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Aunty Bella: My UK Visa runs out in a Month…Do I Move Back to Nigeria’s Bad Economy to Hustle or Stay?



Photo credit: © Mrslevite | - Young Woman Photo

Aunty Bella is our  agony aunt column on BellaNaija. We launched this column in the early days of BN and periodically feature issues sent in by BN readers. 

We hope the BN family can offer insightful advice.


Hi Bella,

Thank you so much for this segment . I’m just gonna go straight to the topic. Anonymous please.

I really need advise from my BN Family. I studied in the UK, had my first degree in international travel management and also my second degree in business administration. I have been in the U.K. For five years in total. My visa runs out exactly one month from now.

My question is would you guys advice me to stay and hustle to stay back and do some runs for my papers? Or I return to Nigeria?

My parents are quite comfortable back home, they have their businesses and they don’t rely on the government at all. Above all, I was able to save 2 million Naira in total. What business would you advice me to venture? I’m so confused.

I just resigned from my job last week because of visa issues and everyone keeps saying the economy is really bad. I’m just super confused.

Please help. It’s quite urgent please.


  1. Bleed Blue

    September 16, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Out of all the parameters I’ve seen in your story, the one that sticks out is your visa running out in one month.

    Dearie, if you haven’t managed to extend your stay at this critical stage, then it appears you’re planning to live there in some illegal or quasi-illegal immigrant (application pending) capacity.
    In this instance, you and I both know life will become crazy. Gone are the days when UK employers were lax regarding immigration status.

    When you say “hustle to stay back”, have you thought through what that means in reality?

    Your parents status, your N2m, the bad economy, business ventures etc…I cannot even comment on… because for me, that immigration situation is the chief decision maker for you on whether or not to stay in the UK.

    If you’re not able to sort out your visa within the month, sweetie don’t ruin the good record you have there, you need to leave.

    • LEM

      September 16, 2016 at 10:21 am

      @Bleed Blue, my sentiments exactly. That visa issue sticks out like a sore thumb to me mehn. Yes, the economy is bad. I will not advice anyone who is relatively col comfortable overseas to come back now. But bro or sis, as Blue Bleed has said, if you cannot sort yur visa issues before it expires please quietly just come back o. The nightmare you will face as an illegal person eh, the Naija economy will look like paradise to you.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      September 16, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      I think she really needed to have posed this question to an immigration lawyer.

      And if she’s in England, there are quite a number of Nigerian (& Asian) immigration specialists who can look into her case and hopefully, give her honest-to-goodness advice.

      First step in determining where you stand regarding a visa is to get hold of the rules yourself and study them. Second step is to ask around for recommendations and do your own search online for a reputable (which, by the way, isn’t always synonymous with “expensive”) immigration firm and then book an appointment to have a very open conversation about your legal options.

      In February of 2010, this was exactly where I was. Still working but with only 2 months of visa time left, thinking of whether to head back home but knowing I wasn’t ready… and the UKBA had just introduced the Tier 1 system. Thank God for (1) a boss who was patient as I wondered about my next steps, and (2) an unexpectedly honest conversation that was had that same month with someone who gave me the name of a lawyer she used. Boss stayed patient after my application was refused (Stephen, you were a star), I decided not to pay the lawyer for the appeal and instead read through the rules myself and 4 months later, God did everything else at the Appeal Tribunal. Of course, now I hear that appeals take much longer (sometimes over a year… God will judge these UKBA officers… and the appeal decision usually confirms the first application was incorrectly refused), so I have no idea how things would have worked out if I’d had to tell Stephen it was going to be a full year before getting a decision… in other words, I won’t advise that route if you’re not resolute about taking all the risks involved (i.e. giving up a job & having no source of income).

      @The anonymous poster, wavering between decisions won’t help you take any determined steps. If you think you still want to explore your options for staying. 1 month may just be enough time for that discussion with someone who knows enough about immigration rules to advise you on what you can (legally) do to extend your time. If you think your heart is pulling you home, don’t spend money on a process that’ll sap precious resources (& time) you need to plan your relocation. I pray you find the end that’s the best one for you. xx

    • Hmm

      September 17, 2016 at 1:32 am

      You have spilt a lot about your private life online,nne I don’t think is a good idea.There is a limit in everything….Just saying though.

    • Maguim

      September 17, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      To @hmmmm
      I just cant with this african mentality….
      Mz didnt just spilt a bit of her life just for the sake of it…
      Someone is in a situation she found herself in with a while back
      Out of compassion, she decided to share how she went through it….
      This african mentality of ours should stop please…
      When we see someone going thru smth, if we know a way out we should please speak up….it doesnt cost anything
      What did she loose now in sharing the knowledge she has…
      To Mz Socially Awkward, God bless abundantly for sharing your “story”.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      September 17, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      @Hmmm, I take your point and appreciate where you’re coming from (the Internet is, after all, very open space).

      All the same, I wouldn’t agree that it’s over-sharing. I’m long past that particular juncture of my life now but that period of uncertainty, especially when the first application was refused, taught me a valuable lesson about empathising with people in that “1 leg in, 1 leg out” situation. I understand the poster’s pressure point as I was also guilty of burying my head in the sand as my FT visa kept drawing to its end date and I knew a problem was looming. It was God that showed me how to finally ask that friend for a lawyer. Plus… I was only contracting in Stephen’s team at the time and fully aware that the company could terminate my role with just a week’s notice (& this is why I’ll always love my old boss – he firmly had my back once I started sharing all my efforts to transition to a Tier 1 visa).

      So this poster’s story is very familiar to me..,. And for that reason, I was encouraged to share mine with her & any others wondering how to take the next step up from just wondering what to do.

      @Magium, thank you.

  2. AceOfSpades

    September 16, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Any business in Nigeria right now is a risk because you charge customers based on market price today and by tomorrow, dollar has increased and price have changed (increased) and then you can’t go back to tell the customer. This one they are destroying shops/offices anyhow. I’ll advise you stay put and try to build a marketbase from there first before coming.

