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Monthly Archives: July 2022

July 8, 2022

To apply for Canada student visa in Nigeria, you need to get all the facts right. The Canadian Embassy has refused many applications because applicants failed to abide by rules. If you want to get the right information about Canada student visa application in Nigeria, then stay with us.

Canada is the widest country in North America and second biggest in the world. Many know Canada specifically because of her vast landscape, multifaceted history and tolerant blend of different cultures. It is also considered as one of the wealthiest countries in the world and a major destination for tourism.

The country is of British heritage and most Canadians are proud of this. Historically, Britain and France have hugely influenced Canada, which is why some parts of the country (like New Brunswick and Quebec) primarily speak French.

What is Canada Student visa?

If you have the intention of studying in Canada, you need visa for this purpose. The visa serves as permit for visitors to stay and study within Canada. Officially, it is called a student permit and you can obtain it here in Nigeria provided you have all the required documents.

The Canadian Visa Application Centre (CVAC) is authorized to accept application and process Canada student visa in Nigeria. When you follow their guidelines, getting the Canada student visa in Nigeria can be easy.

Why you should study in Canada

Universities in Canada are ranked in the top 100 best universities worldwide and over 100,000 international students enroll annually.

Canadian universities are known globally for offering a high quality and research oriented education. The schools are less expensive when compared to the UK and the US, which is why most students prefer them. For more information on how you can get started, book a free consultation with us

Nigerian Students in Canada

Nigerian students make up a substantial amount of international students in Canada. There are benefits for Nigerians that decide to study in Canada because it has one of the best and safest environments for studies.

Canada Student Visa Requirements for Nigerian Citizens

As a Nigerian citizen applying for Canada student visa, there are requirements you need to satisfy in order to make the process of your visa application easy and also to avoid unnecessary complications. The following are the documents you need to have in your possession before starting the procedure for your visa application:

– Passport: You need to present an original and photocopy of your Nigerian Passport. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months of your stay in Canada and should have at least two blank spaces.

– Photograph: You need two colour photographs that are recently taken. Ensure that the photographs show your full face. It must also be clear and taken with a plain background. It should have a dimension of about 35-40mm.

– Flight reservation: Also, you need to present a flight ticket reservation. This should show the airline, date and time of arrival in Canada.

– Hotel reservation: If your school does not have any plans for accommodation, you should present a confirmation for hotel reservation.

– Cover/Motivation Letter: This explains your plans for study. It also helps you assure the consular officer that you are passionate about your course of study and deserves a study visa.

– Proof of acceptance: if you have the intention of studying in any Canadian institution, you will need to apply for it. The school will send you a letter of acceptance as a proof that you have been offered admission to study there. This letter should be included with your student permit application.

– Proof of financial support: you must prove that you have sufficient funds in your account that will cater for your needs while you stay and study in Canada. Apart from tuition fee payment, the Canadian authorities expect you to set aside CAD $ 11,000 for your upkeep.

Proof of financial capabilities can come in form of your statement of account or your sponsors. In the case where you present your sponsor’s bank statement, you should submit a sponsorship affidavit to your documents.

– Health status: There is need to provide a medical report.  The report will contain your medical history and proof of good health.

– Certificates of Social ties: These include your marriage certificate (if married) and birth certificate of your children (if applicable).

– Introduction letter from employer

– Police Certificate: A certificate from the police station will also be required stating that you do not have any criminal record.

– Academic certificate: You will need to get all certificates from the previous institutions you have attended. You can also get transcripts and other proofs that you have attended other schools prior to your application.

How to Apply for Canada Student Visa in Nigeria: Step by Step

For easy Canada student visa application in Nigeria, below is a step by step guide that will ensure easy processing and fast approval.

1- Gain Admission

Apply for admission into a Canadian educational institution. It is important to secure an admission first because one of the basic requirements for Canada student visa application is getting a letter of admission and acceptance from an institution in Canada.

2- Gather Supporting Documents

Fill the student permit form. Then gather all the aforementioned supporting documents. These documents are important because they represent you at the embassy. You should make photocopies of each document and if possible scan them into an electronic device like a computer system or flash drive.

3- Submit at the VAC

After submitting your application and making the required payments, a receipt will be issued to you which contains a tracking number. You will use the tracking number to track the progress of the visa application process. Also, be ready for a interview

4- Track your application online

When you are ready to track your visa application, click here. This helps to see the stage of your visa application and know when you can collect your passport.

5- Collect your passport

The last step is to visit the visa application centre (handled by VFS) to collect your visa when it is ready. You will be notified when it is ready for collection.

Canada Visa Appointment Booking

There is no need for appointment booking because the VFS Global oversees Canada visa application collection in Nigeria. Payments and application submission can be done online or physically at the visa application centre.

FAQs on How to Apply for Canada Student Visa

Below are answers to some important questions that you need to know about Canada student visa in Nigeria.

