Nigeria is starting to become more prominent as Canada’s most important source of new immigrants. Nigerians are constantly moving to the country in search of greener pastures. Now is the best time to relocate to Canada irrespective of what profession or level one is.
Canada, is very welcoming to citizens of other countries and its federal government has in fact announced its intention to welcome up to more than 1.1 million new permanent residents between year 2020 and 2022. This means that there will most likely be many opportunities to immigrate to Canada even in the nearest future. There are many ways one can apply and obtain a Canadian permanent residence so as to relocate to Canada from Nigeria. This article gives you a step by step guide on how to make relocation to Canada, for yourself or your family.
Relocating to Canada from Nigeria: Step by Step Guide
Read on below:
There are many immigration options you can consider when you want to relocate to Canada from Nigeria.
Options for immigrating to Canada From Nigeria, these are:
- Federal Economic Class
- Provincial Economic Class
- Quebec Immigration
- Business Immigration, including the Start-Up Visa Program
- Temporary Residence then Transition To Permanent residency.
- Family Class Sponsorship.
These are explained below:
Federal Economic Class
This is the immigration option with the largest number of immigrants into Canada. Canada accepts people under the economic class.
Canada’s federal Economic Class Programs are for the following category of people:
- Federal Skilled Worker
- Federal Skilled Trades
- Canada Experience Class
Within the economic class, the largest group is the Federal High Skilled category. This process is operated using the Express Entry method.
The Express Entry process
Pre-application processes- Find out what your work NOC is
When you want to begin the relocation process, you need to find out what your work NOC is. You can only claim work history in one NOC. This means that even if you had various job descriptions, you will have to choose the job role where you have spent the longest years.
Register for the language test – IELTS General, etc
The next step to take is to register for the language test. It is compulsory every and any one applying for Canadian Permanent Residence has to take a language test to show their proficiency in English language or French. It is recommended that you give yourself a space of two to three months so you can prepare well for the language test. Remember this almost the only thing within your control. You cannot change your age or work history but you can ensure you get a good score in a language test. These language tests are standardised test and needs much preparation even if you have been speaking English all your life. You need to have an idea what questions you will be asked and how you intend answering the questions. The most common language test is IELTS General (you cannot use IELTS Academic for immigration purposes). Another is:
CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program
Step 3 – Prepare your documents for evaluation
While talking about two to three months to prepare for your IELTS examination, you should also prepare for your degree evaluation. Everyone who schools outside Canada must go through this degree evaluation process. Below is a list of organisations certified and verify your degree and also equate it with a Canadian one.
- Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- World Education Services
- International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- International Credential Evaluation Service
If you intend to work in a large company or in a particular profession, you might have your assessment done by a specifically designated organization. So, you have to check with your employer or the regulatory body for your occupation to know which organization will verify your degree.
List of requirements for Nigerian degrees:
- Degree Certificate
- Academic Transcripts
- Final Secondary Examination Results
- WAEC/NECO Scratch Card
All you need to do is wait for the organization to receive your documents and complete your verification. For WES, it takes 20 working days from the day all of your required documentation is received for them to send you an evaluation report. This evaluation report is needed for the application process of the Canadian Permanent residence.
Step 4 – Take your Language Test & Get Results
For IELTS, your speaking test is set on a different date from your writing, reading, and listening tests. All the other tests are done on the day you set when you registered.
Create an Online Express Entry Profile
When you have received your degree evaluation report and your language test results, you can now create an Express Entry profile. This express entry profile closes within 60 days of opening. This means that you must submit your application as soon as possible. When creating your express entry profile, you will be asked personal information, work history, test scores, degree details, etc. Ensure you are truthful and consistent. All these details will add up to your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score which is very crucial to your application process. Once you have completed the profile, submit it. That way, you have officially joined the Express Entry Pool.
Step 6 – Wait for an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
Every two weeks, there is a draw made from the pool of submitted Express Entry profiles. This draw is so they can offer Invitations to Apply to candidates. The duration to get am ITA can be short or long. For example, if you submit your profile today and the draw is made the next day, you could get an ITA in one day. However, if you do not meet up to required score, you will stay in the pool and keep doing other things to improve your score. If after 12 months, you still don’t get selected from the pool, it will expire and you will have to create a new express entry profile. While you are waiting for an Invitation to Apply, you can begin looking for jobs.
Step 7 – Apply for Canadian Permanent Residency
Time duration: 6 months
Once you have been sent an Invitation to Apply, you can now prepare your application and submit all your documents. You only have 60 days to complete this application.