    Unless you want to be a fashion designer (which is a fancy name for tailor) and even at that, your office won’t be in a good area with 2m because 1m alone is like set up cost without equipments. If there was a good business that would bring good result, no one will give it to you the idea on bellanaija.

    Conclusion: Stay put in UK or apply for a job at your parent’s company if and when you get back.

    • Pompey

      September 16, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Stay put in the UK TO DO WHAT?
      In one month, she won’t have the right to live or work there ooooooooh! Did you not see that part? Living under the radar in a foreign country is hell!

    • Nene

      September 16, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Which market base? Stay put where? How?

    • AceOfSpades

      September 16, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      If I said stay put, of course it means trying to extend her stay too. Her write up shows she has an option. If she doesn’t have an option, she wouldn’t be writing this but be clearly asking for business ideas directly. I’ve only been to UK to 2 weeks, I don’t know how the long stay visa works is why I said that.

  3. Ify

    September 16, 2016 at 10:04 am

    If there are options to remain there LEGALLY, please do. Nigeria is not smiling at all o.

    • addizy

      September 16, 2016 at 10:14 am

      i agree with ify oo. Nnem if you can renew your visa within a month then please stay ooo. This country is not smiling. Pple are looking for a way out sef.

  4. Buks

    September 16, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Come back, suffer and hustle in Nigeria in the comfort of family and friends who will help you laugh through the tough times, instead of suffering from psychological trauma hustling illegally there. Been there, done that…everywhere is suffer suffer

    • Nene

      September 16, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Gbam. The family structure in Nigeria and feeling comfortable around people who are like you helps.

    • Bee

      September 16, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      I love you !!! I am an immigrant here in Canada (legally) the stress of being here alone….not to talk of illegally. Nah!!!!!! You can’t trade the family support for anything in this world.

  5. Ann

    September 16, 2016 at 10:08 am

    You honestly should have done the runs a long time ago why wait till this critical period? Whatever you do sha, don’t be illegal. Don’t spoil the good travel history you’ve managed to build.

  6. Sonia Paloma

    September 16, 2016 at 10:09 am

    I made this comment earlier in previous thread and just decide to paste it here;

    Everyone saying stay back do not know what it is like for someone living in Europe without papers or i guess many people think it is that easy.
    Honey, a little advice coming from someone who has witnessed a lot of people go through hell and back just to get a stay and at the end of the day most of them do not succeed. Do not be a victim of wasting that 2million you have on trying to pay to get your papers because as it is now in UK, you have got 5% chance of getting it. You stated your visa runs out in one month? that is too damn short to start hustling for papers. lets face the truth, it is impossible (except a miracle happens) . Kindly move back home and try invest with that money. Like you said your parents live comfortably, stay with them and plan gradually. It is never easy but with Gods grace you will get there.

  7. NewMrs

    September 16, 2016 at 10:14 am

    I currently live in the UK but when I finished my studies a couple years ago I struggled with a similar dilemma.. the only difference is I had stay here but only wanted to relocate to Naija for fun and adventure… The relocation just never happened due to situations of life. Lemme advise you based on my little knowledge:

    You see, back home you have the support of your parents, friends and family members… Nigeria’s economic problems is nothing compared to the suffering you will experience in UK especially as you have no papers. The law here makes it almost impossible to stabilize after your studies .. they no longer give stay to students and your status will not allow you to get decent work or accommodation.

    Do you know UK landlords now check your residency status and income before they can offer you a place to stay? You are no longer a student neither are you working. Please think twice about how you would survive here, not to talk of the loneliness, cold and boredom of the West. The other way for you to settle here might be through marrying a citizen.. even this is under scrutiny by government too!

    Above all, if you are a believer, pray to God for guidance. Maybe your destiny is in another country sef … I know people that have finished studies and gone off to other third-world countries for humanitarian work, some have used their savings to travel the world! … don’t limit urself to only Nigeria or UK.

    All the best!

    • Nene

      September 16, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Marrying a citizen might be the easiest option. But she should’ve planned this a long time ago if she really wanted to stay back.

    • truth juice

      September 16, 2016 at 11:58 pm

      Your comment reminded me of the proposal with sandra bullock, I VOTE COME TO NAIJA ITS HARD BUT IF YOU WORK A BUSINESS YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY AROUND YOU, THAT ALL THE SUPPORT YOU NEED. Am in the entertainment business and as hard as everything is there is still a dozen event to plan and a dozen vendors to pay and the money might trickle in but at least it comes.

    • anon

      September 16, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Even marrying a citizen is no longer as easy…you both have to live alone in a one bed flat minimum (think of your rent) and both of you have to earn a minimum combined income of £18,600 (plus £4000 for each kid up to a certain number of children) before you can be eligible for a 30 months visa. You then have to renew for another 30 months before you get an ILR. . It isn’t too late to get papers here as you can only apply to renew a visa from 28 days to the expiration of your current visa. However, if you were gonna runs it, you should have started laying the foundation months ago…Sisteh…I tell you solemnly…go back to naija…it’ll be rough but you’d survive.

  8. Lauryn

    September 16, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Just move back. No amount of comfort is worth forever looking over your shoulder. If your visa is expiring and there is NO LEGITIMATE way of extending it, my darling it’s not worth it. MOVE BACK. I always say that the same flood that drowned the world is the same flood that floated Noah’s Ark. Where is your faith sister? In this bad economy, some people are making more money than they have ever made in their lives. Have faith, move back and ask God to show you a way out. MY darling, it might not be easy at the beginning but you have to have courage and faith. MOVE BACK!!

  9. Adviser

    September 16, 2016 at 10:16 am

    The problem is, you yourself know that you are going back home, you just want total strangers to corroborate what you want to do. Anyone who wants to hustle for papers doesn’t wait till one month before visa expiring. they’ll have sorted themselves out since. I am guessing you were on a PSW visa and your employer is not going to sponsor your Tier 2 visa, so you would have to go home, because that’s the only visa category that involved schooling, and it was abolished like 3 years, and it is a visa that lasts 2 years so your story and timeline don’t match.

