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How to Immigrate to Canada from Nigeria: Eligibility and Process

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How to Immigrate to Canada from Nigeria: Eligibility and Process

Canada is one of the most popular destinations for immigrants from Nigeria, and for good reasons. Canada offers a high quality of life, a diverse and multicultural society, a strong economy, and a welcoming attitude towards newcomers. Canada also has a range of immigration programs that cater to different skills, backgrounds, and goals of prospective immigrants.

If you are a Nigerian who wants to immigrate to Canada, you may be wondering which program is best for you, and how to apply for it. In this article, we will explain the main immigration options for Nigerians, their eligibility criteria, and their application process. We will also provide you with some useful resources and tips to help you achieve your Canadian dream.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

One of the most popular and accessible options for Nigerians is the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), which is part of the Express Entry system. The FSWP allows candidates with work experience, education, language skills, and other human capital factors to apply for permanent residence without a job offer or a connection to Canada.

To qualify for the FSWP, you need to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • One year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A, or B. These are occupations that require at least a university degree, a college diploma, or a trade certificate, such as managers, professionals, technicians, and tradespeople.
  • Validated language ability equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or French across all abilities (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). You can prove your language ability by taking a recognized test, such as the IELTS or the TEF, and submitting your test results with your application.
  • Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or foreign credential and Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report. If you have a foreign credential, you need to get an ECA report from a designated organization, such as WES or ICAS, to show that your credential is equivalent to a Canadian one.
  • At least 67 points on IRCC’s six immigration selection factors. These factors are age, education, work experience, language ability, arranged employment, and adaptability. You can use the online tool on the IRCC website to calculate your points based on your profile.
  • Enough money for you and your family to settle in Canada. You need to show that you have enough funds to support yourself and your dependents for at least six months after you arrive in Canada. The amount of money you need depends on the size of your family, and it is updated every year by IRCC. You can check the current amount on the IRCC website.

If you meet these requirements, you can submit an online profile to the Express Entry pool, where you will be ranked based on your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The CRS score is based on factors such as age, education, work experience, language ability, and adaptability. Every two weeks, the Canadian government issues Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to the highest-ranking candidates in the pool. If you receive an ITA, you can submit a full application for permanent residence within 60 days. The processing time for the FSWP is usually six months or less.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Another option for Nigerians is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate candidates who meet their specific labour market needs and economic development goals. Each province and territory has its own PNP streams and criteria, which may differ from the federal programs. Some PNPs are aligned with the Express Entry system, while others are not.

You can apply to a PNP stream directly, or you can enter the Express Entry pool and be invited by a province that selects candidates from the federal pool. If you receive a provincial nomination, you will get an additional 600 CRS points, which will boost your chances of getting an ITA from the federal government.

Some of the popular PNP streams for Nigerians are:

  • Ontario Human Capital Priorities Stream: This stream targets candidates who have the required education, work experience, language skills, and settlement funds to contribute to Ontario’s economy. Candidates must have a CRS score of at least 400 and meet the FSWP or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) criteria. Candidates must also have work experience or education in one of the eligible occupations identified by Ontario.
  • Alberta Express Entry Stream: This stream targets candidates who have strong ties to Alberta or can support the province’s economic development and diversification. Candidates must have a CRS score of at least 300 and meet the FSWP, the CEC, or the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) criteria. Candidates must also have work experience or education in an occupation that supports Alberta’s economic development and diversification, or have a job offer or work experience in Alberta.
  • Saskatchewan International Skilled Worker Category: This category has two streams: the Occupation In-Demand Stream and the Express Entry Stream. Both streams target candidates who have the required education, work experience, language skills, and settlement funds to establish themselves in Saskatchewan. Candidates must also have work experience or education in one of the eligible occupations identified by Saskatchewan.
  • Manitoba Skilled Worker Stream: This stream targets candidates who have the required education, work experience, language skills, and settlement funds to settle and work in Manitoba. Candidates must also have a connection to Manitoba, such as a close relative, a friend, a previous education or work experience, or an invitation from the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP).

Other Immigration Options

Other immigration options for Nigerians include the Quebec Immigration Program, which is managed by the province of Quebec and has its own selection criteria and application process; the Business Immigration Program, which targets entrepreneurs, investors, and self-employed individuals who can contribute to Canada’s economy; the Family Class Sponsorship Program, which allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their eligible relatives to join them in Canada; and the Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence Pathway, which allows certain temporary foreign workers and international graduates to apply for permanent residence based on their Canadian work experience and skills.

How to Learn More and Apply

To learn more about these immigration options and how to apply for them, you can visit the official websites of the Canadian government, the Quebec government, and the provinces and territories. You can also find useful information and resources on the websites of CanadaVisa and CIC News, which are reputable sources of Canadian immigration news and guidance. Alternatively, you can get a free Canadian immigration assessment from CanadaVisa and Cohen Immigration Law, which will help you determine your eligibility and the best program for you.

Conclusion

Immigrating to Canada from Nigeria can be a rewarding and life-changing experience, but it can also be a challenging and complex process. You need to find the right immigration program for you, meet the eligibility criteria, and follow the application process correctly. However, with the right information, guidance, and preparation, you can achieve your Canadian dream and enjoy the benefits of living in one of the best countries in the world.

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