How much is Canada Student visa fee in Nigeria?

The fee for Canada student visa in Nigeria varies from time to time. At this time, the fee for the study permit is about $150 (CAD) and then biometrics fee is $85 (CAD). You will also need to pay a service fee of $45. For more on visa fees, click here to use the NaijaGoingAbroad visa fee calculator.

How long does it take to process Canadian visa in Nigeria?

The time for processing Canadian visa in Nigeria varies depending on the type of application you submit and number of applicants at that time. The ideal period is usually eight weeks. To ensure that you have fast approval, you need to apply early before the academic year commences at full swing.

Where is Canada embassy in Nigeria?

The Canadian embassy in Nigeria is located at Anifowoshe street, Victoria Island, Lagos. You can also visit the Canada Visa Application Centre at 62, Lobito Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja or Manor Hall, plot 110, Admiral Ayinla way, Opposite Treasure Garden Estate, Third roundabout, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

Where do I download Canada visa application form?

You can download Canada visa application form on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.


To get Canada student visa in Nigeria easily, ensure you adhere strictly to the guidelines listed in this article. This will also help make the process smooth and the reduce stress of tracking the process.

With the information contained in this article, you can start the process for the visa application provided you have all the required documents.

July 8, 2022

Studying in Canada is much more affordable than many other countries. Here are 10 cheap universities in Canada for African students


Studying in Canada presents an excellent option for students across Africa seeking affordable degrees, whether from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, or other nations. Canada offers low tuition rates for international and domestic students. Plus, you’ll be studying in an English (or French!) environment in a highly developed country. The education system in Canada is reputable and comparable to countries such as the U.K. and the U.S.


Numerous students from across Africa opt to pursue their studies in Canada due to its low tuition fees, comfortable living conditions, and the esteemed reputation of its universities. For those seeking affordable degree programs, here are 10 budget-friendly universities in Canada that cater to students from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and other African countries—along with an extra bonus of a tuition-free option!



Source: Pexels

Top Universities

U.S. News lists the top Canadian universities as University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University, McMaster University and University of Montreal. These universities are all recognized internationally as excellent global schools and still offer much more affordable tuition rates than their international counterparts.


University of Montreal

  • Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $13,048 – $16,990
  • Master’s Degree Tuition: $16,372


McGill University

  • Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $16,815 – $45,263
  • Master’s Degree Tuition: $16,816


McMaster University

  • Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $20,808 – $27,978
  • Master’s Degree Tuition: $16,761 – $17,096


University of British Columbia

  • Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $25,978 – $36,588
  • Master’s Degree Tuition: $8,605


University of Toronto

  • Bachelor’s Degree Tuition: $42,870 – $49,800
  • Master’s Degree Tuition: $6,900 – $22,640

Cheap Bachelor Degrees in Canada

If you’re looking for the most affordable options Canada has to offer, look no further.


1. University of the People

  • Location: Online
  • Tuition: Tuition-Free
  • Degree Programs: Associate, Bachelor, Master (Business Administration, Education, Computer Science and Health Science)

UoPeople is a US accredited online university, meaning you can study anywhere and anytime! The application process is simple and the rewards of degree completion are definitely worthwhile.


2. Brandon University

  • Location: Brandon, Manitoba
  • Tuition: $7,203
  • Degree Programs: BA, BBA, BEd, BFA, BM, BN, BSc

International students at Brandon U are invited to apply with the university’s international application process. Brandon University claims to have a long and positive relationship with international students and offers one-to-one professor interactions and research opportunities not available at larger universities.


3. Université de Saint-Boniface

  • Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Tuition: $7,482
  • Degree Programs: Bachelor’s Degrees in Arts, Social Work, Translation, Science, Nursing, Business and Education. Students may continue studies towards a Master’s degree at the University of Manitoba

International students at Saint-Boniface must expect to be able to speak a certain level of French as this is a French university. Some programs also require a level of English proficiency as well.


4. University of Guelph

  • Location: Guelph, Ontario
  • Tuition: $9,730
  • Degree Programs: Bachelor’s Degrees from 5 Colleges (Arts, Biological Sciences, Business & Economics, Engineering & Physical Sciences, Social & Applied Human Sciences)

International students at Guelph will receive special assistance at the university with visa applications, English language study, housing, and have access to an advisor specifically for international students.


5. Canadian Mennonite University

  • Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Tuition: $10,003
  • Degree Programs: Three- and four-year BA, BSc, BBA, and Master’s Programs

International students at CMU are welcomed and encouraged to apply due to their undoubtedly wide variety of experiences and perspectives that they may bring. International students may choose from over 19 majors for bachelor’s studies.


6. Memorial University of Newfoundland

  • Location: St. Johns, Newfoundland
  • Tuition: $11,460
  • Degree Programs: More than 100 programs for Bachelor’s, Master’s and Certificates

International students at MUN: Memorial University warmly welcomes and encourages international applications. The university offers specialized services for international students such as student advising, an internationalization office, and international student groups.


