3 Nigerians Share Their Craziest Experiences With Immigration

February 9, 2021

If you’ve ever had to travel with a Nigerian passport, the chances that you’ll run into some problems are not slim. Being a Nigerian means a lot of things, and one of those things is that you’ll get profiled simply because you’re Nigerian.

We spoke to Nigerians about their experiences with immigration officers in different countries. Here’s what they had to say.

Image result for airport immigration

1. Lade, 29

A few days after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to bomb an airliner in America and it came out that he was Nigerian, my family of 5 was returning to Nigeria from a holiday in the USA. It was when we got to the airport and saw the news – we had no idea this had happened. At the point of the security checks for departure, which was on orange alert, we submitted our passports and what left the officer’s mouth was “There are five of them.”

We were searched like we stole America. Physical search, electronic search, everything. The guy that was searching kept apologising profusely that he was just doing his job and we have to understand the situation on the ground. My dad tried to make jokes to ease the tension. And then when they found nothing, they let us go.

2. Chrissy, 31

I travelled to Spain on a trip with my girls. They all had EU passports, so I was the only one that had to get a visa. We were having so much fun that we decided to extend the trip by 4 days. Here’s the twist: I’d completely forgotten that I had a 1-week visa. I thought I had a 3-week visa. So I agreed to the extension.

The drama started on the day I found out about my visa. Coincidentally, it was the day of my initial departure flight and because I didn’t cancel that flight I tried to see if I could still catch it. By the time I got to the airport, the flight had been gone for five hours.

The next flight was the next morning and I didn’t want to wait one more night in Spain because I didn’t want any problems so I started emailing and calling the Spanish embassy to extend my visa. I don’t know where I got the audacity from, but I sent emails telling officials that I needed a visa extension for a visa that was expiring in a few hours on a Sunday.

Obviously, nobody replied to my mails or picked my calls. So I gave up and went home, waiting for the police to come and find me. When I woke up the next morning, I thought “Fuck this, I’ll enjoy my remaining four days here. Whatever wants to happen should happen.”

On our departure date, the guy at the airport saw my passport and called one of the officials to have a private discussion. I remember looking at my hands and thinking, “What will handcuffs look like on these hands?”. Thankfully, they just gave me back my passport and said, “Enjoy your flight.”

3. Michael, 29

I travelled from Lagos to Dubai in December 2020 using Kenyan Airways. I was hoping to use the layover in Nairobi to briefly catch up with a friend. Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, I proceeded to the Kenyan Immigration/Passport Control desk to get my transit visa on arrival – this was the norm up until 1st Jan 2021.

There were about 7 Europeans who were on the same flight with me from Lagos and were also going to Dubai. They were trying to get the transit visa as well. I watched as they were all granted visas. Nobody in immigrations asked them any questions. They simply collected their payments and stamped their passports. However, when it got to my turn, the immigration officer attending to me directed me to an office to speak with the Head of Immigration. I found that weird. When I got there, the guy I met told me I wasn’t going to get a visa. I was furious. I’d literally just seen them give visas to a bunch of Europeans who came on the same flight I did and were also going to Dubai later. I had my boarding pass showing that I was clearly laying over, and only booked a Kenyan Airways flight cos I wanted to meet someone in Nairobi.

They couldn’t give a solid reason why they were not giving me a visa. I know it’s because they were xenophobic because I’m a Nigerian. So after some time, I asked if I could use a different passport to get the visa. My British passport. If you see the way their eyes lit up when I mentioned that I also had a British passport. The senior immigration officer there literally said, “You should have presented the British passport instead. You know how the Nigerian passport can be.” I was livid.

I insisted they stamped my Nigerian passport and threatened to write to the African Union about their xenophobia and profiling, and I’d include their names in the report. That’s when they started begging me and telling me to calm down, and that I should just have presented my British passport if I wanted to avoid any drama in the first place. After some time, they stamped my Nigerian passport. I was the only Nigerian on that flight that got their passport stamped, and it only because I had a British passport.


Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

April 20, 2021

Do you want to win the heart of an Ibadan person? You have come to the right place. We will tell you everything you need to know, so that by the time you’re done reading this article, you would be ready to land your Ibadan lover. 1. Buy them amala from Amala Skye Remember the […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

September 25, 2022

Simi and Taofeeqat became best friends in SS2. Before adulthood came between them, they gave each other cheesy love letters and long hugs. In this #LettertoHER, Simi wants Taofeeqat to know she misses her.

Recommended Quizzes

January 2, 2020

Do you have even a single romantic bone in your body? Well, if you’re not sure about just how sweet and thoughtful you can be to someone you love, that’s what this quiz is here to answer. 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are Ready To Marry  Are you ready to marry? Take these quizzes.

how tall are you
March 11, 2020

Did your parents give you enough beans when you were growing up? If they did, then you’re probably around 6’0″ and above. Either way, we created a quiz that can guess your current height (pretty accurately, if we do say so ourselves). Take to see if we nailed it:

November 11, 2019

Today, we are going to be using your taste in music to determine how good you actually are in bed. All you need to do is create the ultimate Nigerian hit — from the lead artist to the producer — and we’ll tell you if all your partners leave satisfied, or if you are just […]

November 30, 2019

With No Nut November FINALLY coming to an end, we’ve decided to mark the torturous month with some more horny content. After quizzes that guessed how many people you’ve slept with, how good you are in bed and who you’ll sleep with next, this one will guess when next you’ll get lucky. Take it to […]

November 28, 2019

There are so many talented and stunning Nollywood actors that make it hard not to fall in love with them. So, while we all know the likelihood of us ending up with any of them is super low, it’s still fun to imagine a world where we actually stood a chance, and that’s why this […]

More from Inside Life

September 23, 2022

We know some of these plots happen in real life, but we’re tired of seeing them in Nollywood movies. At this point, once you see some signs, it becomes very easy to predict how the movie would end. Please, what happened to suspense in our movies?

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X