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Canada Introduces A New Pilot Program To Fast-Track Study Permit Processing For Nigerians

The number of Nigerian international students studying in Canada has been on the rise, and now Canada is introducing a new pilot program aimed at expediting the study permit application process.

The Nigeria Student Express (NSE) pilot stream is for Nigerians who have been accepted to a Canadian post-tertiary institution, according to an unconfirmed report on IRCC)s Twitter page. It reads eligible candidates need to have been accepted to a diploma course, bachelor’s, masters or doctorate degree program.

The post suggests that Canada is planning to process study applications within twenty (20) days through the NSE.

“Nigeria Student Express is a pilot program at our Visa Office (VO) in Lagos targeted at improving processing times for study permit candidates in Nigeria who are looking to study at the university level in Canada,” IRCC stated in a tweet, “It was only just introduced to prospective Nigerian international students and their parents at EduCanada fairs in Abuja and Lagos in January 2020.”

The IRCC Twitter page encourages interested students to contact the Visa Office in Lagos for more information.

View image on Twitter

Nigerian immigration to Canada has been flourishing in recent years. In 2019 alone, Nigerians were the fourth most represented country among new permanent residents.

new pilot program

A good number of Nigerians international students choose Canada as a place of study. Last year a total of 11,985 study permit holders were from Nigeria, making it the ninth most popular source country (behind the US),  for international students.

Meanwhile, the number of Study Permit holders in Canada has also risen to more than 640,000 in 2019, as the federal government’s policy of welcoming more international students to study in Canada have continued to yield more fruit.

The 2019 numbers are a thirteen (13) per cent rise on 2018, and an Eighty-two (82) per cent rise on the 2015 figure – the year the current Liberal federal government came to power.

Indian nationals continued to dominate the numbers, with the number of international students increasing to nearly 220,000 in 2019, more than thirty (30) per cent of the overall total.

Furthermore, the number of former Study Permit holders changing to permanent residence also soared in 2019. During the year, more than 11,500 students with prior Study Permit status became permanent residents.

Study Permit Holders
Source: Government of Canada

The most recent figures show there were a total of 642,480 Study Permit holders in Canada as of Dec 31, 2019, compared to 568,130 in 2018.

The figures surpass the federal government’s one-time target of 500,000 international students by 2020.

Canada now has nearly 300,000 more Study Permit holders that it did in 2015, with a number of policies established in the intervening years targeted at luring international students.

The Canadian government views international students as blue-chip candidates for permanent residence.

They are young, educated in Canada, have the required language skills, often have Canadian work experience and knowledge of Canadian life. This serves to make their transition easier and integration into Canadian society.