Documents Required for application for Canadian Permanent Residency:
- Application Fee (see above)
- Test Results
- Academic Verification Report
- Digital Photographs
- Medical Examination:There is a list of approved physicians who can provide a medical examination for Canadian Permanent residency in Nigeria. There are three hospitals in Lagos and one in Abuja.
- Police Certificates:You will be required to submit police reports for every country you have lived in for six months in a row within the last 10 years. This includes police reports from current country of residence.
- Passport Biodata Page
- Reference or Experience Work Letter: You will be required to submit reference letters from your former and current employers. It is compulsory to prove your work history with all of your former employers, when applying for Canadian Permanent residency.
- Proof of funds: It is also compulsory that you provide a letter from your bank that proves that you have the funds specific required for relocation.
- Other Documents required depend on specific circumstances such as if you have children, divorced, married, etc. These documents include change of name certificate, birth certificate of child(ren), marriage certificate, etc.
Once you have all of the required documents are ready, you will be able to fill out your application and upload scanned copies of your documents on the portal. Ensure you follow the guidelines such as size and resolution of all documents correctly. You will also be able to make payment here.
Step 8 – Bio-metrics
You will be asked to submit your biometrics at a local embassy or VFS.
Step 9 – Wait
Most people receive a response within 6 months. You can keep logging in to your profile to check the status of your application. Some others take two months.
Receive a PPR (Passport Request email) and then you are ready for Visa
Once you get a Passport Request email letter, you can send in your passports. Your Permanent Residency approval also comes with a deadline. This means you have to enter Canada before the deadline or else your Permanent Residency will be invalidated. The duration is between 6 months to 1 year.
In summary, the Express Entry Process involves the following processes:
- Submit profile and enter Express Entry Pool.
- Get issued an Invitation to Apply if you meet the minimum points requirement.
- Submit an application in 60 days.
- Get a decision in target processing time of six months
- Receive a PPR (Passport Request email) and then you are ready for Visa
The other Options for immigrating to Canada From Nigeria are:
Canada’s Provincial Programs
- Ontario Immigration
- Quebec Immigration
- Alberta Immigration
- British Columbia Immigration
- Manitoba Immigration
- New Brunswick Immigration
- Newfoundland Immigration
- Nova Scotia Immigration
- Saskatchewan Immigration
- Prince Edward Island Immigration
If you find out that you do not qualify for a Canadian Permanent residency through a federal economic program, you should then consider a provincial program for your permanent residency application.
Each province in Canada runs their own immigration programs which is usually targeted at meeting specific demands of the local labour markets. There could be provincial program targeted to your specific skill.
Business Immigration Program
This is an immigration option that is for entrepreneurs and investors. The options under the business immigration programs are:
- Self-employed program
- Start-up visa program
- Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program
The Federal Self-Employed Class
The Self-Employed program is to attract people who have relevant self-employment experience. These ones must also be willing and capable of creating their own employment. Their business must make a significant contribution to the cultural, artistic or athletic life of Canada or could be in the purchase and management of a farm in Canada.
A successful applicant must have had at least two years of experience in the five years required before the date of the application or must have farm management experience.
The Start-up visa program
The Start-Up Visa program is designed for entrepreneurs interested in Canadian permanent residence. The program is for innovative entrepreneurs who are recruited and connected with the Canadian private sector businesses so as to help them establish their own start-up business in Canada.
Start-Up Visa Candidate Eligibility Requirements
The basic candidate requirements for the Start-Up Visa are:
- A qualifying business.
- Commitment Certificate and letter of support from a designated entity.
- Proof of sufficient, available and transferable settlement funds.
- Proficiency in English or French at minimum Canadian Language Benchmark level 5.
- Angel investor groups
- Venture capital funds
- Business incubators
The Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program is designed for individuals with high net worth. Only candidates with a net worth of $10 million or more can apply for this program. They must invest $2 million in the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) fund for a period of 15 years with no guarantee of a return.
The transition from Temporary to Permanent Residence
This is another popular option for candidates who wish to relocate permanently to Canada. If you do not immediately qualify for permanent residence, you can work towards transitioning from temporary to permanent residency.
Family Class Immigration
A Nigerian candidate with relatives who are already permanent residents or citizens can apply through the option of the Family Class Sponsorship immigration.
What are the Requirements to be a sponsor?
- Sponsor must be 18 years of age or older.
- Sponsor and candidate must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits the sponsor to providing financial support to the candidate, if necessary. The candidate must also make every effort to support herself or himself.
- Sponsor is required to provide financial support for the relative for a period of three years from the date they become permanent residents.
- Sponsor must provide financial support for a child for a period of 10 years or till the child turns 25.