Canada is one of the most popular destinations for Nigerians who want to study, work, visit or immigrate abroad. Canada offers a high quality of life, a multicultural society, a strong economy and a welcoming environment for newcomers.
If you are interested in applying for a Canadian visa from Nigeria in 2024, this guide will help you understand the types of visas available, the requirements, the fees and the application process.
Types of Canadian Visa
There are different types of Canadian visas that you can apply for depending on your purpose and duration of stay in Canada. Some of the most common ones are:
- Visitor visa: This is a temporary visa that allows you to visit Canada for tourism, business, family or friends. You can stay in Canada for up to six months with this visa. You may also need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if you are travelling by air.
- Study permit: This is a temporary visa that allows you to study in Canada at an approved educational institution. You can stay in Canada for the duration of your program plus 90 days with this visa. You may also need a visitor visa or an eTA depending on your country of origin.
- Work permit: This is a temporary visa that allows you to work in Canada for a specific employer, occupation and period of time. You can stay in Canada for the duration of your contract plus 90 days with this visa. You may also need a visitor visa or an eTA depending on your country of origin.
- Express Entry: This is a system that manages applications for permanent residence from skilled workers who want to immigrate to Canada. You need to create an online profile and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to be eligible for this program. You may receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) if you meet the criteria and rank high enough in the pool of candidates.
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): This is a program that allows provinces and territories in Canada to nominate candidates who have the skills and experience that meet their local labour market needs. You need to apply to a specific province or territory and receive a nomination certificate to be eligible for this program. You may also need to apply through Express Entry depending on the stream you choose.
There are other types of Canadian visas that may suit your specific situation, such as family sponsorship, refugee, humanitarian and compassionate grounds, etc. You can find more information about them on the official website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Canada Visa Application Requirements
The requirements for applying for a Canadian visa vary depending on the type of visa you choose, but some of the general ones are:
- A valid passport or travel document
- A completed and signed application form
- A recent passport-sized photograph
- A proof of payment of the application fee
- A proof of purpose and duration of your visit
- A proof of financial means to support yourself and your dependents during your stay
- A proof of ties to your home country
- A proof of medical examination and/or biometrics if required
- A proof of language proficiency if required
- A police clearance certificate if required
You may also need to provide additional documents depending on the type of visa you choose, such as:
- A letter of invitation from your host in Canada
- A letter of acceptance from your educational institution in Canada
- A contract or offer letter from your employer in Canada
- A copy of your nomination certificate from your province or territory in Canada
- A copy of your ITA from IRCC
How to Apply for a Canadian Visa in Nigeria
- Determining Your Eligibility: Before you embark on your Canadian visa journey, it’s essential to determine your eligibility for the specific type of visa you intend to apply for. Different types of Canadian visas have varying eligibility criteria. It’s crucial to ensure that you meet all the requirements for your chosen visa category. This is a critical step to avoid unnecessary delays and ensure a smooth application process.
- Gather the Necessary Documents and Forms: Once you’ve identified the type of Canadian visa that aligns with your travel or study plans, it’s time to gather all the required documents and forms. These documents typically include your passport, visa application forms, photographs, proof of funds, and other supporting documents.
Make sure to double-check the official website of the Canadian government or the nearest Canadian embassy for the specific requirements related to your visa category.
- Pay the Application Fee: Canadian visa applications come with a processing fee that varies depending on the type of visa you’re applying for. You can conveniently pay this fee online through the official website of the Canadian government or at a designated bank. Ensure that you retain the payment receipt as proof of your payment, as you will need it during the application process.
- Submit your Application: Now that you’ve gathered all the necessary documents and paid the application fee, it’s time to submit your visa application. You have the option to submit your application online through the Canadian government’s official website.
Alternatively, you can visit a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Nigeria to submit a physical application. Be sure to fill out all the required forms accurately and attach the necessary documents to avoid any delays in the processing of your application.
- Provide your biometrics: Depending on the type of Canadian visa you’re applying for, you may be required to provide your biometrics. Biometrics typically include your fingerprints and a photograph.
If this is a requirement for your visa category, you’ll need to visit a VAC to complete this step. It’s crucial to schedule an appointment and follow the instructions provided by the authorities for a seamless biometric data collection process.
- Wait for processing and decision: After submitting your visa application and providing biometrics if necessary, you’ll enter the waiting period. The processing time for Canadian visas may vary based on the type of visa and the current workload of the immigration authorities. During this period, your application will be reviewed, and a decision will be made regarding your eligibility for the visa.
- Track your application: Once your application is in process, you can conveniently track its status online. The Canadian government provides an online portal where you can monitor the progress of your application. This allows you to stay informed about the status of your visa application and anticipate when a decision will be made.
Cost of Canadian Visas in Nigeria
The cost of applying for a Canadian visa from Nigeria varies depending on the type of visa you choose, but some of the general fees are:
- Application fee: This is the fee that you pay to IRCC for processing your application. The amount depends on the type of visa you choose, but some of the common ones are:
- Visitor visa: $100 CAD per person
- Study permit: $150 CAD per person
- Work permit: $155 CAD per person
- Express Entry: $825 CAD per person plus $500 CAD for right of permanent residence
- PNP: $825 CAD per person plus $500 CAD for right of permanent residence plus provincial fee if applicable
- Biometrics fee: This is the fee that you pay to IRCC for providing your fingerprints and photo. The amount is $85 CAD per person or $170 CAD per family.
- Service fee: This is the fee that you pay to a VAC for submitting your application and collecting your passport. The amount is $39.82 CAD per person or $139.36 CAD per family.
- Courier fee: This is the fee that you pay to a VAC or courier service for delivering your passport and visa. The amount varies depending on the service provider and location.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long does it take to get a Canadian Visa from Nigeria in 2024?
A: The processing time varies but can take several weeks, so apply well in advance.
Q: Do I need to hire an immigration consultant?
A: While it’s not mandatory, hiring a consultant can help streamline the process.
Q: Can I work in Canada on a visitor visa?
A: In most cases, you cannot work on a visitor visa. You would need a work permit for that.
Q: What is the easiest type of visa to get for Canada?
A: The easiest type of visa to get depends on your qualifications and purpose of travel.
Q: Can I extend my visa while in Canada?
A: It is possible to extend certain types of visas while in Canada, but it must be done before your current visa expires.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of visas issued to Nigerians in 2024?
A: Canada does not have a fixed limit on the number of visas issued, but there are quotas for specific visa categories.
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Obtaining a Canadian Visa from Nigeria in 2024 can be a life-changing experience. With the right information, preparation, and determination, your dream of living and working in Canada can become a reality. Follow the steps outlined in this guide, and you’ll be well on your way to starting a new chapter in your life.