Canada undeniably ranks among the most fulfilling countries worldwide to pursue a career. With over 200,000 individuals venturing to Canada each year in search of employment prospects and a place in its workforce, Nigerians contribute significantly to this number. As a Nigerian seeking employment in Canada, acquiring a work permit becomes a vital requirement. A work permit serves as an official document authorizing an individual to engage in employment within Canada.
Outlined below are the fundamental procedures to secure a Canadian work permit or visa from Nigeria.
Step 1: Assess Your Eligibility to Work in Canada
Determining your eligibility to work in Canada is a crucial initial step in your visa application process. Investing time and resources without meeting the requirements would be futile. Consider the following conditions that must be fulfilled for Nigerians seeking to work in Canada:
- Demonstrate the intention to return to Nigeria after the expiration of your work permit. Provide evidence of strong ties to your home country, such as family, property ownership, business interests, or any other compelling reasons that guarantee your return.
- Maintain a clean record and exhibit a law-abiding character. Ensure you have no history of criminal activities within Nigeria or abroad. A police clearance certificate may be required.
- Verify that your prospective employer has a valid status and complies with Canadian employment regulations. You cannot work for employers engaged in activities such as consistent striptease performances, erotic dancing, escort services, or sending of erotic messages.
- Possess good health, as individuals with HIV/AIDS may face challenges in their visa application. In some cases, a medical examination will be necessary.
- Gather and submit all the required documents and fulfill necessary requirements to support your application.
- Demonstrate sufficient funds to sustain your stay in Canada. The Canadian immigration officer must be convinced that you can financially support yourself during your time in the country. Providing a bank statement with a history of at least three months is typically required.
Avoid jeopardizing your eligibility by:
- Behaving in a manner that may raise security concerns during your interactions with immigration authorities.
- Engaging in or being associated with human rights violations.
- Having a criminal conviction.
- Being in significant debt, bankruptcy, or facing severe financial challenges.
- Planning to travel with a family member or individual ineligible to enter Canada.
- Providing false or misleading information on your application form or during interviews.
By understanding and adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure a smoother visa application process and increase your chances of obtaining a Canadian work permit.
Step 2: Gather the Required Documents for Application
Once you have determined your eligibility and the type of work permit you are applying for, the next step is to gather the necessary documents. There are two main types of work permits: open work permits and employer-specific work permits. The documents you need will depend on the type of work permit you are applying for.
For an Open Work Permit:
- No specific documents are required from an employer.
- However, you may need a copy of certain documents, such as your LMIA or job offer letter, if you are applying under specific conditions, like being a dependent family member or spouse of a Canadian worker or international student.
For an Employer-Specific Work Permit:
- Copy of your employer’s Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA): This document, issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), gives employers permission to hire temporary workers from outside Canada. If your employer required an LMIA, you need to provide a copy of it along with the employment contract.
- Offer of Employment Number: If your employer does not require an LMIA, you will need to provide the offer of employment number received by your employer when submitting the offer of employment letter through the Employer Portal.
- Employment Contract: You must also provide a copy of the employment contract for your application.
- Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA): You may need a TRV or eTA to work in Canada. These documents are typically issued by the immigration officer along with the work permit.
- Valid International Passport: Ensure that your passport is valid and not older than six months.
- Two copies of your photographs: Provide two copies of your photographs that meet the Canadian photograph specifications for visa applications. However, if you are required to provide biometric information, hard copies of the photographs may not be necessary.
- Proof of Canadian Employment: In addition to the LMIA or employment number and offer letter, you may need additional documents to demonstrate your job eligibility, such as educational certificates, curriculum vitae or resume showing previous work experience, or a valid Canadian Provincial Certificate.
- Certificate of Acceptance to Quebec (CAQ): If your work location is in Quebec, you will need to provide a CAQ.
- Proof of Relationship (if applicable): If you are accompanied by a family member, you will need to provide proof of your relationship, such as a marriage or birth certificate.
- Re-entry Permit (for non-Nigerian applicants in Nigeria): If you are not a Nigerian but applying from Nigeria, you may need to obtain a re-entry permit before proceeding with your work visa application to Canada.
It is important to ensure that you have all the required documents ready and that they meet the specified criteria. This will help facilitate the smooth processing of your Canadian work permit application.
Step 3: Download and Fill the Application Forms
For Nigerian applicants, the visa application process for Canada typically requires filling out paper forms. Follow these steps to download and complete the necessary application forms:
Download the following forms:
- Application for Work Permit Made Outside of Canada Form
- Family Information Form: Each accompanying family member who is 18 years or above must fill out this form.
- Use of a Representative Form (if applicable): Use this form if you are using a representative to assist with your application.
- Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union Form (if applicable): Use this form if you are in a common-law union.
- Document Checklist
- Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual Form
- Carefully study the Instruction Guide provided with the forms to ensure accurate completion. You can download the Instruction Guide for detailed information.
- Fill out the application forms electronically and then print them on white, non-glossy, bond-quality paper using a laser printer. This applies to all forms and barcoded sheets.
- If you are traveling with family members, they should also download, fill, and sign the appropriate forms. For applicants under 18 years old, the forms should be signed by their parent or guardian.
- After completing the forms, click on the validate button to generate a barcode page with a signature line. Print and sign this barcode page.
- Place the barcode page at the top of your complete application package.
- If you have multiple application packages, print separate barcode pages for each and place them at the top of each package.
Step 4: Pay the Application Fees
Once you have filled out the necessary forms and organized your documents, it’s time to pay the required fees. Here are the fees associated with the Canadian work permit application:
- Work permit application processing fee: The current fee is CAN$155 per person, which includes extensions.
- Group work permit fees: If you are traveling as a group, such as performing artists, the fee is CAN$465 for a group of 3 or more.
- Open work permit holder fees: If you are applying for an open work permit, you need to pay an additional fee of CAN$100 per person.
Note that the visa application fees are non-refundable, even if your application is rejected.
- Applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 are required to provide biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) when applying for a Canadian work permit.
- Biometric fees are CAN$85 per person or CAN$170 for a family.
- For groups of 3 or more, the fee is CAN$255 and includes the service charge.
You can find more information on visa fees on the official website.
Visit one of the two Canada Visa Application Centres (CVAC) in Nigeria to pay the fees:
- Lagos center:
Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC), Lagos
Manor Hall, Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way,
Opposite Treasure Garden Estate,
Third Roundabout, Lekki Phase I – Lagos
- Abuja center:
Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC), Abuja
Silverbird Entertainment Centre.
Plot 1161, Memorial Drive, 2nd Floor,
Central Business District, Abuja
Note: Payment at the CVAC can only be made in cash, so ensure you have enough funds. It is crucial to collect receipts as evidence of payment.
Step 5: Submit Your Application Documents
After making the required payments, you can submit your application documents along with the receipts or proof of payment. Make sure your biometrics are completed at the CVAC. Include the filled Document Checklist Form in your application package.
If you have any confusion or further questions, please leave a comment and someone will help you.