Have japa plans for 2023? These are 5 countries to consider

Eberechukwu Etike
Have japa plans for 2023? These are 5 countries to consider
Have japa plans for 2023? These are 5 countries to consider

Several Nigerians are beginning to make plans for 2023, and for thousands, if not millions of them, ‘Japa’ is one of their top priorities.

I mean, migrating from the country in search of greener pastures has been the trend for a long time. Some people have even changed career paths and nurtured the idea of furthering their education because it gives them a better opportunity to compete in the global market.

However, for those who are undecided about which country to move to, either for education or for skilled jobs, or simply as an entrepreneur looking to do business in another country, we have you covered.

In this article, we have curated the countries you might want to consider, other than the USA, the UK, and Canada, which are the most popular countries on the list of people seeking to japa. From student migration opportunities to talent opportunities, job opportunities, and entrepreneur opportunities, these selected countries have something for everyone.

Read Also: Japa: 4 not-so-popular countries with exciting prospects for tech bros

Here are 5 countries to consider for your 2023 japa plans

New Zealand

Have japa plans for 2023? These are 5 countries to consider- New Zealand
Have japa plans for 2023? These are 5 countries to consider- New Zealand

If you want to live in a country with stunning natural scenery and favourable weather, you should consider New Zealand – an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. English is one of three official languages in New Zealand, along with Te Reo Māori (the Māori language) and New Zealand Sign Language.

The nation welcomes tourists, entrepreneurs, students, and other people worldwide. There are several options available for individuals interested in moving to New Zealand. Some of them include;

Study visa

In New Zealand, education is relatively cheap. You can get access to quality education for a very affordable price. According to Excel Education, New Zealand is 20% cheaper compared to Australia and 50% cheaper compared to the US and UK. The icing on the cake is that the government is also a big fan of scholarships. 

Also, when applying for a student study visa, there are different schemes for partners, spouses, and even guardians/parents for children under 17.

Other visa options

There are other various visa options for individuals who do not wish to Japa using the study route.

  • Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa: If you want to live in New Zealand permanently and have tangible skills, especially in an area with a skill shortage. With this option, you can live, work, study in New Zealand and bring your entire family.
  • Entrepreneur work visa: This is for business owners who want to start their business in New Zealand. The option also includes relocation for family members as well.
Cost of living in New Zealand

Technically, it depends on your salary and the city you intend to live. However, the average cost of living, in general, may be slightly high for some. For an individual, the cost of living ranges from NZ$2,509 to NZ$4,000.

This includes rent because it is paid weekly there. However, you can earn more than NZ$4,500 with a country’s median hourly income of $27 and a time base of 40 hours per week. So you may wish to plan your finances better.

Although, the best bet is to find cities where the cost of living is lesser, cities like Napier, Porirua, Hastings, Wanaka, and Avarua, where the cost of living is approximately NZ$1,400 – NZ$1,600.

In addition, according to New Zealand Shores, your family may be entitled to public-funded healthcare, and children aged 5-18 may be allowed to attend free public school. This can help save up costs.

Job opportunities in New Zealand

Finding work is not particularly simple in any country, and it may be more difficult for immigrants. However, New Zealand is a promising destination because, according to Statistics, its unemployment rate was 3.2% in February 2022.

Also, with the different visa schemes, it is evident that the government of New Zealand seeks to attract potential skilled employees from other nations to fill the gap, especially in some booming sectors. This would mean improved career possibilities for foreign workers.

Read Also: The Japa conversation: is it better to leave Nigeria or stay back?

Norway

Have japa plans for 2023? These are 5 countries to consider- Norway
Have japa plans for 2023? These are 5 countries to consider- Norway

Another great country to consider adding to your Japa list is Norway. Norway is a Scandinavian country with beautiful weather, mountains, glaciers, and deep coastal fjords. The largest and most famous city is Oslo, the capital, which is a city of green spaces and museums. Since the turn of the century, immigration has accounted for more than half of Norway’s population growth.

The nation is particularly famous for welcoming business owners, skilled workers, and investors. You can decide to move to Norway with the student visa option also.

Study visa

With this Norweigian student visa, you can work in Norway, and if you stay for more than a year, you are eligible to be enrolled under the National Insurance Scheme. Also, this visa allows you to become eligible for a Norway Family Visa if you seek to bring dependents. Isn’t that great?

