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Types of Visa in Canada for Nigerians

If you are a Nigerian national looking to travel to Canada for any reason, you’ll first need to apply for a dedicated visa.

IAS’ immigration lawyers are on hand to help you with your journey to Canada, whether it’ll be on a temporary or permanent basis. Speak to one of our advisers in Canada or in our Lagos office today. Call us on +44 (0) 3316300929 or +23413438882 if you’re in Nigeria. Or, reach out to us online.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS Canada Immigration Lawyers

    When it comes to obtaining a Canada visa or permit, IAS Canada immigration lawyers are well-equipped to help you.

    With IAS’ track record of successfully helping clients visit or immigrate to Canada successfully, we can help you achieve your goal.

    Our dedicated immigration lawyers provide our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach. With IAS, you enjoy:

    Compassionate support from an experienced immigration lawyer dedicated to your success

    Support in gathering supporting documents and completing a high-quality application.

    Confidence that your case is being handled by an experienced team.

    In-house document checks done by lawyers who are well-versed in  immigration matters.

    Regardless of what your Canadian immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    IAS are well-equipped to help you achieve your goal of getting to Canada, regardless of your immigration situation.

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    Overview of Types of Canadian Visa for Nigerians

    Canada is consistently ranked as the most desirable country in the world for foreign nationals to immigrate to.

    This is in part due to its relatively low crime rate, range of employment opportunities and highly attractive landscapes.

    As a consequence, Canadian visas are highly sought-after, and can sometimes come with demanding and difficult entrance requirements.

    However, there is a wide range of different visas to allow for various types of immigrants to come to Canada, whether on a temporary or permanent basis.

    These include the following:

    • Visitor visas
    • Work visas
    • Study visas
    • Business visas
    • Family visas

    A broad overview of these visa types is covered in the following sections of this article.

    Canada Visitor Visas

    Overview

    If you wish to visit Canada for a short period of time, you must apply for a Visitor visa.

    Canadian visitor visas include the following:

    • Visitor visa (also includes Business Visitors)
    • Super visa
    • Transit visa

    Visitor Visa

    The Canada Visitor visa is the standard short-term visit visa that all Nigerians must apply for if they wish to stay in Canada short-term.

    This visa will allow you to visit Canada for up to 6 months at a time. With it, you will be able to do things such as engage in tourism, see family and friends, and take part in short-term courses.

    You can also apply for a Visitor visa if you’re a Business Visitor, who is someone who travels to Canada to take part in business activities without joining the Canadian labour market. Business Visitors will be allowed to advance business relationships, look for ways to grow their business and invest while staying in Canada.

    Visitor visas cost CAN$100.

    Super Visa

    The Canada Super visa is a special type of visit visa that allows parents or grandparents who have Canadian children to go and visit them for extended, temporary stays.

    Super visas are valid for up to 5 years at a time. You must have a child who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada to be eligible.

    Super visas cost CAN$100.

    Transit Visa

    The Transit visa, meanwhile, is a visa for Nigerian citizens looking to transit through a Canadian airport, such as if you need to connect to a flight leaving for a different destination.

    Transit visas are only suitable if you’ll be connecting to a different flight out of Canada in less than 48 hours. If you’ll be staying in Canada for more than 48 hours, or if you plan to leave the airport into Canada, you’ll have to apply for a Visitor visa instead.

    Transit visas are free to apply for.

    Canada Work Visas

    Overview

    There are a wide range of permits, schemes and pilots available for foreign nationals looking to come to Canada to work.

    Many of these will also allow you to settle in Canada permanently, enabling you to obtain permanent resident status and eventually apply for Canadian citizenship.

    Below is a list of all of the work permits and schemes that Canada offers to Nigerian citizens as of June 2023:

    • Work Permit
    • Express Entry Programmes:
      • Federal Skilled Worker Program
      • Federal Skilled Trades Program
      • Canadian Experience Class
    • Post-Graduation Work Permit
    • Provincial Nominee Programs
    • Atlantic Immigration Program
    • Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program
    • Agri-Food Pilot
    • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
    • Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot
    • Caregivers Programs
    • International Experience Canada

    Canadian Work Visas Explained

    The wide range of work visas and programs offered means that you’ll have to carefully research each one to ensure that you’re applying for the one best suited to your needs.

    For example, certain programs such as Canadian Experience Class and the Post-Graduation Work Permit will require you to have experience or qualifications in Canada already.

    Meanwhile, the Express Entry Programs will require you to accrue enough points using the Canada Comprehensive Ranking system, which will rank your viability to enter Canada based on your skills, experience and qualifications.

    If you wish to live in the province of Quebec, on the other hand, you can apply for the Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program. This may especially be of interest to you if you’re a French speaker looking to settle in a Francophone society.

    Many work permits will likely require you to meet certain financial, skill and education requirements, as well as requiring you to speak English or French to a minimum standard.

    Canadian work visas will range from anything to a few hundred Canadian dollars to several thousand. It’s important to make sure you know for certain how much you may have to pay for your visa or permit before you apply.

    Ignite your career in Canada from Nigeria. Apply for Canada Work Visas. Contact us for expert guidance today.

    Canada Study Visas

    Study permits are a popular way for individuals to travel and experience life in another country while also gaining qualifications.

    The Canada study permit will allow you to come to Canada and study at any one of its designated learning institutions (DLI). Note that you will only require a study permit if you’re planning to study for 6 months or longer. If your intended course of study is shorter than this, then you will only need to apply for a Visitor visa.

    A range of courses and learning institutions are accessible through a study permit, including secondary schools, colleges, universities, private career colleges and vocational and technical schools.

