How to Apply For a Canadian Study Permit From Nigeria

June 10, 2024


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

Applying for a Canadian study permit from Nigeria can be daunting for many prospective students. However, it becomes a manageable journey with the proper guidance and understanding of the procedures involved. We will go deep into the step-by-step process of successfully obtaining a Canadian study permit while residing in Nigeria. This includes understanding the eligibility criteria, gathering the required documents, and completing the application.

Ready to obtain a Canadian study permit from Nigeria? Then, join us as we discover the step-by-step guide for Nigerian students aiming to obtain a Canadian study permit, ensuring a smooth transition to pursuing academic excellence in Canada.

Step 1: Get Accepted into a Designated Learning Institution

Your educational odyssey begins with securing acceptance into a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). DLIs are universities, colleges, general and vocational colleges in Quebec (CEGEPs), private vocational schools, or language schools authorized by the Canadian government to host international students.

Researching programs that align with your academic aspirations and qualifications is crucial. Explore institutional websites, attend virtual information sessions, and connect with current international students from Nigeria to gain valuable insights.

Learn more about how to claim your spot as an international student in Canada.

Step 2: Meet Eligibility Requirements

Before taking the first steps to apply, confirm you meet the core eligibility criteria established by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Here is a breakdown of the essential eligibility criteria you must meet.

Valid Acceptance Letter

You must possess a valid acceptance letter from a DLI for a full-time academic, vocational, or professional program. This letter outlines your program details, start date, and study duration.

Financial Sustainability

Demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support yourself and any accompanying dependents throughout your studies in Canada. Accepted proof of funds can include bank statements, scholarship awards, or documented financial support from a sponsor.

Medical Exam

Undergo a medical examination by a physician approved by IRCC. This ensures you meet Canada's health standards and do not pose a public health risk.

Admissibility to Canada

Be admissible to Canada, meaning you have no criminal record or outstanding debts that would prevent your entry. It also includes factors such as having a valid visa or permit and passing security and health checks. Failure to meet these requirements may result in denial of entry or removal from Canada.

Genuine Temporary Resident

Convince the immigration officer that you intend to leave Canada as a temporary resident upon completing your studies. Strong ties to your home country, such as a job offer or established property ownership, can improve your case.

Step 3: Gather Required Documents

Careful document preparation streamlines your application process. Here is a checklist of essential documents, but always refer to the IRCC website for the latest updates:

  • Passport: Original and photocopy of your Nigerian passport with at least two blank spaces and a six-month validity.
  • Flight Reservation: Confirm your flight reservation, showing the date and time of your arrival in Canada.
  • Hotel Reservation: Confirmation of your hotel reservation if your school does not provide accommodation.
  • Proof of Acceptance: A valid letter from a recognized Canadian DLI confirming your admission.
  • Motivation Letter: A well-structured essay explaining why you want to study in Canada.
  • Medical Report: A health certificate from designated doctors showing you are in good health.
  • Social Ties: Certificates showing your social ties, such as birth certificates of children (if applicable) and marriage certificates (if applicable).
  • Introduction Letter: An introduction letter from your Canadian employer (if applicable).
  • Certificates of Previous Institutions: Certificates and transcripts from previous institutions attended.
  • Bank Statement: Proof of sufficient funds in your bank account for your needs apart from tuition fees.

Learn more about the required documents via the ultimate checklist before moving to Canada.

Step 4: Pay Your Application Fees and Apply Online or on Paper

Once you have gathered all the required documents, the next step is to pay the application fees and submit your application. You can apply online through the IRCC website or submit a paper application through a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Nigeria.

Ensure that you fill out the application form accurately and completely, providing all necessary information and supporting documents to avoid delays in processing. The application fee for a Canadian study permit, excluding extensions, is 150 CAD. Furthermore, a temporary resident permit application will cost you 229.77 CAD.

Learn more about how to apply for a Student visa in Canada.

Step 5: Attend a Visa Interview

After submitting your application, you may be required to attend a visa interview at the Canadian visa office in Nigeria. The interview aims to assess your study plans, financial situation, and ties to Nigeria to determine your eligibility for a study permit. Be prepared to answer questions truthfully and provide any additional information or documents requested by the visa officer.

