Nigeria Divorce Document Requirements for US Immigration Purposes

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This Post will describe what is required for a Divorce to be recognized by US Immigration (either at USCIS, NVC, or DOS), and this “document requirement” is most commonly found in marriage-based immigration to the United States.

Document Requirements:

Document Name: Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute

Issuing Authority: The High Court of Justice

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Multiple versions of this form are issued in varying formats.  They are typically typed in Times New Roman font and printed on white paper.  Seals may be embossed, sometimes over a red sticker, or they may be inked, most often in red or purple.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Judge

Registration Criteria: Must be a registry marriage completed according to the Marriage Act.

Procedure for Obtaining: Divorce Proceedings in accordance with The Matrimonial Causes Act of Nigeria.

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: For marriages under Native Law and Custom, a divorce decree may be issued by a Customary Court.  For Islamic marriages, a divorce decree may be issued by a Sharia court.

Exceptions: Many divorces for customary marriages will have no written record.  Marriages under native law and custom will also be dissolved by custom; many of these divorces are not recorded while some are recorded by a sworn affidavit after the fact. Islamic marriages may be dissolved in a Sharia Court.

Comments: Documenting a legal divorce is problematic.  Each type of marriage listed above has its own legal process for obtaining a divorce, thus it is essential to first understand what type of marriage took place before determining what documentation is acceptable to prove that a divorce is legal.

Verification of Nigerian court files:

The following link assists in verifying court records:

https://lagosjudiciary.gov.ng/onlinesearch.html#onlinesearch

 

 

 

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