    One month before your visa expires, if you marry an EU citizen, which is what i am guessing you want to do, UKBA will smell a big fat, dead rat, so don’t even try it. Say your goodbyes, tidy up your affairs, pack your load and go home. If you are desperate to go back to the Europe again, because frankly Nigeria is a mess right now, jejely go home and apply for another degree in Germany, France, Finalnd, Norway or The Netherlands. these countries offer free tuition for masters for international students.

    Germany i know needs you to put some money about 9000 euros into a german account for the duration of your degree which you can only withdraw a max amount every month for upkeep, I don’t know what the requirements of other countries say, all i know is, tuition is free for international students and the degrees are taught in English. Work after school laws in these countries are waaaaaaay more favourable than the uk. That’s what a friend did after her PSW expired and her employers refused her tier 2 because they didn’t think she was worth getting the license to sponsor her. She used her savings to apply for another masters in germany while she was still in the uk. Packed her kaya to nigeria, got her student visa to germany and travelled. All this happened within a few months. She has finished with a second masters and and is working now, in an even bigger company (international) than the small local company job she was managing in the UK after her masters. She’s even engaged to a hot German, wedding in December and she’s very happy there. She changed her story. UKBA doesn’t have the right to hold your destiny. Canada is an option too, but two year masters is looooong thing

    To be as educated as you are and be an illegal immigrant or hustle for papers is a big shame and disgrace to yourself and your parents hard work. You are not the kind that should stay and hustle. You sound like you are pretty young. Nigeria is hard don’t let flashy pictures on BN deceive you. It’s too late to apply for Autumn start for universities in those countries. I know because two of my cousins are in germany now for their free masters. Find out the ones who have early 2017 start in the countries listed,, and use the rest of this year to plan, apply, get admission, visa and co. by this time next year, you’ll be almost done with the degree and starting a new life in a new country. Uk be damned.

    • Bleed Blue

      September 16, 2016 at 10:47 am

      @Adviser your advice is excellent. It’s great you’ve provided all these other options for her to think about. Adviser is truly your name.

      UK is getting harsher by the minute…I mean I’ve just read @NewMrs comment where she said landlords are now checking immigration status too.
      Hian! A lot has changed in the 2 years since I moved back. Na wa!

    • Nene

      September 16, 2016 at 10:48 am

      Probably the best advice here.

    • lawee

      September 16, 2016 at 11:11 am

      Finland, France and The Netherlands are not free for international students. Stop misleading people.

    • Sayo

      September 16, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Some schools are free in Finland, France and the Netherlands. Not all. Some schools require you to pay but the tuition is so small unlike the uk, it is a viable option. Because I got people to help me when I was stuck I paid it forward by using my experience to help many people and some of them are in those countries listed. Google is free. Research yourself.

    • ola

      September 16, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      Most govt schools in france are free….check UBO in Brest, France,i know some Nigerians here doing there masters and paying just 500 euros.

    • Anonymous

      September 16, 2016 at 8:27 pm

      My darling o. god bless you. That’s how they dispense fake advice. Which Netherlands is free? you have to put up 10,500 Eur as spending money before even talking about tuition and rent. Liar.

    • Frenchgirlinthemaking

      September 18, 2016 at 9:57 am

      I kind of agree with this, at least for schools in France. Some schools are more affordable for International students who are FRENCH speakers who can attend classes in FRENCH and have written the B2 exam. This I know for a fact because I have been studying here for a while. Tuition is bloody expensive here for English speakers, especially with the recent exchange rate.

    • Sayo

      September 16, 2016 at 11:18 am

      You just told my story except the engaged to the hot German. I tell people everyday that there is life outside the uk. I was working in a bank in naija and saved like crazy for years for masters in the uk. I am from a lower middle class background so going back home wasn’t an option because I knew I would suffer. If I knew about free tuition in Germany and the Scandinavian countries I could have gone there from the beginning instead of going to the uk but that’s water under the bridge now. With my uk masters no Uk work experience and naija first degree I didn’t get the job I dreamed a uk masters would give me. I worked for a small local company not even earning up to 25k a year. After all the bills what was left. My MILLIONS that I saved for years felt like it was going down the drain. At least you have parental support. I didn’t so going back home wasn’t an option. I tried to do the marriage thing with my savings (I carried my savings culture from nigeria. When your parents don’t have money you can’t but not save) but liver no gree me to do then someone from church told me about this free masters of a thing. Luckily I still had Schengen visa from a holiday I took so I travelled to see the universities for myself and be sure the information was true and I spoke to a couple of Nigerian students there too to get a feel for the place and living in Germany. They were so supportive and kept in touch after I got back to the uk. I applied sharply when I got back and my admission letter came like a few weeks before my visa expired. I was praying that if this is my future let my admission come before I have to leave the uk as a sign that it is meant to be. The whole account thing was easy for me to do as I had been researching it and as a uk resident it wasn’t difficult. I had started selling off my things before then and moved in with a friend to save money. I bought a one way ticket to Lagos and like the story adviser shared a few months later I was in Germany. Going to school again with hope I can stay back was such a breath of fresh air from the dead end job I was doing in the uk with not that much prospects. One year flew by so fast and here I am in a job that I earn more than twice what I earned in the uk. More than twice. Germany has become my own Jerusalem. My work visa gives me access to travel anywhere in Europe. I have travelled so much it’s like a dream. I am in the uk right now for a 6 week rotation can you believe that. I am working in our uk office in a job I never got but dreamed of while in the uk. Flight, hotel and expenses paid for. I went back to my old office in Birmingham. They were shocked to hear where I work now. Some even envious and seeing the people there made me so grateful for what I have now. I live and work in Frankfurt and I love it. A little conversational in German. Don’t see the uk as the gateway to paradise and risk doing something illegal when there’s a whole world out there as options. Not saying nigeria isn’t an option but from my social class it wasn’t an option for me.

