To work in Canada as a Nigerian, you must acquire a work permit, a document that grants authorization to take on employment in Canada.
Here are the fundamental procedures to follow to obtain a Canadian work permit or visa from Nigeria.
Step 1: Determine your eligibility to work in Canada
This is a crucial step in your visa application process. It is important to confirm your eligibility before beginning the application process to avoid wasting time and money.
There are specific criteria that Nigerians must meet before being authorized to work in Canada. These include:
- Providing proof that you intend to return to Nigeria once your work permit expires. You must demonstrate a legitimate reason for returning, such as family, property, or business assets, to convince the Canadian immigration officer of your intentions.
- Demonstrating that you are a law-abiding citizen and have no criminal record in your home country or abroad. You may be required to provide a police clearance certificate.
- Proving that you do not intend to work for an ineligible employer or one who has not complied with Canadian work conditions. For instance, you cannot work for an employer who regularly performs striptease, participates in erotic dancing, provides escort services, or sends erotic messages.
- Being in good health. Individuals with HIV/AIDS are typically denied visas. In many instances, a medical examination will be required.
- Possessing all necessary documents and meeting all requirements.
- Having sufficient funds to support your stay in Canada. The Canadian immigration officer must be satisfied that you can support yourself while in the country. You will need to provide proof of funds, such as a bank statement showing your account history for at least three months.
You may jeopardize your eligibility if:
- You behave in a way that exposes you as a security risk. Be mindful of your language and behavior when at the embassy.
- You have violated human rights.
- You have a criminal record.
- You are in debt, bankrupt, or experiencing severe financial difficulties.
- You are traveling with a family member or person who is not eligible to enter Canada.
- You are dishonest in your application or during the interview process.
Step 2: Gather Required Documents for Your Work Permit Application
Once you have confirmed your eligibility for a Canadian work permit, the next step is to gather the necessary documents for your application. The documents you need to have depends on the type of work permit you are applying for.
There are two types of work permits
- Open work permit
- Employer-specific work permit.
An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada that meets the eligibility requirements, while an employer-specific work permit allows you to work only for the employer specified in your permit.
If you are applying for an employer-specific work permit, you will need to provide a copy of your employer’s Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and employment contract. If your employer does not require an LMIA, you will need to provide an offer of employment number and employment contract.
For an open work permit, you do not need to provide any documents from an employer. However, you may need a Temporary Resident Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization, a valid international passport, two copies of your photographs, and proof of Canadian employment.
Additional documents may be required depending on your situation, such as a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) if you will be working in Quebec, and proof of relationship if you are accompanied by a family member. If you are not a Nigerian but applying from Nigeria, you may also need to obtain a re-entry permit before submitting your work permit application to Canada.
Step 3: Download and Complete Required Application Forms for Nigerian Visa to Canada
For Nigerian applicants seeking a visa to work in Canada, it is important to note that the application process is usually done on paper. Therefore, you are required to download and complete the necessary application forms electronically, and then print them out for submission.
The following forms are essential for any Nigerian applicant:
- Application for Work Permit Made Outside of Canada Form
- Family Information Form: This form is mandatory and must be filled out by the applicant and any accompanying family member who is 18 years or older.NYSC Portal
- A Representative Form (if applicable)
- Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union Form (if applicable)
- Document Checklist
- Authority to Release Personal Information to Designated Individual Form
It is highly recommended that you download and carefully read the instruction guide provided to fill out these forms correctly. This will give you all the information you need to avoid errors and successfully complete your application.
Once you have filled out the forms correctly, it is important to print them on white, bond-quality, non-glossy paper using a laser printer. Including all forms and barcoded sheets.
If you are traveling with family members, they must also download, fill out, and sign their forms as required. If any applicant is under 18 years old, the parent or guardian should sign the forms.
Note the following:
- After accurately and properly filling out your forms, you must click on the validate button found at the top or bottom of your form. This will generate a barcode page with a signature line which you should print and sign as required.
- Always place the barcode page at the top of your entire application package when submitting.
- If you have multiple packages to submit, print separate barcode pages for each package and place them at the top of each.
Step 4: Submit Payment for Application Fees
Once you have completed filling out the necessary forms and organizing them as required, the next step is to pay the relevant fees.
The following fees are required for Nigerian applicants for a Canadian Work Permit:
Work Permit Application Processing Fee: The current cost is CAN$155 per person, which includes extensions.
- Group Work Permit Fees: If you are travelling as a group, such as a performing arts group, the fee is CAN$465 for a group of three or more.
- Open Work Permit Holder Fee: Currently, this fee is CAN$100 per person. If you are applying for an open work permit, you must also pay this fee along with your work permit fee.
- Biometric Fees: Nigerians between the ages of 14 and 79 are required to provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph) when applying for a Canadian Work Permit. Therefore, you will need to pay the biometric fee, which is currently CAN$85 (approximately N24,642.35) per person. Biometric fees for families are CAN$170, while for groups of three or more people, the cost is CAN$255 and includes the service charge.
Please note that these visa application fees are non-refundable. If your application is rejected, your funds will not be returned to you.
To pay the required fees, you can visit one of the two Canada Visa Application Centres (CVAC) in Nigeria. The locations are:
- Lagos Centre: Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC), Lagos, Manor Hall, Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way, Opposite Treasure Garden Estate, Third Roundabout, Lekki Phase I, Lagos
- Abuja Centre: Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC), Abuja, Silverbird Entertainment Centre, Plot 1161, Memorial Drive, 2nd Floor, Central Business District, Abuja.
Please note that payment must be made at the cash counter of the CVAC, and only cash is accepted. Therefore, make sure to bring enough funds with you.
It is important to collect your receipts after payment of fees. Do not leave without proof of payment.
Step 5. Submit your Application Documents
Once you have made the necessary payments, it’s time to submit your application documents along with proof of all fees paid, including visa fees, service charges, and biometric fees.
Remember that biometrics are required at the visa application center, so make sure to complete this step at the CVAC. Also, ensure that your Document Checklist Form is well-filled and included in your application package for submission.
Canada Visa Application Centers are open for application submission from Monday to Friday between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm, excluding declared holidays. If you encounter any issues with your application submission, you can contact the helpline desk at +2348150199900 or email
After submitting your documents, your application will be reviewed by an immigration officer, who may request an interview if necessary. If your application is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction confirming that your work permit application has been approved. If your application is rejected, you will be given reasons for the rejection.
If you need to re-apply, take note of the reasons for the rejection and make sure to include all required documents and information. Ensure that your application package is complete with your barcode page at the top of each application package and your current contact information, including email address, telephone numbers, mailing address, and fax. Also, be sure not to omit signatures on your forms.
To improve the processing of your work visa application, follow these tips:
- Send all required documents and information
- Include your barcode page at the top of each application package
- Include your current contact information
- Don’t omit signatures on your forms