Every year thousands of Nigerians immigrate to Canada from Nigeria, and the numbers have been increasing in recent years.
In 2019, Nigeria was the second leading country of citizenship of successful Express Entry candidates, ranking only behind India.
Approximately, 12,595 Nigerians obtained Canadian permanent residence, and about 11,985 obtained their education in Canada. This has increased significantly from the 4,090 who came to Canada in 2015. There were about 42,430 Nigerians residing in Canada in 2016, according to Statistics Canada.
Nigerians who wish to immigrate to Canada have over One-hundred (100) economic-class pathways to choose from. The best immigration program for each person will depend on their individual goals and circumstances.
Below is an overview of some of the immigration pathways that Nigerians can pursue to get Canadian permanent residence.
In this article
- #1. Express Entry system
- #2. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
- #3. Family Sponsorship
- #4. Study in Canada to Qualify for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)
- #5. Canadian Start-up Visa Program
- #6. Other Federal Economic Programs
- History of Nigerian immigration to Canada
- What Are Canada’s Province Immigration Programs?
- How much does it cost to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria?
- Do I need the IELTS to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria?
- Can I Transition from Temporary to Permanent Residence?
- How does Canadian Immigration Work?
- Why are Nigerians so successful in moving to Canada?
#1. Express Entry system
Canada normally invites interested candidates to file for permanent residence. The most direct route to get invited to apply for immigration is to lodge a profile to the Express Entry system.
The Express Entry system manages applications for three main Canadian immigration programs: Federal Skilled Trades Program, Federal Skilled Worker Program, and Canadian Experience Class.
Eligible candidates are awarded a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on their work experience, education, age, and official language proficiency.
Candidates with the highest scores are invited to apply for Canadian immigration through Express Entry draws which normally takes place every two weeks.
Candidates do not need to have a job offer to be nominated from an Express Entry draw.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada is still conducting Express Entry draws. The past two draws have been among the biggest that the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has ever held.
IRCC is also giving candidates extra time to submit their documents that they are not able to get due to COVID-19 restrictions, closures, and service disruptions.
The Canadian government aims to process applications for immigration candidates in six (6) months. If an individual profile stays in the Express Entry pool for more than one year, the individual can simply lodge their profile again to re-enter the pool.
If a Nigerian candidate is not qualified for Express Entry they can also be able to immigrate to Canada via one of the Provincial Nominee Programs.
#2. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
Provincial nominee programs allow Canadian provinces and territories to select economic-class immigration candidates who support their labor market needs. Nigerian candidates who wish to work and settle in a specific province or territories can key into these programs.
Most Canadian provinces and territories have at least one provincial nomination program that is aligned to Express Entry.
When a PNP is linked or aligned with the Express Entry system they are known as “enhanced streams.” Candidates who obtain provincial nominations through enhanced streams receive anextra 600 CRS points, which practically assures that a candidate will be invited in a future Express Entry draw.
Depending on the stream or program, an “enhanced stream” may roll out invitations based on either provincial expression of interest (EOI) scores or the CRS points.
The other type of provincial nominee programs is called a “base” stream, which means it is not linked to the federal Express Entry system. These streams support the provinces’ individual objective, and may or may not use a scoring system to nominate candidates.
Candidates who may not be eligible for the Express Entry pool, but who fit the required skills needed in a particular province may be qualified for a provincial nomination through a base stream.
Nigerians who want to immigrate to Quebec province must go through their economic immigration program. Skilled worker may go through Quebec’s Regular Skilled Worker Program which operates under an expression of interest system.
#3. Family Sponsorship
Remarkably, Canada is always willing to see families reunite and so, it offers a family class sponsorship program that enables a permanent resident or citizen of Canada the opportunity to sponsor the family members to Canada. But the sponsor of the program must fulfil certain requirements which include:
- Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and must be at least 18 years
- As permanent residents must reside in Canada and as Canadian citizens may sponsor their family members even when they are not in Canada.
- Can comfortably provide for the family member’s daily and health needs for the mandated duration.
- Must have a clean criminal record.
Below is the list of family members that can be sponsored by the family class sponsorship.
- Common-Law partner
- Conjugal partner
- Dependent children
- Brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, granddaughters or grandsons who are orphaned, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship
- Another relative of any age or relationship but only under specific conditions
- Accompanying relatives of the above (for example, spouse, partner and dependent children).
