Immigrate to Canada from Nigeria

This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria (Eligibility requirements, How much does it cost? Steps to apply,…) 

Nigerian immigrants make up one of the largest foreign-born groups in Canada. In fact, over the last decade, Nigerian immigration to Canada has grown rapidly. In 2018, Nigerians were the third-largest group of new immigrants to Canada. As a result, it’s likely that you know someone who emigrated from Nigeria to Canada or is considering doing so.

Perhaps, you’re even thinking about moving to Canada yourself. If so, you might be wondering how you can move there as well. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about immigrating to Canada from Nigeria. We explore the different ways that you can become a Canadian resident and what conditions you must meet in order to do so.

Table of Contents

What is the process for immigrating to Canada from Nigeria?

The process for immigrating to Canada from Nigeria is complex, however, dividing it into smaller steps makes it easier to understand and complete.

Most people who immigrate to Canada from Nigeria do so through Canadian immigration programs for skilled foreign workers.

This process generally involves the following steps:

  1. Find out which Canadian immigration program you qualify for
  2. Pass an exam to evaluate your English or French language skills
  3. Get an Education Credential Assessment if applying for the FSWP
  4. Collect the documents needed to confirm your eligibility
  5. File an Express Entry profile with the Canadian immigration agency
  6. Apply for jobs in Canada (important for living in Canada/immigration points)
  7. Receive an Invitation to Apply for Canadian permanent residency
  8. Each family member in the visa application has a medical exam
  9. File the Application for Canadian Permanent Residency and pay fees
  10. You receive a decision about Express Entry to Canada within 6 months

Who Can Immigrate to Canada from Nigeria?

NigeriaThousands of people from Nigeria immigrate to Canada each year as permanent residents.

In general, the following people can immigrate to Canada from Nigeria:

  • Skilled foreign workers who qualify for “economic” immigration programs
  • Entrepreneurs who will start an approved business in Canada
  • International students who are accepted to Canadian educational institutions
  • Refugees who are approved for immigration to Canada
  • Asylum-seekers who are approved to live in Canada long-term
  • Temporary foreign workers with a valid Canadian work permit
  • Family members:
    • Spouse or common-law partner (opposite or same sex)
    • Dependent children (unmarried and under 22 years of age)
    • Mother and father
    • Grandmother and grandfather
    • Orphaned sister and brother (under 18 years old and single)
    • Orphaned niece and nephew (under 18 years old and single)
    • Orphaned grandchild (under 18 years old and single)
    • Other relatives (under certain circumstances)

How much does it cost to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria?

It will generally cost several thousand Canadian dollars to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria, however, you will pay these expenses at different points of the process.

There are non-governmental and governmental expenses when immigrating to Canada.

Non-governmental costs for immigrating to Canada from Nigeria:

  • Fees for professional immigration services
  • Education Credential Assessment fee
  • English or French language exam fee
  • Fee for the police certificate
  • Fee for the medical examination
  • Fee for translation of documents (if needed)
  • Shipping expenses from Nigeria to Canada
  • Airfare from Nigeria to Canada
  • Expenses while living in Canada

Governmental fees for immigrating to Canada from Nigeria include:

  • Application fee for permanent residency in Canada:
    • Your visa application fee = 269,795 Nairas
    • Spouse’s or partner’s visa application fee = 269,795 Nairas
  • Fee for dependent children = 72,956.75 Nairas per child
  • Right of permanent residence fee:
    • You = 163,454 Nairas
    • Spouse or partner = 163,454 Nairas
  • Fee for the Permanent Resident Card = 15,883 Nairas per person

 NOTE: The costs in Nigerian Nairas are as of October 2022 and subject to change by the Canadian government and per updates made to the exchange rate.

5 popular ways to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria

1. Express Entry

Skilled foreign workers who want to apply for immigration to Canada from Nigeria through the Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canada Skilled Trades must use the Express Entry Points System, which offers faster processing.

The Express Entry procedure generally includes:

  • Creating an online Express Entry profile
  • Entering the Express Entry candidate pool
  • Receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
  • Having a medical examination
  • Showing proof of funds
  • Providing a police report
  • Submitting the Canadian Visa Application
  • Paying the government fees
  • Getting a decision in six months or less

2. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Nine provinces and two territories in Canada have a Provincial Nominee Certificate (PNP), which is established in collaboration with the Canadian immigration authorities.

The purpose of each PNP is for skilled immigrants (and their families) to settle in a particular province or territory where they can contribute to the local economy.

The PNP application process basically involves:

  1. Applying to the PNP of a Canadian province or territory
  2. Receiving a nomination for immigration to Canada from the province or territory
  3. Applying for permanent residency with Canada’s federal immigration agency
  4. Settling in the nominating province or territory after immigrating to Canada

3. Family Sponsorship

Canadian permanent residents and citizens can sponsor family members for immigration to Canada from Nigeria, such as their:

  • Spouse or common-law partner (opposite or same sex)
  • Dependent child (unmarried and under 22 years of age)
  • Mother or father
  • Grandmother or grandfather
  • Sister or brother who is an orphaned minor
  • Niece or nephew who is an orphaned minor
  • Granddaughter or grandson who is an orphaned minor
  • Other family members if they qualify

4. Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program

The Start-Up Visa Program is designed for entrepreneurs from Nigeria and other countries who want to establish a business in Canada which:

