In 2019, over 12,600 Nigerians became permanent Canadian residents, making Nigeria the fourth most important source of new permanent residents that year, behind only India, China, and the Philippines.
For a long time now, Canada has been incredibly friendly to foreign nationals seeking permanent residence. Today, Canada has over 100 visas and immigration options available for hopefuls all over the world. Nigerians have the option of choosing between employer- or education-driven or points-based immigration options.
Here are four avenues you can take if you want to migrate from Nigeria to Canada:
1. Express Entry
The Express Entry system is one of the easiest ways to immigrate to Canada. Express Entry applicants are scored based on certain criteria, such as age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and family connections. High-scoring candidates are sent Invitations to Apply (ITA) during Express Entry draw rounds.
The Express Entry process lasts just six months. If you get a provincial nomination or get a job offer from an employer in Canada, you can get more points to improve your chances for the draw.
2. Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)
If you do not qualify through a federal economic program in the Express Entry system, you should consider provincial streams. Canada has 13 provinces, 11 of which manage their own immigration programs. The Canadian government aims to welcome over 80,000 immigrants through Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs) in 2021.
The PNP for every province aims to fulfill its economic needs. This means accepting skilled foreign nationals to take positions in local industries that need them. The best way to immigrate through PNPs is to have work experience or a valid job offer to work in industries that a specific province prioritizes. If you are a skilled worker, there could be a PNP ready and willing to accept you.
3. Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)
Another way to immigrate to Canada is to study there first. A student visa does not guarantee permanent residence, but it’s a significant stepping-stone that thousands of foreign nationals take on their immigration journey.
Obtaining a certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian institution could help you qualify for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) that will allow you to gain work experience in the country. This will earn you further points to push your permanent residency application forward. PGWPs last between one to three years.
4. Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP)
This pilot program was launched in 2017 and has since become a permanent program that helps employers in Atlantic Canada hire skilled foreign workers. This is an employer-driven immigration program that you can pursue if you obtain a job offer from Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
You can pursue three streams through the AIP: Atlantic International Graduate Program, Atlantic High-Skilled Program, or the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program. You need to show proof that you meet all work, language, education, and financial requirements no matter what stream you apply for.
In the last five years, the number of Nigerian immigrants flocking to Canada has grown exponentially. You can pursue dozens of immigration avenues to make your way to Canada. You have better chances if you complete a degree or course on Canadian soil or if you have work experience or a job offer from an employer based in Canada.
A Canadian immigration agency will help you through every step of your student permit and post-graduate work permit application.
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