How to Migrate to Canada from Nigeria with my Family

How to Migrate to Canada from Nigeria with my Family

You’d be wondering “How to Migrate to Canada from Nigeria with my Family” Who hasn’t fantasized about swapping the hustle and bustle for a life filled with fresh mountain air, incredible career opportunities, and an endless supply of maple syrup?

Well, let me be the first to say you’ve got impeccable taste. Canada is an absolute gem of a country, offering an unbeatable quality of life, world-class education, and a warm welcome to newcomers from all walks of life.

But before you start packing your bags and teaching your kids to speak Canadian slangs like a pro, there are a few crucial steps you’ll need to take to make this migration dream a reality.

From navigating the visa maze to finding jobs, housing, and schools for the little ones, this comprehensive guide has got you covered. So grab a double-double (that’s a Canadian coffee with two creams and two sugars, for the uninitiated) and get ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Visa Options for Nigerian Families

The first major hurdle when it comes to migrating to Canada? Deciding which immigration program is the best match for your specific situation and goals as a family.

The Express Entry System

One of the most popular options for skilled worker immigration is the Express Entry system – a points-based program that ranks candidates based on factors like age, education, language skills, and work experience.

Express Entry is an online platform that streamlines applications for three key economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.

Qualified candidates are assessed and ranked based on a points system, with the highest-ranking candidates invited to apply for permanent residency.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for Express Entry, you’ll need to meet criteria like having at least one year of paid skilled work experience, scoring well on an approved language test, and getting enough points based on factors like your age, qualifications, and whether you have a job offer or provincial nomination.

Comprehensive Ranking System

Your Express Entry profile is ranked against others in the pool using a points-based Comprehensive Ranking System that scores you on core human capital factors like age, education, language skills, and work experience. Top scorers get an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

Several Other Visa Options You Can Explore

While Express Entry is a hugely popular choice, there are other potential immigration pathways for Nigerian families too:

Family Sponsorship 

If you happen to have close relatives who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, they may be able to sponsor your application for permanent residence.

Provincial Nominee Programs

The different provinces and territories of Canada each have their own immigration programs, designed to attract newcomers with specific skills and work experience to meet local labor market needs.

Temporary Work Permits

Getting a coveted job offer from a Canadian employer willing to sponsor you can allow you to obtain a temporary work permit first, with a potential pathway to permanent status down the line. 

Now, I won’t sugarcoat it, the visa process can be a bit of a bureaucratic maze, especially when you’re applying as a family.

But don’t let that scare you off. With the right preparation, a healthy dose of patience, and perhaps a bit of help from an immigration lawyer or consultant, you’ll be well on your way to making your Canadian dreams a reality.

Preparing Your Application

Once you’ve identified the immigration program that best fits your family’s needs, it’s time to start assembling all the necessary documentation and details to submit a killer application.

Required Documents

Some of the key items you’ll need to have ready include:

Travel Documents: Up-to-date passports for all family members are a must.

Proof of Language Proficiency: You’ll likely need to provide English and potentially French test scores from an approved exam like IELTS or TEF.

Education Credential Assessment: Get your academic credentials evaluated for equivalency to Canadian standards.

Police Clearance Certificates: Authorities need proof that you and your family have no criminal records.

Proof of Funds and Job Prospects: You’ll need to demonstrate you have sufficient settlement funds saved up, as well as a solid employment plan for generating income in Canada.

Compiling a Complete Application 

With the mountains of paperwork involved, applying for Canadian immigration isn’t a task to be taken lightly. A few tips:

Attention to Detail: Ensure every form is filled out accurately and completely. Even tiny mistakes can create lengthy delays. 

Professional Assistance: Think about seeking the expertise of a licensed immigration lawyer or consultant to help you navigate the complex process and guarantee that all requirements are met, leaving no stone unturned and ensuring a thorough and accurate application.

Finding Employment Opportunities

Of course, a huge part of setting your family up for success in Canada will be scoping out meaningful career opportunities to put your skills and experience to work.

In-Demand Jobs for Nigerians

While Canadian job prospects span industries, some particularly in-demand fields for skilled immigrants from Nigeria include:

1. Technology: From software development and cyber security to AI and cloud computing, Canada’s tech scene is booming. If you or your spouse has mad coding skills or a knack for all things digital, you could be in high demand.