Not to mention that the public schools in Norway offer free education even for international students.

Visa options

The Norwegian government has some amazing visa options outside the student visa. Some of them you might want to consider include:

  • Skilled Worker Visa: You need to secure a job in Norway and have the necessary skill set and educational experience to qualify for this visa.
  • Self-employment Visa: This is very similar to the skilled worker visa; the difference is that you must be self-employed, have a sole proprietorship business, and have the skills to ensure your business thrives in Norway.
  • Seasoned worker: This is open to people who wish to work for a limited period in the country. You must receive an employment offer and confirmation from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) to apply.
  • Job Seekers Visa: More like a residence permit. It gives you a 6 month window period to get a job in the country.
Cost of living

Well, Norway is relatively expensive. However, the economy is very favourable, and the jobs pay well, so salaries are higher, offsetting expenses. You need to find the best location to live and be financially capable.

Typically, you should budget between 20,000 and 40,000 NOK (2,000-4,000 USD) per month as a single person, especially considering that the average national rent is 8,740- 10,000 NOK (863-988 USD).

Not to fear, though, as Norway’s average monthly wage rose to 35,000 NOK – 52, 540 NOK (3,493- 5,193 USD) in the second quarter of 2022.

There is also an affordable healthcare system and insurance, especially for younger people like children and/or nursing/pregnant mothers.

Job opportunities

There are job opportunities in Norway open for even well-skilled immigrants. According to Target Jobs, the Norwegian workforce has a particular demand for skilled workers in sectors like nursing, medicine, tourism, engineering, oil and gas, the fishing industry, building and construction, IT, communications, and so on.

So, if you are well-skilled in these fields, you may want to consider this country. Also, since it is a competitive market even with the locals, learning the basics of the Norwegian language in combination with the English language and your skillset/experience will give you an advantage.

Estonia

Have japa plans for 2023? These are 5 countries to consider- Estonia
Have japa plans for 2023? These are 5 countries to consider- Estonia

Estonia may not be a famous nation in this part of the world, and many Japa-hopefuls may be sleeping on it. However, it has all the benefits that anyone wishing to further their education, develop their career, or live outside Nigeria would enjoy. The European nation boasts a low cost of living, various job and business prospects, and superb educational institutions.

Study visa

Estonia has a world-class education system. It is also part of the Bologna process and Erasmus program, which signifies that education is a priority in the country.

Estonian visa application is relatively easier compared to the more popular countries. As a Nigerian student, you will apply for a D-visa if the stay exceeds 3 months. However, once it exceeds 12 months, you must apply for the Estonia residence permit for the remainder of your time in Estonia.

Other visa options

There is a growing technological advancement in Estonia, which extends to some of the visa options you might want to consider.

  • E-residency: This is a digital identity and status for entrepreneurs that the government has provided that grants access to Estonia’s open business environment.
  • Digital Nomad: A visa option for remote workers and freelancers to stay in Estonia for up to a year. So, you are good to go once you can independently work from a location.
Cost of living

Compared to the United States, Estonia has a 24.1% lower cost of living. the average rent in Estonia is 65.1% less than in the US.

The average cost of living for a single person is less than 1,100€. This might seems like a lot, but it is still lower than the average salary in the country, which is 1,200- 1,500€ per month.

So you need to work hard and make more money, or you can try out other cheaper cities, like Viljandi, whose cost of living for a single person is slightly above 700€ per month.

Also, for healthcare, if you are an expatriate residing in Estonia or have an Estonian employer, you are eligible for health insurance from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF) as long as you pay taxes to the government.

Job opportunities

There is no denying that Estonia offers many prospects for foreigners, and if you are in the right industry, you have a decent chance of finding employment there. Compared to Nigeria’s 33% unemployment rate, its rate is 5.6%.

There are plenty of jobs that only require a good command of the English language, especially in the IT sector and finance sectors. You might also want to consider TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) jobs, given that it’s not an English-speaking nation.

