Canada is arguably one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. It is a beautiful country blessed with an enormous landscape, high educational standards, and receptive citizens, among others. Little wonder, many Nigerians seek to immigrate to Canada and start a life there. However, before you can travel to Canada, you need to get a visa. There are so many agents out there promising to help you get a visa but many of them turn out to be scammers. Fortunately, all you need is the right information and you’d be able to navigate the whole visa process on your own. In this article, we would be unveiling how to apply for a Canadian visa from Nigeria among other relevant information.
About Canadian Visa
Nigerians who seek to travel to Canada need to get a Canadian visa for various purposes. A Canadian visa is one of the keys that openthe door to Canada for you. It is like a sticker or stamp on your passport which allows you to travel to Canada for a period of time. However, it is possible to still be denied access to the country even with a visa. This could happen if you are dishonest. Hence, the officials at the border could send you back to Nigeria if you fail to answer their questions correctly.
Canadian Visa Types
As we have noted above there are different Canadian visas for different purposes and the one you would get depends on what you want to do in Canada. Hence, the type of Canadian visas are:
A. The Canadian Temporary Resident Visa
The Canadian Temporary Resident Visa is also known as a visitor visa. This type of visa, as its name suggests, permits entry into Canada for a limited time that is often determined by the Canadian Consulate or the Border Services Officers (BSO). You would need to submit an online or paper application through the visa application centre in Nigeria to obtain this visa. There are two types of temporary visas: single entry and multiple entry.
Single-entry visas only allow you to enter Canada once; after you leave the country, further access is prohibited. As long as your multiple-entry visa is still in effect, you are free to enter and exit the country as often as you choose.
The types of Canadian Temporary Resident Visa include:
1. Canadian Tourist Visa
As the name suggests, this visa allows Nigerians to visit Canada for tourism.
2. Diplomatic and Official Visa
This Canadian visa allows officials and diplomats from other countries of the world to visit Canada for official duties.
3. Canadian Super Visa
If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada and you have parents or grandparents who wish to visit you for a prolonged stay, then this visa is suitable for them.
4. Courtesy Visa
This is similar to the Diplomatic and Official visa but it is for people who could not get the visa but are still accepted because of their ranks.
5. Visa to Give Birth
This is given to pregnant people who wish to reside in the countrytemporarily and give birth to their babies making their child a Canadian citizen.
6. Canada Business Visa
If you or a group of people are seeking to travel to Canada for business, then this is the best visa for you.
7. Temporary Work Visa
This visa is for those who have gotten an employment offer to work in the country for up to 6 months.
8. Canadian Student Visa
This visa is usually referred to as a study permit and is given to those who want to pursue their education in Canada after they have received an admission offer from a university in Canada. Bear in mind that schooling in Canada for less than 6 months would require a Temporary Resident Visa(TRV) but longer periods would require a student visa or permit.
9. Organs Donor Visa
This is given to persons who want to travel to Canada to donate an organ to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Canada.
10. Canada Felicitation Visa
This is usually given to citizens with dual nationalities who do notpossess a Canadian passport.
B. Permanent Residence Visa
This visa is for individuals who want to settle and work permanently in Canada. There are different types of permanent resident visas and they include:
1. Immigrant Investor Program
Nigerians who desire to make investments in the Canadian economycan take this visa. However, it is important to have a net worth of CAD800,000 and invest a minimum of CAD 400,000 which the Canadian government would return in 5 years, without any interest.
2. Startup Visa Program
This is also for people that want to contribute positively to the Canadian economy. If this is your desire, then your net worth must be a minimum of CAD 300,000 and you must decide to own and manage one-third of the Canadian business to be eligible for this visa.
3. Self-Employed Persons Visa
If you plan to start your own business once you arrive in Canada, then this visa is for you. You must be able to showcase your skillsand expertise in your desired field and provide proof of how you choose to fund the business.
4. Family Sponsorship Program
This allows spouses and dependents of Canadian permanent residents or citizens to permanently migrate to Canada.
5. Express Entry Program Visas
This comprises three types of visas that relate to the Canadian economy and they include Canadian Skilled Worker Visa, Canadian Skilled Trades Visa and Canadian Experience Class Visa.
6. Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)
Workers who are semi-skilled or low-skilled but have the ability to make a positive impact on the Canadian economy are qualified for this visa under the Provincial Nominee Program.
Canadian Visa Requirements
1. A Valid International Passport
Any Nigerian seeking to apply for a Canadian visa would need avalid international passport. It is expedient that you have a passportthat is valid all through your intended stay in the country. You mayalso be asked to present photocopies of the data page of yourinternational passport which contains important details such as yourpassport number, the date of issue and expiry, and your personalinformation which includes your name, photo, place of birth, anddate of birth.
