How to Get a Canadian Work Visa from Nigeria?

We previously explained how you can immigrate to Canada from Nigeria. Now, we’re deep-diving into what it takes to work in Canada as a temporary foreign worker. With over 1-million new jobs added to the Canadian economy in 2021 and thousands of in-demand occupations across the country, it’s clear that Canada is in the best position to welcome more foreign workers during this time. In fact, Canada is currently accepting and processing work visa applications, and prioritizing essential workers such as nurses and agricultural workers.

In 2019, about 12,595 Nigerians got Canadian permanent residence through a variety of different visa programs. You can apply for a Canadian work visa from Nigeria if you meet the visa requirements of a work permit program. Find out more below.

3 Steps to Work in Canada from Nigeria

Step 1: Find a Job in Canada

You will need a valid job offer in Canada before you can apply for a work visa. Finding a job in Canada from Nigeria is possible because the country has many skills and labor shortages due to its aging population. Every 1 in 4 Canadians is currently retiring, leaving many job vacancies that employers are only able to fill with the help of foreign workers.

NOTE: The type of job offer you obtain in Canada will depend on the type of Canadian work visa you qualify for. For example, if you have a job offer as a farmworker then you could obtain an employer-specific work permit by applying through the Agriculture Worker Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

In another example, if you have a job offer in a highly-skilled tech position then you could qualify for a work visa through the Global Talent Stream and benefit from 2-week visa processing!

Take a look at the top 15 jobs in Canada in 2021, according to Randstad.

Top 15 Jobs in Canada in 2021
OccupationAverage Annual Salary in CAD (Source: Neuvoo)
1.Administrative assistant$43, 875
2.Customer service representative$34, 125
3.Sales associate$37, 050
4.Driver$44, 234
5.Accounts payable and receivable clerk$34, 750
6.Registered nurse$80, 126
7.Project manager$90, 675
8.General labourer$31, 919
9.Welder$43, 875
10.Electric engineer$74, 997
11.Software developer$85, 600
12.Merchandiser$31, 346
13.Accountant$58, 500
14.HR manager$78, 975
15.Financial advisor$77, 739

Can I work in Canada without a job offer?

Yes, in very specific circumstances you may be able to apply for a Canadian work visa without a job offer. For example, if you study in Canada and graduate with a Canadian qualification then you may be able to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) without a job offer. This will allow you to stay on and gain valuable Canadian work experience that could lead to a permanent future in the country.

Step 2: Get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

There is a good chance that your Canadian job offer will need to be supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) otherwise it won’t be deemed valid when you apply for a Canadian work visa from Nigeria. This is because the majority of work permit programs that allow foreigners to live and work in Canada on a temporary basis usually require an LMIA.

What is an LMIA?

An LMIA is a document that’s issued to Canadian employers who need to hire foreign workers because they couldn’t find someone to fill the job position locally. This means that you can only obtain an LMIA from the employer in Canada who wishes to hire you. You need a copy of the LMIA document when you submit your work visa application.

Who doesn’t need an LMIA?

Temporary foreign workers from Nigeria who qualify for a work permit program under the International Mobility Program (IMP) don’t require LMIA documents. For example, if you are a company transferee then you could qualify for an LMIA-exempt work visa under the IMP. Certain essential occupations in Canada are also exempt from this requirement such as healthcare professionals.

Step 3: Work Towards a Permanent Future in Canada With Pilot Programs

A unique way to work in Canada from Nigeria is to apply for your work visa through one of two incredible Canadian immigration pilot programs specifically designed for agriculture workers and caregivers from abroad. There is an ongoing demand for workers in these fields so finding a job won’t be all that difficult. Even more, your work experience gained in Canada will help you and your family to settle in the country permanently!

How it Works: When you apply for your work visa you will also be applying for permanent residency at the same time. As soon as you fulfill the required working hours in Canada, your application for permanent residency will be processed. Find out more below!

Immigration Pilot Programs

    • The Agri-Food Pilot; and
    • The Home Care Provider Pilots

How much does a Canadian Work Visa cost?

You must pay an application processing fee when you submit your work permit application. You will be issued with both a work permit and a visa to enter Canada when you apply for the first time. Your dependent family members may be able to join you in Canada.

Canadian Work Visa Application Fees
Visa TypeCost
Work permit$155 per person
Work permit extension$155 per person
Open work permit$100 per person

Live and Work in Canada as a Permanent Resident

Sometimes it’s easier to apply to work and live in Canada through an immigration program instead of attempting to get a work visa from Nigeria. This is especially true if there is not a high demand for your occupation and you are unable to obtain a job offer supported by an LMIA. The next best option is to apply through the Express Entry immigration system that doesn’t require a valid job offer.

Enter the Express Entry Draw from Nigeria

You can apply for Canadian permanent residency from Nigeria through the popular Express Entry system designed for skilled foreign workers. The Express Entry system selects eligible candidates for permanent residency from an online pool of candidates. It’s suitably called Express Entry because the system processes applications for permanent residency in a record time of six months.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool are scored against a points-based system known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Each candidate is given a score for eligibility criteria such as their age, amount of work experience, level of education, their spouses’ credentials, etc. The highest-scoring candidates receive Invitations to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency in bi-weekly draws. If you receive an ITA then you can apply to immigrate to Canada as a permanent resident.

Who is considered a skilled foreign worker? Find out below.

Skilled Work Experience for Express Entry
Skill level/typeExample jobs
Skill type 0Management jobs; human resource managers, etc
Skill level AProfessional jobs; accountants, marketing professionals, etc
Skill level BTechnical jobs and skilled trades: plumber, event planners, etc

We Can Help Define Your Path to Canada From Nigeria

Not sure how to get a Canadian work visa from Nigeria or how to apply for permanent residency? With so many unique ways to work in Canada, it can easily feel overwhelming to pinpoint the best path to take based on your unique criteria such as level of education, work experience, and skills. Luckily, you don’t have to go at it alone because that’s what we do best.

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