Cheap Master Degrees in Canada for Africans


1. Memorial University of Newfoundland

  • Location: St. Johns, Newfoundland
  • Tuition: $3,222
  • Degree Programs: Large variety of Master’s and Doctorate programs both in person and online, in fields of Humanities & Social Sciences, Professional Programs, Interdisciplinary Programs, and Sciences


2. University of Northern British Columbia

  • Location: Prince George, British Columbia
  • Tuition: $3,297
  • Degree Programs: MBA, MSc, MEd, MEng, MScN, MSW, Graduate Certificates, and Doctorate programs


3. University of Calgary

  • Location: Calgary, Alberta
  • Tuition: $3,693
  • Degree Programs: Offers course-based and research-based Master’s and Doctorate degrees in a variety of subjects


4. Simon Fraser University

  • Location: Burnaby, British Columbia
  • Tuition: $3,743
  • Degree Programs: Variety of graduate programs in Applied Sciences, Arts & Social Sciences, Business, Communication, Art & Technology, Education, Environment, Health Sciences, and Science


5. University of Saskatchewan

  • Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Tuition: $4,358
  • Degree Programs: Over 80 Master’s and Doctorate degrees. Specializing in research and medical fields


Tuition-Free Universities in Canada for International Students

University of the People is accredited by an American accrediting institution, and is suitable for all international students including Canadian students. This fully online university offers a variety of tuition-free programs ranging from Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees in Business, Computer Science, Education and Health Science.


Canadian universities may have low tuition fees, but you can’t beat the tuition-free rates offered by UoPeople. While the flexibility of an online degree offers the chance to study anytime and anywhere you want.


Cost of Living in Canada for Students

As with most large countries, the cost of living varies drastically across the expansive nation of Canada. According to the Canadian Rental Housing Index, many large metropolis areas are unaffordable, however there are still some areas left in which one can live on a student budget.



Source: Pexels



Here’s a breakdown on the average costs a student can expect to find in Canada (in $CAD):

  • Basic lunch & drink: $18
  • Monthly rent in 45 sq m furnished studio: $1,160
  • Monthly utilities: $102
  • Monthly internet: $54
  • Monthly public transport: $109
  • Monthly gym membership: $59
  • Pair of jeans: $72
  • Private doctor visit: $93
  • Toothpaste: $2.62
  • Cappuccino: $5.05
Note: The Canadian government requires that an applicant show proof of having $10,000 CAD on top of tuition for a student visa, however you will likely need more.


Funding and Support for International Students

While studying in Canada may save you on tuition fees, you may still want to consider applying for funding and scholarships. There are plenty of scholarships and grants available to international students, and even scholarships exclusively for students from specific countries. Check out these top tips to apply for scholarships for international students.


How to Apply to Canadian Universities

As an international student, your application to a Canadian university will have special requirements. In addition to the typical student application including letters of recommendation, resume and educational history, you may also be asked to provide the following:

  • Proof of finances
  • English proficiency
  • International application
  • Passport information
  • A translated copy of your transcript


Remember that you will also need a student visa to study for longer than six months in Canada. The application can be done online and costs $150 CAD. The government of Canada will ask for proof of finances, proof of health and general well-being, proof of no criminal record, and your university acceptance letter. It is recommended that you begin your student visa application as soon as you receive acceptance into the Canadian university.

July 8, 2022

When an immigration officer makes a decision on an application, they are required by law to document the reasons for the decision. You can submit an application to get the detailed officer’s notes for why the application was refused. Having the GCMS notes for your refused visa application will help you change what you include in your new application to increase your chances for approval.

Our office submits this request for the officer’s notes on behalf of any applicant who wants to know the detailed grounds for the refusal of their immigration application. We are also happy to review your notes with you to explain what the immigration officer’s notes mean.

You can also obtain the application notes for a visa application that is still in process with IRCC to see what is going on with the application.


Has your Canadian Visa Application been refused? We can help!


Canadian Visitor Visa (TRV) Application Refusals

Failure to meet Section 179(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) is the most frequently cited reason for refusal of a visitor visa application to Canada. Most visitor visa refusals stem from failure to meet this requirement in different ways.

Section 179(b) of IRPR states,

  1. Issuance – An officer shall issue a temporary resident visa to a foreign national if, following an examination, it is established that the foreign national

(b) will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for their stay under Division 2 [Conditions on Temporary Residents]

Visa Refusal Based on Travel History

  • I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR based on your Travel History

Refusals based on travel history are difficult, but can be overcome with a new application. IRCC refuses applications based on travel history when an applicant has not been outside their home country previously, or has traveled outside their home country but not very often. Sometimes this is even grounds for refusal when an applicant has extensive travel history. “Lack of travel history” can be overcome in a new application with travel to other countries or other means.

