Japa Plans? Here’s Everything You Can Expect With Immigration

September 27, 2022

It kinda feels like the migration gates have been thrown open, and folks are jumping on flights like it’s the last bus to Owerri Main Market on a rainy Friday.

If you’re also planning (or just hoping) to leave the country, you should have these in mind.

The passport office is a scam, and airport staff will tax you

Timilehin, 19

My passport expired while I was in secondary school, so I needed to get a new one for university abroad. I got to know from my mum that the passport office had this system where people were divided into two — priority list, and those they don’t give a fuck about.

Luckily, my parents knew someone at the office, so we were bumped up. I know so many people who had to turn down admissions because they couldn’t get their passports. It’s crazy.

Also, please don’t be seen carrying money up and down at the airport. I left in 2021 but was naive and held dollars openly while trying to check in, and all the customs guys were like, “Drop something for us nau.” Guy, I’m literally your child’s age mate.

Be well informed ahead of your flight

Lara, 25

I left Nigeria in 2021, and this was around the time when COVID-19 was still serious-ish. I had gotten a negative test one week before my departure and assumed I was good to go.

Imagine my shock when I got to the airport and learnt the negative test had to be done 48 hours before my flight. To cut the story short, immigration delayed me for a while, and I had to pay (almost double what I paid for my previous test) to get tested again, plus the tips I had to give the airport guys to help me make sure I didn’t miss my flight. I still had to quarantine when I arrived at my destination.

Always ask questions while planning; don’t let the fear of village people make you keep everything to yourself, only to end up spending extra like I did.


RELATED: How to Japa: Migrating From Nigeria


Prepare to be delayed

Wole, 24

Especially if you’re carrying loads of foodstuff and luggage. I moved to the US in 2019 for my master’s degree. Trust Nigerian mothers, my mum loaded me with foodstuffs sufficient to open a mini Walmart in Texas.

Although we correctly labelled everything and packed everything like our folks abroad had advised us to, these immigration guys delayed us by checking every single thing. Thankfully, my mum made sure I arrived the airport four hours before my flight. If not, I would have cried.

If you’re carrying a lot, make sure to make ample time for any kind of delay.

Corruption is very alive

Chichi, 28

I left the country in 2021, and listen, while I’m all for not pushing certain stereotypes, please still hold cash when dealing with immigration.

I had done the whole passport application process myself online. I remember it was ₦17,500, and all I needed to do afterwards was go to a passport office for my interview and other biometrics. It was supposed to be really straightforward.

Spoiler alert, it wasn’t. I had to pay an officer ₦12,000 extra to “release” the passport. That’s not all. On the day I was leaving, the immigration guys at the airport kept asking me to “bless them”. Be ready to drop something small, so you don’t get delayed unnecessarily.

Start processing your passport six months ahead

Imelda, 30

In a sane world, getting your passport shouldn’t take more than two weeks after completing biometrics and other requirements. But when my mum had to visit me in New Jersey around 2021 to help with my newborn, we saw hell. We had foreseen a delay, so we started the process when I was seven months pregnant. It didn’t change anything.

My mum and siblings kept going back and forth the passport office for about five months before the passport was ready. If it wasn’t an issue with finding her details on the system, it was some information suddenly becoming incorrect. We eventually overcame, and she got here when my baby was three months old.

The passport situation may have improved now, but always start the process early.


NEXT READ: Not Every Time UK, Nigerians Can Visit These Countries Visa-Free

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

March 18, 2020

There is so much information out there as regards the Coronavirus in Nigeria that it has become hard to separate truth from fiction. Misinformation is just as deadly as the virus itself so it’s important we get the facts right. In the name of promoting healthy practices and all-round baby boy and girl living, we […]

February 13, 2021

What is happening in Oyo state? There have been reports about a clash said to be happening in Oyo state. The clash is said to be between Yorubas and Hausas, and the affected areas include Akinyele local government, Ojoo, Sasa, and the Moniya axis. What caused it? According to news reports by Tribune Online, The […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

December 1, 2022

On November 30, 2022, the Federal Government absolved itself of total blame concerning poverty in Nigeria. The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, shifted some of the blame to governors of the 36 states. The minister said the governors should stop spending borrowed money on unnecessary projects and spend on projects […]

Recommended Quizzes

October 29, 2019

We are going to be attempting to guess when you’ll marry based on your favourite Nigerian foods. What does your fave swallow have to do with when you’ll tie the knot? Please, don’t ask complicated questions. This quiz is rigorous and accurate (don’t quote us), so just take it already. QUIZ: Why Do You Have […]

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

November 11, 2019

Everyone has something to say about what kind of person they are. But how well do we truthfully evaluate these things? Not that much, I can assure you. The average person is always lying to themselves to make sure they look good. But you know what and who doesn’t lie? Zikoko quizzes that’s what. Take […]

More from Citizen

December 1, 2022

On November 30, 2022, the Federal Government absolved itself of total blame concerning poverty in Nigeria. The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, shifted some of the blame to governors of the 36 states. The minister said the governors should stop spending borrowed money on unnecessary projects and spend on projects […]

December 1, 2022

Election season in Nigeria isn’t only about who can hold the biggest rallies or make the most eye-catching promises, it’s also about who can throw the biggest insults.  That’s why it’s not a surprise that the camps of the presidential candidates of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, and All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, […]

November 29, 2022

A member of Nigeria’s first family is trending on social media over the mistreatment of a young Nigerian over the past few days. The attention she’s got has come with various taunts, public outcries, and even different forms of body shaming against her and the Nigerian government.  The person in question is none other than […]

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