A Canada Visitor Visa (also known as a Canada Tourist Visa or a Canada Temporary Resident Visa – TRV) is required if you need to travel to Canada to visit family and friends, do business in Canada, or transit through a Canadian airport.
Nigerian passport holders require a Canada visitor visa to visit Canada. So, we have put together this step-by-step guide to help Nigerian citizens understand the requirement for a Canada visitors visa and the process to apply.
Eligibility: Who can apply for a Canadian Visitor Visa?
To apply for a Canadian Visitor (Tourist) Visa, you must meet some basic requirements:
- have a valid travel document. That is an international/travel passport.
- be in good health.
- have no criminal or immigration-related convictions.
- convince an immigration officer that you have ties—such as a job, home, financial assets or family—that will take you back to your home country, Nigeria.
- convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit.
- have enough money for your stay.
- The amount of money you will need depends on how long you will stay and if you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives.
You may also need a medical exam and also a letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada.
Some people are not allowed to enter Canada
Some people are not admissible to Canada, which means they are not allowed to enter the country. You can be inadmissible for several reasons, including being involved in:
- criminal activity.
- human rights violations.
- organized crime.
You can also be inadmissible for security, health or financial reasons.
TIP: It is a good idea to have “Previous Travel History” to other countries before applying for a Canada Visitor (Tourist) Visa.
Having previous travel history is not a requirement for Canada visitor visa, but it is advisable. We have discovered that those who have previous travel history to other countries outside their home country before applying for a Canadian visa, usually have higher visa success rate.
Previous travel to countries like the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA), Australia, and similarly developed countries have been found to be beneficial. On the other hand, previous travel to other African countries, Dubai, and other similar countries have been found not to have any added benefit when applying for a Canada Visitor visa.
4 SIMPLE STEPS TO APPLY FOR A CANADA VISITOR (TOURIST/TRV) VISA IN NIGERIA
Short on time? Here is the summary of the 4 Simple Steps to Apply for a Canadian Visitor Visa in Nigeria in 2019:
- Step 1 – Decide on how to apply (Online versus Paper application).
- Step 2 – Gather your supporting Canada Visitor Visa application documents.
- Step 3 – Complete the Canada Visitor Visa application forms.
- Step 4 – Submit your application (Pay your visa fees and get your biometrics done).
DECIDE ON HOW TO APPLY
There are two options when applying for a Canada visitor visa (also known as a Temporary Resident Visa – TRV).
You can either:
- Apply Online through the Government of Canada IRCC website portal, or
- Submit a Paper Application through the VFS Global Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Lagos or Abuja.
Why you should apply online, Benefits:
Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recommends that you apply online for the following reasons:
- No courier fees or delivery time – IRCC gets your application instantly.
- Online applications may be processed more quickly compared to paper applications.
- Avoid processing delays. Applying online helps ensure your application is complete before you submit it because you will not be able to submit an online application until you complete all the required sections. However, with paper applications, you cannot be 100% sure that you are submitting a complete application. If you submit an incomplete paper application, it will be returned to you without processing leading to processing delays.
- If IRCC needs to ask for more documents, you can quickly submit them online.
- You do not need to submit your International/Nigerian passport until IRCC asks for it.
- You get updates on the status of your application directly in your online account.
Still not sure if you should apply online or submit a paper application?
Important points to note about the difference between applying online versus submitting a paper application for Canada visitor visa application in Nigeria:
FOR ONLINE APPLICATION:
- You will need to submit scanned copies of your international passport, and other supporting documents. Therefore, you should have access to a scanner to create digital copies of your documents.
- Payment for the visa processing fee and biometric fees is done online, so you must have a debit or credit card that is authorized for foreign exchange (FX) web payment, as the amount is quoted is in Canadian dollars. It should be noted that most Nigerian bank debit/ATM cards and credit cards are accepted for IRCC online payment, but make sure you confirm with your bank. If you do not have a debit/credit card of your own, you can ask your family/friends to use their own as that is accepted.
FOR PAPER APPLICATION:
- Your original international/Nigerian passport and some original supporting documents must be submitted along with your visa application.
- Payment of the visa and biometric fees is in Naira (₦) and will be done in person at the point of submitting your visa application at the Canada VFS Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Lagos or Abuja.
Let’s help make your decision of Online versus Paper application easier:
In addition to the benefits of online application stated by IRCC, which we provided earlier, you may want to consider applying online for a Canada Visitor Visa if any of the following applies to you:
If you are a frequent traveller or you have an upcoming international trip and you will, therefore, need your Nigerian passport in the following weeks after you apply for a Canada Visitor visa, you will want to submit an online application because you are not required to submit your original international/Nigerian passport to the Canadian Embassy until the Canadian Visa officer asks for it, which is usually when your visa has been approved.
We recommend that you consider an online application as your first choice of submitting a Canada Visitor Visa application
If you do not care about the aforementioned benefits or you are not computer savvy or do not have access to a debit/ATM/credit card to pay for your Canada Visitor Visa fees online, then we recommend a paper application.
