Canada is the world’s largest country by total area, and it is one of the most developed countries in the world. Canada is in North America, and it shares a border with the United states. It is a bilingual nation with both English and French as official languages.
Citizens of foreign countries who intend to travel to Canada would need a visa unless they are from countries that are eligible for the Waiver Program.
For a person to apply for a Canadian visa, he/she must know the types of Canada visas available.
Types of Visa to Canada
Canada visas come in different categories, and they are granted to applicants based on the purpose of travelling. Canadian visas are either for permanent residence or temporary residence.
There has been an upgrade on the types of Canada visas to include a new category of applicants.
The types of Canada Visa include:
Study Permit (Student Visa)
The student visa is available for people who want to study in Canada on a temporary basis.
To be eligible to apply for a study visa,
The applicant must have been offered admission by a school, or any other educational institution.
The applicant must have proof that they are financially capable of paying their tuition fee, sorting accommodation, transportation and other related maintenance costs.
The applicant must be in good health and should be willing to take a medical test.
The applicant must have a clean criminal record.
The visa is issued to persons who want to start a business in Canada. The idea behind issuing this visa is to get investors, entrepreneurs and self- employed people who would reside in Canada and in turn boost the Canadian economy.
The family visa is granted to persons who can be sponsored by their relations that are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. This sponsorship can make the applicants become permanent Canadian residents.
This is issued to applicants who intend to work in Canada temporarily. The visa can only be issued to applicants who have been offered employment by a Canadian employer, and are being sponsored by that employer.
Federal Skilled Worker Visa
This permanent visa is under the Federal Skilled Worker Program(FSWP), and this Visa is issued to skilled workers and professionals.
Applicants for this Visa must have an applaudable working experience, and must have a knowledge of French or English language.
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
The federal skilled trades visa is for people whose intent is to become permanent residents as a result of the skilled trade they are qualified in.
Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)
The QSWP visa is granted to applicants who specifically want to go to Quebec. They need to apply differently, but their visa information is finalised by the Canada Immigration.
Canada Visa Requirements
To apply for any of these visas, applicants should have a clean criminal record. It may be required of applicants to present a police report validating their claim. The applicant would need to be able to speak, understand and communicate in English language.
The applicants requesting for temporary visas would need to assure the immigration officers that they would leave Canada once the stipulated time is up.
It should be noted that there are certain requirements for each Canadian visa type.
The documents for a Canada Student Visa include:
- A valid international passport for the intending student and for each accompanying family member or spouse.
- Passport-size photos of every of the applicants.
- Proof that applicant is in good health.
- Proof of acceptance – This shows that an educational institution has offered admission. This letter has to be sent from the school in question.
- Proof of financial support- This should cover for tuition, accommodation and overall maintenance while in Canada.
- VAC Consent form
- Study Permit form – IMM 1294
- Family Information form – IMM 5645
The first three documents are necessary for all Canadian visa applicants.
How to Apply for a Canada Visa
Canada visa application can be less burdensome when the right steps are taken. To apply for the Canadian visa, applicants should do the following:
- Understand what type of visa is needed
- Know the requirements for the visa category
- Fill the Canadian visa application form
- Pay the Visa application and Biometric fee
- Schedule and go for your visa appointment
Where to Get a Canada Visa Application Form
Canadian visa application form can be filled manually or filled online. The hard copy (paper) form can be gotten at a visa application center. VAC charges would also have to be paid. Applications filled on paper must be submitted in person, mails would not be acknowledged.
To apply online, an applicant would need to visit the Canadian visa office (IRCC) website.
How to Schedule a Canada Visa Appointment
Canada visa appointment is scheduled on the Canada visa office site, after the visa application fee has been paid. Once scheduling is done, the appointment letter should be printed as it’s the evidence that applicants actually scheduled an appointment.
The following information would be required at the appointment
- International passport
- Passport-sized photo
- Completed forms
- Supporting documents
How and Where to Pay Canada Visa Fees
Canada visa fees vary according to the type of visa being sought for. The fee can be paid by cash at a bank counter or can be done using a third party’s card, and the card owner’s name would appear on the receipt. However, this name doesn’t need to match the name of the applicant.
It is important to note that the receipt received must be kept as it is the only proof that payment was made.
How to Submit Canada Visa Application
Applications made on paper should be submitted in person at the Canada Visa Application Center, and applications made online would be submitted online through the IRCC application system.
Canada Visa Processing Time
Canada visa processing time can be difficult to ascertain because they vary due to the type of application in question, and the number of applications being processed altogether. For Nigerians applying for a Canadian study visa, it might take as long as 16 weeks (4 months) and applications for a visitor visa might take about 72 days.
How to Collect Your Canada Visa
It is important that the applicants have to come in person to collect their visa, passport and the rest of their documents. They could also pay for a courier service.
Third parties are not allowed to collect the documents on behalf of an applicant except on some few occasions like when a parent is collecting for a dependent child, or when one family member is collecting the passports for the whole family.
Address and Location Of Canada Embassy in Nigeria
Lagos Canada Embassy Address
Canadian Deputy High Commission
4 Anifowoshe Street,
Telephone: (234 1) 262-2512/13/15
Fax: (234 1) 262-2516/17
Abuja Canada Embassy Address
High Commission of Canada to Nigeria
13010G, Palm close, Diplomatic Drive,
Central Business District,
Telephone: (011 234 9) 461-2900
Fax: (011 234 9) 461-2901
For more information you may check the offical Canadian immigration website.