How to apply for a Canadian Visa from Nigeria

Known for its beautiful scenery, Canada is home to majestic mountain ranges, sparkling blue lakes and vast stretches of pristine forest.

Famous for the Niagara falls, the biggest waterfall in the world and the Rockies, a mountain range spanning British Columbia and Alberta, Canada has diverse landscapes that are perfect for hiking, skiing, canoeing and many other outdoor activities.

Canada is also a multicultural country with Canadians coming from a vast range of nations, races, religions and heritage. This multicultural diversity comes from centuries of immigration. As a result, a diverse population is now one of the distinctive features of Canadian society.

Canada’s captivating landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultural diversity make it a sought-after destination for travelers worldwide, including Nigerians.

Nigerians have seen Canada to be a country abound with opportunities and so many Nigerians are taking advantage of the easy visa requirements to migrate from Nigeria to Canada with opportunities to either study or work in Canada.

Applying for a Canadian visa from Nigeria is a straightforward process. In this article, we’ll be looking at the step by step guide to help you navigate through the process of applying for a Canadian visa in Nigeria;

Steps to successfully apply for a Canadian visa in Nigeria

  • ●    Determine the type of visa

Many people want to travel, study or immigrate to Canada but don’t know the best way of doing so.There are different types of visa available for you to choose from depending on your purpose to travel to Canada

There are most popular types of Canadian visa and they are;

●       Canada Visitor visas

●       Permanent Resident visas

●       Entry Express Program visas

●       Provincial Nominee Program visas

●       Canada student visas

Visit Travelstart to see more types of visas that will suit your visa needs

Start by determining the type of visa you wish to apply for such as a visitor visa, study permit, work permit or permanent residency.

  • ●    Begin your Application

Once you have identified the type of visa you need, carefully review the requirements specific to that visa category.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada – Canada.ca(IRCC) official website provides detailed information about the necessary documents, including application forms, evidence of financial support, a valid passport, and any additional documents required.

The following steps will help with the kick-starting of the application process

  • Take note of the documents you need to submit such as application form, passport, proof of funds and any additional document requested.
  • Carefully read and understand the requirements.
  • Make sure you have all the necessary documents and forms before applying
  • Double check that your application is complete and your information is accurate
  • If uncertain, consult the IRCC Website above or seek help from an authorized immigration consultant for clarifications

You can download the visa application form, fill it in, print the completed form, and bring it with you to the Visa Application Centre for submission. You can also submit your online application directly to IRRC.

  • ●     Book an Appointment

Booking an appointment is an important step in the Canadian visa application process. It allows you to schedule a specific date and time to submit your application and supporting documents at the Visa Application Centre (VAC).

Having gone through the last two steps, this is where you choose a Visa Application Centre and book an appointment.

Once you have applied for your visa, you need to book an appointment to have your fingerprint and photos taken at a Visa Application Centre. This is also called “Biometric Information”.

When you’ve booked an appointment, you’ll receive an appointment confirmation email along with the letter of appointment

  • ●    4. Pay your fees

When applying for a Canadian visa, whether it’s a visitor visa, study permit, work permit, or any other type, there are specific fees involved that need to be paid as part of the application process. The fees may vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for.

To pay your fees, you will generally follow these steps:

  • Determine the fee amount: Visit the official website of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or the Canadian visa office in your country to find the specific fee associated with the visa you are applying for. The fee structure can change from time to time, so it’s essential to check for the most up-to-date information.
  •  Payment options: Canadian visa fees can typically be paid online using a credit card or debit card. Some visa offices may also accept other forms of payment, such as bank drafts or certified checks. Make sure to verify the accepted payment methods on the IRCC website or with the specific visa office.
  • Create an online account: If you haven’t done so already, create an account on the IRCC website. This account will allow you to submit the visa application, pay the fees, and track the progress of your application.
  • Access the payment portal: Once you have logged into your online account, you will find the payment portal. Click on the appropriate links to access the payment options.
  • Enter payment details: Provide the necessary information to make the payment, such as your credit card or debit card details. Ensure that the information entered is accurate to complete the transaction successfully.
  • Confirm and submit payment: Double-check all the information before confirming the payment. Once you have confirmed, the payment will be processed, and a receipt will be generated. Keep the receipt for your records, as you may need it for future reference.
  • Attach payment receipt to the visa application:After completing the payment, you will need to attach a copy of the payment receipt to your visa application. This is usually done electronically through the online application portal, but some visa offices may require physical copies. Check the instructions provided by the visa office to ensure that you attach the payment receipt correctly.

However It is very important to note that visa fees are non-refundable, even if your application is not approved. Therefore, it’s crucial to review all the requirements and ensure your eligibility before submitting the application and paying the fees.

  • ●     5. Visit a Visa Application Centre (VAC):

When applying for a Canadian visa, the next step in the process would be to visit a Visa Application Centre (VAC). A VAC is a facility that assists applicants with their visa applications by providing various services.

