Prep to Move Abroad


Top 7 Legal Ways to Relocate Abroad


There are several ways people relocate abroad or as it’s now popularly called “JAPA” amongst some Africans. But truthfully, not all the relocation methods out there are legal. In fact, some involve taking serious risks that are not necessarily worth it.

In this quick guide, you will learn about the top 7 legal ways to relocate abroad without taking such huge risks.

What does it mean to relocate abroad legally?

The legal ways of relocating abroad involve following processes that are approved by the immigration services or government of your country.

Yes, government officials and immigration staff might ask you for a tip when processing your legal documents. Don’t panic; such experiences don’t make the process illegal.

Just take a moment to go through the relocation methods discussed below. It’s a good starting point to know if you are taking a reasonable route in your “JAPA” journey.

7 Legal Ways to Relocate Abroad

Here are the top 7 most popular legal ways of moving abroad, especially from Africa.

1. Study Visa


Applying to study in other countries has always been one of the surest legal ways to relocate abroad. For many years now, a lot of people have successfully relocated abroad through the study visa route. It is safe, legal, and easier when moving abroad to countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and Australia.

So, the simplest way to explain this is:

  • You pick a country that offers student visa
  • Apply to a preferred institution and program
  • Gain admission and process a successful relocation
  • Study for four years or less
  • Stay back and get a job or start a business in the country

Of course, the study route has its ups and downs. However, it has helped numerous brilliant minds acquire permanent residence in a foreign country after their studies.

Countries like Austria, Netherlands, Finland, and Sweden are known for allowing students on study visas to stay back for 6-12 months after their studies. You can take advantage of this “grace” to process your permanent residence or get a good job.

2. Athletics/ Sports Visa


Certain foreign countries have a special interest in sports/ athletic talents from every part of the world. Submitting immigration applications to such countries will most likely yield positive feedback and approval if you have some sort of sporting talent.

Another approach is to find foreign associations or sports clubs that are looking for talents in the type of sport you are good at. Just ensure that you do thorough research on countries that allow immigration via the sports/ athletics visa route. Meanwhile, don’t be surprised if such countries are not so popular but they offer a pretty decent life.

3. Work Visa


You can apply for a work visa to relocate abroad if you meet the requirement for employment in the desired country and role. For some countries like Germany, New Zealand, and the UK; you are expected to have secured a job or got an invitation from an employer before you can get a work visa.

The important things to note about work visas include the following:

  • Certain countries have a specific age requirement
  • Candidates are often required to have a crime-free record in their home country
  • Certain countries require that you must pass a language test
  • Candidates traveling as domestic employees must apply and fill out their visas appropriately

It is important to note that a few countries often group their desired skill set together and attach visas to each of the categories. All you need to do is carefully read and apply for the appropriate visa that suits your work needs. As a matter of fact, this is where lots of people often jeopardize their work visa processing. Try to read all the documents and requirements well to avoid errors.

4. Investors Visa


If you have the money and interest to invest in a foreign country, the investor visa is definitely a good choice you should consider. Several countries in the UK, North America, and South America are known for always showing open arms to investors from around the world.

Countries that offer investor visas often require that a prospective beneficiary should invest a specific minimum amount in their economy. The visa is also usually available to individuals looking to start or expand a business to the issuing country. Depending on the country, it is also common to see investor visas being issued to people who want to invest heavily in properties within the country.

5. Family Reunion Visa


Many first-world countries like the U.S. and Canada allow legal parents and married persons to get special visas for family members or a spouse. For example, an adult individual over 21 years in the U.S. can invite his/her parents to relocate via a family visa. Similarly, Canada recognizes as far as grandchildren in their family visa privileges.

As for married individuals applying to reunite with their spouses, the documentation process will usually require your marriage certificate to be tendered. Meanwhile, the family visa is not where the journey stops — you can go ahead to apply for residency in the country where your spouse stays.

6. Provincial Nominee Program


Specifically, Canada is a country known for running a provisional nominee program that is legal and provides relocation opportunities for selected candidates. Certain provinces in Canada often nominate qualified professionals who are skilled in engineering, health, technology, and many other fields. The main aim of the nominee program is to attract skilled individuals and talents that have good values to offer.

The main criteria for getting selected for the provincial nominee program include:

  • Employment offer (in a Canadian province)
  • Posses professional skill that’s in high demand within a specific province
  • Passed the qualification stage of an application process
  • Recently graduated from an institution in Canada

Candidates that meet the above criteria will be required to submit a fitness certificate alongside other documents as well. Then, the final selection decision will be based on the annual slots available for the province of interest.

7. Entry Points Programs/ Express Entry


This is yet another legal relocation opportunity that is commonly used for moving to Canada. It’s an express entry program offered by the Canadian government but with a lot of conditions and criteria for eligibility.

To qualify for this program; you must be young, have a minimum of two degrees, and be able to read, write, and speak the English language to IELTS standard. Every qualification you have will be recorded and calculated using a point-based system to arrive at an overall rating. Obviously, the applicants with the highest scores usually get the final access to obtain a Canadian visa under this program.

Meanwhile, other countries like the UK, Australia, and New Zealand also offer a similar program that targets individuals under the age of 55 years.

Anything else…

Yes, if you are moving abroad for work or study purposes, then you need to take extra steps to stand out quickly. Get yourself a professional LinkedIn profile and CV or Resume that is prepared and vetted by PTMA’s international team. They will also help you review up to 2 school application documents and 2 job documents. Believe it or not, you really need it.


  • What is the easiest way to relocate abroad?

The easiest relocation method for each person might vary depending on their skills and educational qualifications or desire. Regardless, the most common ways people relocate abroad include study visas, work visas, family visas, and nomination programs.

  • Which job is best in abroad?

In recent times, jobs in the field of health and cybersecurity are the most sought-after. However, some other amazing job opportunities are available in the technology, engineering, construction, and energy sector of many foreign countries. You can also look out for teaching jobs, IT jobs, financial jobs, travel and tourism jobs, business administration jobs, and project management jobs.

  • How much will it cost to relocate from Nigeria to UK?

The cost of relocating from Nigeria to the UK depends on the total number of persons involved. For a single person, an average of ₦‎17million should suffice. As for couples, they will need ₦‎21million or more.

  • How much is USA ticket from Nigeria?

Based on current records, the average price for flights from Nigeria to the United States starts at $1,294 or ₦‎996,000.

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