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How To Relocate to Canada from Nigeria

Over 70,000 people of Nigerian descent live, work and study in Canada. The country offers great prospects for foreign nationals looking to start a new life abroad.

Relocating your life and family abroad can be a challenging and overwhelming process. We are here to help. Contact IAS today online on +44 (0) 3316300929 or +23413438882 for Nigeria, or visit our office in Lagos.


Need Support in Relocating to Canada from Nigeria?

We have successfully helped numerous Nigerians in relocating to Canada through different paths. If you’re looking to move to Canada and need guidance on where to begin, reach out to us for expert support. Our team of lawyers is here to address any questions you may have regarding your circumstances and advise you accordingly.

Nigerian Emigration

For Nigerian emigration matters, please call +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929

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For immigration/emigration to/from other countries, please call:

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Immigration to Canada from Nigeria

Canadian immigration offers a great entry programme for immigrants relocating to Canada. Canada has many provinces and territories, is a very pro-immigration nation, offers universal healthcare, has a thriving economy, and ranks as one of the top 10 safest countries in the world. It’s no wonder so many are eager to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria.

There are many different routes to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria. In general, you can enter Canada via:

  • Temporary Resident Visa, also known as an Entry visa
  • Work and student permits
  • Express Entry programmes for skilled workers
  • Business and investment programmes.

Some applications require more documentation, experience and time than others. In general, you will need to:

  • Have a valid passport
  • Prove you have enough finances to support yourself during your time in Canada
  • Not have any criminal records or previous issues with immigration law
  • Demonstrate a clear purpose for relocating to Canada.

How Do I Relocate to Canada from Nigeria?

If you plan to move permanently or for an extended period of time to Canada, then you should look for immigration routes that offer long term or permanent residency.

It is best to avoid applying for a Temporary Resident visa, which are only valid for 6 months, unless this has been specifically requested by an employer or sponsor who intends to arrange a permanent visa for you once you have arrived in Canada.

This page covers some of the more common permanent entry routes to Canada:

  • Express Entry
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Provincial Nominee Program
  • Family Sponsorship
  • Startup and business options.

Our expert team guide you through a seamless relocation journey from Nigeria to the Great White North!

Express Entry


The Express Entry programme offers Nigerian skilled workers the opportunity to relocate to Canada and gain a Canadian permanent residency visa quickly. Permanent residency is offered to more than 110,000 people every year through the Express Entry route.

Express Entry is a common route for immigration to Canada from Nigeria for applicants who have extensive work experience in certain skilled trades. Express Entry also requires applicants to have proficient language skills.

There are three ways you can relocate to Canada from Nigeria with Express Entry:

  • Canadian Experience Class – for skilled workers who have at least three years of work experience in Canada
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) – for skilled workers who meet specific higher education and language criteria, and have work experience in their field
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) – for qualified skilled trade workers with a valid qualification certificate or job offer from a Canadian company.


The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a points-based system where your work experience and personal circumstances are ranked based on valuability or need. You can achieve up to a total of 1200 points.

Every two weeks, the Express Entry pool applicants with the highest scores will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The CRS is based on the following factors:

  • “Core human capital factors”: these factors include age, educational qualification, language abilities, foreign or Canadian work experience
  • How transferrable your skilled work experience is
  • Factors regarding your accompanying spouse or common-law partner, if applicable
  • Factors regarding family living in Canada, if applicable
  • Employment and nomination factors, such as job offers from Canadian companies, invitation to study in Canada, or provincial nomination.

Canadian Experience Class

Please note that to apply for this immigration route, you need to have already lived and worked in Canada for at least 12 months.

The Canadian Experience Class is an Express Entry route available to applicants who have at least one year of skilled work experience, or 1560 working hours, in Canada within the last three years. This may look like:

  • Have worked a full time job for at least 30 hours a week for 12 months
  • Have worked a part time job of around 20 hours per week for 24 months
  • Have worked under temporary residence status during your work experience.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program allows you to apply to immigrate to Canada and gain permanent residence. In order to be eligible, you must have specific work experience.

