What you should know on how to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria through Express Entry
As a Nigerian reading this article, we are sure japa is a word familiar to you especially now that it is more popular than ever. Quite obviously Saskatchewan, Canada is a good a choice, I mean that’s why you are reading this article. You would be surprised to learn that Nigeria is one of the main contributors of Canadian immigrants, with over 15,000 Nigerians immigration to Canada in 2021. Nigeria also overtook China as the number two source of countries of citizenship for Express Entry applicants who received ITA in 2019. Quite some numbers!
First things first, If you want to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry, you will need to ensure you are eligible, understand the requirements and information to provide.
In the paragraphs below, we will explain how to immigrate to Canada from Nigeria through the Express Entry pathway, the same route taken by about 5,886 Nigerians in 2019.
Which Express Entry Program Are You Eligible For?
The three immigration programs under the Express Entry system have distinct requirements.
The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is for applicants outside Canada with foreign education and work experience.
The Federal Skilled Trade (FST) program is suitable for those with Canadian tradesperson qualifications.
Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program has a requirement of Canadian work experience which is usually gotten after studying in Canada.
Therefore, If you have never worked, apply to a province, studied, nor visited Canada, the FSW program is the Express Entry route that is right for you.
One thing to always have in mind with Express Entry is that is not enough to meet the basic requirements as it is point-based and quite competitive. Hence you need to score high to meet possible cutoffs.
• minimum of one year full-time, continuous skilled work experience;
• high school education or above;
• proof of language ability via test scores at or above Canadian Language Benchmark 7 (CLB 7)
Where meeting minimum requirements doesn’t help much is in garnering lots of points that you would need to secure an invitation in a draw. For instance, minimum level of education is high school level but it only attracts 5 points on the FSW points grid while Bachelor’s degree holder gets 21 points! The same applies to language (especially if bi-lingua with test scores), age, work experience, and adaptability factors.
Now that you are familiar with the basics. You will need to check CRS score, and see for yourself your chances of success.
The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is the singular determinant of applicants success in Express Entry. This is why it is advisable to attempt a sample of the CRS score, you can check receivable points for each factors here
It is also important to note that language test scores and level of education plays can affect possible CRS score greatly, hence high scores should be achieved in language tests and if possible more educational certifications.
- Language Tests:
Language tests is often require to assess applicants level of either English or French which are Saskatchewan’s official languages. Although more Nigerians write the English tests, the French tests is equally a good option for those who are bi-lingual.
For any immigration routes to Canada, there are two approved English Language Tests. IELTS General Training has test centers all over Nigeria and the recently CELPIP General test has equally been made available in selected cities. There is also TEF CANADA and TCF for French proficiency tests both of which can be written in eight states and Portharcourt respectively.
That being said, to have an edge, an applicant should aim at achieving high CLB like CLB 9 in the language tests.
For instance, the following are scores to achieve CLB 9
Listening – 8.0
Speaking – 7.0
Reading – 7.0
Writing – 7.0
Listening – 9.0
Speaking – 9.0
Reading – 9.0
Writing – 9.0
- Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
We previously mentioned how high school education is the minimum required for Express Entry, the truth is , It is not enough to make you competitive in the pool.
The CRS points for education is based on the Canadian educational equivalence and this is where ECA comes in.
The ideal level of education that will get you more points is something like this
“Two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees. One must be for a program of three or more years”
In simpler terms, you need an education level like this for instance:
• A Master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree
• A Bachelor’s degree and a one-year college diploma
The process of ECA is quite simple but can be costly. You will need to get the official transcripts of your degrees, certificates or diplomas and submit it for processing. One of the widely used platform for this is WES – World Educational Service (WES) is widely used and an approved party for educational assessment when it comes to Canadian Immigration.
There is really no standard processing time for obtaining transcripts from Institutions in Nigeria, It vary considerably. Hence you might want to start the processing early enough and follow through to avoid delays.
- Work Experience
Even though the minimum required non-Canadian work experience is 1 year. If you want to maximize your CRS points, you would need three years of full-time skilled work experience.
Let’s just say Saskatchewan and Canada generally favors those in the younger age group when it comes to awarding points. Which is why the maximum points for applicants age is between 20 and 29 years old. Once you hit 30, you lose points downward
When It Comes To Funds: How much do you need to show?
Did we mention that Federal Skilled Worker doesn’t require having a job offer? Well, due to this you will need to show immigration you have enough funds to support yourself and your family when you arrive in Saskatchewan.
Please note that these funds have to be in your account that has your name or that of your spouse and also must be accessible to spend.
The followings are in Canadian dollars and naira equivalent will vary according to exchange rates as at the time of your application.
Number of family members/Required funds (in CAD)
1. Single applicant $13,310
For each additional family member, you will have to add $3,586
Now that you have taken a look at these requirements, no doubt you have some information to decide if this program is right for you or not as well as the first steps to take and eventually pursuing your dreams of building a beautiful life in Saskatchewan.