    • UGO

      September 16, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks for this. I had same story. Nigerians are always too focused on English speaking countries that they ignore the large potentials in other great countries. There really is a whole world out there.

    • Weezy

      September 17, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      Please can you explain how you get a work permit in these countries. Your advice is helpful, but you need to share more details about the HOW regarding getting papers. I love visiting Europe and wouldn’t mind studying there, but I don’t understand the visa and permanent residency system.

    • Baby gurl

      September 16, 2016 at 11:49 am

      Best advice on here!

    • Spot on!

      September 17, 2016 at 2:28 am

      The above comment said it all,especially Germany and Scandinavians.Sometime I wonder what you guys sees in that Uk that blindfold some of you to understand / realised that a lot of countries in Europe are way too friendly to international students.And also offer much more that you can only dream of in the Uk….
      P.s….don’t limit yourself, opportunities are everywhere even in naija.

    • Marian

      September 17, 2016 at 6:51 am

      This i believe is the best advice. Was gonna write something similar but you were more detailed. Canada has this permanent resident thing. Not sure if they do it for single applicants or just family but with your education background it may be worth looking into. I know families who were living illegally in yankee and they are legal residents in canada now with jobs.

      Once you mess up your record with them, it’s hard to go back. You have enough money saved up to start something in naija. Makeup, event planning, fashion boutique are still booming.

      Wait sef, don’t you have a degre in travel management? What were you hoping to achieve with it? Maybe you should start your own travel agency. Since your parents have their own business i’m sure they won”t mind sharing their space with you to start something.

    • Idomagirl

      September 18, 2016 at 1:21 am

      Best comment here.

  10. Vique

    September 16, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Please come back home.

  11. nira

    September 16, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Dear poster, you are scared of coming back to Nigeria because you fear the bad economy and do not want to suffer, but if u stay put in the UK and your visa expires, believe me you will suffer more than you imagine leaving as an illegal immigrant. You have two million,your parents are comfortable, please come back, like someone said earlier, it’s better to suffer difficulty in the midst of parents and family who will support u in these trying times than to suffer alone in the UK which might even lead to depression and other psychological problems cos we all know OYO is everybody’s case over there, everyone is busy with his/her own issues. Unless you want to try out other countries like canada. Whatever decision you make, Goodluck to you.

  12. jinkelele

    September 16, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Don’t do runs. No point at all.
    Speak to your university since you did a masters about graduate entrepreneurship visa if you qualify. Look at the process .
    Since you have just one month left plan to return and work for your parents for a bit while you acclimatize. That way you can see what’s available in Nigeria.
    The graduate entrepreneurship visa is an option for you to return to the UK. Visas are limited and its typically available for recent graduates. Since you obviously haven’t considered Tier2 then grad entrepreneurship visa is another option and it can be applied for even if you have returned to Nigeria. Just make sure you find out details from your school on their process.

    Another option is other countries like Canada and Australia. Even the middle East. Look for jobs in those countries and apply whilst you still have one month left. They value UK degrees a lot there.

    All in all. Don’t look for how to work around a situation when you have many legal options for work and career open to you.
    Even in Nigeria. So hope is not lost.

  13. Bodunade

    September 16, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Isn’t it better to be unemployed in your country and have certain freedoms than to be a slave in Egypt?

    Economy is hard but people are getting well paying jobs, businesses are taking off.

    You have got a solid education, it’s not a guarantee for anything but it’s better than most people have.

    It’s great you have savings so you don’t have to rely on anyone. More important than having savings is proper handling of your finances when you return. The importance cannot be overemphasized.

    If you think it’s going to be an issue, you can put your mom/dad in charge of your money so you can be accountable.

    I have been through something similar, I quit my job, had plenty savings, it seemed like the money was more than sufficient but it finished.. LOL.

    Come back if your visa expires, please don’t be an illegal immigrant. Nigeria is not a bed of roses but you can survive, it might be tough or not.

    Like a helium balloon, you can rise above the mess.

  14. Zai

    September 16, 2016 at 10:29 am

    I would say pray about it. It is not easy, but seriously you have to do things the right way. In my opinion there is no point living in the UK if you have not got the necessary papers. That being said Nigeria is not easy, but if everyone else is about to get on with it, so can you. You are even lucky- your parents are comfortavble some people can not even say that..they are just hustling during their struggle.

    And in my opinion it has to get better one way or the other, every country has its flaws and struggles as well as beauty. Just pray about it and do what feels right for you.

  15. nira

    September 16, 2016 at 10:30 am


  16. jane

    September 16, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I always tell anyone that wants to remain in the UK after studies, to start planning early at least from 1 year. Dear poster, if u don’t have already laid down plans to stay then start coming home because one month is not sufficient time to plan. Like the first person said, staying their illegally is not the best. Additionally pls save ur 2 mil don’t be in a hurry to invest in anything. When / if u eventually come home settle down and do feasibility studies of what business thrives in this times n what u wld love to do. Do not try taking out of the money for something, just save it whilst thinking of what to do with and when u reach that Eureka moment..u can invest. Wish u the best in whatever decision u take.

  17. Nene

    September 16, 2016 at 10:39 am

    You’ve been there for 5 years. If you were not able to get a good job that would hire you as an immigrant and sort of your immigration issue in those 5 years, is it in one month you’ll get it? I would advise you come back to Nigeria, if it means staying at home for years or finding low paying jobs, it’s better. The U.K. is not conducive for immigrants, and if you chose to go the illegal way, you have yourself to blame because it will be tough for you.