Read Also: How famous TikToker, Yinka Owate japa-ed to the UK and got her groove back

Denmark

Have japa plans for 2023? These are 5 countries to consider- Denmark
Have japa plans for 2023? These are 5 countries to consider- Denmark

If you didn’t know, Denmark is considered one of the happiest countries in the world. This is unsurprising, thanks to excellent healthcare, education, and work-life balance. The European nation is undoubtedly an excellent option to consider adding to your japa list because it also boasts a low crime rate.

Study visa

Speaking of top-notch education, Denmark has many universities in the world’s top academic ranking. So you may want to consider the student visa option.

As an international student, many perks can help better your experience, like the free medical care you are entitled to. Your family can also apply for a Denmark family visa and stay as long as you are.

Visa options

Applying for a Danish visa is relatively quick as long as you meet the requirements. Some of the visa options include:

  • The Positive List: This is for skilled workers, especially in sectors like Engineering, Healthcare, IT, and Education where there is a skill shortage.
  • Fast-Track Scheme Visa: For highly qualified employees who can land a job with a certified company in Denmark.
  • Self-Employment Visas: These are for individuals who wish to work independently.
  • The Start-Up Denmark Visa: This is for entrepreneurs who wish to set up a business in Denmark.
Cost of living

Understanding Denmark’s average cost of living can help determine the lifestyle you can maintain there.

Although, living in Denmark, especially in the larger cities, might be a little pricey. A single individual’s average cost of living is around DKK 11,000 – DKK 17,000.

However, Denmark’s employment pays well, which should offset the high living expense. An average salary in Denmark is about DKK 45,481 per month before taxes and DKK 28,000 after taxes.

Although, if you are looking to save more, you might want to consider cheaper cities like Frederikshavn and Holstebro, where the cost of living for a single individual is around DKK 7,700 to DKK 8,000.

Job opportunities

The Danish job market might be challenging for foreigners, but there are several opportunities for skilled professionals. Sectors include science and engineering, education, management, finance, healthcare, IT, and law. Learning Danish will also be an advantage in the job market.

Additionally, be open to investigating the fields with a shortage of skilled workers because that may seem like the ideal fit for you.

Austria

Have japa plans for 2023? These are 5 countries to consider- Austria
Have japa plans for 2023? These are 5 countries to consider- Austria

Austria is considered a country with a high quality of life. From excellent healthcare to top-notch educational systems and a great stance on human rights. Why shouldn’t this be on your Japa list? There are several options to migrate to Austria, and getting a degree from an Austrian university is one of the easiest ways.

Study visa

Austria’s universities have a reputation for excellence that is unmatched for such a small country. If you choose to study here, you can be sure that you’ll receive an excellent education because many of them place highly in worldwide university rankings.

It is also very affordable compared to other nations in Europe. For the student visa (Visa D), you may study for up to six months at an Austrian university or college. Then, to extend your stay abroad, you must apply for student residency permits.

Visa/Permits options
  • Red-White-Red Card permit: This work permit and residence permit allows its holder to stay and work in Austria for up to 2 years. It is open to highly qualified workers, skilled workers in unskilled occupations, etc. With this option, you can bring your family to live and work for up to 2 years.
  • Austrian Job Seeker Visa: This allows you to stay in Austria for 6 months while you search for employment. Only highly skilled individuals can apply for a job seeker visa.
Cost of living

Austria also has a high cost of living, especially regarding housing. The cost of living for a single person is estimated at $1463, including rent which is almost $800.

However, before you make plans, you might need to consider looking at locations that best fit your budget and way of life.

Fortunately, many companies consider the cost of living in Austria when offering salaries, particularly to immigrants. Although, the average salary is slightly above €2,067 – €2,300. So, try your best to land a good-paying job, and you are good to go.

You can also check out some cheaper cities like Leoben and Wels. In these cities, a person’s living cost is €1,000 – €1,100.

Job opportunities

Austria’s need for new talent and the hunt for skilled workers is quite strong. But it’s crucial to remember that, wherever you’re from, speaking German fluently will increase your chances of finding employment in Austria.

You should also keep in mind that the unemployment rate in Austria was 6.2% in 2022. If you compare it to Nigeria, you will notice that if you are a skilled worker, you have a good chance of landing a good job.

Good luck in finalizing your japa plans.

Please note that none of this is legal advice, and it is always best to double-check everything with an immigration lawyer from the country you plan to japa to.


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