Step By Step How to Apply for a Canadian Work Permit in Nigeria

To take a job in Canada as a Nigerian, you are required to obtain a work permit. A work permit is a kind of document that signifies that a person has been authorised to take a job in Canada.

The following are the basic steps to follow to obtain a Canadian work permit or visa from Nigeria.

Step 1. Determine whether or not you are eligible to work in Canada

This is the most important step of your visa application. It would be a total waste of time and money if you commence application and later find out that you are not eligible. There are certain conditions that must be met before any Nigerian is allowed to work Canada. These includes:

  • Proof to show that you will return to your country whenever your work permit expires. You must have a genuine reason obliging you to return to Nigeria after your temporary work visit to Canada. This could be your family, assets such as houses, businesses or any other thing that will assure the Canadian immigration officer of your return to Nigeria.
  • Proof to show that you are a law abiding citizen which means, you must have no previous record of criminal activity either in your country or outside. You may be required to provide a police clearance certificate
  • You must also show that you are not planning to be employed or work for an employer with an ineligible status or who has failed to comply with condition of working within Canada for example you cannot work for employers who ;
  • perform striptease on a consistent and regular basis
  • Participates or works as an erotic dancer
  • Carry out escort services or sending of erotic messages

You must be in complete health. People with HIV/AIDS are most likely to receive a negative response to their visa application. In most cases, a medical examination will be required.
Possession of complete requirements and documents that are needed to be tendered
Possession of adequate funds to ensure your smooth stay in Canada. The Canadian immigration officer must be convinced you can take care of yourself while in Canada. You will need to provide proof of funds in terms of a bank statement of your account with history for at least three previous months.

You could jeopardize your eligibility if:

  • You put up a personality that will expose you to being found as a security threat/risk (mind your choice of word and behaviour at the embassy)
  • You have perpetrated or caused an human right violation
  • You have once been convicted of a crime
  • You are indebted, bankrupt or in severe financial trouble
  • You are going together with a family member or person ineligible to travel to Canada
  • You are dishonest in filling your application form or during interview

Step 2. Obtain the necessary documents for application

After you have determined your eligibility. The next step is to obtain necessary documents to apply. To determine the documents you need, you have to be sure of the type of work permit you are applying for. There are basically two types of work permits for which you can apply:

  1. Open work permit: this is the type of work permit which does not pertain to a particular job. It gives you authority to work for any employer in Canada as long as they meet the eligibility requirements and conditions (they do not offer striptease, escort services or erotic messages). Some other conditions under which you might be eligible for an open work permit include :
  • If you have applied for a permanent residence in Canada
  • If you are a family member of a permanent residence applicant. Note that you must be a dependent family member.
  • You already have a temporary resident permit
  • You are a young worker participating in some special programs in Canada
  • If you are a refugee or you relate to a refugee.
  • If you are a spouse of a Canadian worker or an international student in Canada.
  1. Employer-specific work permit: this form of work permit as the name implies, gives you permission to work only on the specific conditions stated in your work permit. these include :
    The condition that you can work for the specific employer whose name is noted on your work permit
    The duration of your work as stated therein and
    The location of your work.
    If you are applying for an Employer-specific work permit to Canada, you will need to certain documents:

A copy of your employer’s Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) – the LMIA is a document which is issued by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for employers to fill giving them permission to hire temporary workers from outside Canada. If your employer in Canada was required to complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment, you need to get ready a copy of the LMIA and the employment contract for your application.
In the case where your employer does not require a LMIA , the documents you will need to provide are:

Offer of employment number : this is usually received by your employer at the point of submitting the offer of employment letter via the Employer Portal
Employment contract: you also need to provide the employment contract to apply for an employer-specific work permit.
If you are applying for an Open work permit however, you are not required to provide the above documents, materials or information from an employer alongside your application.

You may also need a Temporary Resident Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization known as TRV and eTA respectively for you to be able to work in Canada. Usually, you are not required to apply for these separately or pay extra fees. The documents will be issued to you by the immigration officer alongside the documents you are required to get for your work permit
You also need a valid international passport ( it is preferable that this is not older than six months )
Two copies of your pictures and those of your family members (if they are accompanying you). Note that these pictures must meet the Canadian photograph specifications for Visa application. However, if you are carrying out biometrics information, you may not need the hard copies of the photographs. Check for visa photographs specifications here
Documents to show your proof of Canadian employment: apart from the LMIA and job offer letter or employment number, you also need other proofs of job eligibility such as an educational certificate, a Curriculum vitae or resume showing previous work experience or a valid Canadian Provincial Certificate.
If your work location is in Quebec, you will need to provide a certificate of acceptance to Quebec which is called Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ).
If you will be accompanied by a family member, you will be required to provide a proof of your relationship such as marriage or birth certificate as the case may be.
If you are not a Nigerian but you are applying from Nigeria, you may need to get your re-entry permit before you proceed with your work visa application to Canada.

