Young Nigerians make up the largest population of the growing flow of migrants from Africa to developed countries. In 2016, over 20,000 involved in the Mediterranean Sea crossing were reported to be from Nigeria.

In addition, from 2017 until late 2019, hundreds of Nigerian migrants were deported from various destinations including Italy, Libya, and South Africa.

These young people embark on very risky journeys across the globe, and casualties continue to increase on a daily basis.

To avoid these, we have compiled 5 ways to legally relocate abroad from Nigeria;

As a student

  1. Student visa for undergraduates. Some countries offer free/cheap education. Countries such as France, Germany, and Nordic countries. See herehere and here.
  2. Postgraduate masters (even if you have a 3rd class). The following European and Asian countries are good places to look for free/cheap education. You may also be required to learn a new language while or before you study. This is an advantage for you in life.
  3. Student Exchange programs on platforms like AIESEC allow you to connect with other students abroad as well as have exchange programs where you host them when they come to Nigeria, and you also have opportunities to spend time abroad working or volunteering.
  4. Vocational training for specialized skills. E.g. engineering, manufacturing, etc.
  5. Apply for international internships (undergraduate and graduate), most foreign job boards have an internships section. See examples herehere and here.
  6. Academic scholarships are available for lots of countries you can search based on course, country, amount, etc. See some herehere and here.
  7. If you are exceptionally athletic or are good at sports played abroad, you can also apply for a sports scholarship. Here are some; Link 1link 2link 3.
  8. You can also take a “gap year” from school to go work for a year or so. Herehere, and here.
  9. Apply for social work or community scholarships such as these: See more herehere.
  10. Apply for an Arts scholarship as an international student. See more here and here.

As a professional

  1. Work visa to work as a nonimmigrant, based on experience, age, education, job offers etc. Almost every country in the world applies, although some have specific visas for different fields of work (IT, Healthcare, Arts, etc). Think of any country and search for jobs in your field of work on sites such as IndeedLinkedInGlassdoor, etc.
  2. Go teach English in non-English speaking parts of the world. Asia and some parts of Africa are good places to start. See more here
  3. Start a business or a startup in a country that lets you, or work at an early stage one. Here are 15 countries that offer visas for startup founders
  4. Apply for business accelerators/incubators for your early-stage startups. Most accelerators involve travelling to the base for 3-6 months and are offered by several countries. Check some out here or here.
  5. Get a visa as an Intra-company transferee if you work for an international employer – even some African countries apply here.
  6. Get a Tier 2 (Health and Care) visa with a job offer from the NHS or related organisation, are eligible and qualified as a doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional.
  7. Get a domestic employee visa if your employer is migrating to a foreign country. USUKUAE, etc.
  8. If you are a pastor/missionary, you can get a temporary religious worker visa for a lot of countries. The UK and US are some countries that allow this.
  9. Get non-immigrant visa as an Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement, Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of an Entertainment Group (with Int’l recognition of sustained performance), Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group) {under exchange program or to teach, coach or perform under a culturally unique program etc or persons providing essential services to such persons. E.g. in France.
  10. Get a visa as a freelancer or remote worker in countries such as in GermanyDubai and Italy, etc.
  11. Apply for a business visa as a representative of an overseas business if you’re either: the sole representative of an overseas business planning to set up either a foreign branch or wholly-owned subsidiary or an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment abroad.

As an investor

  1. Investor visa allows you to live or get citizenship in certain countries if you invest a certain amount of money in business (usually $50k and above). Available in a lot of countries like the UKUS,
  2. Paid citizenship where you just “pay” the governments an amount of money as a form of investment in the country and they offer you citizenship in exchange. Popular in Caribbean countries such as St Kitts and Nevis, Cyprus, Malta. See here and here.
  3. You can buy property in certain countries to get a permanent residency status. See more info, or here.
  4. Some countries let you set up an investment vehicle where you use them as your corporate headquarters for your company or startup, allowing you to spend extended periods there with your family. See more here or here.

As a tourist

  1. Nigerians can apply for visas to every single country in the world. There are no restrictions or sanctions (that I am aware of). The process for visa application differs from country to country, but you can plan to visit a country first before deciding to relocate temporarily or permanently. Some ways of applying are: for tourism, business, medical treatment, to get married, visit family.
  2. We have visa-free travel to 50+ countries, most of them allowing you to visit as a tourist. Please do not attempt to work on a tourist visa. Every country has its process to convert from a tourist to a work visa so research the specific country you are interested in. See countries you can travel visa-free or obtain visa on arrival as a Nigerian passport holder here and here.

To just relocate/ Japa

  1. Apply to become a permanent resident of a country if your qualifications and experience meet the labour demands of that country. Canada is the poster child for all things migration via a points-based system, but it is not the only country where you can do this. The UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada are the four most common points-based immigration systems. Read more here and here
  2. File for residency by getting engaged and planning to marry, or better still, already married to a citizen of another country. Most countries in the world do this.
  3. Get a refugee or humanitarian visa (asylum) if you are subject to persecution in your home country or you face substantial discrimination or human rights abuses.
  4. Get a family visa as a spouse, parent or child of a person who is a citizen or has a visa in some countries such as the US, Canada, UK.
  5. Apply for a Global Talent visa to live or work in the UK if you’re a leader or potential leader in one of the following fields: academia or research, arts and culture, digital technology. You can apply for permanent residency after that.

Source: Nairametrics


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