32 Ways to Legally Leave Nigeria (Non-Immigrant and Immigrant)

The circumstances around it haven’t changed much since then. While the Nigerian government claims to have ended SARS, sadly the crux of the matter which was police brutality, and a total disregard for the value of the life of Nigerians still exist…

I love Nigeria, foolishly and undeserved, yes, but I love this country. The last 3 weeks have shown that most of you do too!

We can not and we will not all leave.

But part of the freedom that should exist is the freedom for everyone to do what they like, within the law.

So I’m keeping my word and presenting some “Ways to Japa”. Not cos I want you to, but as knowledge is power, you have the power to start your own research if you want to.

CAVEAT: I am not an expert, and will not answer any questions. PLEASE I am not an immigration expert or consultant (I am likely not your friend), so please don’t DM me with questions about this. Search the internet yourself please. I mean this.

Finally, lets build this country together, lets demand for better from our government and leaders.

But if you need some time to get some air abroad, and are lawfully qualified, I present some ways to Japa!

It is broken down for students, workers, investors, tourists and migration.
You can Legally Leave Nigeria as a Student
Student visa for undergraduates. Some countries offer free/cheap education. Countries such as France, Germany, and Nordic countries. See here, here and here.
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.
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.
Vocational training for specialized skills. E.g. engineering, manufacturing, etc
Apply for international internships (undergraduate and graduate), most foreign job boards have an internships section. See examples here, here and here.
Academic scholarships are available for lots of countries you can search based on course, country, amount, etc. See some here, here and here.
If you are exceptionally athletic or are good at sports played abroad, you can also apply for a sports scholarship. Here are some; Link 1, link 2, link 3.
You can also take a “gap year” from school to go work for a year or so. Here, here,and here.
Apply for social work or community scholarships such as these: See more here, here.
Apply for an Arts scholarship as an international student. See more here and here.
You can Legally Leave Nigeria as a Professional
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 Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc.
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
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
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.
Get a visa as an Intra-company transferee if you work for an international employer – even some African countries apply here.
Other Options to Leave Nigeria as a Professional
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.
You can also get a domestic employee visa if your employer is migrating to a foreign country. US, UK, UAE, etc.
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.
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. Eg in France
Get a visa as a freelancer or remote worker in countries such as in Germany, Dubai and Italy, etc.
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.
You can Legally Leave Nigeria as an Investor
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 UK, US,
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.
You can buy property in certain countries to get a permanent residency status. See more info, or here.
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.
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.
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
You can leave Nigeria by applying 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
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.
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.
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.


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