If offered a choice between ₦1 million and a chance to get out of the country, the average Nigerian will instead choose to migrate. Why? Because that amount of money, while it might be a lot in other currencies, is anything but in Nigeria. Apart from that, life is hard in the country, with problems like poverty, corruption, lawlessness, etc making the simple task of survival a daunting one. The educational system is also in shambles, with government universities trying to outdo both Thor and Zeus in a game of How many strikes can we give a student within four years?
As it is, even you that is reading this won’t mind to japa if you know the easiest countries to migrate to from Nigeria. Reports have shown that Nigerians make up the largest population of migrants from the African continent who are based in developed countries. In 2016 alone, approximately 20,000 Nigerians were reported to have been involved in crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
Also, a 2020 study published by the Centre for Global Development revealed that the number of Nigerians that move overseas had jumped from 450,000 in 1990 to 1.4 million in 2019. However, this record may be higher, since there are usually no official records for all citizens.
So, are you also tired of the country? Of being stopped on the road for unwarranted searching just because you look like you have money? Do you want to migrate to a country where you don’t have to beg the government to provide basic amenities, but you don’t know which one to go to? Or is it for educational purposes? Welcome, then, to this space. There is cold Pepsi in the icebox to help you chill while you survey your options.
When analysing the process of migration from Nigeria, many analogies must be taken into consideration, which include:
- The target country’s standard of living
- Opportunity or possibility of getting a job
- Ease of setting up a business as a startup
- Ease of transportation to and within the country
- Ease of getting a visa. Better still if it is a visa-free country.
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Easiest and cheapest countries to migrate to from Nigeria
A country on the eastern coast of Central America, with Caribbean Sea shorelines to the east and dense jungles to the west, Belize is one of the easiest countries to migrate to from Nigeria. It is also an English-speaking country, which means one can easily blend in with the natives.
Migrating to Belize is very easy. First, you will need to obtain a 30-day visit visa, which you then have to renew every thirty days for the next 50 weeks. After this, you will then need to pay thousands of dollars to secure your permanent residency, based on your nationality. In the meantime, however, you can also secure a work permit, so you don’t necessarily have to spend 50 weeks without a job.
The country also makes it easy for immigrants to choose the type of residence that works best for them. You can also apply for citizenship after residing in the country for five years and having proof of sufficient financial resources. In addition, the cost of living in Belize is low and it has a diverse population.
Ecuador is a country on the South American continent with Spanish as its official language and is one of the cheapest and best countries for immigrants due to the quality of life and low cost of living.
The Ecuador Retirement Visa, which allows you to stay in Ecuador for your entire life, is the easiest way to migrate from Nigeria to Ecuador. It is a temporary residence visa that permits immigrants to settle in the country for the long term, and can be converted to a permanent residence visa with time. It is the most common type of residency visa that immigrants apply for.
Contrary to its name, the retirement visa has nothing to do with your age or you being retired; all you need is a steady and provable income that can sustain you. And if peradventure, you don’t qualify for it, you can still apply for a professional visa.
Perhaps, you want to go big to Europe, but not too big to the likes of France and the UK, so your target is a cheap European country with a low cost of living and a high standard of living. You should consider Georgia then.
The cost of living in the country’s capital Tbilisi and its other smaller cities are significantly lower than in most European countries. The transportation system is good and the costs are affordable. Also, safety is guaranteed, and there is no racial harassment.
However, the drawback to staying in Tbilisi is that it has a very high unemployment rate, so unless you’re an expert in Information Technology or a software engineer, you may find it difficult to get a job. However, their school fees are affordable, so you can choose to enroll in their various colleges.
The worst enemies you should watch out for in Georgia are immigrant scammers who masquerade as students. As you probably guessed, some of them are even Nigerians. Now you know why they say Naija no dey carry last.
Situated in North America and sharing fences with the United States, Mexico offers a low cost of living, as well as great food and culture. You can procure an FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple) visa that will permit you to stay in the country for six months at just $21, and when it expires, you can easily renew it repeatedly and limitlessly to continue staying in the country.
A sovereign island country and city-state in maritime Southeast Asia, Singapore is regarded as one of the global financial centres of the Asian continent, even with its less than 6 million population. Ranked 5th in the human development index, the quality of living in Singapore is high, and they also welcome immigrants.