  18. Niola

    September 16, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Moving back is your best bet o…Adviser said it all, It was much easier during my time, 10 years ago cause you could apply under HSMP and TWES visa which I understand have all been cancelled now, even then my dear it was an ordeal be doing degree after degree to renew your visa paying home office 250 pounds then…lol, my dear ori pe wa nii, (my head did a reset), came back did law school and did NYSC and I got a job without any connects at all….so yes Nigeria is tough right now but my dear even in tough times there is still a way, with the way you described your situation at home I think you will be fine, it will be frustrating at the start let me just tell you but you will be fine afterwards. Come home first and decide what you want to do afterwards, you can still relocate anywhere in the world, afterall it is your oyster. I wasn’t going to comment but I just though it appears you are young and impressionable and may be counting on what people will advise you on this forum and felt a natural inclination to tell you you don’t want to be an illegal immigrant anywhere oo especially in the UK ……

  19. shior

    September 16, 2016 at 10:51 am

    take it from someone that has been here 18 yearssssss moveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee back 12 years of my teenage to adult life(29 now) was stagnant. i blamed my folks because why will you want to put us in a situation where literally every aspect of your life is restricted#? back in the day you could attend college etc but then if you dont /cant work can you eat? Dont put yourself in prison .

    i am a British citizen now but it came at a price that am still upset about its called FREEDOM.
    am grateful to my parents though because they had to do what they had to do.

    i know students who came to study,overstayed,some got pregnant even married and are still getting bundled back home, just last week i found out a couple who came to study, got married and had kids got sent back i was not shocked because the UK is tougher than ever been. look at poor lekan kamson?( instagram or facebook) we went to college sometime ago imagine someone that has spent his almost life here is still getting sent back .

    Bottom line. you can stay if you want but you will have to bear the consequences of your choice

  20. Thatgidigirl

    September 16, 2016 at 11:07 am

    You need to stop listening to what people say about the economy, be optimistic and have some faith. Everyone is singing there are no jobs, but I had 2 interviews last week! I haven’t been offered any position yet….but my point is, put in the work, add value to your cv so you can stand out and apply for jobs in Nigeria. Don’t be in a hurry to start any business, if your parents are comfortable it means you don’t have to pay rent or feed yourself upon returning. Furthermore, hang around the right people that would inspire you and help with networking. Give it some time, be patient, avoid the fake crowd and don’t try to keep up with the joneses or” “Nigerianses” and you won’t spend unnecessarily.
    Meanwhile, you can do something that isn’t capital intensive like selling your skills through consulting etc. That’s what I did when everyone failed with their job promises, and it is still paying off, as I have built a good client base over the years. My friend started a salad business from her parent’s kitchen that’s growing without the excesses of shop rent etc.
    You are too enlightened to be hiding from home office, jumping from one care job to the other…..its demoralising. You would be fine.

  21. Observer

    September 16, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Just go home and sort yourself out…without papers, UK can be harsh and you will find yourself doing menial jobs like cleaning, care etc.. and you will also have frustrated Nigerians calling you a ‘second class’ citizen and all sorts. With your education, you can do so much in Nigeria and from what you wrote your parents are comfortable so life will be even better for you. All the best and good luck. Keep us updated on your progress.

  22. Aro

    September 16, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Dang! Thank you so much guys! I’m moving back and I’m gonna keep everyone updated. hopefully everything turns out well. Thank you so much

    • Sayo

      September 16, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      All the best. Just remember that you have options. Should nigeria not work you can go elsewhere. Your Jerusalem (if you are a person of faith) isn’t always where you are born. I am a living example. I don’t know why BN didn’t post my comment that contains my story

    • Anon

      September 16, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Yes, Canada is an option.

    • Alright

      September 16, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      Legal option available if you want to stay back – Set up a business and obtain an entrepreneur visa, I guess you already know about that. Well I moved back to Nigeria in June after losing my job in the Uk in May. I was on a Tier 2 visa meaning I was sponsored by my employer. Mind you I have been out of Naija for about 5 years. Well I got great support from my family and had some money too, so it wasn’t hard to blend into Naija after returning.

      Now I always believed and still have a positive mindset about Nigeria, I believed I will be able to get a job without connection (Although I had connections). By the grace of God I got a job in August with great terms.

      I just want to encourage you to look at Nigeria in a positive light and it will turn out great for you. I was scared about coming back as I heard all the news from Nigeria then too however I tried to stay positive and trust God.

      The truth is you should prepare your mind for Nigeria, forget about the UK and its working systems and adapt to Naija and it dynamic system (You suppose know every).

      I noticed that there have been a lot of private sector job vacancy recently in Nigeria despite the recession. Naija is tough (reality) however people make it here too.

    • Adviser

      September 16, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      not an option. to get tier 1 entrepreneur, you need to have 200k in CASH in your account. It used to be 50K and UKBA decided that was too low and they jacked it up times 4. The 50k option is still available if you are a fresh graduate and you got sponsorship grant to be an entrepreneur from a uk government grant wetin wetin. long and short of the story, it’s virtually impossible to get and she’s not a fresh graduate so she can’t even apply for any of those schemes that award the money to you. not in a month. read the laws ooooooooo.
      those who are telling her to have faith and all that jazz is the kind of advise you give to someone who is looking forward to going home, so you are just topping up an already existing faith.
      i’m a realist sha and for now exploring any legal option to live abroad will always be my first advice to anybody except your father is a politician and there’s a back door CBN job waiting for you. Like Sayo up there my friend too came from humble beginnings and hustled her way to the uk to give herself a chance at a better life and a better chance for her children. Now it’s within her reach and her children would be citizens with one of the most powerful passports in the world. Can Nigeria match such expectations? That’s a rhetorical question by the way. Anyone reading this page and wants to run away, do your research and get out if you can. Get your passport and secure your children’s future with that passport (why do you think women in nigeria are going to america in their droves to have babies)

    • LEM

      September 16, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      @Adviser, that’s my philosophy too. If you have legal options of leaving this country please and please do. Lets be realistic, the country is extremely hard now and getting jobs is even harder. If you are not connected to someone or have a very strong (emphasis on strong) resume, sorry but you are hardly likely to get a good job. It even transcends having a job, people also leave for a better quality of life and standard of living. I know of two people who have successfully relocated to Canada with their family. These were people who would be considered as well to do in Naija. But (from what they told me) they felt they were not getting the best here and were very willing to start from scratch in a better environment and ensure a better future for their kids.

