How Nigerians Can Quickly Move to Canada: Insights from the High Commissioner
James Christoff, the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, shared valuable advice for Nigerians hoping to migrate to Canada during a recent visit to Lagos Business School.
Skills Matching is Key
For those considering moving to Canada for work, Christoff emphasized the importance of researching the available job opportunities and ensuring they align with the skills Canada is seeking.
“If your skills match what Canada needs, the migration process is straightforward. However, patience is vital. Many Nigerians have successfully followed this path,” he explained.
Canada’s Demographic Landscape
Despite being the world’s second-largest country by land area, spanning six time zones, Canada has a population of only about 40 million.
“Canada is vast. But to fuel our economy, we need both skilled and unskilled workers, as well as the visionary students and innovators of the future,” Christoff said.
Given its vast geography, Canada can be selective about its immigrants, a strategy essential for supporting its economic growth. A decline in birth rates and an aging populace mean that Canada is more eager than ever to welcome young, energetic immigrants through attractive immigration policies.
Immigration Numbers on the Rise
In a bid to boost its population, the Canadian government plans to admit 500,000 immigrants annually by 2025. This initiative will see nearly 1.5 million new settlers over three years. In 2022 alone, Canada welcomed 437,120 Permanent Residents (PRs), marking an 8% growth from 2021.
Statistics from the first half of 2023 showed a significant spike in Nigerians migrating to Canada, reaching a nine-year high. According to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada data, 10,180 PRs from Nigeria were recorded in this period.
Why Nigerians Seek New Horizons
While education and job opportunities remain primary reasons for emigrating, Nigeria’s current challenges, like rising inflation and stagnant economic growth, are pushing more citizens to seek better prospects abroad.
Recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed an alarming inflation rate of 25.80% in August. The number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty also surged, with 133 million in multidimensional poverty in the last year, up from 82.9 million in 2019.
Canada’s Education Attraction
Beyond permanent residency, Canada remains a top education destination for international students. In the first half of the year, Nigeria ranked second, only after India, as a source country for new international students.
“Education is under provincial jurisdiction, not federal. Our provinces oversee their educational bodies, and some even offer programs or incentives that appeal to foreign students,” Christoff noted.
He further highlighted that many international students choose to remain in Canada post-graduation due to their positive experiences and the available pathways to permanent residency.
“Unlike the US and UK, popular destinations for Nigerians, Canada provides a clear path to stay after completing one’s studies,” he added.
In conclusion, for Nigerians looking towards Canada, understanding the nation’s needs and aligning one’s skills and goals can pave the way for a successful migration