The Canadian government has hinted it is introducing a new immigration program for Nigerian citizens who want to study in Canada as international students. The Nigeria Student Express reportedly provides Nigerians with access to a faster processing channel for their Canadian study permit applications.
The Nigeria Student Express was disclosed via tweet from the official Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) twitter account:
1/2 Hi. Nigeria Student Express is a pilot initiative at our visa office (VO) in Lagos aimed at improving processing times for study permit applicants in Nigeria who are planning to study at the university level in Canada.
— IRCC (@CitImmCanada) February 26, 2020
The program has yet to be confirmed on the official IRCC website, but we are monitoring IRCC channels for further confirmation.
Entering 2020, there were close to 12,000 Nigerian students studying in Canada. One of the many attractions of studying in Canada is that graduating from a Canadian university or college provides additional points in Canada’s economic immigration system, known as Express Entry, which has also proven to be a popular route to Canada among Nigerians.
How does the Nigeria Student Express work?
As the Nigeria Student Express has not yet been announced publicly on the official IRCC website, the official instructions related to eligibility and application procedure are not available. It is possible that the Nigeria Student Express will resemble the Student Direct Stream (SDS), a pathway introduced for expedited study permit processing for residents of China, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Pakistan, Senegal, and Morocco.
The Student Direct Stream provides eligible international students with 20-day processing times for their Canadian study permit applications. To be eligible, prospective students have to meet a range of eligibility criteria, including having been accepted to a school in Canada, taking an English or French language test (scoring minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark Level 7), and purchasing a CAD$10,000 Guaranteed Investment Certificate from a participating bank.
It is possible that the Nigeria Student Express will include similar eligibility requirements, but this can only be confirmed once IRCC releases official details about the new initiative.
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