Canada: Nigeria visa scheme is “game changer”
Canada has announced an express visa pilot scheme for prospective international students from Nigeria seeking study at the country’s universities and colleges.
The Nigeria Student Express initiative is aimed at improving processing time for study permit applicants in the African country – with a turnaround of approximately 20 days.
In 2019, Nigeria made 12,000 study permit applications to the country and saw 81% of potential students turned down, the third-highest rate on the African continent.
A spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada told The PIE News that a specialised financial verification system will be used to ensure students have sufficient funds to study in Canada.
Prospective students with a letter of admission at a Canadian designated learning institution may use NSE to “apply using a secure financial verification system, MyBank, to show that they have sufficient funds for their studies in Canada,” the spokesperson said.
MyBank is available from principal commercial banks in Nigeria, they added.
“Prospective students in Nigeria can apply online as soon as they have the required documents. As the initiative has just been launched, it is too early to tell how many students will choose this option. We will continue to evaluate the success of the pilot in the coming months.”
Although details are still “being fleshed out”, it doesn’t appear that the initiative will have an additional cost, according to managing director of SJRENNIE Consulting, Stuart Rennie.
“The focus is very much on trying to fast track quality applications,” Rennie noted.
Along with the My Bank verification and an offer from a Canadian Institution, a faster turnaround will be based on students having an upfront medical certificate, IELTS and an international passport.
Rennie has worked with Canadian institutions for a number of years, including Ottawa’s Carleton University working on undergraduate recruitment via leading international schools and agency networks across Ghana and Nigeria.
“I see this [initiative] as a real game-changer for Canadian universities who are looking to increase their presence in Nigeria.
“It will be interesting to see if this is also rolled out to other countries such as Ghana,” Rennie added.
The initiative was introduced to students and parents at the EduCanada fairs in Abuja and Lagos in January 2020.
Content Credit: thepienews