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Renewing your Nigerian passport in Malaysia

Renewing your Nigerian passport in Malaysia

If you’re Nigerian and you’re resident in or visiting Malaysia, or you’re a foreigner who for some reason wants to visit Nigeria, the place to go to is the Nigerian High Commission on Jalan Ampang Hilir in Kuala Lumpur. I recently needed to renew my passport, and getting information about what is required was a difficult process. Here, we’ll walk you through the steps and requirements to get your Nigerian passport renewed in Kuala Lumpur. If you’re in a hurry, you can just jump to the registration requirements.

Getting There

The Nigerian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur is an interesting place. It’s also one of my least favourite places to visit or be in Kuala Lumpur. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be among your own people, but I still almost always get the feeling that I’m an outsider every time I’m there.

The embassy is located where almost all the national embassies are in Ampang. You can’t miss it on 85, Jalan Ampang Hilir, Kuala Lumpur—there’ll almost certainly be some Nigerians standing around outside—which the embassy is trying to stop for some reason (we’ll get the ambassador to comment on that and more soon). You have to take a taxi or drive yourself to the embassy as there are no direct buses or trains going in this direction (the nearest being Ampang, Dato’ Keramat and Jelatek LRTs).

Nigerian High Commission KL operating hours

It’s open from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm daily officially, but if you have anything to do there, the best thing to do for yourself is get to the commission as early as possible. Someone I met there said they arrived at 7:00 am and there were already 15 names on the register (I’ll get to this later). I got there at 9:00 am and it was relatively full—certainly not as packed as the Pakistani embassy I passed on my way to photocopy my documents (also more on this later). It is important to note that official activities start at around 9:30-10:00 am though, based on the ‘register’.

The Register

Before my visit in the first week of October, the only time I had been to the embassy was in 2012 and boy, was I disappointed. The dingy wooden rectangular waiting area (called the ‘White House’) looked like it could collapse from its raised platform at any time. Back then, the ‘hall’ just had rows of chairs and two long tables for the embassy officials to do their business. There wasn’t any air-conditioning, so every few minutes you had to go outside for a breather.

Nigerian consulate white house
Outside and inside the ‘White House’ at the Nigerian High Commission Kuala Lumpur

It isn’t like that anymore. The white-painted wooden rectangular box is still there. Now, however, it has air-conditioning and a TV with CNN! Yay! Naija no dey carry last. There is still room for improvement, especially with the ‘register’.

The ‘register’ is a foolscap notebook used for registering stuff, yes, but in 2016 when technology is everywhere, you’d expect that Nigeria—Africa’s largest economy on paper that is now in a depression—could at least afford an automated registration system, similar to those used in banks and some other organised embassies. When you get to the High Commission, remember to write your name, passport number, and purpose of visit in the register (it’s usually unmanned and placed next to the security guardhouse). That is the order that the names are called out.

Unfortunately, people get there at 7:00 am and write down the names of five of their friends who arrive much later at 10:00 am. So even if you get there at 7:00 am and there are only three people physically there, the register page for the day may already have 30 entries in it. An automated system (press A for passport renewal, B for visas, C for other services etc.) might not solve this completely, but it helps simplify a process that is unnecessarily complex.

Suggested Improvements

In addition to an automated registration system, the High Commission could also do with some more staff on the front line.* There were just three and they were not all there at the same time. Like one would leave for extended periods, come back in the box for 20 seconds and then disappear through the back door again. If there were more staff, things could perhaps get done faster.

Perhaps, the High Commission should also consider having a photocopier and printer for people somewhere in the waiting area. I doubt that most people would have a problem paying to have their documents photocopied for a fee as long as they don’t have to make a small journey to get the same service elsewhere. That happened to me.

I didn’t realize I had to make copies my passport, so after they called my name from the register and I discovered what was required, I had to take a RM13 Uber ride (to and fro) to a business centre called Speed Print. The problem with Speed Print is that nothing about their service that day was speedy, and they almost could not print the one document I needed them to. A change of name might be in order. For now, with no such services at the embassy, you need to ensure you have all your documents ready, otherwise, it’s until the next day for you.

The staff needs to be more courteous or at least try to be civil. Of the six staff (four Nigerians and two Malaysians) I’ve encountered at the embassy, only two of the Nigerians and all the foreigners were formal. The others had a certain unwelcoming, and most times, aggressive air about them that said: “Follow our orders and don’t ask questions or get the hell out of here.”

To the Nigerian government, you need to do something about that. If you care about that sort of thing.