    • Ope

      September 17, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      Try find out about the non-oil export sector. With you 2mil,you are good to go

    • abby

      January 25, 2019 at 11:10 am

      Dear did this turn out for you? just wondering

  23. EE

    September 16, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Come back home and put your degree to good use. Rule of thumb, post recession economic expansions are usually massive, so there is opportunity and even more importantly, in my view, one of the best lies in your field.

    Nigeria is an undeveloped tourism market, the Fulani story here for example got me thinking, about how we’re sacrificing an opportunity to have foreigners come experience one of the world’s remaining nomadic cultures on the altar of violence. I digressed, there is a middle-class in Nigeria, currently and for the foreseeable future, exchange rates will put them off foreign travel, think of all that cash sitting there, perhaps waiting for a savvy hustler with an IT and BA degree to exploit their yearning for the exotic or you could help some of our many small scale farmers achieve competitive scale at a profit for you, there is a dearth of decent student accommodations in University towns.

    I’m far from an entrepreneur, but I know that in an undeveloped economy like ours, opportunities abound for those who would seize them. Surely trying, maybe occasionally failing with the joys of family round you beats the paranoid life of an illegal in a foreign land?? Plus you know illegal life is way worse for women (if you’re man, still sucks!).

  24. DM

    September 16, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Trust me, this is coming from someone who’s been in your shoes. I had the PSW visa as well and tried to stay back and applied using a lawyer (long story) and it was refused. I was totally dejected cos I didn’t want to come back home AT ALL. I thought of appealing but my family was against it. They said if it didn’t go through once, it probably wasn’t God’s will. So I came back the day before 28 days of my visa expiration and after I had received the notice to be removed. By this time, my passport was with the home office, wasn’t even with me. I volunteered to come back, paid my ticket fare and had my passport released to me at the point of boarding (they have some sort of arrangements with airlines to check you in without a passport as they’ll confirm to be in possession of it).

    One thing I must mention at this juncture is, cos u have so many thoughts going thru your head, you tend to relegate prayer and God to the background. You say that prayer, “Lord, let your will be done” but you don’t really mean it. If only I had known, I should have packed my bags earlier. I came back March 2014, and after about 6 months of sulking and finally letting go and letting God, He came through for me big time. Now I am doing so well, far far far above what I was earning in the UK. I got a really good job at a managerial level in a large company, instead of the customer service/bank teller job 10 pounds/hr I was doing in the UK that I wanted to kill myself over. My status has really upgraded that even my UK friends are always amazed when they see me pop in and out of the UK anytime. I’ve gone on holidays twice (went back to the UK cos it just feels like 2nd home now) and my company has sponsored me to a conference in the UK as well for 3 days.

    Lastly, why all this TMI you may wonder? Because of the notice of refusal, I always get stopped at immigration and asked to sit while they go check something inside. Trust me, it is embarrassing especially whilst travelling with your colleagues and only you gets told to step aside. They always come back to stamp my passport and I enter the country but for me now, I tell people, it’s not worth it tainting your clean records with immigration refusals and what not. UK is not smiling again with immigrants. My advice, remove sentiments, Nigeria is hard, people are still making it big time, pray with all sincerity of heart that the Lord directs your path and His will be done. And trust me, His eye is on the sparrow, He will not leave you to shame whether here in Nigeria or in the UK, if that’s His will for you.

  25. alphabet

    September 16, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    @ Anonymous Poster.
    Don’t be deceived by all the stories of Nigeria is a better option. You have spent five years already in the UK as a student, You don’t have so long again to wait to get your papers sorted (runs or not)! Get a proper immigration solicitor on your case!,,Just stick it out there (and yes it will be hard and stressful). My take on this, think of the end result.! Your future (if not yours).. then your kids..(am guessing u plan to have kids someday!). Stay away from this country for now. Be warned!.! and Good luck.

    • 5

      September 16, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Actually she still has about 5 more years to go. One need to stay 10years straight to qualify for citizenship.

  26. Ronke

    September 16, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    please go back to Nigeria. In the Bible during a time of severe famine/recession we are told that ‘…Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him’-Genesis 26:12. Most people don’t realise this SECRET to success. Times of recession are really GREAT opportunities in disguise. Those who complain and murmur and are negative, get kept back from seeing the opportunities that are available. Go back to Nigeria in faith and God will bless you. Ask God to open your eyes to opportunities where you can contribute to the Nigerian economy and be a blessing to others by rendering a service or something else. Don’t let money or the craving for comfort here in the UK be the reason that keeps you back. Over staying your welcome in the UK especially in this climate with the Conservative government is NOT worth it. Don’t ruin your immigration history for LIFE. Please go back. God will provide. He always does.Xxx

  27. Lauryn

    September 16, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Just move back. No amount of comfort is worth forever looking over your shoulder. If your visa is expiring and there is NO LEGITIMATE way of extending it, my darling it’s not worth it. MOVE BACK. I always say that the same flood that drowned the world is the same flood that floated Noah’s Ark. Where is your faith sister? In this bad economy, some people are making more money than they have ever made in their lives. Have faith, move back and ask God to show you a way out. MY darling, it might not be easy at the beginning but you have to have courage and faith.

