How long does it take to process a Canadian study permit applied online from Nigeria

How long does it take to process a Canadian study permit applied online from Nigeria

If you are a Nigerian student planning to study in Canada, you may be wondering how long it takes to process a Canadian study permit application when applying online. 


Applying for a study permit can be a long and complicated process, and it’s essential to understand the timeline for your application to avoid any delays in your study plans. 

Here, we will answer the question: “How long does it take to process a Canadian study permit applied online from Nigeria?” and provide you with helpful information about the application process, requirements, and what you need to do to get your application processed faster.

How long does it take to process a Canadian study permit applied online from Nigeria?

It takes 15 to 20 weeks, or approximately 5 months to process a Canadian study permit applied online from Nigeria.


However, this timeline can also be longer or shorter depending on the complexity of your application, the completeness of your supporting documents, and any additional processing required.

The number of applications being processed by the Canadian embassy or consulate in Nigeria can also affect the processing time. 

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According to the Government of Canada website, the current processing time for a study permit application is approximately 15 weeks (or 3.5 months). 

This is why you should apply for your study permit as soon as possible, preferably six months before the start of your program. 

This allows ample time for processing, and it also gives you enough time to make travel arrangements and settle in Canada before your program begins.

Why is my study permit for Canada taking so long?

  • Volume of Applications

The number of study permit applications being received by Canadian immigration authorities can have a significant impact on your application processing times.

If the authorities receive high volumes of applications, it can lead to longer processing times as immigration officials need to review each application carefully before making a decision on them.


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As of 2021, Nigeria was one of the top source countries for international students studying in Canada, ranking 5th on the table.

In 2019, over 13,000 Nigerian students were studying in Canada, a 13% increase from the previous year.

This suggests that there may be a high volume of study permit applications being submitted from Nigeria, which could result in longer processing times.

  • Completeness and Accuracy of the Application

The completeness and accuracy of your study permit application can also affect the processing time of your study permit.

If an application is incomplete or contains errors, it will take longer for immigration officials to review it and request additional information.

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It is essential to ensure that all required documents are included and that they are accurate and up-to-date.

For example, an outdated language proficiency test score will result in a delay as immigration officials request updated information.

  • The Complexity of the Application

The complexity of your application can also affect processing times.

For example, if you have a complicated immigration history, such as previous visa denials or overstays, it may take longer for immigration officials to review and make a decision on your application.


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Additionally, if you applying for a program of study that is not well-known or is in an emerging field, it may take longer for immigration officials to review and assess the eligibility of the program.

  • Security Checks

As a study permit applicant, you will be subjected to security checks, which can add to the processing time.

These checks are conducted by Canadian security agencies to ensure that you do not pose a security threat to Canada.

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The length of time for security checks can vary based on your circumstances and may take several weeks or months to complete.


  • Biometric Requirements

As of 2021, most study permit applicants are required to provide biometric information, including fingerprints and a photograph, as part of the application process.

This requirement can add to the processing time as you need to schedule an appointment to have your biometrics taken at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Nigeria.

As of 2021, there are two VACs in Nigeria, one in Lagos and one in Abuja.

  • Visa Office Workload

The workload of the visa office responsible for processing study permit applications can also affect processing times.

If a visa office is experiencing a high volume of applications, the processing time will be longer.

Additionally, if there is a shortage of staff or resources at the visa office, this may also contribute to longer processing times.

  • Time of Year

The time of year, when your application is submitted, can also affect processing times.

Generally, there tends to be a higher volume of applications during certain times of the year, such as before the start of the academic year.

As a result, processing times may be longer during these periods.

  • Changes in Immigration Policy

Changes in immigration policy can also affect processing times. For example, in 2020, the Canadian government introduced new measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in processing times being longer than usual.

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Additionally, changes to the eligibility requirements for study permits or changes to the list of recognized educational institutions may also impact the processing time of your study permit.


What are the requirements for a Canadian study permit?

To apply for a Canadian study permit, you need to meet the following requirements.