To apply for the FSWP, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You can provide evidence that you have the financial means to support yourself and your family (if applicable) in Canada
  • A Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or foreign equivalent with an Education Credential Assessment report
  • A IELTS or CELPIP test proving your English or French language abilities (reading, writing, speaking, listening) meet grade 7 in the Canadian Language Benchmark
  • A minimum of 67 points on IRCC’s immigration selection factors
  • You can prove that you have 12 continuous months of full time paid work experience within the last 10 years in a skilled occupation that is listed under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER category 0, 1, 2, or 3. Examples of jobs that fall under this category include:
  • Dental Assistants
  • Financial Advisors
  • Laboratory Technicians
  • Office Managers.

Our experts will help you adapt to the Canadian way of life, from understanding local customs to finding the perfect neighborhood.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Another Express Entry route to relocate to Canada is to apply for the FSTP. To be eligible for this programme, you must:

  • Have at least 2 years of full time or 4 years of part-time work experience in one of the listed skilled trades. You must have gained this experience within five years of applying. Unpaid or volunteer experience won’t count towards your work experience time
  • Meet proficient language levels in English or French
  • Meet the requirements for a specific job listed in the FSTP, or have a relevant certificate or qualification to prove your experience or abilities in the field, or
  • Receive a full-time work offer from a Canadian company for at least one year, or a qualification issued by a Canadian governmental authority.

Examples of jobs eligible for application through the FSTP route are:

  • Cooks, butchers, bakers, or chefs
  • Occupations in industries surrounding natural resources, agriculture and related fields (supervisors, operators, controllers)
  • Occupations in industries surrounding processing, manufacturing and utilities (supervisors, operators, controllers)
  • Occupations related to aircraft assembling
  • Transportation Officers or Controllers.

To apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, you must be able to prove that your work experience meets the description of the NOC, otherwise your application will be refused

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a popular option for many Nigerian nationals looking to move from Nigeria to Canada. The PNP offers permanent residency for successful applicants.

As the second largest country in the world, Canada is situated across a vast territory, and each of the 10 provinces has a unique landscape, demographic, and worker needs. Some provinces are more densely populated than others, and certain provinces have a significant lack of skilled worker availability in particular sectors. This is where skilled immigration to Canada from Nigeria can be highly valuable to the country.

In order to be eligible as a PNP candidate, you must contact the province of interest and find out whether you meet the minimum requirements of its nomination program.

PNPs are also offered to foreign businesses if they are willing to move to a specific region of Canada that is suggested by the Canadian authorities. Ontario and Alberta are particularly popular PNP choices for Nigerians.

The 10 provinces that offer PNPs are:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon.

Family Sponsorship

Family sponsorship is a popular immigration route to Canada from Nigeria. Individuals with Canadian permanent residence or citizenship are able to sponsor family members through the Dependant visa, which offers the family member(s) from abroad permanent residence in the country.

Priority is generally given to spouses, civil partners or children, though there are options to sponsor other relatives too.

In order to sponsor a dependant, the person in Canada must be:

  • Above 18 years old
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Living in Canada when the dependant becomes a permanent resident.

To qualify for sponsorship, in general priority will be given to:

  • Spouses, common-law partners, or conjugal partners of the sponsor
  • Children of the sponsor under 22 years old who are not married or in a common-law relationship
  • Children of the sponsor above 22 years old with a mental or physical impairment that means they cannot support themselves financially.

To immigrate to Canada from Nigeria through the family sponsorship immigration route, the sponsor must prove they are financially stable and can support the dependant(s) at least by covering basic needs such as accommodation, clothing and food in Canada.

Both the sponsor and dependant must fill out separate applications, and should submit their applications together. If the person being sponsored is under 18, they should have a guardian complete their application for them.