  28. rain

    September 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    talking from same experience i will advice you come back home… will make it here

  29. anonymous

    September 16, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Please can you upload links to the schools in Europe where one can get a Master’s degree at little costs. Especially french schools

  30. Felinda

    September 16, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Everyone is giving you advice – here is mine

    **My is 1st and foremost plan to leave so you dont ruin your chances of visiting in future
    **Buy your ticket to naija NOW and go back home – your parents are there and they are comfortable, so i am sure you can give yourself a year living with them while you get on your feet!!!
    **Research how to get into farming – its not that capital intensive and your 2 million naira could go a long
    **when you get into nigeria be very careful you dont squander your money attending parties, weddings and asoebis etc etc. You have to have a plan.
    ***Write down your plan in bullet points to begin with then eventually put it in a business plan (15 page business plan, there are now hundreds of softwares out there including free ones that can help you write a business plan in a short time – folks think writing the plan is not important, take it from me , it is very important, bullet points on a writing pad is not enough)
    **Google is your friend – right now there are gajillion stuff you can research on how to get into this business, decide which kind of farming you want to do (eg in my case fruits
    ***Since farming is a business i want to get into (one of my many business ideas) i have been doing a lot of research and come to find out USA and UK have a lot of NGOs and Organisation ready to loan you money and give you assistance if you want to get into this business.
    *** While you are in the UK know – utilise your fast speed internet, (dont sleep – like my mom will say why do you sleep so much, when you die someday you will sleep forever 🙂 🙂 🙂 , at your young age dont sleep so much – use time to work eg research planning etc – sleep only 6 hrs a day if need be).

    My fellow Africans they are millions of business ideas for our continent – its not all buying and selling fashion, weaves etc . I already have like 11 business ideas and i dont mind sharing cos i know there is room for everybody. Someone might say but arent you afraid someone will steal your idea, Not at all. You can steal my idea you cant steal my skills and how good i am at what i do. Many are busy stealing other peoples business ideas instead of asking God to give them theirs, those stolen ideas dont ever last nor succeed.

    Agriculture doesn’t have to be a poor people’s game like some foolish africans have made it seem and that farming is beneath them. Dohh, as though you will be the one with the cutlass weeding the farm yourself.

    Another great business idea someone shared with me here is services (that is also not capital intensive at all) – already i have 3 ideas for services i can share with you.

    Last but not least you need to pray – pray for God to reveal to you exactly what to do. See how he gave Noah all those details on how to build that Ark, ehen, so you pray and seek him and he will reveal to you exaactly what to do. It may sound cliche, but i mean it. You cant be lazy about this. That 2million can vanish fiam – if you dont seek his guidance on how to utilize and triple multiply it,.

    This is the best advice – You will thank me later.
    Read here for many success stories on Afrigulture and Farming.

    Reason why i keep encouraging folks to research. I am a research guru and i tell ya it helps a lot.. With lots of research you can start a business where you dont even need to come out of pocket much if you find out the organisations who are willing to lend you money (itsn ot always a bank loan) – many are to lazy to research.

    My Story: in 1997 living in london with goal to do my masters in USA yet with no one to help me pay for fees, it was my addiction to research (internet was not that even popularly used then as it is now) that had me sitting in Fulbright Commmission Library in london day and night with humoungous USA grad school books and scholarship books spread out on the table researching – that eventually got me apply to 10 grad schools of which 7 gave me full scholarship including paid books and accomodation and stipend to boot. I didnt pay one dime for $200+application fee, you know why cos i wrote a letter to all admissions telling them the reason i cant afford it. ALL of them waived it. If you dont ask you dont get. Simple.

    Till date some wonder how a non american citizen like my self got all those scholarships,. It took hard work of research – nobody helped or advised me but God – many discouraged me including my family members , siblings, mom etc they all thought why leave uk to go to USA when you dont know anybody,

    The trick on gaining those scholarships was all in the essay. many dont understand that most USA colleges and grad school have a junk of money in a bucket donated by old alumnis that are strictly for scholarship purposes that go unclaimed , if you dont research they are not simply going to hand it to you on a silver platter. Dont let anyone tell you – you live in africa so you cannot or that you are not an american citizen so you cannot get it – Its a lie. Your dreams are valid no matter if you live in remote villages of africa (and by the way decision to give you scholarship is 50% GMAT scores ,the rest is your essays, and given them a tangible reason during your panel interview why out of hundreds of applicants you deserve it). BN i would not mind sharing this experience with the many hopefuls wanting to study abroad, but thats a separate topic alltogether.

    Good luck sister and please make sure you leave the UK before your time. You will come on here to BN to tell your success story someday on how you started a successful business with 2 million naira.

    • Eb

      September 16, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      Hello felinda, thank you for your comment. I am currently in the agricultural field ( green house) and would love to share ideas. ( also on application process for grad schoo)You can contact me through my email [email protected] com.

    • Felinda

      September 16, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      Ok, sure no problem EB.

      in mean time watch this and get inspired. I posted before but i see BN did not appove my comment yet so let me try one more time. BN please post this and help inspire and encourage someone – people need to hear this inspiring tedex talk . I wont post the link this time , i will simply post the title copy and paste into youtube

      Youtube Title : *This is what a farmer should look like | Cynthia Mosunmola Umoru | TEDxIfe*

    • JustMe

      September 16, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      Felinda, you seem to be talking to me directly and not necessarily our sister and I just don’t know how best to connect with you. I’m currently in the middle east but leaving here in few days time back to Nigeria for same reason our sister is seeking advice. My case is a bit different cause I’ve already made up my mind to return home seeing the nightmare you go through when you have no legitimate stay. Please BN, I will really like to be linked up to Felinda with his/her approval.

    • Olaedo

      September 17, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Hello Felinda, can we talk please, at [email protected]. Trying to arrange a PhD research. Please send a line. Thank you.

  31. Felinda

    September 16, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    WAtch this Video from a Nigerian Woman Farmer

  32. Black

    September 16, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    You’re single, you have a masters degree, il advice you to do IELTS and apply for Canadian express entry. There’s a high possibility you would be given especially if you less than 30yrs.

  33. The Real Oma

    September 16, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Felinda, thank you for sharing. Can I have a direct discussion with you via email? Mine is [email protected]. if you drop yours I’ll email you. Thanks.

  34. Abominable snow girl

    September 16, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Thanks Felinda n I am not even the poster girl.

