Guide to study in Canada from Nigeria

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Canada is one of the top study destinations for many international students, especially Nigerians. The English-speaking country is popular for Niagara Falls, maple syrup, and the best institutions in the world. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada ranks among the most educated countries globally. Based on the study, over 56% of Canadian adults have completed undergraduate studies or attained a university degree. This proves that Canada has quality educational standards. It’s not surprising that many Nigerians are looking to migrate to Canada for studies.
If you’ve always nursed the dream of studying abroad, Canada is the place to be. Read on to find out about the steps to take to study in Canada.

Step-by-step guide to studying in Canada from Nigeria

1) Select a program and university

This is an important step in study application. First, choose a program and a university that offers the program. In choosing the best institution, you need to consider factors like location, courses, tuition fees, etc.

2) Gather all the necessary documents

Each university has its admission requirements. Look up the school’s website or contact the university for information about the admission process. For undergraduate courses, you’ll need to have a high school diploma with five to six credits, including English and Mathematics. Students applying for postgraduate studies should attain a minimum of a Second Class Lower (2:2) with a high GPA in their undergraduate studies. Other requirements include academic transcripts, proof of funds, a valid passport, language proficiency, etc.

3) Apply to university

After you’ve sorted your documents, it’s about time you send in your application to your prospective university. Find out the application deadline and ensure you submit your application early. Typically, Canadian schools admit students during the fall (September) and winter (January). Furthermore, some universities admit students during the summer. Depending on your course and institution of choice, the resumption date may vary. Nevertheless, if you’re looking to get a scholarship, the best time to apply is September. Most universities in Canada consider the Fall applicants for the scholarship.

4) Process your visa and student permit

Once you’ve been granted admission, you can proceed with your visa application. Typically, visa processing may take up to 3 to 5 months. Thus, ensure you apply early to the university so they can provide you with all the required documents for your visa application. Early application will give you ample time to make all necessary documentation. While your visa application can take about 2 months, the timeframe may vary based on the application method and the number of applications received by Citizenship and Immigration Canada(CIC).
You’re eligible for a student visa if you have the following:

  • Valid passport with at least two blank pages (original and copy) or identity card.
  • A provisional admission letter is offered by the Canadian institution.
  • High school or Bachelor’s degree
  • Academic transcripts
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cater to your needs, including your tuition, accommodation, flight tickets, etc.
  • Proof of payment for visa processing and biometrics.
  • A police report indicating that you don’t have any criminal record.
  • Medical report
  • Flight ticket reservation
  • Proof of ties to your home country

You’ll be required to pay $150 (CAD) as an application fee and $85 (CAD) for biometrics. In addition, you may be charged a service fee of $45. This fee is likely to change. Thus you should check the official website for more information.
Typically, visa applications don’t involve interviews, but in rare cases, you may be interviewed.

See also:

Top Affordable Universities in Canada

Proven Top Websites for Canadian Scholarship Search

Steps On How To Get a Canadian Work Visa From Nigeria

5) Track your application

While you’ve completed your visa application, you might want to track the process. So, how can you check the status of your application?
Payment receipts contain a unique tracking number that you can use to track your application status. Check here and enter the number in the provided space.

6) Fast-track study permit processing

With the influx of Nigerian students in Canada, the country has introduced a new pilot program to fast-track visa applications. If you want to shorten the length of your processing, you should maximize this initiative. The Nigeria Student Express (NSE) allows eligible students to process their Canadian study permit within 20 days. To use this program, you need to have the following:

  • An admission acceptance letter from a higher institution in Canada
  • Payment receipt of $150CAD fee
  • International passport
  • Sponsors/scholarship documents (if you are using a sponsor/scholarship)
  • Financial documents (if you are self-sponsoring)
  • You need to do a medical examination at an IRCC-approved clinic in Nigeria. A medical examination costs around N35,000 to N42,000.

For those looking to study in Quebec, you will also need a Certificate of Acceptance in Quebec (CAQ). You would need your passport, admission letter, and $ 117 CAD to apply for a CAQ online. Upon creation of your IRCC online profile (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada), you will receive a notification from IRCC that you qualify for NSE.

You will be required to provide an English/French test score (Usually IELTS or TEF) and a MyBankStatement. Financial institutions that issue MyBankStatement include Access Bank Plc, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Heritage Bank Limited, Keystone Bank Limited, Polaris Bank Limited, Providus Bank Limited, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc.

A MyBankStatement is different from a regular bank statement. The one-page ticket includes a unique passcode and ticket number, which are required at the embassy to confirm the authenticity of your account. For more information about NSE, contact the VISA office in Lagos.

7) Secure accommodation

After the issuance of the visa, you should begin to prepare for your trip to Canada. You need to sort out your accommodation. Make housing plans, so you don’t get stranded in Canada. While there are various accommodation options, you can opt to stay on campus due to its accessibility to the library, halls, and clubhouses. Considering your budget, you may decide to rent a room or live with a relative. Some students choose to stay with family since it gives them the feeling of home.


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