Visa application centers (VACs) are private companies that have formal contracts with the Government of Canada. They

  • Securely send your passport to the visa office
  • Speak local languages.
  • Are located around the world.
  • Are official locations to give your biometrics (fingerprints and a photo)

This is an overview of what to  expect when visiting a VAC:

  •  Booking an appointment: In most cases, you need to book an appointment prior to visiting a VAC. You can usually make an appointment online through the official website of the VAC or by contacting their customer service. Booking an appointment ensures that you receive dedicated assistance when you visit the center..
  • Gathering documents: Before your appointment, make sure you have prepared all the required documents as specified by the visa office. These could include your passport, application forms, supporting documents, photographs, and any other documents relevant to your visa application. It’s essential to bring both original documents and copies when you visit the VAC.
  • Arriving at the VAC: On the day of your appointment, make sure to arrive at the VAC at least 20 minutes ahead of time. The VAC’s location and operating hours will be provided to you when you book the appointment. Plan your journey accordingly and arrive a few minutes early to avoid any delays.
  • Checking in: When you arrive at the VAC, you will need to check in at the reception counter. The staff will verify your appointment details, check your identification, and provide you with a numbered ticket or any other form of identification to track your application throughout the process.
  • Submitting your application: Once you have checked in, you will be directed to a designated area where you can submit your application documents. The VAC staff will review your documents, ensure that they are complete and in order, and provide you with a receipt or acknowledgement letter as proof of your application submission.

Once you have completed the application forms and gathered all the required documents, submit your application to the Visa Application Centre (VAC) nearest to your location. The VAC will process your application and forward it to the appropriate Canadian visa office.

During this appointment, you get to submit the visa application form that have been completed beforehand

To find out Canadian VACs location closest to you,click below

Visa Application Centres in Nigeria

  • ●    Track your application

This next stage is the wait and watch stage.

Tracking your visa application is an important part of the process, as it helps you stay informed about the progress and any updates regarding your application. Here’s breakdown of the stages involved in tracking your application:

  • Reference number: When you submit your visa application, you will receive a reference number. This number is unique to your application and serves as an identifier throughout the entire process. Always ensure to keep this number safe, as it will be necessary to track your application.
  • Application submission: The first stage in tracking your application is the submission phase. Once you have submitted your application at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) or online, the authorities will process it and begin reviewing the documents you provided.
  •  Initial assessment: After the submission, your application will undergo an initial assessment stage. This entails the immigration officers verifying that all the required documents are present and refusing any incomplete applications. It is important to ensure that you have provided all the necessary documents to avoid any delays or complications at this stage.
  • Processing time: The processing time for your visa application may vary depending on various factors such as the type of visa you are applying for and the current workload of the visa office. Different countries and regions have different processing times, which can range from a few weeks to several months. It’s important to be patient during this stage.
  •  Additional document request: During the processing stage, if the visa officer finds any missing or insufficient information in your application, they may request additional documents or clarification. This is a common occurrence and should not be a cause for concern. Make sure to respond promptly and provide the requested documents to avoid any delays.
  • Decision made: Once the visa office has thoroughly reviewed your application and supporting documents, a decision will be made regarding your visa application. This decision can be either an approval or a rejection. The visa office will inform you about the decision through the preferred means of communication you indicated during the application process.
  • ●    Wait for a decision

After submitting your application, you will have to wait for the processing time to receive a decision on your visa. This is when an applicant can find out if the visa applied for was successfully granted or it was rejected. The processing time can vary depending on your visa category and the complexity of your case.

Check the IRCC website to estimate the average processing times

If your visa application is approved, the visa office will affix the visa sticker or stamp in your passport. At this stage, they will return your passport to you through the VAC or any other designated delivery service. You will be required to present your identification and any necessary receipts or proof of identity before receiving your passport.

FAQs

Here are some FAQs about application for Canadian visa in Nigeria

Q.How can I contact the Canadian visa office in Nigeria?

  A.You can contact the Canadian visa office in Nigeria through their official website or by visiting the VAC. They will provide you with the relevant contact information and guidance for any queries.

Q. What types of Canadian visas are available for Nigerians?

  A. There are several types of Canadian visas that Nigerians can apply for, including visitor visas (for tourism or visiting family/friends), study permits (for pursuing education in Canada), work permits (for employment opportunities), and permanent residency visas (for those seeking to settle in Canada permanently).

Q. What documents do I need to submit with my Canadian visa application?

   A. The specific documents required will depend on the type of visa you are applying for. Generally, you will need to provide a valid passport, proof of financial support, proof of ties to your home country, a letter of invitation (if applicable), educational or employment documents, and any other supporting documents relevant to your specific visa category.

Q. Can I track the status of my Canadian visa application?

   A. Yes, you can track the status of your Canadian visa application. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive a unique reference number that you can use to track the progress of your application online or through the VAC.

Final Thoughts

If you’re in Nigeria and considering applying for a Canadian visa, there are a few convenient and reliable methods available to you. Whether you choose to apply online through the official IRCC website, visit a Visa Application Centre (VAC), or submit a paper application, it’s essential to thoroughly review the requirements specific to your visa category and gather all necessary supporting documents.

By following the proper application process, seeking guidance from professionals if needed, and providing accurate and complete information, you increase your chances of a successful visa application. Remember to be patient during the processing period, as it may vary depending on the visa type and the volume of applications.

Applying for a Canadian visa from Nigeria requires careful attention to detail, but with perseverance and the right approach, you can navigate the process smoothly.

Following these steps should help you through the process of applying for a Canadian visa from Nigeria. Good luck with your application!!

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