Nigerians waiting for their passports for months protest at the Nigerian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur. It was peaceful, probably owing to the high police presence that day

Requirements for Passport Renewal

If you are on this page just for the required documents, we’re finally here. It is important to note that there are three phases. The first is the submission, where you go and give them all the documents needed. To start you need to visit portal.immigration.gov.ng. You’ll see the ePassport link that will provide you with three documents after paying the US$106 fee (if you’re not a government official, select the Standard ePassport option).

The documents you should print out and have ready are:

1. Standard ePassport Application Form
2. Passport Acknowledgement Slip
3. Passport Payment Slip
4. Photocopy of the information page and visa page of your current passport
5. Application Letter (stating your name, current passport number and why you want to renew your passport—sample attached)
6. Guarantor’s Form (printed and filled from the immigration portal link above)
7. Photocopy of the information page and visa page of your guarantor (your guarantor can be any Nigerian citizen resident in the same country that you’re in)

The second stage is the data ‘capture’ phase where the High Commission registers your fingerprints and takes additional passport photographs for the passport. For this stage, you need the following:

1. Existing Nigerian passport
2. An extra RM200**

After the data capture process is done, you’ll be given a slip (WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T LOSE THE SLIP) and told that they’ll call you when your passport is ready. The entire process can take months,* so be prepared. It is also important to note that you can only capture and submit information for passport renewal on Mondays to Wednesdays, while Thursdays and Fridays only are for the passport collection. The slip and a copy of your old passport are required when you go to collect your new passport.

That’s it. What’s the process like at your embassy in Malaysia? Is it more or less stressful? Are there any areas you think can be improved? Did I miss out any details or you have some information to add? Let me know in the comment section, and remember to bookmark this page share with your friends and network. Cheers!

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UPDATE: Fair warning
* If you have limited patience, I’ll advise you to get more, a lot more, before going to the Nigerian embassy for just about anything. It took me three months, countless trips to the embassy, days off work and innumerable insults from the staff to just renew my passport. They said it would take two weeks. The insults were not indicated.

From the security guards to the head of the consulate, everyone at the embassy is very, very rude. It’s like they make extra effort to be. Like they haven’t been paid or something. Ask any Nigerian who has ever been to the embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Anyone who walks in that compound automatically loses all value, has nothing better to do with their time, and are despondent. That’s how the staff make you feel.

** No one at the embassy was able to confirm what the extra RM200 was for. It isn’t stated anywhere that people have to pay any extra fees to process the passports. I still believe that this is “side money” for the people at the embassy (I stand corrected, someone please tell me what it is for).

I asked at least five people who renewed their passports in the last two months, only three were required to pay: one in September and two in October. That means it is random and based on the judgment of the embassy staff.

 

UPDATE: 4 October 2017

The Nigerian Consulate took some solid steps to improve its process with a new website and appointment scheduling system.

None of those currently work.

The website is significantly broken, and the operator I talked to said that (in most cases) they “don’t honour the appointments made online for capture because there are many people applying for passport renewal.”

You’ll still be required to print out the forms you get after applying online and submitting it physically to the consulate where you’ll be given a capture date that may be “before or after” your online-scheduled date. The rep didn’t know how long the process will take.

UPDATE: 22 October 2017

I met with LR from Japan (see comments) on 20 October 2017. The entire process took less than a week, from submission to collection of the new passports.

They also noted that the staff there were more courteous, and the entire process was generally pain-free.

We hope the improved process is a new standard that continues. Meanwhile, the new website remains a mess.

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37 Replies to “Renewing your Nigerian passport in Malaysia”

  1. Hi Chukwudi,
    I’m in the process of applying for a work visa in Malaysia. The only issue is that my passport and visa aren’t valid any longer. I’d like to know if the embassy requires a valid visa in my data page to renew my passport.
    thanks in advanced.

    1. Hello Ken! Sorry for the late response. Yes, you would need a valid passport and visa to apply for a work permit. Typically, you may be asked to exit the country first before a new visa can be issued.

  2. Btother, I think you need to update this write ups here. Currently I was there and they are normal, nobody treated me Any how, even the Malaysia Indian lady at the counter was so nice n explainable to me, no security insult just do your stuff in accordance and you won’t receive insult and I don’t think there’s extra money to pay.