2. Visa Fee Receipt
You must pay the visa fees and other necessary fees before applyingfor a Canadian visa. This is because you would be asked to attachthe receipts to your visa application. There are two types of visa feesfor Canadian visas:
• Biometric fees
• Application processing fees.
Bear in mind that the amount that should be paid varies and dependson the kind of visa you want to get.
3. Passport Photographs
You need two passport-sized pictures that meet the requirements ifyou decide to submit your application offline. For an onlineapplication, you must get a digital copy of the photographs, whichshould not be more than 4MB. Other requirements includemaintaining a neutral facial expression, the photo measuring 35mm by 45mm, having a plain background, and not wearing a headcovering unless your religion prohibits it. Also, the photograph mustbe recent, that is, it must not be older than six months.
4. Proof of Sufficient Funds
For your Canadian visa application, you would have to show your financial stability. You would need to prove that you would have sufficient funds to cover both your expenses and the expenses of anyone travelling with you. Your bank statements, a letter from your employer showing your annual salary, a document showing your host’s or a family member’s income, your plan to be supported financially to pay for your costs during your stay, etc. could all serve as proof.
5. Proof of Return Trip
You may need to attach proof to persuade the officials that youwould be returning to Nigeria as soon as your visa expires. Thiscould be through proof of your employment, ownership ofproperties in Nigeria, proof of family members in Nigeria etc.
6. Identity Documents
It is pertinent to attach a valid ID document so you can be properlyidentified. You can use your national card, voter’s card, driver’slicense, marriage certificate, birth certificate etc.
7. Proof of Good Character
Canada frowns at criminal activities and embraces persons who arelaw-abiding and do not pose a threat to the country. You would needto submit proof that you have good character and you have no criminal record. This can be done by submitting a Police CharacterCertificate from Nigeria.
8. Proof of Good Health
You would be required to prove that you are disease-free and fit to stay in Canada. You can prove this by submitting a medicalcertificate from a reputable hospital. You must include copies ofyour medical certificate or report in your application.
Canadian Visa Application Guide
1. Determine Visa Type Eligibility
The Canadian government has made the process of determining visa eligibility easy in order not to waste time. The government has created several evaluations that use an applicant’s answers to an online questionnaire to determine their eligibility. Depending on the kind of visa you want, you will need to answer a questionnaire. The system will then inform you whether you are qualified to apply or not. It will also present instructions and suggestions you shouldfollow in order to meet all the requirements. Your results would then be sent to you after the completion of the evaluation.
2. Create your Online Account
Once you are eligible for a visa category, you would receiveinstructions which may be sent to the email address you providedearlier. You can apply for your chosen visa online or in person, but online applications are popular. To apply for the visa online, you are required to open an online account. You can create an online account in two ways which are:
• You can use your online bank information.
• You can create your Canadian government login(GCKey).
3. Get your Documents Ready
Once you have created your account and login, you can begin yourvisa application. Ensure you make use of the reference code given toyou to apply for the visa you are eligible for. As soon as you inputthe reference code, you would see the documents that you would need for the visa application. Ensure you submit all your documents correctly and cross-check, then submit your application. Note that incorrect documents may cause your visa to be rejected.
4. Pay the Required Visa Fees
After you have successfully submitted your documents online, the system would automatically take you to a payment page. Here, you would have to pay the necessary fees depending on the type of your visa. Afterwards, you would be able to submit your application.
Note that if you apply in person, you only need to take those documents to the Canadian visa application centre In Nigeria. However, it may take some time for you to see the application on your account if you apply online.
5. Wait for the Processing of your Visa
The Canadian Embassy or visa application centre will then use two or more weeks to process your application, depending on the type of visa you are eligible for. Also, they might ask for additional documents from you, your biometric information (which includes your photo and fingerprints), or set up an interview for you. If the visa application centre requests your biometrics and schedules an interview, you will still need to appear physically even if you submitted your application online. You should keep in mind thatnotifications would be sent to your account, therefore you must check it often.
6. Submit your Passport and other Fees
Submit your passport and other processing fees to the visa application centre as soon as you are informed that your visa application has been approved. Your passport and processing fees will be delivered to the embassy personnel or visa application centre, who will stamp your passport with the visa and mail it back to you.
Canada is indeed a beautiful country and you are sure to enjoy your stay there. Before you can travel to Canada for whatever reason, you need to obtain a visa. If you have been perplexed about how to go about the Canadian visa application process, then we know that you have found this article useful.