Visa Refusal Based on Purpose of Visit

  • I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR based on the purpose of your visit

A visitor visa refusal based on the purpose of the visit is tricky, because it is such a highly discretionary reason for refusal. Sometimes this reason for refusal is given because not enough detail was provided on the application regarding why specifically the applicant was coming to Canada. For example, if the applicant said they were coming to visit their friend, this is vague and the officer could have doubts about the reason. Whereas, if the applicant said that they were coming to visit their friend because the friend was getting married in Niagara Falls and included a copy of the wedding invitation, this would be a much better way to explain why the visa is needed.

Visa Refusal Based on Family Ties

  • I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR because of your family ties in Canada and country of residence

A refusal based on family ties of the applicant, whether in Canada or in the country of residence or both, are extremely common grounds for refusal of a visitor visa. If the applicant has family in Canada, then this can work against the applicant as it is one reason that they may not wish to return home at the end of their stay in Canada. For example, if the applicant is applying to visit his wife in Canada and all of his family resides in his home country, then this requires detailed explanation regarding the nature of the applicant’s ties both in Canada and at home.


Has your Canadian Visa Application been refused? We can help!


Visa Refusal Based on Immigration Status

  • I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR because of your immigration status in your country of residence

In order to submit an application for a visa to come to Canada, the applicant is required by law to have legal status in the country where they are located when they submit the application. Besides having legal status there, the applicant also must have been admitted to that country for a minimum amount of time or their visa application will be refused. Sufficient proof of the applicant’s legal status in their country of residence at the time they make the application has to be included when they apply for a visa to Canada, otherwise the application will be refused.

Visa Refusal Based on Personal Assets and Financial Status

  • I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR because of your personal assets and financial status

As an applicant for a visitor visa to Canada, it is extremely important to prove to the immigration officer that you have the money to finance your trip to Canada. In a visa application, you have to prove that you:

  1. Have sufficient funds to pay for your ticket and travel to Canada
  2. Have sufficient funds to pay for the costs during your visit such as tourism, meals, lodging, gifts, etc.
  3. Have sufficient funds to pay for your ticket and travel back to your country of residence

If IRCC does not believe that you have sufficient money to pay for your trip and then some, they will refuse your application based on personal assets and financial status. Also, be aware that “personal assets and financial status” refers to the funds held by and accessible to the applicant for the visa, not the Canadian inviter. An application for a Canadian visa should include financial information and documents belonging to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident who has invited the foreign national for a visit, however the applicant for the visa must also show funds of their own.

Visa Refusal Based on Current Employment Situation

  • I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR because of your current employment situation

Because it is so important for applicants for a Canadian visa to show that they have enough money to finance their trip to Canada, it is also important that they show where this money has come from. The absolute best way to show the source of their funds is to prove that they are employed. Applicants for a Canadian visa are considered at higher risk to break the conditions of their entry and overstay in Canada if they are unemployed at the time of their application. A job in the visa applicant’s home country is one of the strongest ties that they can show to their country of residence as proof that they will return when their trip to Canada is over.

Being self-employed or enrolled full-time in school is also a strong tie to the visa applicant’s home country. However, if the applicant is out of school and is not working in any way, this is a significant challenge to overcome on a Canadian visa application.

Visa Refusal Based on Length of Proposed Stay

  • I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR because of your length of proposed stay in Canada

Because visitors who enter Canada can stay up to a maximum of 6 months, unless they are advised otherwise by Canada Border Services Agency when they arrive, many people believe that they should state “6 months” as their proposed length of stay on the visitor visa application. However, “length of proposed stay” is a very common ground for refusal. Asking for the maximum amount of time allowable to visitors in Canada is not usually viewed as reasonable by officers, and makes it look more likely that the applicant will not leave on time.

Visa Refusal Based on Employment Prospects in Country of Residence

  • I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR because of your employment prospects in country of residence

As described above, the financial documentation of the applicant is the most important part of a Canadian visa application. Applicants for a visa need to show not only that they have the money to pay for their trip to Canada, but also that they are employed as proof of where their funds come from. If the unemployment rate is high in the country of residence of the visa applicant, then this can negatively impact the Canadian visa application. If an immigration officer believes that an applicant is likely to lose their job as a result of traveling to Canada, or that they are unlikely to be able to get a job if they are not currently working, “employment prospects in country of residence” can be used as grounds for refusal of the visa application.

Visa Refusal Based on Insufficient Funds, Income, or Assets

  • I am not satisfied that you have sufficient funds, including income or assets, to carry out your stated purpose in going to Canada or to maintain yourself while in Canada and to effect your departure. 

