Canada is renowned for its vast landmass, high standard of living, exceptional education system, and abundant job opportunities, earning it a top spot among the best countries in the world. Indeed it is no surprise that many people aspire to immigrate to Canada, especially Nigerians. However, you might have heard that the Canadian immigration process is challenging and lengthy, which can leave you feeling confused. But you shouldn’t worry as in this article we would be unveiling how to relocate from Nigeria to Canada including the costs, and tips for a smooth transition among other relevant information.
Why Relocate to Canada from Nigeria?
There are several reasons you might consider relocating to Canadafrom Nigeria:
1. High Standard of Living
Canada is known for its high standard of living, which is significantly higher than Nigeria. Canadians enjoy a higher quality of life, better healthcare, and a more stable political environment.
2. Good Job Opportunities
Canada has a strong and diverse economy, which provides numerous job opportunities for skilled workers. The country also has a high minimum wage, which ensures that even entry-level jobs pay a decent wage.
3. Quality Education
Canada has a highly regarded education system, with some of the best universities in the world. The country is also known for its excellent public schools, which provide a high-quality education to students.
4. Safety and Security
Canada is a safe country with a high security system and low crime rates. This makes it an attractive destination for families and individuals looking for a secure place to live.
Canada is a diverse and multicultural country, with people from all over the world living and working there. This makes it an inclusive and welcoming place for people of different backgrounds and cultures including Nigerians.
What are the Ways to Immigrate to Canada as a Nigerian?
There are a number of ways to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria. However, some of these ways would be discussed below:
1. The Express Entry System
This is a widely used and straightforward way to immigrate to Canada. It enables you to commence your immigration process from any part of the world. Within a short period of six months, you could be in Canada through the visa application process by taking part in any of the three available programs:
• Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
• Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
• Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
The FSWP is for skilled workers who have at least one year of work experience in a skilled occupation, while the FSTP is for skilled tradespeople who have experience in certain trades. The CEC is for individuals who have minimum of one year of skilled work experience in any field in Canada.
If you meet the eligibility requirements for your preferred category, you will be required to complete your online profile, which is valid for an entire year. Subsequently, you may obtain a score using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which is a point-based assessment system. Factors such as education, work experience, language proficiency, job offer, adaptability, and age contribute to your CRS score. Following this, you will be placed in a candidate pool, and those with the highest scores will be invited to apply for permanent residence (PR) in Canada. Remember that you only have 90 days to submit your PR application. The cost of the Express Entry program is CAD 2300 for a single applicant and CAD 4500 for couples.
2. Atlantic Immigration Pilot
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) is a straightforward path to immigrating to Canada, taking only six months to complete the process. The AIP was designed to facilitate immigration to Atlantic Canada, which includes Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. Applicants can choose from three programs under the AIP, including the Atlantic International Graduate Program, the Atlantic High-skilled Program, and the Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program.
• The Atlantic International Graduate Program
To qualify for the Atlantic International Graduate Program, applicants must have graduated from a publicly funded institution in one of Canada’s Atlantic provinces. They must also show proof of residency in the province for at least 16 months in the two years before their qualification, as well as demonstrate financial support for themselves and any dependents. Additionally, they must provide results of English or French language proficiency tests.
• The Atlantic High-skilled Program
For the Atlantic High-skilled Program, applicants must have at least one year of experience in management, professional, or skilled work. They must also have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report for their foreign degree or certificate, as well as show proof of language proficiency in English or French. Financial support for themselves and any dependents is also required.
• The Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program
Finally, the Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program requires applicants to have a high school diploma equivalent to a Canadian credential, an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report. They must also have at least one year of experience in a job that requires job-specific training or high school education. Language proficiency in English or French and financial support for themselves and any dependents are also necessary.
3. Family Sponsorship
In line with its immigration policies, Canada places great importance on family reunification and provides avenues for new permanent residents to be united with their families. As such, if you have a family member who is already a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, they can sponsor you to become a permanent resident as well. The Family Sponsorship Program is available and has four categories, which are briefly discussed below.
• The Dependent Child Sponsorship
This is for unmarried children under the age of 22 who are considered qualified dependents, either through adoption or being biological children. However, it’s important to note that sponsorship approval from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is required.
• The Spousal and Common-law Partner Sponsorship
This category allows a permanent Canadian citizen’s spouse or common-law partner to sponsor them for permanent residency. A common-law partner refers to a couple who have cohabited together for at least a year.
• Orphaned Family Members
If you are orphaned and have a relative who is a Canadian resident, such as a brother, sister, uncle or aunt, they can sponsor you to live in Canada through the Orphaned Family Members category.
• Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship
The Canadian government allows Canadian citizens to financially support their parents or grandparents and sponsor them to reside in Canada. However, the program has a yearly limit of accepting only 10,000 immigrants.
4. The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)
These programs provide a straightforward route to immigration in Canada. Each Canadian province offers different nominee programs with unique eligibility criteria. Some of the Provincial Nominee Programs available are :
• Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
• British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)
• Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
• New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NW PNP)
• Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
Costs of Relocating to Canada from Nigeria
There’s no specific cost of relocating to Canada from Nigeria as there are various programs available and factors to be considered. However, we would be considering the expenses of relocating to Canada from Nigeria through the Express Entry program and the provincial nominee program.
• Express Entry Program
We have discussed in detail about the Express Entry program and the application fees above. However, to qualify for the program, you must also consider the following costs:
1. Language Tests
To be eligible for the Express Entry program, you must prove your proficiency in English, and this also applies to your spouse. Applicants can take either the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test. While the cost of these tests varies, you should expect to pay around ₦100,000 – ₦200,000 per test.
2. Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
You and your spouse are required to have your educational certificates (Diploma, Bachelor’s, Master’s degrees, etc.) evaluated by a recognized agency to ascertain that they are in line with Canadian standards. These recognized agencies include World Education Service (WES) or International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS). Be prepared to spend around ₦100,000 – ₦200,000 per evaluation.
3. Proof of Funds
Proof of funds is a crucial factor in the Canadian immigration process. It is essential to show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family upon arrival in Canada. The required amount depends on the number of family members, and you must provide evidence of your financial resources, such as bank statements or investment records. Presently, a family of four needs at least ₦15,000,000 as the minimum required amount. However, to enhance your chances of being approved by the immigration officer, it is advisable to have more than the stipulated amount in your bank account.
4. Medical Fees
Furthermore, undergoing medical examinations is mandatory before you and your family can relocate to Canada to ensure that you are medically fit. The cost of these medical exams may vary, but you should expect to pay approximately ₦150,000 – ₦200,000 per person.
5. Police Clearance Certificate
As part of the immigration process to Canada, it is required that you and your family provide police certificates from all countries where you have resided for at least six months within the past ten years. The cost of getting these certificates varies depending on the country, but it is usually about ₦10,000 – ₦20,000 per certificate.
Costs of Traveling and Settling in Canada
Last but not least, you should also factor in the expenses related to travel and settling in Canada. This includes airfare, transportation, temporary lodging, and household essentials like furniture and groceries. The total cost of these expenses will depend on your circumstances. While it’s up to you to determine your budget, it’s recommended to prepare for a total cost of around ₦2,000,000 – ₦3,000,000.
Cost of the Provincial Nominee Program
Noteworthy the cost of the provincial nominee program varies by province. However, the estimated application fees for some provinces would be highlighted below:
• British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) – ₦347,382.42
• Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) – ₦151,383.88
• New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) – ₦75,513.76
• Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) – ₦347,382.42
• Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEIPNP) – ₦94,118.64
• Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) – ₦108, 698.50
Tips for a Smooth Transition to Canada from Nigeria
Now that you have decided to move to Canada and you are aware of the immigration pathways open to you, it is important to take note of the following tips to help you with a smooth transition:
1. Research and Plan
Before moving to Canada, it’s essential to research the different cities and provinces to find the one that suits your needs. You should also plan your budget and make sure you have enough money to cover your expenses for the first few months.
2. Get the Necessary documents
Ensure that you have all the necessary documents such as a valid passport, visa or work permit, health insurance, and any other essential documents.
3. Learn the Language
Canada is a bilingual country, and knowing French or English can be advantageous in finding employment and communicating with locals. Although a good number of Nigerians speak English as it is the country’s official language, you can consider taking language classes or using language learning apps to improve your language skills and be better. If you wish to move to French-speaking areas of Canada such as Quebec, it is important to learn French.
4. Secure Housing
Secure your accommodation before you arrive in Canada to avoid the stress of searching for a place to stay. You can rent a place online, stay with friends or family, or use short-term rentals while you find a permanent residence.
5. Prepare for the Weather
Canada has cold winters and warm summers, so it’s important to prepare for the weather. Invest in warm clothing, boots, and winter accessories to stay comfortable during the colder months.
Canada is arguably one of the best countries around the globe. Ifyou have been looking for information on how you can relocate to Canada successfully from Nigeria, we hope this article has been a tremendous help to you. It is important to follow our tips as they will serve as guidelines to help you have a smooth immigrationprocess.