Step 3. Download and fill the necessary application forms

Usually, Nigerians applying for visa to Canada are expected to apply on paper, therefore you are expected to fill out your applications form electronically and print out for submission. The following forms are necessary to be downloaded for any Nigerian applying to work in Canada:

Application for Work Permit Made Outside of Canada Form

  • Family Information Form: required form that must be filled by the applicant and each accompanying family member as long as they are 18 years or above.
  • Use of a Representative Form ( if you are using a representative)
  • Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union Form ( if you are in a common-law union)
  • Document Checklist
  • Authority to Release Personal Information to Designated Individual Form

It is strongly advised that you download, study and follow the instruction guide provided to fill out these forms carefully. This will give you all the information you require to successfully complete your application forms without errors. Download the Instruction Guide here.

After you have successfully downloaded and filled your application forms. You should print them on a white, bond quality, non-glossy paper by making use of a laser printer. This includes all forms and barcoded sheets.

If you have people travelling with you such as family members, they must also download, fill and sign their forms as appropriate. In the case where there is an applicant under 18 years, then the forms should be signed by the parent or guardian.


After accurately filling your forms, you must click on the validate button located at the top or bottom of your form. This will bring out a barcode page with a signature line which you should also print and sign as required.
Ensure you always place the barcode page at the top of your whole application package for submission.
If you have more than one package to submit, print separate barcode pages for each of them and place at the top of each.

Step 4. Pay your Application fees

After you have filled the appropriate forms and arranged as required, the next step is to pay your fees.

The Work permit application processing fees: Currently, this cost CAN$155 per person and includes extensions.
Group work permit fees: if you are travelling as a group for example performing artists, the fees is CAN$465 for a group of 3 or more.
Open work permit holder fees: this is currently CAN$100 per person. If you are applying for an open work permit, you are required to pay this fees alongside your work permit fee.
Note that the visa application fees is non-refundable. If your application is eventually rejected, your funds will not be returned to you.

Biometric fees: Nigerians between the ages of 14 and 79 are required to give their biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) when applying for a Canadian Work Permit therefore you will have to pay the biometrics fees, this costs $CAN85 (about N24, 642.35.00) per person.
Biometrics fees for family is CAN$170 while for a group (of 3 or more) costs CAN$255 and includes the service charge.

Method of payment

There are two Canada Visa Application Centres (CVAC) you can visit in Nigeria to pay the required fees;

-Lagos center:

Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC), Lagos
Manor Hall, Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way,
Opposite Treasure Garden Estate,
Third Roundabout, Lekki Phase I – Lagos

-Abuja center:

Canada Visa Application Centre (CVAC), Abuja
Silverbird Entertainment Centre.
Plot 1161, Memorial Drive, 2nd Floor,
Central Business District, Abuja

Note that these fees are to be paid at the cash counter of the CVAC and only cash is accepted. Therefore ensure you go along with enough funds.

It is very important that you collect your receipts after payment of fees. Do not leave without an evidence of payment.

Step 5. Submit your Application documents

Now after making necessary payments. You may submit your application documents and the receipts/proof of payments of all fees paid. These include the visa fees, service charge and biometric fees. It is important to note that they will demand for your biometrics at the visa application center so ensure that it is completed. This will be done at the CVAC. Also, be sure that your Document Checklist Form is well filled and included in your application package for submission.

The Canada Visa Application Centers are open for application submission between the hours of 08.00 am and 03.00pm and are open from Mondays to Fridays (excluding declared holidays). Important: For any issues with submission of your application, you can call their helpline desk on +2348150199900 or reach their e-mail at

After submitting your documents, processing will follow and your application will be reviewed by an immigration officer. Sometimes, the officer might decide that an interview is required and you will contacted through a letter stating the date, time and venue of the interview.

If your application is approved, you will be sent a letter of introduction confirming that your work permit application has been approved otherwise, an explanation will be sent on why it is refused.

If you need to re-apply, you will have to take note of the explanations and pay your fees again.

Tips to improve the processing of your work visa application:

Be sure to send all required documents and information
Ensure that your application package is complete with your barcode page at the top of each application package
Make sure you include your current contact information such as e-mail address, telephone numbers, mailing address and fax.
do not omit signatures in your forms

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