An immigration officer cannot issue a visa to Canada if they believe that the applicant does not have enough money to pay for their trip to Canada for the purpose that they have stated on the application. They also cannot issue a visa if they do not believe the applicant has enough  money to pay for their trip back to their home country. If the purpose for their visit would reasonably cost more money than the applicant has demonstrated that they have, then this is a likely reason for refusal of the visa application.

Visa Refusal Based on Insufficient Documentation of Income and Assets

  • You have not provided sufficient documentation to support your / your host’s income and assets. 

If it is not already clear, an applicant for a visa to Canada is required to prove that they meet all the requirements for issuance of the visa – the burden of proof is on the visa applicant, not on Canadian immigration. If the applicant has stated that they have access to a certain amount of money, or that their Canadian host has access to a certain amount of money to support the visa application, then they must demonstrate this with documentation. If the applicant does not provide documentation to show what they are saying is true, then this can be grounds for refusal of the visa.

Visa Refusal Based on Misrepresentation

  • You have submitted documentation which lacks authenticity as part of your application. This has diminished the overall credibility of your submission

In the event that IRCC does not believe that the documents or information you have submitted are genuine, this alone is grounds for refusal of the application under section 40 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for Misrepresentation. If an applicant for any visa or type of immigration to Canada has been determined by IRCC to have misrepresented, then they will be the subject of a bar from entering Canada for a certain period of time and any future immigration applications will be viewed with skepticism.


Has your Canadian Visa Application been refused? We can help!

July 8, 2022

Studying in Canada is a dream come true for many African students. When you receive a letter of acceptance from a Canadian school, it might seem like the hard part is over. However, the truth is that it can be a lot harder to get a Canadian study permit than you think.




According to information from IRCC, about 30 percent of all study permit applications are refused. Since studying in Canada is so popular, that’s tens of thousands of prospective students who have been accepted to a Canadian school, but whose study permit applications are refused.

What Can I Do If My Study Permit Application Is Refused?

If your study permit application is refused by IRCC, there are two courses of action you can take:

  1. Appeal the refusal, or;
  2. Address the reason(s) it was refused in a new application.

To be successful either way, you first need to understand why your application was refused. Usually, the main reason for refusal will be listed in the refusal letter you receive. You can also request access to the notes the visa officer reviewing your file made, to get a better idea of how to address the concerns brought up.

1. IRCC questions your ability to financially support yourself

When you submit a study permit application, you need to demonstrate that you have enough money to pay for the trip to Canada, pay your tuition fees, and support yourself and any accompanying family members while you’re studying.

This is called “show money”. Usually, the government asks for six months of bank statements that show that you have enough show money. If the government doesn’t believe that you have enough money to support yourself and your family in Canada, they could refuse your application.

How to address a problem with show money:

If your application is refused because IRCC questions your ability to financially support yourself, you should carefully review the financial documents you submitted with your application. Make sure that you address the concerns raised by the visa officer and submit additional documents to prove that you meet the show money requirement.

The amount of show money required is sometimes intimidating to clients who don’t want to spend such a large amount. Don’t worry! You do not need to spend the show money. You only need to show the Canadian government that the funds are available to you, if you need them.


2. IRCC questions whether you will leave the country after your studies

A study permit is a temporary visa, which means that it has a validity period and an expiration date. In your study permit application, you need to convince the visa officer that you will leave the country when your study permit expires.

That does not mean that you cannot apply to extend your study permit, or stay permanently. In fact, there are many programs designed by the government to help students stay and work in Canada following their studies, or transition to permanent residence.

What it means is that the visa officer has to trust that you will not stay in the country illegally when you are out of status. Usually, this is a problem if you don’t demonstrate that you have good reasons to want to return home.

How to address a problem of intent:

Usually, the only way to address this concern is in your personal statement. If the visa officer isn’t convinced with the narrative you’ve provided them, you need to rework your statement to try to address their concerns directly. Keep in mind the concept of dual intent. Applicants with dual intent can have the intention to come to Canada temporarily as a student or worker, while also intending to stay permanently.

Providing the visa officer with a convincing narrative for why you want to come study in Canada, and why you will return home after you graduate, is one of the trickiest parts of your application. In-depth knowledge of the kinds of things that can concern visa officers, and how to address them, can go a long way here.

3. IRCC questions your choice of program

Study permit applications are sometimes refused if the visa officer doesn’t understand the logic of your choice of program. Someone with a bachelor’s in nursing from the Philippines and four years of experience working as a nurse who wants to study hotel management, for example, could be questioned. The chosen program in Canada doesn’t seem to align very well with the applicant’s educational background or employment.

How to address a problem with program choice:

If the program you have chosen seems odd, given your past education or work experience, you need to clearly explain why you want to study it in your personal statement. This is another case where seeing the visa officer’s notes can really help.

Even if it doesn’t seem obvious, applicants usually have good reasons for choosing the programs they apply to. In the example above, maybe the nurse’s uncle recently purchased a hotel, and he or she wants to change career paths to help him manage his business. However, you have to clearly communicate your motive to the visa officer so they can understand your choice.

