Are you looking at immigrating to the United States from Nigeria to start a new life? Thousands of Nigerians, like you, are looking for ways to relocate there. Indeed, there are various immigration routes that allow you to legally stay permanently in the U.S. as a Nigerian.
One of the most common ways is to obtain a green card through family sponsorship, employer sponsorship, or the diversity lottery. There are also many options that allow you to live temporarily in the USA. These include studies, temporary work, or even investor options.
In this article, I will show you the process of legally immigrating to the USA from Nigeria through the above routes. Read to the end to learn the steps you need to take in order to immigrate and gain citizenship in the United States. If you’ve got any questions, kindly drop them in the comment section below.
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How do I immigrate to the USA legally as a Nigerian?
Nigerians are highly educated people all over the world. Even in the United States, we are more educated than ordinary Americans – six out of ten Nigerians who immigrate have at least a college degree, compared to three out of ten Americans. If you are considering immigrating to the US from Nigeria, there are generally four paths, and each can help you obtain a green card:
Family visas – The Family visa route is the easiest and fastest way to relocate to the USA. Under this category, Immediate relatives of US citizens, including spouses, parents, and unmarried children under the age of 21, as well as other family members of US citizens, such as the spouse of a green card holder and biological siblings of a US citizen can be sponsored to immigrate and obtain a green card in the US.
Student visas – The F-1 student visa is another legal way to immigrate to the USA. This visa allows you to temporarily live in the United States for a defined period of time while studying at a college, or university. After your program, you will be able to work and by chance get an employer who will be able to sponsor you. You can simply ask your employer to file an EB-2 or EB-3 employment-based green card application on your behalf.
Work visas – This type of visa allows you to work in the United States. In most cases, your employer files a petition on your behalf with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and prior to traveling to the U.S., you will still need to apply for a visa. With the right job skills, you can apply for the employment-based green cards available each year.
Investment visa – If you’ve got a lot of money to invest in a business or company in the USA, this type of visa is for you. The EB-5 Visa offers you a fast route to a US Green Card (permanent residence) for a minimum $900,000 investment. A single investment includes Green Cards for an entire family, with age restrictions applying to children.
How to Apply to immigrate to the USA from Nigeria
The process for applying for a USA immigrant visa from Nigeria is generally as follows:
Step 1: First, fill out and submit the appropriate petitions and USCIS forms for the type of visa you are seeking, and create an account online.
Step 2: After that, you will get an interview notice once the application is in the CEAC system. Once you have an interview date, go for a medical exam. You are required to have medical examinations in Lagos, conducted only by doctors approved and certified by the U.S. Consulate.
Step 3: Prepare for the interview. here, the NVC will communicate which documents you need to bring to your visa interview. Kindly note that it’s important to bring all the required documents to your interview, as the immigration officer will not be able to reach a decision on your application without them.
Step 4: Attend the interview. Go for the interview and be there on time, at least 30 minutes before the time.
Step 5: If your visa application is approved after the interview, the visa will be printed on a page in your passport, allowing you to travel and enter the United States. Depending on the type of visa, you will be issued an expiration date for the authorized visa, and you must enter the United States before this date.
How much money do I need to immigrate to the USA?
You will need between $6,000 and $8,000 (₦4,591,860 to ₦6,122,480) to immigrate to the United States. The costs vary greatly because you have several immigration options for relocating to the United States. The financial requirements for each immigration program vary. Besides, the cost of your immigration may also be determined by whether or not you hire an immigration lawyer.
Can I get a USA Green Card from Nigeria?
Yes, it’s possible to get a US Green Card to migrate from Nigeria. For instance, if you have a spouse or fiancé who is a US citizen or Green Card holder, he or she can sponsor you to get a Green Card to move to the USA. In addition, A family member in the USA who’s a US citizen can sponsor immediate biological siblings or parents and unmarried children under the age of 21 to get a US Green Card.
How can I immigrate to the USA without a job offer?
You can immigrate to the US without a job either through a family green card or on a student visa. If you have a family member who is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident, they can sponsor your immigration to the United States. The process can be complicated depending on how you are related, so it is best to get the assistance of a skilled immigration Lawyer. Another way to relocate to the United States is through the study route. Many Nigerian students who studied in the United States have successfully used this route to stay there permanently.
Emmanuel Peter is the founder of Naijajapa.com. Experience gained in the Study abroad and Immigration industry since 2017. A graduate of International Relations from ABU Zaria.