However, you will need an employment permit to get started, and it can take as much as ten years to attain citizenship. But if you are there for business or you want to set up a company of your own, you can initiate your startup and procure an entry pass to start living in the country.
Best countries to migrate to from Nigeria
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise, given the recent buzz that has been surrounding the country in recent times, immigration-wise. Canada ranks high among the best countries for Nigerians to relocate to as it offers high-quality education, as well as a high-quality living. It also provides its citizens with essential healthcare services.
With official languages of English and French, Canada has made it easy for immigrants, especially skilled ones, to gain entry. This means that you should have no problem migrating if you’re a Nigerian with relevant skills and the right academic and job qualifications. You can either go through the federal express entry migration system or via the provincial nomination system.
To migrate to Canada, you have to write and pass the IELTS exams. The process is not particularly cheap, but it is worth it. If you’re a skilled immigrant who wants to settle in Canada permanently, you should check out Canada’s skilled worker’s express entry program.
Moreover, you can also migrate to Canada as a student, get a job when you’re done with school and then apply for permanent residence.
Another way is to secure a job with a Canadian employer. Getting a permanent residency is also easier if you obtained your high school and college certificate in English Language, and you have a master’s degree. Obtaining Canadian citizenship takes approximately three years.
You might be thinking, But it’s too far! Well, that’s part of what makes it so great. With a population of 24 million people, the country is famous for its slightly harsh weather conditions, which has placed it at certain disadvantages as it lacks certain elements, like skilled labour. Therefore, just like Canada, the country is always looking for skilled workers from different parts of the world to boost its industry.
As long as what you seek to do is legal and will help the country’s growth, Australia will welcome you with open arms, and will present boundless opportunities to you as an immigrant. And even though they have tightened up their borders of late, and the price of processing their visa is on the high side, they still record a high inflow of immigrants from different parts of the world, Nigeria included.
So, don’t worry about the distance or the weather; the country offers quality life to all, irrespective of race or religious background. Think of it as getting honey; you just have to brave the bees.
Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, with a good quality of life and a low rate of unemployment, with a population of about 8.5 million people. The country’s official languages include French, German, Romansh, and Italian, so you will need to be fluent in at least one.
You cannot compare the Swiss economy to that of Nigeria; it is far far better. Why do you think our leaders hide their looted money in its offshore accounts? However, it takes about 10 years to earn citizenship in Switzerland.
Countries you can travel to visa-free
If only wishes were horses. Unfortunately, staying in another country legally for an extended period of time typically requires a residence visa, no matter where you go. However, there are some that allow you to visit for a limited time before documents are required, so there is nothing stopping you from packing your bags to get some time away from your fatherland.
Barbados is an Eastern Caribbean island that offers Nigerian passport holders six months of visa-free stay in the country. However, visitors are required to have sufficient funds to cover their stay, as well as purchase a return ticket.
This country in the region of Oceania allows visa-free entry for a period of four months for Nigerian passport holders, but there may be a need for a visitor’s permit.
Thanks to the Commonwealth organisation for uniting Nigeria and Dominica to a common ground. This Caribbean country offers Nigerians entry visa-free for 21 days, but you must show your return ticket.
Vanuatu is another Oceanian country that offers Nigerian passport holders free entry for 30 days without a visa. However, to gain entry into the country, you will need to provide a return ticket, as well as proof of sufficient funds for yourself.
Located in the Asian continent, Bangladesh is another non-African country that allows visa-free entry for Nigerians, which is then issued on arrival for a period of 30 days.
Best countries to immigrate with your family
Located in Central Europe and known for its mountains and lakes, Slovenia has a relaxed policy when it comes to the reunification of family members. And while the application has certain terms and conditions, when you compare it with that of other European countries, you will appreciate the country.
The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana, and its currency is the Euro just like many other European countries. See the terms and conditions of the family reunification policy of Slovenia.
Known for its renaissance architecture, Belgium is located in Western Europe and is the current headquarters for the European Union and NATO. The capital of Belgium is Brussels, and its official languages are German, Dutch, and French.
If you’re a business entrepreneur or an investor, Belgium offers you residence by investment. The country also has a residence program that makes it easy to permanently immigrate there with your family, with many advantages that include:
- There is no limitation on your number of stays for one year
- There are no regulations against dual citizenship.
- The business environment in Belgium is very agreeable