If you’re a Nigerian living in Nigeria, the chances that you’ve thought of ways to relocate from Nigeria are high. The process of legally migrating is rigorous— from research to getting finances right, to finding the easiest countries to migrate to and to deciding how you actually want to relocate.
In this article, we’ll share all the ways you can legally migrate from Nigeria to other countries. Some processes are more straightforward than some others, while some are more expensive than others. With some ways to relocate from Nigeria, you are assured that your japa is final, while with some other ways, you still have to fulfil some requirements for some time in the destination country. We’ll discuss everything in this article.
1. You can relocate from Nigeria through family.
Whether it’s your spouse or your family of origin, having family members who are citizens or permanent residents of other countries is a direct way of migrating from one country to another. With marriage- also termed “family formation- getting legally married to a citizen of another country will grant you some form of citizenship in most countries. Because most countries know this and want to avoid doctored marriages for visas, the process isn’t as straightforward as getting your new passport on the day after you get married.
Many countries undergo background checks before giving people their new passports through this method. Some of these background checks may include finding out how long you were dating before you got married, requiring citizenship applicants to show genuine pictorial proof of dating period, wedding ceremony, mutual friends, etc. You also have to have been married for at least five years in some countries before applying for citizenship.
Family reunification, according to the International Organization for Migration, is “the right of non-nationals to enter into and reside in a country where their family members reside lawfully or of which they have the nationality in order to preserve the family unit”. In this case, you have to be able to legally prove that you’re either the spouse, parent or child of the “principal migrant”. The laws for family reunification vary from country to country so you have to do your research based on the country you plan to. In some countries like Canada, siblings and grandchildren count as family you can reunite with, while in some others they don’t. See the full list here.
2. You can migrate as an asylum seeker.
Although the rules vary from country to country, the general concept of asylum is an independent country granting refuge in its country to an individual who is fleeing persecution or serious harm or for other reasons. If you’re fleeing persecution from your home country, you can apply for asylum in other countries. Don’t expect a simple and unchallenged process though, because many people file for asylum even when they’re not in danger. There is typically an investigation done to determine if you qualify for refugee protection. Not every asylum seeker will ultimately be recognized as a refugee, but every recognized refugee is initially an asylum seeker. Just in case you were curious, here’s Canada’s asylum application process.
3. You can relocate from Nigeria as a student.
Relocating as a student is one of the most popular ways to relocate from Nigeria. While a student visa is typically not a for japa-ing, being a student in various countries gives you a high chance of integrating into society after you complete your studies. The UK for example now lets international students stay and work in the UK for an extra two years after they graduate with the Graduate Route. Every country you want to japa to has schools that offer courses to international students, and while some countries have a strict policy of making people return to their home countries after they graduate, many others like Canada, Australia, UK and Belgium encourage people to stay, join the work force and become permanent residents. Manty international students even get jobs before they graduate!
Worried about cost? Many European and Asian countries offer cheap, or even free education to international students. Many countries and schools abroad also offer scholarships. With good research and a good application process, you can secure a legitimate scholarship.
4. You can relocate from Nigeria as an investor.
Some countries have investor visas, where if you invest a certain amount of money in the economy, you automatically become a permanent resident or a citizen. Some other countries allow you to become a permanent resident when you buy land and properties.
You could also japa by starting a business in countries that let you start a business in their country because you would be helping their economy.
In some other countries, you can buy a citizenship. Just pay the government, and you become a citizen.
5. You can relocate from Nigeria on a talent visa
Australia, China, France, New Zealand, UK, and the US are the countries that offer talent visas to highly skilled professionals, distinguished athletes and artists, and people with advanced degrees in select fields.
6. You can relocate from Nigeria as a professional
While this is a wide spectrum, a lot of Nigerian professionals are leaving Nigeria to continue their businesses and professional careers abroad. Countries all over the world offer work visas to people to move into their countries to work, and then become immigrants. For instance, a lot of Nigerian doctors and nurses, are leaving Nigeria to start work abroad.
Some non-English speaking countries are constantly looking for people who can speak English to migrate into their countries to teach English. This is a way to migrate professionally.
Canada, Australia, Spain, UK and many other countries also offer startup founders startup visas where you can go to their country and set up your startup.
If you work for an international organisation, you can relocate from Nigeria by transferring to a branch of your company in another country. Companies that allow this help the applicants through the process.
Remote work visas are also now a thing. You can travel to these countries and still work remotely.
With professional visas, research is needed to find what works best for you and your family.
7. You can relocate from Nigeria through a point-based system.
Some countries like Canada, and recently the UK, open their borders to people that just want to japa from their countries. They use a point-based system to qualify or disqualify people. These points are allocated through different metrics such as age, qualifications, work experience, understanding of language, etc. Many Nigerians living in Canada are there through this system. Once you are able to prove that you have the funds to take care of yourself, and you can survive in the new environment, the other factors will work together to help you secure your permanent residency.