GATHER SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
You must submit the following supporting documents/items when applying for a Canada Visitors visa in Nigeria:
- Passport Photograph. Recently taken within the last 6 months (Size: 35mm x 45mm).
- Nigerian Passport with a minimum of 2 blank pages and a minimum of 6 months’ validity. And any previous/expired Nigerian passports showing travel history.
- Explanation of the Purpose of your Trip. A note/letter containing the details of your trip, indicating the length of stay, destination and contacts.
- Letter of Invitation. An invitation letter from the person or business you will visit, stating your visit dates, duration, purpose, your host’s contact information, etc.
- Hotel Reservation that covers the duration of your trip. This only applies if you will not be staying with your host at his/her residence or if this is a business trip.
- Proof of funds. Evidence of sufficient funds to cover your travel (air ticket) and other costs for the duration of your trip to Canada. If someone else will be paying for your trip, the person/institution must provide a letter of financial support, along with their financial documents (i.e. bank statement).
- Proof of Ties to your Home Country (Nigeria). Employment letter, pay slips, proof of business (if you are self-employed), proof of current studies (if you are a student), marriage certificate (if you are married), children’s birth certificate (if you have children), proof of assets in Nigeria, etc.
For a Detailed List of Documents Required to Apply for a Canada Visitor Visa, along with visa document tips, Check Out “Canada Full Visa Requirements for Nigeria“.
COMPLETE THE NECESSARY CANADA VISA APPLICATION FORMS
Download and fill out the necessary Canada Visitor Visa application forms. These forms can be gotten/downloaded for free from the IRCC website.
The following are the visa application forms that must be filled out and submitted with your Canada Visitor Visa application:
- Application for Temporary Resident Visa Form (IMM 5257)
- Family Information Form (IMM 5645 or IMM 5707)
- Document Checklist Form (IMM 5484)
These additional forms will only be completed based on your personal circumstances, if applicable:
- Document Checklist – Applicants in Canada (IMM 5721), if applicable.
- Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union (IMM 5409), if applicable.
- Use of a Representative (IMM 5476), if applicable.
- Authority to release personal information to a designated individual (IMM 5475), if applicable.
TIP: You should fill out the application forms and other relevant documents electronically and then print afterwards.
The Canada Visitor Visa form (IMM 5257) requires that you validate it after completing it. So, you will want to use a computer to type in your personal information into the Canada Visitor Visa application form, instead of completing it by hand. Once you type all your personal information into the form using a computer, you validate it and this will generate a barcode that must be printed and included as part as your visa application documents.
Did you know? The Canadian government shares information with other government such as the United States of America (USA).
If you have been denied an American visa in the past and did not declare this in your Canadian Visa application, the visa officer will find out this information. This is termed “Misrepresentation”.
Misrepresentation diminishes the overall credibility of your visa application submitted and thus are grounds for visa refusal. Examples of misrepresentations would be:
- Not declaring that you have been refused a visa for another country.
- False or altered documents, such as bank statement, marriage certificate, visas, birth certificate, etc.
SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION (PAY THE VISA FEES AND GET YOUR BIOMETRICS DONE)
As of 23 October 2013, Nigerian Citizens between the ages of fourteen (14) and seventy-nine (79) must give their biometrics (that is, fingerprints and photograph) when applying for a Canada Visitor Visa, Canada Study Visa/Permit or work permit.
FOR ONLINE APPLICANTS:
Once you have gathered all your supporting documents and completed all the necessary Canada Visitor Visa application forms, proceed with the following steps:
- Go to IRCC’s website and create an account to apply online. You will have to Register for a GCKey User ID and password if you do not have one.
- After you create an online account, you will be guided through the visa application process with the help of a questionnaire.
- Once you have answered all the questions and uploaded your scanned documents, you will be taken to a payment page to pay your Canada Visitor Visa fees online using a debit/credit bank card. Nigerian bank/ATM cards and foreign cards are accepted.
- If your payment is successful, your application will automatically be submitted to IRCC. You will receive an email confirmation along with an updated status on your online account.
- A letter from IRCC will automatically be emailed to you that says you need to give your biometrics, along with the instructions. You have up to 30 days from the date of online submission to give your biometrics in person at either Canada VFS Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Lagos or Abuja. Keep in mind that your visa application processing will not start until you have done your biometrics, so the earlier you get it done, the better for you.
- Go to VFS in Lagos or Abuja to get your biometrics done.
* TIP: For Online Applications, you have paid in full online, so do not be a victim of touts at the VFS office who may try to confuse you, so that you can give them additional money. Of course, if you want to ‘dash’ them money, that’s your choice.
FOR PAPER APPLICANTS:
Once you have gathered your supporting documents and completed all the necessary Canada Visitor Visa application forms, follow these steps to submit your application:
- Take all original documents along with one set of photocopies of each document to the Canada VFS Visa Application Centre (VAC) either in Lagos or Abuja.