#4. Study in Canada to Qualify for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)
Studying in Canada with a student visa does not directly offer a permanent resident status to you. However, it’s a valuable step that can greatly enhance your chances of getting a permanent residency upon your graduation.
It is noteworthy that obtaining a Canadian qualification like a certificate, diploma, or degree offers great chances for you as they count as Canadian credentials on your immigration application status.
What is more, studying a program that takes longer than eight months, in Canada, offers you eligibility for a Post-Graduate Work Permit. This work permit provides the opportunity for you to live and work anywhere in Canada.
With it, you can gain work experience to pursue a bigger deal after your studies. Consequently, with your education and Canadian work experience, you stand the chance of applying for your permanent residency status.
#5. Canadian Start-up Visa Program
This program is specifically for entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas. The Canadian government established this program to ensure only talented entrepreneurs who are interested in starting businesses that can help in boosting the economy of the country and also create job opportunities for residents can apply.
If you are eligible for this program, you can come on a Canadian work permit, while being offered permanent resident status once you establish your business.
#6. Other Federal Economic Programs
There are over 60 pathways to immigrate to Canada. Impressively, the government of Canada offers several federal economic programs to help in bringing different foreign nationals to fill the occupational and population gaps in the country.
For instance, if you have a job offer in an in-demand field in or in a rural or Atlantic region of Canada (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island), you may qualify to apply for permanent residence any of the federal economic programs.
If you could not make it through this means, you can check out the provincial streams that are specific to each province apart from the Provincial Nominee Program.
History of Nigerian immigration to Canada
Nigerians began migrating to Canada during the 1967–1970 Biafra War. Nigerians were not broken out separately in immigration statistics until 1973. 3,919 landed immigrants of Nigerian nationality arrived in Canada from 1973 to 1991.
There is a significant number of Nigerians living in the Greater Toronto Area, especially in Brampton and Etobicoke. In the 2016 Census, 51,800 people identified themselves as Nigerians, with over half living in Ontario.
There are many more Nigerians in Canada, who identified themselves by their tribe instead of their country – such as 9,600 as Yoruba, 5,600 as Igbo, and 1,900 as Edo. There has also been a steady increase in the number of Nigerians living in the western cities of Canada, such as Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg.
What Are Canada’s Province Immigration Programs?
The immigration program in the provinces of Canada include:
- 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
How much does it cost to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria?
To immigrate to Canada from Nigeria generally costs about $2,300 for a single applicant. A couple can primarily spend around $4500. However, the amount is not guaranteed, owing to the fact that different programs have their specific demands which may affect the cost too.
Additionally, this excludes proof of settlement funds that you must show before you can be allowed to settle in Canada. But for a single applicant, you must have up to $13,000 in your account.
Do I need the IELTS to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria?
If you are planning to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria, you must take one of Canada’s official language exams, including IELTS, CELPIP English language and TEF or TCF for French. Almost all Canadian immigration programs require candidates to provide French or English language results from an authorized organization.
These tests undoubtedly have several locations in Nigeria where you can take them. Moreover, there is no preferred test by the Canadian government. Hence, you can always choose what is best for you.
Can I Transition from Temporary to Permanent Residence?
Many immigrants to Canada who are temporary residents are transitioning to permanent residents. This is a popular route for those who do not immediately qualify for Canadian permanent residency when they applied from Nigeria. Also, Canada keeps accepting temporary workers to fill emergency gaps in the country and that makes it possible for them to immigrate to the country.
They equally receive work permits through the Temporary Worker Program, International Mobility Program and International Experience Canada Program. After they have spent a particular period in Canada, they can transition as permanent residents.
How does Canadian Immigration Work?
Some of the over 100 visas and immigration options are based on points and Canada selects the highest-scoring individuals for permanent residency in the country. Other options are employer-driven, meaning you must receive employment before can apply for immigration to Canada from Nigeria.
Why are Nigerians so successful in moving to Canada?
Several factors may be playing out here. Some of them include their great zeal for education, proficiency in English and hard-working nature. You can find out if you can immigrate to Canada, and for which program you qualify.
To immigrate to Canada from Nigeria is one of the dreams of every average Nigerian. Expectantly, you will be among those immigrating to Canada soon. We are eager to hear the good news.