Nigerian Birth Certificate for US Immigration Purposes

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For starters, our Law Office does not assist in acquiring Birth Certificates. However, this post will better explain what is the Nigerian Birth Certificate, and provide more context than what the US Immigration Agencies provide.

Over the years, it has become apparent that there are frequent issues or RFEs surrounding providing USCIS or the NVC with an acceptable Nigerian Birth Certificate. The majority of CONFUSION surrounds “what is acceptable in Nigeria” may NOT “be acceptable or acknowledged internationally.” This post will explain.


Visa Statistics

It is always helpful to consider the numbers. How many people does this issue, this topic affect? The US Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria is the ONLY location that provides an Immigrant or Green Card Visa. Meaning, Abuja DOES NOT assist with US Immigration. Below is a breakdown of a 5-year period on the “Number” of people immigrating from Nigeria to the US:

2021: 4,762

2020: 3,546

2019: 6,521

2018: 7,667

2017: 6,297

Within the United States, an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Nigerian Adjust Status to a Green Card Holder after entering the US on a Work Visa, Student Visa, Fiance Visa, ect.

With the above numbers, about 6,000 to 10,000 Nigerians immigrate to the US every year. That is not a very high number. However, each immigrating Nigerian must satisfy providing USCIS or NVC an acceptable Nigerian Birth Certificate.


History of Birth Certificates in Nigeria

Current Births are registered with the NPC (National Population Commission). However, the NPC was created in 1988. So, it hasn’t been around for most adults.

If you were born PRIOR to 1979, a “Birth Certificate” may not have been created. In 1979, Nigeria started a Mandatory Registration of Birth initiative in four Nigerian States:

  • Anambra (Southeast)
  • Oyo (Southwest)
  • Plateau (Northeast)
  • Kaduna (Northwest)

The Map to the right shows the current 36 Nigerian States.

Between 1979 and 1992, Birth Certificates were issued in those 4 states. The NPC was created in 1988 and Birth Certificates started to be created. However, it wasn’t until 1992 that all Nigerian Births nationwide HAD TO BE REGISTERED (meaning a Birth Certificate was created). 


So, what does this mean with regards to “providing” US Immigration an Acceptable Nigerian Birth Certificate?

For starters, let’s approach this by year and location:

  1. Birth in 1992 and thereafter (Nationwide): The Document will be from the National Population Commission and the title of the document will be “CERTIFICATE OF BIRTH.” The Certificate will state that it was issued under the Births and Deaths Ect. (Compulsory Registration) Decree 69 of 1992.
    • The Following are NOT Acceptable:
      • National Population Commission Attestation of Birth Certificate
      • Certificate of Registration of Birth in Anambra, Oyo, Plateau, and Kaduna

  2. Birth Between 1988 to 1992 (Anambra, Oyo, Plateau, and Kaduna): The following should be provided:
    • The Document will be from the National Population Commission and the title of the document will be “CERTIFICATE OF BIRTH.” The Certificate will state that it was issued under the Births and Deaths (Compulsory Registration) Decree 1979.
    • The Document will be from the Local Government/Registrar and the title of the document will be “Certificate of Registration of Birth.” (Beneficial Supporting Document)
    • National Population Commission Attestation of Birth Certificate (Beneficial Supporting Document)

  3. Birth Between 1988 to 1992 (NOT in the other 32 Nigerian States): Since there was no Registration within the local government, the Nigerian must acquire:
    • The Document will be from the National Population Commission and the title of the document will be “CERTIFICATE OF BIRTH.” The Certificate will state that it was issued under the Births and Deaths (Compulsory Registration) Decree 1979.
    • The Document will be from the Local Government/Registrar and the title of the document will be “Certificate of Registration of Birth.” (Beneficial Supporting Document)
    • National Population Commission Attestation of Birth Certificate (Beneficial Supporting Document)
    • a Declaration of Age from the High Court of Justice (Beneficial Supporting Document)

  4. Birth Between 1979 to 1988 (Anambra, Oyo, Plateau, and Kaduna): The following should be provided:
    • The Document will be from the Local Government/Registrar and the title of the document will be “Certificate of Registration of Birth.” OR
    • The Document will be from the Local Government/Registrar and the title of the document will be “Certificate of Registration of Birth.”

  5. Birth Between 1979 to 1992 (NOT in the other 32 Nigerian States): Since there was no Mandatory Registration within the local government, the Nigerian must acquire:
    • an Attestation of Birth Letter from NPC (Mandatory for US Immigration)
    • a Declaration of Age from the High Court of Justice (Beneficial Supporting Document)

  6. Birth PRIOR to 1979 (Nationwide): Since there was no Mandatory Registration within the local government, the Nigerian must acquire:
    • an Attestation of Birth Letter from NPC (Mandatory for US Immigration)
    • a Declaration of Age from the High Court of Justice (Beneficial Supporting Document)

For more information, you should contact the local NPC Office for more assistance.

 

US Immigration Guidance: If you’d like to see the US Immigration Guidance on Nigerian Birth Certificates, that can be found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Visa-Reciprocity-and-Civil-Documents-by-Country/Nigeria.html


Note: Our Law Office does not assist in acquiring Birth Certificates. Due to Privacy or needing to be a citizen of that country, only the person named on the birth certificate is normally the only person permitted to request such documents.


Related blog posts:

Nigeria Divorce Document Requirements for US Immigration Purposes

Which is Better, K-1 Fiance Visa or CR-1 Marriage Visa?

 

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