1. Acceptance into a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI)

The first requirement for a Canadian study permit is acceptance into a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI). 

A DLI is a school or educational institution that has been approved by the Canadian government to host international students. 

As of 2021, there are over 1,500 DLIs in Canada, offering a wide range of programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. 

Not all schools in Canada are DLIs, so you need to confirm that the school you plan to attend is on the list.

2. Proof of Financial Support

The Canadian government requires that international students demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to support themselves while studying in Canada. 

As of 2021, the minimum amount required is CAD 10,000 per year for the student, plus an additional CAD 4,000 for each accompanying family member.

This amount may vary depending on the location of the school and the length of the program.

You can demonstrate your financial support through bank statements, proof of a scholarship or other funding, or a letter of support from a sponsor.

3. Language Proficiency

Most Canadian DLIs require international students to demonstrate proficiency in either English or French, depending on the language of instruction at the school. 

As an applicant, you need to take an approved language proficiency test, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF). 

This step is not compulsory, many Canadian universities accept your application without IELTS and other language proficiency tests.

4. Letter of Explanation

A letter of explanation is a document that outlines your reasons for wanting to study in Canada and your plans after graduation. 

This letter should explain how you plan to use your education to benefit your home country and should also provide details about your academic and professional background.

5. Valid Passport

You must have a valid passport that is valid for the duration of your stay in Canada. 

Some schools and programs may have additional passport requirements, such as a minimum validity period or certain visa pages.

6. Medical Examination

Depending on the length of your program, a medical examination may be required. 

This examination is conducted by a Canadian government-approved physician and is designed to ensure that you do not have any medical conditions that would pose a risk to public health in Canada.

7. Police Clearance Certificate

In some cases, you may be required to provide a police clearance certificate or criminal record check. 

This certificate must be obtained from your country of origin and demonstrate that you has no criminal history.

8. Biometric Information

As of 2021, most study permit applicants are required to provide biometric information, including fingerprints and a photograph, as part of the application process. 

This information is used to verify your identity and to conduct security screening.

What if my Canada student visa does not come in time?

If your Canada student visa does not come in time, you should contact the Canadian visa office in your to inquire about the status of your application and determine if any issues need to be addressed. 

If your application is still pending after contacting them, you can request expedited processing or apply for a temporary resident visa to enter Canada as a visitor while you wait for your study permit. 

Read also: Things you need to know before coming to study in Canada

These options may not always be available or feasible depending on your specific circumstances. 

So, you need to always plan and apply for your study permit well in advance of your intended start date to allow sufficient time for processing and any unforeseen delays.

Can I speed up my study permit?

You can speed up the processing of your Canada study permit by requesting that the process is expedited but the decision to grant such a request is ultimately at the discretion of the Canadian visa office. 

Expedited processing may be granted in circumstances such as medical emergencies or compelling academic or personal reasons.

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To request expedited processing, you need to provide a written explanation outlining the reasons why you are requesting faster processing and provide any supporting documentation. 

The decision to grant expedited processing is not guaranteed, and even if it is granted, it may still take several weeks for your application to be processed.

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In addition to requesting expedited processing, you can carefully review the application requirements you submitted and ensure that all necessary documents are included with your application.

This will help speed up the processing time.

Is there an interview for Canada student visa?

In some cases, there will be an interview as part of the Canadian student visa application process. 

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The Canadian visa office may request an interview if they require additional information or clarification about your application, or if they need to verify your identity or intentions for coming to Canada.

The interview may be conducted in person at the Canadian visa office or through a virtual platform such as Skype. 

During the interview, you may be asked questions about your education, work experience, financial situation, and plans for studying and living in Canada.

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Generally, whether or not an interview is required depends on the specific circumstances of your application and the discretion of the Canadian visa office.

Final thoughts

The process of applying for a Canadian study permit can be overwhelming, but with the right information and guidance, it can be a smooth and successful process.

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Remember to apply early, meet all the requirements, and provide complete and accurate information in your application. 


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