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How to Apply for Canadian Permanent Residency from Nigeria on Your Own

How to Apply for Canadian Permanent Residency from Nigeria on Your Own

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Live and work in Canada

We live in a world where we have many more opportunities today than we did yesterday. So many people can move, travel and build a life in a totally different place from where they were born. Some countries, like Canada, have impressive policies that allow skilled people to earn permits to live and work in Canada.

If you are educated and looking for a legal way to move yourself or your family to Canada to take a chance at a new path, these are the details 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 many reliable agents who charge a hefty fee to help you through the process. However, you can complete it on your own from beginning to end. You don’t have to but you can. So, here you go!

[READ ALSO: Canada’s 2018 population growth consisted of 61% immigrants(Opens in a new browser tab)]

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 done a language test before, give yourself a hypothetical test score and fill out your other information. I recommend that you give yourself a test score lower than what you think you may get so you can gauge the amount of room you have to play around with.

Step 1b – Find out what your work NOC is

This is important because you can only claim work history in one NOC, which means that if you’ve jumped around from job description to job description, you will need to choose the one that you have the longest number of consistent years of work. It is okay if you’ve changed jobs, but as long as your jobs have all been in one NOC, they count. Find your NOC here.

Step 2 – Register for the language test – IELTS General, etc

Cost: USD208/CAD275/N75,000
Time Required: 2 to 3 months

If you are eligible based on the quiz above, the next step is to register for the language test. Everyone applying for Canadian PR has to take a language test to show proficiency in either French or English. You get bonus points if you can prove 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 standardised tests (yuck) and you have to know how they want you to answer the questions they ask you. The most common test for English Language is IELTS General (you cannot use IELTS Academic for immigration purposes) but it isn’t the only one. See the approved language tests 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.

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Step 3 – Prepare your documents for WES evaluation

Cost: from USD230/CAD305/N83,000
Time Required: 2 months 

Use the two or three months of IELTS preparation to also prepare your degree evaluation, so you can save time. Everyone who goes to school outside of Canada must go through this process. The Canadian IRCC has a list of certified organisations that can verify your degree and equate it with a Canadian one. The list of organisations can be found here. The most common on this side of the pond is WES. Basically, they need to say that your degree is equivalent to so-so-and-so degree in Canada.

You can decide to evaluate your most recent degree or all your degrees. The IRCC only requires your most recent degree (your highest degree), however, you need to figure out what works best for you. It is important to note that if you evaluate multiple degrees under one WES profile, it costs the same as evaluating only one degree. This is the process:

  • Register an account with WES here.
  • Fill out a profile and provide information about your degree(s). Please, make sure every detail is correct and you cross-check a couple of times.
  • Pay the evaluation fee of CAD220 and the courier fee of CAD85 (for them to ship your evaluation back to you). I recommend you pay the CAD85 courier fee instead of the CAD7 regular postage fee so that when your evaluation is returned, it is returned speedily and securely and doesn’t get stuck in the local post system. As soon as you pay, you will receive a unique 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. Unfortunately, those with Nigerian degrees are required to provide a whole lot more due to a number of people sending in falsified documents (Naija, why oh why?). This is where you need to decide whether to use only your higher degree if you have one from another country. List of requirements for Nigerian degrees:
      • Degree Certificate
      • Academic Transcripts
      • Final Secondary Examination Results
      • WAEC/NECO Scratch Card

The requirements were the same for everyone until late 2018 when they couldn’t take the number of fraudulent documents coming their way from Nigeria anymore. Too bad!

  • Apply for your transcripts and documents. If your school has a cut-throat process, all the more reason 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 Lagos to the WES Toronto office costs about $65 or CAD86 or N23,000.
  • Wait for WES to receive your documents and complete your verification. It takes 20 working days from when they receive all your required document for them to send you an evaluation report. This is the report that you need for your 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. Give the test your best shot, keep calm and pick up your results two weeks later. You will be able to pick up your results 13 days after your main test date.

Step 5 – Create an Online Express Entry Profile

Now that you have your WES evaluation report and your language test results, you are ready to create an Express Entry profile. Real quick, use this tool to find out what your exact CRS Score will be. This time, you have the actual information and you can tell what your exact score will be. You don’t know what the cut off score will be but you can check what the cut-off for the last draw was (the week or two weeks before you check) here. That way, you have an idea whether you stand a high chance in the pool or not.

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This profile will close within 60 days of opening, that is if you do not submit, so try to complete it as soon as you can. You will be asked personal information, work history, test scores, degree details, 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.

Step 6 – Wait for an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

Time Required: 1 Day to Indefinite…

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 guideline, the cut-off scores for January and February 2019 were as follows: 449 (Jan 9), 443 (Jan 23) and 438 (Jan 30). See the full list of cut-off scores 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. However, if your score falls short, you can stay in the pull and keep doing other things to improve your score. See a 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.