Sponsoring family to move to Canada can be a complicated process. We can help. Contact IAS today online or call us +44 (0) 3316300929 or +23413438882 in Nigeria, or visit our office in Lagos.

Allow our team of legal experts to help you with the process of Canada Transit Visa application.

Start-Ups and Business Immigration to Canada


There are a number of exciting opportunities available in Canada for Nigerians who own businesses, are an entrepreneur, or are self-employed.

There are several economic immigration programmes available for Nigerians to apply for, and each route offers permanent residency in Canada.

Self Employed Visas

Self-employed visas are available to Nigerian nationals who own their own small business, and who rarely hire new staff and mostly are their own employee.

To be eligible, you must have at least two years of self-employed experience working in cultural or athletic activities that could be of value to Canada’s industries

Start Up Visa 

The Start-up visa is available for foreign entrepreneurs who could build a Canadian business that is:

  • Innovative
  • Can create more jobs
  • Can compete on a global scale.

In order to be eligible, you would need to:

  • Own a qualifying business
  • Receive a letter of support from a designated organisation
  • Meet the language requirements
  • Bring enough money to settle.

ICT – Intra Company Transfer 

If you have an established business in Nigeria and want to expand your company in Canada, then the Intra Company Transfer route is a good way to relocate to Canada from Nigeria. The ICT route allows you to move key members of your team to Canada to establish the business abroad. After living and working in Canada for 1 year on an ICT permit, Nigerian nationals become eligible for permanent residence

How To Immigrate to Canada

Relocating to a new country takes a considerable amount of time and preparation. The application process and cost will differ according to which route you take, and if you are bringing dependents with you. There will be considerably more to organise if you are planning to permanently relocate to Canada, rather than enter through temporary means.

In general, applications can take up to six months of processing time, with temporary visas more likely taking 1-2 months. However, this could take longer depending on your particular circumstances.

It should be noted that to prove that you have the means to support yourself while in Canada, you will usually need to show that you have the equivalent of around $13,000 CAN dollars per applicant per year.

If you relocate to Canada through an economic immigration scheme, then you will need to prove significant sums of money that you plan to invest in Canada through your company. You may have to invest in a Canadian company, or offer an interest-free loan to a province or the federal government.

You will need to be sure that you have all relevant documents ready when you enter immigration controls in Canada. This includes:

  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (if applicable)
  • Valid passport
  • Valid Permanent resident visa (if applicable)
  • Quebec Selection Certificate (if applicable)
  • Any other document that may have been issued to you by the Canadian government.

How Can IAS Help?

Canada is a popular choice for Nigerians and foreign nationals from around the world who wish to relocate their lives abroad. Perhaps you have been offered the job of your dreams, wish to provide your family with access to world-class education opportunities, or are simply searching for an improved quality of life.

We understand how big of a decision it is to move your life to Canada from Nigeria, and how much planning and organising you have to do. Making sense of immigration laws and visa applications can feel overwhelming, and you may be unsure whether you are taking the right immigration route for you and your family.

That’s why we are here. IAS have a team of expert immigration lawyers who can guide you through every step of the visa application process, as well as support and advise on your big move to Canada. To speak to one of our team, contact IAS today online or call us on +44 (0) 3316300929 or +23413438882 in Nigeria, or visit our office in Lagos. We are here to help.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Relocating to a new country isn’t an easy process, and will require a lot of planning.

As a rough guide, you will need to make sure that:

  • You are eligible for a Canadian visa
  • You have enough money to support you and any family you relocate with
  • You have the right qualifications or skills to add to the workforce.
  • You apply for the relevant immigration route with plenty of time to wait for a response before your relocation date.

Your ability to enter Canada through immigration will depend on the severity of your crime. Certain crimes may make it harder to apply for a permanent or long-term visa, or could make it difficult to obtain certain jobs. If you need advice regarding your criminal record and moving to Canada, we have immigration lawyers who can help you.

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