- When you get to VFS, the VFS staff will check all your documents to confirm completeness.
- If all the documents are acceptable, pay your visa processing and biometrics fees at VFS and get your biometrics done there.
[Do you need One-On-One Assistance with the Canada Visitor Visa Application Process? Feel free to contact us!]
Yayy! You’re Done!
Give your self a pat on the back. You have successfully applied for your Canada Visitor visa.
After You Apply, What Next?
After you apply for a Canada Visitor Visa, a visa officer will be assigned to process your visitor visa application.
In some circumstances, the visa officer may ask you to:
- go to an interview with officials at the Canadian Embassy (High Commission in Abuja or Deputy High Commission in Lagos).
- send more information.
- get a medical exam.
- get a police certificate.
The Canada Visa officer will provide you with instructions of what to do if you need to do any of the above.
For online applicants, you will receive a notification at the email address that is linked to your IRCC online application account if the Canada visa officer requires any additional document.
If your application is approved, you will receive a letter in your online portal with instruction to submit your original Nigerian passport. You must go to a VFS office within 30 days of receiving the letter along with your original Nigerian passport for submission.
The visa will be stamped inside your passport and sent back to VFS for you to pick it up there.
If your application is refused, IRCC will send you a rejection letter/explanation through your online account.
For applicants who submitted a paper visa application at the VFS, IRCC will return your passport and other original documents to VFS after your visa application is processed. IRCC will not return the original bank statements you submitted or any documents they find to be fake/fraudulent.
Once VFS receives your Nigerian passport and other original documents back from the Canadian Embassy, they will contact you through the preferred means that you chose when you submitted your documents.
Keep in mind that you will not know if you Canada Visitor visa application was approved or rejected until you go to VFS to pick up your passport and check it yourself.
If your application is approved, the Canada Visitor Visa will be stamped inside your passport.
If your application is refused, IRCC will include a rejection/explanation letter with your passport.
How much is the Canada Visitor Visa fee in Nigeria?
Visa Processing Fee: C$100 (Approximately ₦26,800)
Biometrics Fee/VFS Charge: C$85 (Approximately ₦22,780)
Total Amount for Canada Visitor Visa Application: = C$185 (Approximately ₦49,580)
* An exchange rate of C$1 (Canadian Dollar) to ₦268 (Nigerian Naira) was used. So, if the actual exchange rate is lower or higher, the Naira (₦) equivalent amount will change accordingly.
What is the Address of Canada VFS Global in Nigeria?
Canada Visa Application Centre in Lagos, Nigeria
Manor Hall, Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way,
Opposite Treasure Garden Estate,
Third Roundabout, Lekki Phase I,
Lagos – Nigeria.
Canada Visa Application Centre in Abuja, Nigeria
Silverbird Entertainment Centre.
Plot 1161, Memorial Drive, 2nd Floor,
Central Business District,
Abuja – Nigeria.
*From 09 September 2019, the Canada Visa Application Centre in Abuja is moving to:*
Sterling Bank Plaza, 3rd Floor,
Plot 1083 Mohammadu Buhari Way,
Central Business District,
Abuja – Nigeria.
Days/Hours of Operation:
– Monday to Friday (excluding declared public holidays).
– Acceptance of Application: 8:00 am to 3:00 pm (Applicants/Representatives) or 8:00 am -to10:00 am (Groups of 10 or more).
– Passport Pass Back: 8:00 am to 3:30 pm (Applicants/Representatives).
– Canada VFS Helpline Number: +234 815 019 9900
– Canada VFS Helpline Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the Address and Location of Canada Embassy in Nigeria?
It is important to note that when applying for a Canada Visitor Visa, you will not have to deal directly with the Canadian Embassy in Nigeria neither do you need to go there, except you are invited for an interview. Canada VFS Visa Application Centre (VAC) collects all Canada visa application documents from Canada Visa applicants, and then sends it to the applicable Canadian Embassy that will handle your application.
Abuja Canada Embassy Address:
High Commission of Canada to Nigeria in Abuja
High Commission of Canada
13010G, Palm close, Diplomatic Drive,
Central Business District Abuja,
Telephone: +234 9 461 2900
Hours of Operation: Monday to Thursday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm | Friday, 8:00 am to 1:30 pm.
Lagos Canada Embassy Address:
Deputy High Commission of Canada to Nigeria in Lagos
Deputy High Commission of Canada
4 Anifowoshe Street,
Telephone: +234 1 271 5650
Hours of Operation: Monday to Thursday, 7:30 am to 4:00 pm | Friday: 7:30 am to 1:00 pm.
Want to learn more about Canada Visitor Visa Application process? Check out our Canada Visitor Visa Application Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) post, for Questions and Answers.
Did you find any information here that is now outdated or incorrect, kindly let us know by commenting below.
Which Canada Visitor Visa Application method did you choose? Online or Paper Application? Leave a Comment and share why you chose a specific option over the other.