  3. Please my passport will expire in three months time and i don’t have a valid visa here in Malaysia please can it be possible for me or not because i want to renew it

  4. How long does it take right now to do that ?? i will be there on 9th of June, am currently living in Vietnam, i couldn’t register online because am using local bank cards. some guys told me i can actually do it once am there.
    **All response is welcomed**

  5. Okay bro. Not a bad post but some info are not correct.
    1. there’s no other fee to be paid at the embassy physically after you pay your $106 dollars for a new passport. so you have to check with your source again about the rm200.
    2. passport renewal has a time frame of two weeks, but sometimes you can predict the work load or as you know they are connected to the Abuja immigration servers which goes down sometimes. Only replacement of Damaged and Lost passport takes considerable more time.
    3. knowing Nigerians that can’t follow simple instructions like those on the immigration portal of the required documents you don’t really expect them to put a self service system.
    4. the idea of wanting a photocopying machine means you as an applicant is not fully prepared. you wouldn’t go the UK embassy or US embassy without your documents complete.

    1. Hi Daniel! Thanks for contributing to the discussions! Excellent points!
      Note, however, that the article was based on my personal experience.
      1. I paid an extra fee physically at the embassy.
      2. It took me months to renew my passport. If you read the post, you’d notice that the issue was that the ‘machine’ was broken and it took months to fix. If you checked the comments so far, you’d see that someone came from Japan and had their passport renewed in less than a week.
      3. You referred to other embassies in your fourth point. If Nigerians can follow the rules in those embassies, and in banks that have those systems in place, why can’t they do that when they’re at the Nigerian embassy?
      4. You are correct, there shouldn’t have to put a photocopying machine there. However, those other embassies almost always make it clear what documents they require from you before you get there so that you are prepared.

      1. hello Chukwudi, I am writing from South Korea. I paid my online passport renewal through innovative and I printed my online acknowledgment slip which stated my interview date is on the 2nd of May..but in the Nigerian embassy Malaysia website,appointment for that day which is on the 2nd was all booked.do I still need to embark on my journey since the acknowledgment slip states my interview date is on the 2nd..

      2. Hey Travis! Really sorry for the super late response. The last time I called them to check, they said to follow the date on your online acknowledgement slip.

      3. Hi Chukwudi. I’m from US/UK, living in Cambodia and trying to apply for a Nigerian visa to go in July. I will be flying into Malaysia next Thursday (10th) until early Wednesday (17th). Cant make an appointment online for some reason and the phone number is busy everytime I call. I will still just show up at embassy–but any chance you know how long it typically takes?

      4. I just came back from Malaysia and I must confess I got my renewed passport under 2days…Stress free..indeed there is a lot of change..

      5. Hello Chukwudi, Thanks for the update/blog its really educative
        Please i want to know if i can apply for a Passport renewal that will be expiring in 9months time now. Need it for study visa application here in Malaysia which my passport should be up to 1year or more.
        THANKS while i awaits your response immediately/

      6. Hey Victor. Thanks for coming by and sorry for the late response. I think it is usually advised that you renew your passport when it is less than six months. I haven’t heard about anyone renewing when they still had nine months left. Usually, the college gives you a visa for the valid time and you can update it after you renew your passport.

      7. Every passport duration is 2years or more and you need your passport to be valid with minimum of one year if not nobody will give you student visa

  6. i have been living in Malaysia for 2 years plus now and i want to leave here for my country Nigeria finally but not have valid visa again,only valid passport,what is next things to do please

  7. Hi @LR. I checked the new website out and it’s broken (from here, at least). I’ll update you as soon as I can confirm how the new system works?

    1. Thank you so much Chukwudi. Pls what can you advice? My fam and i will be in malay in a few days. First time ever. The thought of being bounced or harassed at the embassy is scary with No appointment. We are coming from Japan and wondering if its best to get to the embassy early in the morning even if we dont have the so called online appointment? Any idea what the current situation is now? Any help or advise would be sooo helpful right now. Also can i contact you when we get in? Our tickets are fixed so we hv no choice but to fly the scheduled dates. Thanks alot and sorry to bother u this much. U sabi as our people be for dat place 🙂 thanks a lot man!

      1. Hey LR,

        The thought of being bounced or harassed at the embassy is scary with No appointment.
        I think they give international applicants priority. So you might have it easier than those of us here.

        We are coming from Japan and wondering if its best to get to the embassy early in the morning even if we dont have the so called online appointment?
        Yes! By all means, get there early 7-8am-ish. They really only start anything around 10am.

        Any idea what the current situation is now?
        They don’t follow the online appointment, so you have to get a capture appointment when you submit your documents. NOTE: SUBMISSIONS ARE ONLY ON MONDAY TO WEDNESDAYS. Make sure your flight is around those days. Capture and collection are Thursdays and Fridays.

        Also can I contact you when we get in?
        Yeah, certainly. I’ll send you an email with my details.

        Thanks alot and sorry to bother u this much.
        It’s alright. The idea is to assist us get through this.

        U sabi as our people be for dat place thanks a lot man!
        Yes o!