4. IRCC questions your letter of acceptance

Before you can apply for a study permit, you have to receive a letter of acceptance from a Canadian educational institution. The school that issues your letter of acceptance has to be a registered Canadian educational institution. You also have to meet all program requirements. If the visa officer doubts that your letter of acceptance is genuine, or that you have actually met the program requirements, he or she might refuse your letter of acceptance.

How to address a problem with your letter of acceptance:

Review the school documents that you submitted. Make sure that all of the documents are clear and easy to read, and provide any additional supporting documents that you can.

Unfortunately, there are some fake institutions designed to cheat people out of their money by issuing fake acceptance letters and charging application and tuition fees. Check to make sure that the school you were accepted to is on this list of designated learning institutions.

5. IRCC questions your travel or identity documents

If you don’t have a complete record of your travel history, or if your identity documents are unclear, IRCC may refuse your study permit application. IRCC must be able to identify if you are medically or criminally inadmissible to Canada.

How to address a problem with travel or identity documents:

If the visa officer thinks there are blank spaces in your travel history, review the documents you submitted and the visa officer’s notes to find what time periods are problematic. When you re-apply, be sure to include additional supporting evidence to cover these periods.

If the problem is with your identity documents, review your application to make sure that they were clear and easy to read.


Take the guesswork out of your application. Trust Empire Fly to help you prepare a complete study permit application that addresses the visa officer’s concerns before they even come up!



July 8, 2022

If your spouse is currently working or studying in Canada, or if you have applied to be sponsored for permanent residence by your spouse or partner in Canada, you may be eligible for an open work permit.



If a foreign national is successful in their work permit application, they will be issued an open work permit authorizing them to work for multiple employers in any location in Canada while their permanent residency application is processing, or while their spouse has valid status in Canada. The application procedure for the spousal sponsorship open work permit varies depending on the applicant’s status in Canada or the stage of their permanent residency application. Foreign nationals cannot work in Canada without the appropriate authorization. Engaging in any form of employment in Canada without the proper work permit is unlawful and can jeopardize future immigration applications.

What is a spouse open work permit?

A spouse open work permit allows the spouse of certain temporary Canadian permit holders to work anywhere in Canada, for any employer, with few restrictions.

Who can apply for a spouse open work permit?

Individuals who have applied to be sponsored by their spouse, or those whose spouses are in Canada on a study or work permit may be able to apply for a spousal open work permit. The requirements for applying for a spousal open work permit depend on the type of status your spouse has in Canada. For information, use the table below:

Category Principal applicant’s occupational skill level requirement Principal applicant’s minimum work permit length
Spouses or common-law partners of Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) work permit holders 0, A, or B 6 months
Spouses or common-law partners of Quebec selection certificate (CSQ) holders Any occupational skill level 6 months
Spouses or common-law partners of provincial nominees Any occupational skill level 6 months
Spouses or common-law partners of bridging open work permit (BOWP) holders Varies depending on program principal applicant applies under 6 months
Spouses or common-law partners of open work permit holders other than BOWP 0, A, or B N/A
Spouses or common-law partners of study permit holders N/A N/A
In Canada spousal/common-law sponsorship applicants N/A N/A

Can I apply for an open work permit if my spouse or partner has applied to sponsor me?

In order to be eligible to apply for a spousal sponsorship open work permit, a foreign national must have applied for permanent residency sponsorship from within Canada through the in Canada stream of the spousal sponsorship program.

  • If you have not submitted your sponsorship application: The sponsorship, permanent residence, and open work permit applications may all be submitted together in a single envelope in hard copy. Ensure that all supporting documentation and required proof of payments for all applications are included. The applications should be submitted to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga (CPC-M), Ontario.
  • If your permanent residence application is submitted but has not yet received approval in principle: The open work permit application may be submitted in hard copy to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville (CPC-V), Alberta.
  • If your permanent residence application has been approved in principle: The open work permit application may be submitted online or in hard copy to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville (CPC-V), Alberta.

Approval in principle (AIP) means that a person’s permanent residence application has been cleared by IRCC as meeting the eligibility requirements, but the application has not yet passed through processing for medical exams and security/background checks. While this means the application has successfully passed through several stages of processing, permanent residency may still be denied after receipt of the AIP.

A foreign national must have valid status in Canada (visitor, student, worker, etc.) in order to submit a work permit application at the same time as their permanent residence application. If an applicant is out of status in Canada, they must wait until their permanent residence application has received approval in principle to submit their work permit application.

Eligibility requirements for a spousal work permit and visa

In order to qualify for a spousal open work permit, you must meet certain minimum requirements, including:

  • Must be in a genuine relationship with a qualifying foreign national principal applicant, permanent resident, or citizen;
  • Must be eligible to apply as the spouse of a qualifying foreign national, or as an in Canada sponsorship applicant (see above); and
  • Are not criminally or medically inadmissible to Canada

Additional criteria will vary depending on the category of SOWP you are applying under.