  35. Felinda

    September 16, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    1. ) Water & Food (farming, food processing / packaging, restaurant etc
    2) ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD (real estate)
    4) Medicine when you are sick (but mind you if you eat probably and exercise you wont get sick)

    These i have mentioned are life necessities, abi?? Ok Rank Them by its importance to mankind -1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th which one can you not live without??

    Ehen, now advice yourself where do you think will be the best business venture. Research this – What is nigerias population now – and how much will it grow say by 2020 or 2030? All these people need water and food first abi? good.

    ps: Instead of young folks using their data to browse instagram to browse fake lifes,24/7 you can utilise that data doing some research and watching some inspiring tedex talks with 100s of success stories to inspire you.

    • Daphne _647

      September 17, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      I love your entrepreneurial spirit…please how do I get In contact with you?

  36. mx

    September 16, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    all these people advising to come, don’t listen of if you can get help to get your legal stay do it. Don’t come to Nigeria, the rate of hardship is no joke. Don’t let those people telling come, many will run if they have the chance. you self too do, why wait till now. Anyway my advice is don’t come, or better still take that advice, apply to study in another country. Once again don’t come, as we are talking people are I’m the Mediterranean sea trying to cross… it’s not easy here at all at all. Not trying to scare you but telling fact. I do business here and I would leave if given the opportunity.

    • Marian

      September 17, 2016 at 7:08 am

      I understand that Nigeria is hard from people telling me it is. I can’t really talk about the struggle of an everyday Nigerian. I have however seen the struggle of illegal immigrants and it’s not something i will wish on my enemy. Do you know many doctors, lawyers, business owners, nurses and accounts in Nigeria who were comfortable are cleaning floors in yankee to make ends meet?? I feel like a lot of Nigerians have this wrong perspective of what living in America is like and because of that they don’t appreciate the things they have.
      I don’t think any landlord will allow you to go more than a month without paying rent. Food on credit??? No one does that. As an illegal immigrant you won’t be able to apply for a credit card so no money no food. Homeless people yapa for yankee. Oyinbo are on the streets begging for money to eat too. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

  37. Joy.

    September 17, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    my candid advice is that you try other potential countries like the UAE. you can still get your visa in less than a month like you said and try to hustle to get a good job with all the degree you have and work experiences , am sure you will get a good job in the UAE. better than going back to naija now. …… my own school of thought though…

    • Racist UAE

      September 18, 2016 at 1:31 am

      UAE ke? Unless she has a foreign passport, if she has a Nigerian passport she will be thoroughly frustrated.
      I don’t want to talk too much but you’re better off going there as a tourist than being a resident.
      The sort of discrimination you’ll face as an African there especially in the labour market is terrible.

      No matter her qualifications she will be paid less than certain people simply because of her nationality, then don’t even get me started on those disgusting Indian and Pakistani recruiters and HR managers who will only consider your application if you’re one of them.
      Abeg that place is fucked.

  38. Ziggy

    September 17, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    Poster, the devil You know is better than the angel You don’t know. Come back to Nigeria, at least You won’t be considered an illegal resident.
    Hit Me up on 09021101569 (Call/Watsapp), let’s talk Business.

  39. O

    September 18, 2016 at 4:29 am

    Hi Felinda,

    You made valid points! Thanks for sharing all that information! I would love to learn more about how you went about your graduate school application process and scholarship applications. I’ll join the rest of my Bellanaija fam who dropped their email address;) Please contact me at [email protected] . Hope to hear from you!:)

  40. Author Unknown

    September 18, 2016 at 6:37 am

    Based on your educational qualification and family’s financial status, staying back in the UK as an illegal is probably not a smart move. Go back to naija, take that opportunity to do your NYSC, and strategize while there. You may choose to stay in Nigeria, or leave, but what’s important is that you’re a success story wherever you find yourself. Keep in mind that bad economic times can actually be the best times to invest if you have money. Good luck!


    September 18, 2016 at 11:01 am

    My Lil piece of advice is to consider venturing into food business. Conducting a critical study about the food industry in nigeria is compulsory so that you can know the exact area to fit in; either production, processing and distribution or even doing the whole 3. Feasibility and swot analysis is should also be assessed before starting full scale nevertheless, coupling your high level of education I believe you will excel . I strongly believe that no matter how hard a nations economy tend to be the citizens must feed in order to survive. Best of lucks… [email protected]

  42. Abecity

    September 19, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Hi Felinda,
    I am interested in having a chat with you. Can you reach me on [email protected]. Thanks

  43. Felinda

    September 19, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    I just came back to read this post and seen few of you wanting a lil chat with me, no problem. I Been a lil busy but I’ll email you Sept 24. It’s been many years since I did this whole grad school process (1996/1997), but I can advice you the best I can of how I did it then. Thanks for your patience. Whatever useful advice you gain from this you too share with others.

    For the person wanting to chat about agriculture mosdef I’ll contact you and share some useful links with you.

    Nelson chunks that’s a great advice you gave there about food processing and packaging.

    • Tee

      September 23, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Hi felinda, please if you don’t mind, I will like to have a discussion with you concerning the research , scholarship etc. please mail me [email protected]. Thanks

  44. Felinda

    September 19, 2016 at 9:03 pm


  45. deeee

    September 20, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Wetin dey that yeye UK…………..i pity my friends that are stuck in UK. They just dey suffer anyhow, if they were in Naija they would have been doing well. Living in fear in another man’s country

  46. amawinner

    October 3, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    wow. so much advise on here. Thanks for the honesty and openess.

    ok. I did my first degree and second degree in the UK. In business management. after my. post study work visa expired I didn’t have anyone who told me about doing another masters in other European countries like Germany. I have been in Nigeria since Aug 2014 do I still have any chance off applying to a university in Germany or Canada. Please what chances do I have. please I need help and honest advice. Thanks in advance.

  47. o

    October 8, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Hi felinda, pls can u send me an email on [email protected]. It would be nice to talk to someone about research programs. Thank u

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