  • Produces Canadian jobs
  • Innovates
  • Competes internationally

Entrepreneurs who want to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria through the Start-Up Visa Program will generally need to:

  • Have a business that meets certain eligibility requirements
  • Receive a Letter of Support from a designated organization
  • Get a qualifying score on an English or French language test
  • Possess financial resources for living in Canada after you arrive

5. Other federal economic programs

There are other Canadian immigration programs for skilled immigrants such as the:

  • Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program
    • Designed to bring foreign workers and their families to Quebec
    • 50 points required for a single person or 59 points with spouse/partner
    • Earn points for work experience, French or English, education, age, etc.
    • Important to have good French language skills to work in Quebec
    • Apply to the Quebec provincial immigration agency for this program
    • Get a Quebec Selection Certificate; then apply for Canadian immigration
    • Live and work in Quebec after receiving Canadian permanent residency
  • Atlantic Immigration Program
    • For immigrants who want to work in the Atlantic provinces of Canada
    • Provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island
    • Helps employers in the Atlantic provinces fill jobs with foreign workers
    • Employers must become designated by their province for this program
    • Accept a qualifying job offer; then apply for Canadian permanent residency
    • Live and work in the Atlantic province as a Canadian permanent resident
  • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program
    • Helps rural communities in Canada fill local jobs with foreign workers
    • You must satisfy Canadian immigration agency and community criteria
    • After you get a job offer, you will apply for a community recommendation
    • Get a community recommendation; then apply for Canadian immigration
    • Live and work as a Canadian permanent resident in the rural community

Final Words: Should You Move to Canada?

After reading the information in this guide, you now have a better understanding of the key programs, requirements and procedures for immigration to Canada from Nigeria.

The big question at this point is: Should you move to Canada?

This decision is, of course, only for you and your family to make.

In general, you should move to Canada from Nigeria if:

  • You are searching for opportunities not available in Nigeria
  • You desire the high standard of living in Canada for your family
  • You want to earn more money through Canadian employment
  • You wish to live in a country that welcomes immigrants
  • You would like your children to receive a high-quality education
  • You prefer to live in a country with a stable political system
  • You want to live in one of the world’s most peaceful countries
  • You desire freedom and equality
  • You enjoy beautiful beaches, mountains, forests, lakes, etc.
  • You dream of starting a company in a business-friendly country
  • You think it would be nice to receive Canadian citizenship

If one or more of these statements applies to you, then you should at least find out if you are eligible to move to Canada from Nigeria.

Since 2012, Canadian Visa Expert has been working with authorized immigration consultants who can evaluate your eligibility to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria, as well as guide you through each step of the application process if you qualify.

To receive your Eligibility Evaluation for immigration to Canada from Nigeria, click here!

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Discover Frequently Asked Questions from Our Support

Where do most Nigerians stay in Canada?

Nigerian-Canadians live in all 13 of Canada’s provinces and territories, however, the majority reside in Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The cities in Canada with the most Nigerian-Canadians are Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton.

Which Family Members Can Be Sponsored For Canadian Immigration From Nigeria?

Canadian permanent residents or citizens who are at least 18 years of age and meet other criteria can sponsor their spouse or common-law partner (opposite or same sex); dependent daughters and sons (unmarried and under 22 years of age); grandmothers and grandfathers; mother and father; orphaned sisters and brothers (unmarried and under 18 years of age); orphaned nieces and nephews (unmarried and under 18 years of age); orphaned granddaughters and grandsons (unmarried and under 18 years of age); or certain other family members.


Can I move to Canada from Nigeria without the IELTS?

For immigration to Canada from Nigeria, you must prove that you have good English or French language skills by achieving a passing score on an evaluation exam that is approved for Canadian immigration purposes. The IELTS General Training Exam or the CELPIP General Test are approved English language evaluation exams, while the TEF Canada or TCF Canada are approved French evaluation exams.

How long does it take to get a Canadian visa from Nigeria?

It generally takes about 6-18 months to receive a permanent resident visa to Canada, depending on which Canadian immigration you are applying for and other factors.

Are there enough jobs in Canada for Nigerian immigrants?

Yes, there are around one million Canadian job openings in all business sectors. Skilled immigrants are in high demand to fill Canadian job vacancies in engineering, healthcare, education, information technology, construction, business, finance, natural resources and other industries.

Does Canadian employment pay well?

Yes, Nigerians working in Canada generally earn high wages. Examples of median yearly salaries for different jobs in Canada (2021) include: Accountant (21,493,578 Nairas); Civil Engineer (25,194,970 Nairas); Computer Programmer (23,303,836 Nairas); Construction Manager (25,096,783 Nairas); Crane Operator (19,189,588 Nairas); Dentist (37,865,535 Nairas); Electrical Engineer (27,712,644 Nairas); Family Physician (67,782,105 Nairas); Pharmacist (33,468,561 Nairas); Purchasing Manager (29,524,141 Nairas); Software Engineer (28,044,304 Nairas); University Professor (29,524,141 Nairas); and Veterinarian (27,208,917 Nairas). Please note that the exchange rate is from October 2022 and these examples of annual salaries for various jobs in Canada are for illustration purposes only. You might earn more or less, depending on your occupation, experience and other factors.

Will I receive healthcare when I move to Canada from Nigeria?

Yes, Canadian citizens and permanent residents receive free public healthcare in the province or territory where they are living in Canada.

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