      2. thank you so so much. Yes our flights are within the scheduled weekdays. ok so let me understand, you submit documents between mon-wed, then they give you a date to capture asides the day you submit. looking forward to your email. you have been more than a great help. Hope to meet you though….. lol! Thank you ever so much. Amen to international people for priority o!

    2. good day bro..i just paid for my passport renewal online and my interview date was scheduled on the 25th of april..but when I went to the Nigerian immigration website to book an appointment for the 25th of april also..the day was full booked..do I still need to go to the embassy for my interview date.i reside in Indonesia and not Malaysia.thanks

      1. The last time I asked them this same question, they said to just come to the embassy and they’ll attend to you.

        So, go on 25 April. You might get preferential treatment since you’re not based in Malaysia.

        The submission days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Ensure you go on those days. They are extremely strict about adhering to that schedule.

      2. ok thanks a lot..so I should just stick with the interview date on my passport acknowledgment slip..and ignore the appointment on the Nigerian embassy website since its fully booked….thanks a lot for this coz our embassy aren’t giving us enough information..GOD BLESS You.

  8. Please I want to come nd renew my passport in Malaysia. I’m a Nigerian. I am coming from south Korea. Please wot will I do? Wot are de procedures? I need ur help here pls. How long will I stay if I come? Thank u.

  9. Hello Chukwudi, thanks for this blog. I was wondering if Danny ever contacted you or if he came to ML to renew his passport as my family also need to do this from japan and have that same limited no of time. Any updates would be greatly appreciated. Tjanks again for your time 🙂

    1. Hey LR. Thanks for commenting. Yes! I was able to reach Danny, and he was really helpful. He said he had to extend his stay for an extra 3 days (13 days in total) and his passport was only ready a day before he was due to leave. He also recommended that renewing Nigerian passports in the consulate in China is a lot faster (takes only 1 working day!) and costs around 800 yuan. So you may want to consider that option as well? Let us know it goes, so we can continue to assist others. Cheers!

      1. Oh wow! That was cutting it close! Thanks for the update. Hmmm China is quite hectic when it comes to visa applications. However, let’s see how it goes. Not sure I want to do china 🙂 i can only hope it will improve by 2018. Thanks a lot for responding. Much appreciated. 😉 do drop a line again if anything happens to change though. Thank you again

      2. Yes, certainly. I’ll update the post if anything changes. Also, let us know if there are any updates that could help others with the process. Thanks for stopping by, LR.

      3. Hello There, me again! I heard they now have an appointment page for you to book on their website in KL and the appointment is somewhat effective. Does that mean no more registers at the gate and they strictly follow this? Also what about the date for your capture that is generated once you apply for passport online? Do you happen to know which one they usually honour? Their own appointment on their webpage or the appointment day on your payment slip? Any information on this would be sooo much appreciated because we dont hv much time left. Thanks again for your response as usual 😉

  10. Hi there! I came here with social passport for more than 2years now, I don't know how to go about my passport I want to be valid, someone please help me. says:

    Hi there! I came here with social passport for more than 2years now, I don’t know how to go about my passport I want to be valid, someone please help me.

  11. I am a PhD graduate from UUM and I have a son of four years old I want to travel with. I just obtained his passport last month from Nigerian embassy and he has been living with me for four years given that he was born here. My visa expires 19th of this month and I have to leave Malaysia given that I have completed my study. My questions now are: How can I travel with my son given that he has no visa on his passport? Is there anything embassy can do to that? Waiting for you advice/comment.

    1. Hi Oladimeji. Thanks for commenting. Disclaimer: I don’t work at the Nigerian consulate and can only give advice based on my experience and research. You should always seek information directly from the authorities, in this case, the Nigerian consulate. Here’s a number you can reach them on during working hours: 03-4251-8512

      That said, I’m assuming your son also has a Nigerian passport—even though he was born in Malaysia? If this is the case, then he doesn’t require a visa to enter his home country, Nigeria. However, if he holds a different passport (say, a Malaysian one), then the same rules that apply to a Malaysian entering Nigeria will apply to him.

  12. I’m a Nigerian but living in Japan,I will be coming to Malaysia June 20 to renew my passport because the Nigeria embassy in Tokyo don’t have the machines…pls how can I make a express process because I only book 10days trips…a bit worried with what I read on you blog

    1. Hi. Thanks for reaching out. I’m not certain how long it will take now. I’d have suggested you take 10 working days (at least), but if you’re already set for 10 days, then the officials might consider fast tracking the process for you (if there’s such a thing—I’ll have to check). Let me when you’re around and how it goes?

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