2. Healthcare: With a focus on quality healthcare, Canada is always on the lookout for top-notch medical professionals like doctors, nurses, and specialists. Bonus points if you’re fluent in both English and French.

3. Finance & Accounting: Canada’s financial sector is thriving, creating plenty of opportunities for skilled accountants, financial analysts, and other number-crunching gurus.

4. Skilled Trades: From construction and manufacturing to automotive and aviation, there’s a constant need for skilled tradespeople in Canada. If you or your spouse is handy with tools and not afraid of a little hard work, you could be sitting pretty.

5. Hospitality & Tourism: Canada’s breathtaking landscapes and world-class cities make it a prime destination for tourists from around the globe. If you’ve got experience in hotels, restaurants, or tourism, you could be in luck.

6.  Education and Training: Teachers, instructors, tutors, professors – education is a hot field at all levels, especially for STEM subjects.

Platforms to Search for Canadian Jobs

So how can you go about actually landing one of those coveted Canadian jobs? Try leveraging strategies like:

Online Job Boards and Portals: Polish up that resume and start scouring job sites like Job Bank, Monster, Indeed, and LinkedIn for opportunities. Set up job alerts.

Network: Tap into any community/professional contacts and connections you may have in Canada. Networking is invaluable.

Recruitment Agencies: Sign up with known and legit recruitment firms that specialize in placing skilled immigrants.

A Newcomer’s Guide to Settling in with Your Family

1. Finding a Place to Call Home: Whether you’re looking for a cozy apartment in the heart of Toronto or a spacious house in a family-friendly suburb, Canada’s housing market has got you covered. Just be prepared – real estate prices can be a bit on the steep side, especially in major cities.

2. Banking & Finances: Setting up Canadian bank accounts and getting your finances in order should be high on your to-do list. Most major Nigerian banks have partnerships with Canadian institutions, making the transition a bit smoother.

3. Healthcare & Insurance: Canada’s universal healthcare system is one of the country’s biggest draws, but you’ll still want to look into supplementary health insurance options, especially for your family.

4. Transportation: Depending on where you settle, you might need to invest in a vehicle or familiarize yourselves with Canada’s public transit systems (which, in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, are top-notch).

5. Education: If you’ve got kids in tow, you’ll want to start researching the local school systems and enrollment processes. Canada is known for its excellent public education, but there are also plenty of private and international school options to explore.

How to Migrate to Canada from Nigeria with my Family

Plus, don’t miss out on the enjoyable parts. From joining local clubs and sports leagues to exploring Canada’s incredible natural landscapes and trying all the delicious local cuisine, there’s no shortage of ways for your family to immerse yourselves in the Canadian way of life.


Still got some burning questions about migrating to Canada from Nigeria with your family? No worries, we’ve got you covered.

Q1: What is the duration of the visa process?

Ans: The truth is, processing times can vary quite a bit depending on the specific visa pathway you’re pursuing and the overall volume of applications.

Express Entry applications are typically processed within 6-12 months, while family sponsorships and provincial nominee programs can take anywhere from 12-24 months (or longer, in some cases).

The secret to success lies in careful planning and preparation from the start, and then being willing to wait for the right opportunities to arise. With persistence and patience, you’ll ultimately achieve your goals and reap the rewards.

Q2: Do I need to speak French to migrate to Canada?

Ans: While Canada is officially bilingual (English and French), the language requirements can vary depending on where you’re hoping to settle and the specific visa program you’re applying through.

In general, proficiency in English is a must, but knowing French can definitely give you a competitive edge – especially if you’re looking to live and work in Quebec or certain parts of Ontario and New Brunswick.

Q3: How much money do I need to have saved up?

Ans: Canada’s immigration authorities typically want to see that you have enough funds to support yourself and your family during the initial migration phase.

The specific amount can vary, but as a general guideline, you’ll likely need to show proof of settlement funds ranging from $16,000 to $25,000 (or more, depending on your family size).

Q4: Can I bring my pet with me to Canada?

Ans: Absolutely! Canada is a pet-friendly country, but there are certain import requirements and regulations you’ll need to follow.

Your furry friend will need to be up-to-date on vaccinations, microchipped, and may need to undergo a quarantine period upon arrival. Be sure to do your research and consult with your veterinary doctor.

Also Read:

How to Relocate to Canada from Nigeria

Jobs in Australia for Foreigners with Visa Sponsorship