Two things are never debated in Nigeria – the supremacy of Jollof rice and the importance of family. Nigerians are family-oriented and often share a desire to be close to their loved ones. The desire to be with loved ones abroad is common among many Nigerians, especially with the increasing migration rate.
I had a classmate in secondary school, her name was Naomi. The first day I spoke to Naomi was on one of our school’s open days. After spending half of the term missing my parents, finally seeing my mom was a relief. From the bubbly waves of laughter that echoed through the school’s hallways, it was obvious that other kids were happy to see their parents, too. But not Naomi. She was sitting in the corner of the staff room with no parent in sight. “Poor girl”, my mother said.
I decided to walk up and ask her why she was alone. She told me that she had not seen her parents in almost four years because they were in the UK. Every other important day of the school calendar was the same for Naomi. Sad face and no parents. But four years ago, I saw a picture of Naomi and her parents on Facebook. “Finally reunited”, she wrote under the post, I was as happy as I could be for her.
If you, like Naomi, dream of reuniting with your family members abroad, this blog post will guide you through how that dream can be made possible.
Family Reunification Visas
To help Nigerians get the chance to live close to their loved ones who have left the country, many countries, including Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, offer family reunification visas. These visas give family members who are eligible to be reunited with their relatives.
Step 1: Determine Eligibility
To apply for a family reunification visa, you first need to find out if you or your family member is eligible for the visa. Every country has its own eligibility criteria, so if it’s the UK your parents moved to 4 years ago, you will need to find out the specific requirements of the USA.
Step 2: Gather Necessary Documents
Once you’ve confirmed you are eligible for the visa, the next step is to gather the important documents. This often includes proof of your relationship with the family member abroad, financial statements, and medical records.
Step 3: Begin the Application Process
Once you’ve gathered all the required documents, it’s time to start the visa application process. Try not to ignore deadlines, fees, and any additional requirements. If you ever get confused about any part of your application, seek professional advice.
Family reunification is a journey filled with hope, love, and determination. It’s about bridging the miles that separate us from our loved ones and building a future together. While the immigration rules may seem complicated, many Nigerian families like Naomi’s family have successfully reunited, and you can too. Take the first step, gather your documents, and embark on this beautiful journey of staying close to the ones who matter most.