How long does a spouse open work permit take to process?

The processing time for a spousal open work permit will depend on what type of permit your spouse applied for. To check the approximate processing time for a particular application, visit Canada’s dedicated webpage.

Can a spouse open work permit be extended?

A SOWP is tied to the permit of the spouse, or ‘lead applicant’, and will only be valid for as long as the lead applicant’s permit. If your SOWP expires, you will need to reapply based on your spouse’s permit.

Spouse open work permit fees

The fee for a spouse open work permit is $255 CAD – $155 for the processing fee, and $100 CAD for the open work permit holder fee.

How long is a spouse open work permit valid?

A spousal open work permit can only be issued for as long as the lead applicant’s permit. If the applicant’s passport is expiring soon, it will not be issued beyond the validity of their passport.

How long does it take to get a work permit after getting married?

There is no minimum amount of time that an applicant must wait before applying for a permit after getting married.

Can I work anywhere in Canada on a spouse open work permit?

Holders of spouse open work permits may work anywhere in Canada, for any employer, with limited restrictions.

Can I add my dependents on my spouse open work permit?

While applying for a spousal open work permit, dependent children may also accompany the permit holder by applying for a visitor record.

How to apply for a spouse open work permit

The spouse open work permit application procedure will differ depending on which type of spouse open work permit you need. The first step is determining which work permit is best for you. If you need help figuring out the application, simply contact us and a member of our team will assist you with scheduling a consultation.

When to apply for a spouse open work permit

When you can apply for a spouse open work permit will depend on which category you are applying under. For more information on when you can apply, contact us to set up a consultation.

Spouse open work permit document checklist

The documents required for a Canadian spouse work permit will depend on the category you are applying under. Applicants may need to provide the following documents as part of their work permit application:

  • Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) letter
  • Provincial nomination certificate (if applicable)
  • Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) (Quebec Acceptance Certificate) (if applicable)
  • Completed application forms
  • Proof of status in Canada
  • Proof of spouse’s status in Canada
  • Marriage certificate or proof of common-law status
  • Proof of relationship to the principal applicant
  • A valid copy of your passport
  • Medical exam results (if requested)
  • Proof of payment for applicable government fees

Spouse open work permit medical request

You may require a medical exam when applying for a spousal open work permit. If required, candidates may choose to take the medical exam upfront, or after receiving a medical exam request from IRCC. Upon receiving a request, you must complete the exam with a panel physician designated by IRCC. You can find a panel physician near you on IRCC’s Find a Panel Physician webpage.

Spousal open work permit proof of funds requirement

Spousal open work permit candidates should be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds for their stay in Canada. If an officer is not convinced that an applicant will be able to support themselves while in Canada, this may result in a refusal.

How to renew your spouse open work permit

It is not possible to renew a spousal open work permit. If your permit expires, but your spouse or partner still has eligible status in Canada, you may re-apply for a new SOWP.

How to check your spouse open work permit application status

If you submitted your spousal open work permit application online, you may check the status through your account. If you submitted a paper-based application, you may check the status by linking it to an online IRCC account.

How can I transition from a spouse open permit to PR?

There are many options for candidates working in Canada to transition to permanent residence status. For a full evaluation of your options, start by completing our free online assessment form.

Why was my spouse open work permit refused?

One of the main reasons spousal open work permits are refused is that the applicant is unable to demonstrate sufficient proof of their relationship to their eligible spouse. If your application was refused, contact us to learn more about your options.


What happens if my spouse open work permit is refused?

If your spousal open work permit is refused, you may be eligible to re-apply. You should only re-apply if you can provide additional information or documentation to address the reason or refusal. Contact us to learn more about your options.

Can I stay in Canada if my visitor permit expires while waiting for my SOWP to process?

If you applied for In-Canada sponsorship on a visitor permit that is expiring, and you have applied for a spousal open work permit, you will be on maintained status. This means you can remain in Canada without a valid permit under the same conditions while awaiting a decision on your SOWP application.

