal source of income and investment funds. Transparency is key in the financial aspect of citizenship by investment. Applicants must demonstrate that their income and investment funds come from legal sources. This requirement may include providing evidence like tax returns and bank statements.

Wrap-up

Nigeria allows its citizens to have multiple citizenships.

There are several common pathways to get a passport in another country: by descent, marriage, naturalisation, and investment.

The advantages of dual citizenship are access to social services, investment and business expansion, political rights, security and stability.

Sometimes, there are disadvantages to dual citizenship, such as double taxation, being bound by the law of different countries, a long and tough process.

You can lose your citizenship if you are spying against your country, getting imprisoned for 3+ years, or committing treasonable offences.

Some countries offer citizenship by investment programs which allow Nigerians to obtain citizenship quickly and easily. These countries are Turkey, Vanuatu, St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda.

To be eligible for citizenship by investment, you must be over 18, have no criminal records, and be able to prove the legality of your income.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

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Lyle Julien
Lyle Julien

Investment programs expert

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Frequently asked questions

  • What are the benefits of dual citizenship in Nigeria?

    The benefits of dual citizenship in Nigeria include:

    • opportunity to create a safe haven;

    • asset registration without restrictions;

    • improved safety and security;

    • visa-free travel;

    • enhanced global opportunities.

  • What are the 4 types of citizenship in Nigeria?

    There are four types of citizenship in Nigeria:

    • by birth;

    • by descent;

    • by registration;

    • by naturalisation.

  • What is the definition of dual citizenship in Nigeria?

    Dual citizenship in Nigeria refers to the legal status of an individual recognized as a citizen in Nigeria and another country. This status can be obtained by descent, marriage, naturalisation, or investment.

  • What are 3 ways to lose citizenship?

    There are 3 major reasons to lose citizenship. They are:

    1. Spying against your country, especially if you are not a citizen of that country by birth but by naturalisation or registration.

    2. Getting imprisoned for a crime.

    3. Commit treasonable offences.

  • How long do you have to stay married to keep citizenship?

    You must stay married for at least three years to keep your citizenship. Some countries will require you to confirm that you are not just married on paper, but in every sense of the word to your partner. The reason is that many people agree to get married just to get citizenship in a particular country.

    But, after registering as a citizen of a country by marriage, you cannot lose your citizenship. The exception is when you commit any offense that deprives you of citizenship.

  • Can dual citizens be deported?

    Dual citizens cannot be deported from the countries of their citizenship. However, if a person was deprived of their citizenship or their citizenship got revoked, deportation is possible.