How to Apply for Canadian Permanent Residency from Africa (Steps, Costs, Documents & Tips)

We live in a world where we have many more opportunities today than we did yesterday. So many folks can relocate and travel and develop a life in a completely different place from where they were born. Some nations, like Canada, have remarkable policies that permit skilled persons to receive permits to live and work in Canada.

If you are learned and searching for a legitimate way to move yourself or your family to Canada to take an opportunity at a new direction, these are the specifics on how to go about it. Of course, this article cannot cover every single aspect of immigrating to Canada. However, if you want to know more about the Express Entry process to move to Canada, this is for you.

There are a lot of dependable agents who charge a heavy fee for you to help you through the procedure. However, you can complete it on your own from beginning to end. You don’t have to but you can. So, here you go!

Canadian PR Application Step 1a – Take the quiz to find out if you are eligible.

Cost: FREE

The quiz is simple and you can do it by yourself here. If you have not written a language test before, bequeath yourself a hypothetical test mark and fill out your other details. I advise that you bequeath yourself a test mark lesser than what you believe you may get so you can measure the extent of the room you have to play around with.

Canadian PR Application Step 1b – Know what your work NOC is.

This is imperative since you can only declare work history in one NOC, which signifies that if you’ve skipped around from job account to job account, you will need to select the one that you have the longest number of consistent years of work. It is okay if you’ve switched jobs, but provided that your jobs have all been in one NOC, they count. Find your NOC here.

Canadian PR Application Step 2 – Register for the language test – IELTS General, etc.

Cost: $208 USD or 275 CAD.

Time Required: 2 to 3 months

If you are qualified based on the test above, the subsequent step is to enroll for the language test. Every person putting in for Canadian PR has to write a language test to show adeptness in either French or English. You get extra points if you can demonstrate both! I recommend that you give yourself a two to three-month window to prepare for the language test. For most people, this is the only thing you have in your control. Your age isn’t going to change, your work history won’t change much and you may need a few years to get an additional degree. So, even though you have been speaking English all your life, IELTS General and others are standardized tests and you have to know how they want you to answer the questions they ask you. The most common test for the English Language is IELTS General (you cannot use IELTS Academic for immigration purposes) but it isn’t the only one. See the accepted language assessments for Canadian PR here. This is the official site to register for IELTS with British Council.

Here are practice tests to help you prepare for the IELTS General test. Do not take these practice guides for granted. They go a long way in ensuring you ace the test.

Check out other articles on visa application here

Canadian PR Application Step 3 – Arrange your credentials for WES appraisal.

Cost: from $230 USD or 305 CAD.

Time Required: 2 months 

Make use of the two or three months of IELTS prep to also arrange your degree appraisal, so you can conserve time. Everyone who attended school outside of Canada must go through this procedure. The Canadian IRCC has a list of specialized establishments that can authenticate your degree and compare it with a Canadian one. The most frequent on this side of the pool is WES. Essentially, they need to say that your degree is equal to the so-so-and-so degree in Canada.

You can choose to appraise your most recent degree or all your degrees. The IRCC only needs your most recent degree (your highest degree), however, you have to decipher what works best for you. It is imperative to note that if you appraise multiple degrees under one WES profile, it costs the same as appraising only one degree. This is the procedure:

  • Register an account with WES
  • Complete a profile and offer information about your degree(s). Please, ensure all feature is correct and you double-check a couple of times.
  • Pay the appraisal fee of 220 CAD and the courier fee of 85 CAD (for them to send your appraisal back to you). I advise you pay the 85 CAD courier fee instead of the 7 CAD standard postage fee so that when your appraisal is returned, it is returned hastily and securely and doesn’t get held in the local post system. The moment you pay, you will obtain an exclusive WES Number.
    • Note: When you put in all your degree details, the WES system will automatically pull out the documents you are required to send to them for verification. For most countries, only transcripts are required. Regrettably, candidates with Nigerian degrees are made to provide a whole lot more than in the past due to a number of people remitting in fabricated documents. This is where you need to choose whether to use only your higher degree if you possess one from another nation. List of documents for Nigerian degrees:
      • Degree Certificate
      • Academic Transcripts
      • Final Secondary Examination Results
      • WAEC / NECO Scratch Card
    • Apply for your transcripts and documents. If your university has a cut-throat practice, all the more rationale to ensure that you have enough time to go through this process. Also, remember to factor in the cost of requesting transcripts.
    • Send your required documents to WES. Make sure you follow all the instructions. All transcripts and documents must be sealed and signed or stamped across the seal fold of the envelope and every envelope must have your WES number on it. Courier shipping via DHL from your location to the WES Toronto office costs about $65 USD or 86 CAD
    • Wait for WES to receive your documents and complete your verification. It requires 20 working days from when they receive your entire needed credentials for them to send you an appraisal report. This is the report that you must use for your Canadian PR request.

Canadian PR Application Step 4 – Take your IELTS Test & Get Results.