Reasons spouse open work permit are rejected

There are many reasons a spousal open work permit may be rejected. Here are six of the most common reasons:

  1. Principal applicant is living outside Canada – Your spouse must be living inside Canada on eligible, legal status in order for you to apply for a spousal open work permit. If your spouse lives outside Canada, this may be a reason your application is refused.
  2. No evidence that your spouse is attending a DLI – If you are applying for a SOWP as the spouse of a student, your spouse will need to provide sufficient evidence that they are studying at a Canadian Designated Learning Institute (DLI) and are actively enrolled in class. Excluding this documentation could result in a refusal.
  3. Lacking proof of funds – If the officer reviewing your case is not convinced that you and your spouse will have sufficient funds to support your stay in Canada, your application may be refused. For this reason, it is important to include financial documents with your application that will satisfy the officer of your financial stability.
  4. Missing proof of employment – If you are applying for a SOWP based on your spouse’s employment, it is important to provide documents that support their employment in Canada.
  5. Insufficient ties to home country– When applying for temporary status in Canada, the officer must be satisfied that you will leave by the end of your authorized stay. For this reason, it is important to include proof of any ties you may have to your home country. If the officer is not convinced that you will leave Canada by the end of your authorized stay, your application may be refused.
  6. Absence of proof of a genuine relationship– Since the spousal open work permit is based on your relationship to your spouse or common-law partner, it is important to provide sufficient proof of your genuine relationship. If the visa officer is not satisfied that your relationship is genuine, this could be a reason for refusal.

What happens to my spouse’s open work permit application if my spouse and I separate or divorce?

If you and your spouse divorce or your common-law relationship ends after you’ve received your spousal open work permit, your permit will not be revoked. However, if your relationship ends while your application is still processing, you must inform IRCC of your updated relationship status, and will no longer be eligible for a SOWP.

July 8, 2022

If you’re an entrepreneur from Africa with an innovative business concept, you might qualify to immigrate to Canada under the start-up visa program. Canada is seeking visionary entrepreneurs from across Africa, encompassing countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and beyond, who aspire to establish enterprises that foster economic growth in Canada and generate job prospects for its citizens.

Read on for everything you need to know about Canada’s start-up visa program, including a step-by-step guide to the application process.


What is the start-up visa program?

Canada’s start-up visa program offers African entrepreneurs, spanning from Nigeria to Ghana, Kenya to South Africa, the chance to immigrate and establish new businesses in Canada. African entrepreneurs must demonstrate that their business is innovative, will create new jobs for Canadians, and can compete on a global scale.

What are the requirements for Canada’s start-up visa?

There are four requirements you need to meet in order to be eligible for a Canadian start-up visa:

  1. Have a qualifying business:
    • You must hold at least 10% of the voting rights attached to all shares of the company
    • Together with the designated organization, you must hold at least 50% of the voting rights attached to all shares of the company
  2. Have a letter of support from a designated organization:
    • You need to demonstrate that you have the support of a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator
    • In order to do this, you must pitch your business idea and convince the organization that it is worth supporting
    • The process of pitching your business idea will be different for each organization
    • If your pitch is successful, you will receive a letter of support from the organization which must be included in your start-up visa application
  3. Meet the language requirements:
    • You must take a language test from an approved agency and show that you meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in speaking, reading, listening, and writing.
  4. Proof of funds:
    • You need to show that you have enough money to support yourself and any dependents once you arrive in Canada. The amount you need depends on the size of your family.

Number of
family members
Funds required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $12,960
2 $16,135
3 $19,836
4 $24,083
5 $27,315
6 $30,806
7 $34,299
For each additional family member $3,492

Designated organizations for start-up visa

As part of the eligibility requirements, you will need to provide proof (Commitment Certificate and Letter of Support) that your business is in fact supported by a designated organization. These documents will cover the relevant details of your arrangement with one or multiple designated organizations, and are paramount to your startup visa application. Unlike federal and provincial investor programs, where applicants must invest their own capital, no investment of their own funds will be required.

Instead, those who meet the eligibility requirements must secure a minimum of $75,000 from a Canadian angel investor, or a minimum of $200,000 from a Canadian venture capital fund recognized by the government of Canada. If the applicant is accepted into a recognized Canadian business incubator, no investment capital is required.

How to apply for a start-up visa

  1. Fill out the application form:
    • Fill out the Generic Application Form for Canada
    • Click the “Validate” button on the form, and make sure that you have completed all required fields
    • Print the validated application form, making sure to include the barcode page
    • Sign and date the form
  2. Complete the document checklist
    • Gather all documents listed in the order specified in the document checklist
    • Place all necessary documents in a sealed envelope
    • Print out the document checklist and sign it
    • Include the document checklist as the cover page of your application
  3. Pay your application fees
    • Application fees include processing fees for you and anyone included on your application
    • Right of permanent residence fee
    • Third-party fees including fees for medical exams, police certificates, and language testing
    • Biometrics fees:
      Type of Applicant Cost
      Individual applicants $85 CAD
      Families applying together Maximum total fee of $170 CAD
      Groups of 3 or more performing artists and their staff Maximum total fee of $255 CAD
  4. Submit your application
    • Before submitting your application, ensure that it is complete
    • Make sure you have signed all forms
    • Pay your processing fees and include receipts in your application
    • Include all supporting documents

    Put all documents in a 9” x 12” envelope, write ‘start-up visa’ on the outside of the envelope, and mail to the appropriate address

What is the processing time for Canadas start-up visa

The current processing time for the start-up visa is between 12 and 16 months.