How to Apply for a Canadian Visa in Nigeria
Canada is without doubt one of the most enchanting countries of the world what with the grizzly bears, rocky mountains, fascinating winter skiing experience and the warm and friendly people. Every single year, over 30 million people visit Canada to explore and enjoy all the wonderful benefits the country has to offer. Nigerians represent a significant percentage of people who visit Canada. Although a lot of Nigerians travel to school, find work or even a new life, others travel to sight see, visit family and enjoy the environment.
Classes of Canadian Visas Available to Nigerians
There are different classes of Canadian visas available to Nigerians including
- Temporary Resident visa or Visitor visa
- Work permits and
- Study permits
This article however is designed for those who wish to travel to Canada on a temporary visit (Temporary Resident Visa).
Note that if you intend to travel to Canada on a mission rather than business related or just visiting, you must apply for a visa type in the appropriate classification. A temporary work permit may not be used for a study permit so you must be careful.
To find out if you need a Temporary resident Visa (also called TRV or simply Visitor Visa), you can follow this link.
How to Apply For a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)/ Visitor Visa in Nigeria
It is very important that I prepare your mind for the task ahead. (No, it is not in any way an awful task to apply for a Canadian visa!) Actually, it is a relatively simple process that you can carry out yourself. All you need is lots of patience as the procedure can be rather long and a bit time demanding.
You may decide to contact visa centres for help but if you would otherwise do it yourself (which I recommend), worry not, this article will provide you with all that you need to know and do.
Here are the basic steps:
Determine whether or not you are eligible to travel
This is the most important step of your Canadian visa application. It would be a total waste of time and possibly money if you commence application and later find out that you are not eligible. There are certain conditions that must be met before any Nigerian is allowed to visit Canada. These includes:
- Ownership of a valid international passport ( it is preferable that this is not older than six months )
- Previous passports (if any) to show your travel history
- Complete health- you must be hale and hearty. People with HIV/AIDS are most likely to receive a negative response to their visa application
- You must have a genuine reason obliging you to return to Nigeria after your temporary visit to Canada. This could be your family, stable job, assets such as houses, businesses or any other thing that will assure the Canadian immigration officer of your return to Nigeria.
- Possession of complete requirements that are needed to be tendered at the Visa Application centre ( these include your application form, evidence of payment of visa processing fee, your original passport and so on ). I will discuss all these in details shortly.
- Possession of adequate funds to ensure your smooth stay in Canada. The Canadian immigration officer must be convinced you can take care of yourself while in Canada. You will need to provide proof of funds in terms of a bank statement of your account with history for at least three previous months. A proof of sponsorship from your host in Canada may also be acceptable.
Other documents that are required for a successful application includes:
- A note containing information about your trip. These include:
- Contacts; how you can be contacted during your trip
- The purpose of your trip
- Your destinations
- Hotels you booked and addresses
- An itinerary showing your provisional airline bookings.
- A letter or evidence of invitation from a person living in Canada that you will be meeting. This letter should include the dates of your visit, the period of stay and the purpose of visit.
- You also need two passport photographs. Ensure you sign at the back of these.
You could jeopardise your eligibility if:
- You put up a personality that will expose you to being found as a security threat/risk (mind your choice of word and behaviour at the embassy)
- You have perpetrated or caused an human right violation
- You have once been convicted of a crime
- You are indebted, bankrupt or in severe financial trouble
- You are going together with a family member or person ineligible to travel to Canada
- You are dishonest in filling your application form or during interview
If on any occasion, you are incapable of providing all the necessary documents as required, you are advised to download and complete a waiver form. This will be attached to your application form for submission to avoid unnecessary delays and possible rejection of your visa application
- Download and Complete your Canada Visa Application Form
After you have determined your eligibility to travel. The next step is to complete your visa application form.
- First you have to download your TRV( Temporary resident Visa) application forms
- Then, download the Instruction Guide.
To download both the form and the Instruction guide, click this link
Study your instruction guide carefully. This will give you all the information you require to successfully complete your application form without errors. Look out for the barcode page on your completed application form, make sure it is included.
It is highly recommended that your application form should be filled and printed on a white, bond quality, non-glossy paper using a laser printer. This includes all forms and barcoded sheets.
Download and Fill the VFS Consent Forms
VFS Global is the name of the service organisation in charge of providing administrative support to Canadian visa applicants in Nigeria. It is the authorised service provider by the Canadian Government.
After you have successfully downloaded and filled your application form. You must also download the VFS consent form which must filled and signed as appropriate. This will be attached to your application form before submission. You can download the VFS Consent Form through this link. The VFS consent form is very important because an application form with a missing VFS consent form will be returned to you along with all your documents.