Step 6: Wait for Processing And Receive Your Decision

Once you have completed all the necessary steps, the final step is to wait to process your application and receive a decision from the Canadian authorities. Processing times may vary depending on the volume of applications, your country of origin, and other factors.

You can track the status of your application online using the unique application number you provided. You will receive your Canadian study permit once you are approved to pursue your education in Canada.

Learn more about checking your IRCC Canadian immigration application status.

Benefits of Studying in Canada as a Nigerian

Studying in Canada unlocks the following advantages for you as an international Nigerian student:

High-Quality Education

Immerse yourself in Canada’s academic environment taught by experienced professors at the forefront of their fields. Canadian universities prioritize research and innovation, fostering a culture of critical thinking and problem-solving, skills highly sought after by employers worldwide.

A Canadian degree equips you with the knowledge and qualifications to compete in the globalized job market. According to Times Higher Education (THE) rankings, Canada has six of the top 115 universities in the world.

Learn about the top 10 public universities in Canada.

Scholarship Opportunities

Financial constraints should help your academic aspirations. Numerous scholarships and financial aid programs are available specifically for international students, including some targeted towards Nigerians.

These scholarships can significantly reduce the financial burden of studying abroad, making a Canadian education more accessible. The most prominent international scholarships offered to international students include:

Learn more about how to get a scholarship in Canada for international students.

Work While Studying

Offset your living expenses and gain valuable Canadian work experience through Canada's student work permit program. This program allows international students to work part-time jobs on campus or off-campus for authorized employers. Working while studying provides financial support and allows you to develop practical skills, build your resume, and network with professionals in your field.

Learn about popular part-time jobs for students in Canada.

Post-Graduation Opportunities

A Canadian degree opens doors to exciting career prospects in Canada and internationally. You may be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) upon graduation. This permit allows you to gain valuable Canadian work experience, potentially boosting your chances of landing a permanent position and immigrating to Canada. The experience gained through a PGWP can also strengthen your profile for immigration programs that prioritize candidates with Canadian work experience.

Learn how to get a Post Graduate Work Permit in Canada.

Pathway to Permanent Residence

Studying in Canada can be a stepping stone to permanent residency. Canada actively seeks skilled immigrants to contribute to its growing economy. Your academic qualifications and valuable work experience gained through a PGWP can significantly improve your eligibility for permanent residency programs.

Learn how to get Canadian permanent residence after your studies.

English or French Immersion Programs

Canada is a bilingual country with English and French as its official languages. Studying in Canada improves your fluency in either language, a valuable asset in today's globalized world. Many universities offer English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) programs to help international students enhance their language skills and succeed academically.

Vibrant Cosmopolitan Cities

Canada boasts a multicultural and welcoming environment. Major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal offer a dynamic blend of cultures, cuisines, and artistic expressions. Experience the excitement of cosmopolitan living while immersing yourself in a diverse and inclusive society. Many of these cities have large Nigerian communities, providing a sense of familiarity and support while you explore your new home away from home.

Learn about Canada's five best cities for international students.


Can I Extend My Canadian Study Permit?

Yes, you can extend your Canadian study permit if you meet certain eligibility criteria and submit your application before your current Canadian study permit expires. Apply for an extension well in advance to maintain your legal status in Canada.

Learn more about how to extend or change conditions on your Canadian work permit.

Is it Advisable to Use a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant?

It is highly advisable to use the services of a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) to go through the complexities of the Canadian study permit application process, ensuring accuracy and compliance with immigration regulations.

Learn more about how using an RCIC helps you immigrate to Canada.

How Can I Prepare for Life in Canada as a Student?

Preparing for life in Canada as a Nigerian student involves researching Canadian culture, climate, and lifestyle beforehand. Familiarize yourself with the local customs, transportation systems, and housing options to ease your transition. Connecting with Nigerian student associations or support groups in Canada can provide valuable insights and support networks for your adjustment process.

Learn more about how to prepare for life in Canada as an international student.