    You must have already secured a place on a course with a DLI in order to apply for a study permit. You must also prove that you have enough money for your living expenses, your course fees and your return travel back home.

    One significant benefit of the Canada study permit is the ability to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit after you graduate, which will allow you to stay in Canada and look for work. You can then use this work experience to apply for a Canadian work permit and possibly obtain permanent residency.

    Canada study permits cost CAN$150.

    Canada Business Visas

    There are two main schemes available in Canada that will allow you to either expand  a business into Canada or work as a self-employed individual in Canada. These are as follows:

    • Start-up Visa Program
    • Self-employed Persons Program

    Start-Up Visa Program

    The Start-up Visa Program is intended for foreign entrepreneurs who have innovative businesses, can create jobs for Canadians and can operate on a global scale.

    To be eligible, you must already have a qualifying business in Nigeria or elsewhere in the world. You must also receive a letter of support from a designated organisation who is willing to invest in your business idea’s expansion.

    The Start-up Visa Program costs CAN$2,140 to apply for.

    Self-Employed Persons Program

    The Self-employed Persons Program is the main way in which self-employed foreign nationals can immigrate to Canada.

    To be eligible for this scheme, you must have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics, and be willing and able to make a significant contribution to Canada in your field of expertise.

    The Self-employed Persons Program costs CAN$2,140 to apply for.

    Canada Family Visas

    If you have a family member who is a Canadian permanent resident or citizen, you can apply to join them through Family Sponsorship.

    This is a broad term referring to a few different programmes for family members of Canadians. Through these schemes, the following family members can travel to Canada and settle there:

    • Spouses or partners
    • Dependent children
    • Adopted children
    • Parents
    • Grandparents

    You may also be able to sponsor other types of family members other than these, although the restrictions will typically be much stricter and more narrow.

    To travel to Canada as a family member, your relative must act as your sponsor and agree to fulfil certain duties. This may include agreeing to support you financially and making sure that your basic needs are met when you’ll be in Canada.

    You must also satisfy a range of eligibility criteria when you apply, such as proving your family link, or satisfying financial requirements.

    Family sponsorships typically cost between CAN$150 and CAN$1,080.

    Unite your family in Canada from Nigeria. Apply for Canada Family Visas. Contact us for assistance.

    How Do I Apply for a Canada Visa?

    In most cases, you will have to apply for a Canadian visa online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

    In a few cases, you may be able to apply by post to your local Canadian embassy or consulate, although this is generally not encouraged due to how slow the process can be compared to applying online.

    As part of the application process, you will typically have to fill in a range of forms and upload your supporting documents online. Certain programmes such as Express Entry and Provincial Nominee programmes may also have complex, multi-step application processes you will have to follow.

    After you submit your application, you may also need to attend an appointment at a local visa application centre to give your biometrics information.

    There are two Canada visa application centres located in Nigeria: one in Lagos, and one in Abuja.

    Once you submit your application, IRCC will closely inspect your application to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for entry. They will also check your family members’ applications if you’re bringing any of them as your dependents.

    You will then be told if your visa has been approved or denied.

    Note that a Canadian visa is not a guarantee of entry into Canada. You will also be met with a Canadian border official when you arrive at the country border to check that you’re eligible to enter Canada.

    Need help deciding on the right type of Canada visa to apply for? Our team of experts is here to guide you. Contact us today for personalized assistance.

    How Can IAS Help?

    Canadian visas offer a huge range of potential options for Nigerian citizens looking to immigrate to Canada.

    However, it can be difficult to know which one is the best option for you and your own personal circumstances.

    IAS can help. Our immigration lawyers work across North America and Nigeria to help our clients get on the right track in their immigration journey. Our knowledge and experience will ensure that you are better informed about what your choices are, and which pathway will be best for you.

    Whether you want to know which work permit will best suit your skills, which route will be the best for you to settle in Canada permanently, or just need to speak with a professional one-to-one to help figure out your options and to help with the visa application process, we can help.

    We can also liaise with IRCC and the Government of Canada on your behalf should any unexpected complications arise with your application.

    Let us help you take the first step in your journey today. Call us on +44 (0) 3316300929 or +23413438882 if you’re in Nigeria. Or, reach out to us online.

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

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Canadian visa applications will typically require you to upload a range of documents to help prove your identity, skills and background.

    These documents will differ based on which visa you’re applying for. But they may include (but not be limited to) the following:

    • A valid passport or travel document
    • Proof of your education or work experience
    • Proof of family ties
    • Proof of personal funds or finances
    • Proof of language proficiency
    • Immigration history
    • Criminal history
    • Medical examination certificates

    A visitor record is a document that can either extend or restrict your stay in Canada. It is not the same as a Visitor visa, which is placed in your passport and shows that you are eligible to enter Canada.

    A visitor record can either be given to you by a border services officer when you first enter Canada, or by IRCC when you’re already in Canada. You may receive one if you have valid reasons to extend your stay in Canada beyond the normal 6 month period.

    Visitor records cost CAN$100 to obtain.

    To become a permanent resident in Canada, you must apply for a specific immigration pathway that will allow you to do so.

    These will normally be certain work or family visa schemes. You will not be able to become a permanent resident by applying for a visa, permit or scheme that is not established as a pathway to permanent residency.

    Some of the most popular pathways to permanent residency include Express Entry work programmes, Provincial Nominee Programs and family sponsorship.

    Successfully applying for permanent residency in Canada will mean that you can live, work and study in Canada indefinitely. It will also allow you to apply for Canadian citizenship once you’re eligible.

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