Time Required: 13 Days

Your speaking test will be on a different date from your writing, reading and listening tests. You will receive an email a few weeks to your test date with details of your speaking test (usually the speaking test is the same week as your main test date). All the other three tests will be on the day you chose when you registered. Offer the test your best attempt, remain calm and collect your results two weeks later. You will be able to collect your results 13 days after the test date.

Canadian PR Application Step 5 – Generate an Online Express Entry Profile.

Now that you possess your WES appraisal report and your language assessment results, you are ready to generate an Express Entry profile. Real fast, use this tool to discover what your precise CRS Score will be. This time, you possess the authentic information and you can say what your precise score will be. You don’t know what the cut off mark will be but you can verify what the cut-off for the last draw was (the week or two weeks before you check) here. That way, you have an inkling whether you mount a high chance in the pond or not.

This profile will discontinue within 60 days of initiating it if you do not submit, so try to finish it as soon as you can. You will be asked private information, work account, test marks, degree information, etc. All these details will add up to give you a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score. Make sure you are truthful and consistent. As soon as you complete and cross-check your Express Entry profile, go ahead and submit it.

You have officially joined the Express Entry Pool.

Canadian PR Application Step 6 – Anticipate an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

Time Required: 1 Day to Indeterminate…

Every two weeks, a draw is made from the pool of submitted Express Entry profiles. This draw is done to offer ITAs to candidates. An ITA basically says…’ you can now begin the official application process for PR.’ The exact cut-off score is determined by the number of selections the committee plans to choose from that draw. For example, if they need 3,500 selections from that draw, they pick the highest 3,500 candidates in the pool on that date and the 3500th person’s score becomes the cut-off score. If there is a tie for the 3500th person, they use factors like date and time of submission to break the tie. Just as a standard, the cut-off marks for January and February 2019 were as follows: 449 (Jan 9), 443 (Jan 23) and 438 (Jan 30). See the full record of cut-off marks here.

If you are one of the top candidates, you can receive an ITA in the next draw from when you submit your profile. Technically, if you submit your profile today and the draw is tomorrow, you can get an ITA in one day. Nevertheless, if your mark falls short, you can remain in the pool and continue doing other things to advance your score. Check this detailed explanation on ways to improve your score while you’re in the Express Entry pool. After 12 months, if you don’t get selected from the pool, it will expire and you will have to create a new one.

Also, while waiting for an ITA, you can register in the Job Bank and start looking for jobs.

Canadian PR Application Step 7 – Apply for Canadian Permanent Residency.

Cost: $785 USD or 1,040 CAD per adult candidate.

$113 USD or 150 CAD per dependent children.

Time Required: 6 months.

Now that you have been invited to apply, you will need to prepare your application and submit all your documents. It is imperative to observe that your fee of 1,040 CAD is divided into 550 CAD application charge and 490 CAD right to permanent residence charge. If you do not successfully get PR, the 490 CAD will be refunded to you. You only have 60 days to complete this application!

Documents Required:

  • Application Fee (see above)
  • Test Results
  • Academic Verification Report
  • Digital Photographs
  • Medical Examination– every nation has an official list of panel physicians who can run a medical examination.  The prices may differ faintly. See here to find their addresses and book an appointment.
  • Police Certificates– if you have resided in a nation for more than 6 months at a time, inside the last 10 years, you have to add in police reports from each of those nations (including your home nation, where you presently reside). The fee of procuring a police certificate will vary based on where you reside and where you are requesting one from. See how to request a police certificate in each country.
  • Passport Biodata Page
  • Reference or Experience Work Letter– your former and current employers listed on your Express Entry Profile must all provide letters to prove your work history with them.
  • Proof of Funds– you must provide a letter from your bank vouching for the availability of funds required for relocation. These are the amount required for relocation:
    • 1 Family Member (you unaccompanied): 12,669 CAD
    • 2 Family Members: 15,772 CAD
    • 3 Family Members: 19,390 CAD
    • 4 Family Members: 23,542 CAD
    • 5 Family Members: 26,701 CAD
    • 6 Family Members: 30,114 CAD
    • 7 Family Members: 33,528 CAD
    • For each added family member: $3,414
  • Other Documents– depending on whether you have children, you are divorced, married, and so on, there is a host of other documents required including name change certificatebirth certificate of the child(ren)marriage certificate, etc. Find the full details here.

Once you have all your complete documents, you will be able to fill out your application on the portal and upload scanned copies of all your documents. Ensure you stick to the rules for clarity, size, and resolution of all credentials. You will also be able to make your payment.

Canadian PR Application Step 8 – Bio-metrics

At some point, you may be called to submit your biometrics at a local embassy or VFS.

Canadian PR Application Step 9 – Wait and live your life!

According to the IRCC, 80% of all applicants receive a response within 6 months. Just spend 6 months worrying. Just go about your business. You can sign into your profile regularly to verify what stage your submission has reached. For some individuals, it comes in 2 months and for others, it takes up to 6 months!

Canadian PR Application Step 9 – Get a PPR – Passport Request email – Ready for Visa

Once you get this letter, you can send in your passports. Your PR approval will also come with a deadline when you have to enter into Canada or else your PR will be invalidated. This is typically between 6 months to 1 year from the endorsement.

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