Confirm and Pay your Canada Visa Application fees
After you have filled the appropriate forms, there are certain fees to be paid.
- The Visa fees: the visa fees varies for different forms of visas so ensure that you are paying the correct fees for the Temporary Resident Visa. Currently, this cost $100 (N28, 991.00). You can check for more information on visa fees here.
Note that the visa application fees is non-refundable. If your application is eventually rejected, your funds will not be returned to you.
- Service Charge for Application handling: the VFS Global service charge must be paid alongside visa application fees. This is currently at $58.88 (N17,096.00)
- Biometric fees: Nigerians between the ages of 14 and 79 are required to give their biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) when applying for a Canadian Temporary Resident visa therefore you will have to pay the biometrics fees, this costs $CAN85 (about N24, 642.35.00) and includes the service charge. You can find details of the biometrics and service charges here.
Method of Payment
There are two Canada Visa Application Centres (CVAC) you can visit in Nigeria to pay the required fees;
Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC), Lagos
Manor Hall, Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way,
Opposite Treasure Garden Estate,
Third Roundabout, Lekki Phase I – Lagos
Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC), Abuja
Silverbird Entertainment Centre.
Plot 1161, Memorial Drive, 2nd Floor,
Central Business District, Abuja
Note that these fees are to be paid at the cash counter of the CVAC and only cash is accepted. Therefore ensure you go along with enough funds.
NOTE: It is very important that you collect your receipts after payment of fees. Do not leave without an evidence of payment. Also, check that one of your receipts contain a unique tracking number that will enable you to track the status of your application online.
Submission of Application Documents
Now after making necessary payments. You may submit your application documents and the receipts/proof of payments of all fees paid. These include the visa fees, service charge and biometric fees. It is important to note that they will demand for your biometrics at the visa application center so ensure that it is completed. This will be done at the CVAC.
The Canada Visa Application Centers are open for application submission between the hours of 08.00 am and 03.00pm and are open from Mondays to Fridays (excluding declared holidays). Important: For any issues with submission of your application, you can call their helpline desk on +2348150199900 or reach their e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Track your Canada Visa Application Status.
Once you submit your application, you have crossed a major step of your application process. The next step now is to start tracking the status of your application. You must ensure that you keep an eye and follow up on your application process. It is easy to do, just extract the unique tracking number on one of your receipts and enter it on this site.
After this, all you have to do is wait a while. This is one point where your patience is tested. It takes fourteen days to process a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa. Once your documents are approved, you will receive a notification to submit your passport.
- Submit your Passport
Following the processing and acceptance of your application documents, you will be notified by the Canadian Government to submit your passport for the visa stamp. Usually a letter is sent to you requesting that you submit your passport. There are two ways in which you can submit the passport.
- You can submit in person to the Canada Visa Application center alongside the passport request letter you received or through an authorized representative at the CVAC or
- You can submit via a courier to any of the CVAC address stated above.
You will also need to submit your Visa Application Consent forms. Download it here.
You will be required to make a Secure Transmission of Passport charge. This cost $47.10 (N10, 830.00). This should also be made in person at the bank counter (at the CVAC) in cash only. Then you will be notified on when your passport will be returned to you.
Important: In a case where you want your passport to be mailed back to you when it is ready, you should attach to your passport a return envelope with your address on it.
Also, if you are submitting your passport to the same CVAC where you provided your biometric information, you will not be required to pay the Secure Transmission of Passport charge.
Retrieve Your Passport
Congratulations! This is the final step in obtaining your Canadian Temporary Resident Visa. As soon as the embassy is done and your passport is ready, you will be contacted. You can choose to personally go and retrieve your passport at the CVAC or have your passport mailed back you (if you had earlier submitted with a self-addressed courier).
Over the years, there has been a bad representation created by a number of Nigerians who visit Canada who instead of returning home after their visa expires, will rather stay over and disappear while hiding from the government authorities in Canada. Due to this, the CVAC in Nigeria has been especially strict in issuing Canadian visas to Nigerians. As a result, lot of Nigerians prefer to travel to neighbouring countries like Ghana, Cameroun and South Africa to apply for their Canadian visas.
If you decide to obtain your visa in Nigeria, it is advisable to be mindful during the interview at the embassy. Try as much as you can to convince the immigration officer of your return at the end of your visit.
All the best in your application process.
For more information, you can also visit the Canadian Embassy in Nigeria at:
301 Diplomatic Drive,
Central Business District, Abuja
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