How to Apply for a Canada Work Permit from Nigeria

If you’re a Nigerian citizen looking to work in Canada, obtaining a work permit is a crucial step in the process. Applying for a Canada work permit requires careful preparation and adherence to specific steps and requirements. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of applying for a Canada work permit from Nigeria.

How to Apply for a Canada Work Permit

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

Before starting the application process, it’s important to determine if you are eligible for a Canada work permit. The requirements may vary depending on the type of work permit you are applying for. Here are some key factors to consider:

1. Valid Job Offer

You will need a valid job offer from a Canadian employer to apply for a work permit. The job offer should outline the details of the position, including job responsibilities, duration, and salary.

2. Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

In most cases, your employer will need to obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The LMIA verifies that there is a genuine need for a foreign worker to fill the position and that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available for the job.

3. Job Requirements

You must meet the specific requirements for the job, such as education, work experience, or professional credentials. Ensure that you have the necessary qualifications to perform the duties of the position.

4. Language Proficiency

Demonstrate your proficiency in English or French by providing language test results from an approved testing agency. The test results should meet the minimum language requirements set by the Canadian government.

Step 2: Research Work Permit Categories

Canada offers different types of work permits, and it’s important to understand which category is applicable to your situation. Here are the main work permit categories:

1. Employer-Specific Work Permit

An employer-specific work permit allows you to work for a specific employer in Canada. This type of work permit is tied to a specific job offer from a Canadian employer who has obtained a positive LMIA.

2. Open Work Permit

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, with some exceptions. This type of work permit does not require a job offer or an LMIA. It provides flexibility in terms of changing employers or job positions.

3. International Experience Canada (IEC) Work Permit

The International Experience Canada (IEC) program offers work permits to individuals aged 18 to 35 (age limit may vary depending on the country). The program includes several categories, such as Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-op. Each category has specific eligibility criteria.

Research the different work permit categories and determine which one aligns with your situation and goals.

Step 3: Gather Required Documents

Before starting the application process, gather all the required documents to support your work permit application. The documents may vary depending on the type of work permit you are applying for, but here are some common ones:

1. Valid Passport

Ensure that your passport is valid for the entire duration of your intended stay in Canada. If your passport is set to expire soon, consider renewing it before applying for the work permit.

2. Job Offer Letter

Obtain a detailed job offer letter from your Canadian employer. The letter should include information about the position, salary, working conditions, and duration of employment.

3. Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

If your job offer requires an LMIA, ensure that your employer provides

you with a copy of the positive LMIA. This document is crucial to demonstrate that there is a genuine need for a foreign worker to fill the position.

4. Educational Documents

Provide copies of your educational documents, such as degrees, diplomas, or certificates. These documents should verify your educational qualifications and demonstrate that you meet the requirements for the job.

5. Language Test Results

Include the results of your language proficiency test, such as IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program). Make sure the test results meet the minimum language requirements set by the Canadian government.

6. Proof of Funds

Demonstrate that you have enough funds to support yourself and your dependents (if applicable) during your stay in Canada. This can include bank statements, employment contracts, or other financial documents.

7. Additional Supporting Documents

Depending on your specific circumstances, you may need to provide additional supporting documents, such as proof of work experience, professional licenses, or certifications.

Step 4: Complete the Application Forms

Once you have gathered all the required documents, you need to complete the appropriate application forms. The forms can be obtained from the official website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The main forms you will need to fill out include:

1. Application for Work Permit (IMM 1295)

This form collects personal information and details about your work permit application.

2. Family Information Form (IMM 5707)

If applicable, complete this form to provide information about your immediate family members.

3. Schedule 1 – Application for Temporary Resident Visa (IMM 5257)

If you require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada, you will need to complete this form. Nigerians usually require a TRV to enter Canada, unless exempt.

Ensure that you fill out the forms accurately and completely. Any missing or incorrect information can cause delays in the processing of your application.

Step 5: Pay the Application Fees

There are fees associated with applying for a Canada work permit. Visit the official IRCC website to determine the current fees and payment methods. Ensure that you pay the fees as instructed and keep the payment receipt for your records.

Step 6: Submit the Application

Once you have completed the application forms, gathered the required documents, and paid the fees, it’s time to submit your application. You have two options for submitting your application:

1. Online Application

If you are eligible, you can submit your application online through the IRCC website. Follow the instructions provided, upload your documents, and pay the fees electronically.

2. Paper Application

If you prefer a paper application, you can mail your completed forms, supporting documents, and payment receipt to the appropriate IRCC office. Ensure that you use a reliable courier service and keep the tracking information.

Step 7: Wait for the Decision

After submitting your application, you will need to wait for the processing of your work permit. The processing time can vary depending on various factors, such as the type of work permit, the volume of applications, and the current processing times.

During this waiting period, ensure that you regularly check the status of your application through the IRCC website. If there are any updates or additional documents required, respond promptly to avoid delays.

Step 8: Travel to Canada and Start Working

If your work permit application is approved, you will receive a Port of Entry (POE) letter of introduction. This letter allows you to travel to Canada and present yourself to the border officer at the port of entry. The officer will issue your work permit upon arrival in Canada.

Ensure that you have all the necessary documents with

you when traveling to Canada, including your passport, work permit approval letter, job offer letter, and supporting documents.

Once you arrive in Canada and receive your work permit, you can start working for your Canadian employer.


Applying for a Canada work permit from Nigeria requires careful preparation and adherence to the specific steps and requirements outlined in this guide. Remember to determine your eligibility, research work permit categories, gather the required documents, complete the application forms accurately, pay the fees, and submit your application through the appropriate channel.

Keep in mind that the application process can take time, so it’s important to be patient and stay informed about the status of your application. With proper planning and preparation, you can navigate the process successfully and take the first step toward working in Canada. Good luck!

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