Step 7 – Apply for Canadian Permanent Residency

Cost: USD785/CAD1,040/N282,600 per adult applicant and USD113/CAD150/N54,000 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 important to note that your fee of CAD1,040 is split into CAD550 application fee and CAD490 right to permanent residence fee. If you do not successfully get PR, the CAD490 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 country has an approved list of panel physicians who can provide a medical examination. In Nigeria, there are three in Lagos and one in Abuja and the costs may vary slightly. See here to find their addresses and book an appointment.
  • Police Certificates: If you have lived in a country for more than 6 months in a row, within the last 10 years, you have to include police reports from each of those countries (including your home country, where you currently live). The cost of obtaining a police certificate will differ based on where you live and where you are requesting one from. See how to get 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 alone): CAD12,669 or N3.46 million.
    • 2 Family Members: CAD15,772 or N4.31 million.
    • 3 Family Members: CAD19,390 or N5.30 million.
    • 4 Family Members: CAD23,542 or N6.43 million.
    • 5 Family Members: CAD26,701 or N7.29 million.
    • 6 Family Members: CAD30,114 or N8.22 million.
    • 7 Family Members: CAD33,528 or N9.15 million.
    • For each additional family member: CAD3,414 or N932,000.
  • 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 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. Make sure you follow the guidelines for clarity, size and resolution of all documents. You will also be able to make your payment.

Step 8 – Bio-metrics

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

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 log into your profile from time to time to check what stage your application has reached. For some people, it comes in 2 months and for others, it takes 6! It doesn’t matter, just keep living your life.

Step 9 – Receive 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 usually between 6 months to 1 year from the approval. You are ready to go!

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Funmi Oyatogun is a travel expert/consultant with TVP Adventure and also the owner/publisher of funmioyatogun.com. She is on Instagram @funmioyatogun.

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            Blurb

            Why SEC should support democratization of sale of foreign securities

            In the spirit of progressive engagement and dialogue, many voices now suggest that the SEC take a fresh look at its latest position.

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            The directive of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), issued 8th of April 2021, has been met with consternation and a straightforward (but hopefully simplistic) interpretation that; “the government is out to stifle innovators, again.”

            These perspectives aren’t unfounded, as innovators of all shades have taken a heavy beating lately due to a number of direct government policies or interpretations of these policies – irrespective of how well-intentioned these policies may be. On the contrary, micro-investment platforms deserve a fair shot within Nigeria’s capital market.

            This is especially true considering that the recent regulatory fervour coincides with a period where the innovation ecosystem is recording new milestones and gaining traction, solving problems for users in all walks of life, democratizing wealth creation, and creating high-value jobs, all of which Nigeria desperately needs.

            READ: Crypto market surges above $2 trillion, as Bitcoin stages a huge comeback above $60,500

            In the last six months alone, Nigerian startups have gained the confidence of some of the best investors locally and globally, leading to never-before-seen innovations, acquisitions, and investments into the economy. This promotes interest in the Nigerian innovation ecosystem from foreign market actors and increases its relevance as a high-value job creator. Some now wonder if our regulators want more or less of this positive momentum.

            This latest notice from the SEC warned Capital Market Operators (CMOs) to desist from selling securities not quoted or registered, as only registered securities in Nigeria can be issued, sold, or offered for sale. Ostensibly, the directive requires CMOs registered with the SEC to offer only securities listed on any exchange in Nigeria to the public.

            READ: XRP posts a big bang, as legal tussle with SEC lingers

            The challenge here is that High Net worth Nigerians (HNIs) have always had access to foreign securities offered or acquired through registered CMOs for the apparent benefit of the upside available in markets such as the United States. This should be democratized to allow Nigerians with smaller incomes to have access to valuable global stocks within fair rules, and this is what the likes of Trove, Chaka, Bamboo, and Risevest have done. In fact, this democratization should be applauded as one of the outputs of a thriving innovation ecosystem that provides practical
            palliatives for the stifling inflation and erosion of value we have all experienced as Nigerians.

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            After all, what is suitable for Dangote should also be good for Musa, who earns NGN50,000.00, and thanks to any of the apps mentioned above, can today invest in shares of Dangote sugar while also adding a quarter of a Google stock to his portfolio every month. This “magic” of innovation is a poverty alleviator that should be encouraged and nurtured while ensuring that the public is protected from any harmful financial practices.

            READ: Flour Mills shares surge by 6.9%, lifting the miller’s capitalization by N8.2 billion

            It is important to acknowledge at this point that the SEC has been a positively progressive regulator, generally engaging its public fairly. The issuance of the guidelines for crowdfunding and accommodation of FinTechs within the capital market was encompassing and engaged stakeholders of all hues. This should be commended. The SEC’s position classifying crypto as an asset class is also fair, refreshing, and proactive. We need more of this and not less.

            At a time when we are exploring how the Nigerian capital markets can become a viable option for listing tech startups, this latest body language of the SEC, and the Nigerian government as a whole can be further misinterpreted.

            In the spirit of progressive engagement and dialogue, many voices now suggest that the SEC take a fresh look at its latest position, as these innovations are widespread, publicly accepted, and valuable. Furthermore, these innovations support some of the registered and regulated CMOs by offering white-label solutions that are accelerating the ability of these legacy CMOs to better serve their HNI customer base, with local and foreign securities. The emergence of these innovative micro-investing platforms has triggered investments into local Nigerian securities in multiple folds. The volumes these innovative platforms channel into Nigerian stocks are arguably the most significant development in Nigeria’s capital market in a decade.

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            By virtue of the existence of these innovators, their combined strength has introduced over 150,000 new market participants who are primarily millennials: a majority of whom purchased their first set of stocks through these platforms. Before now, they had no active interaction with the capital market. These new entrants are now trading in excess of NGN10,000,000,000 (Ten Billion Naira) monthly through these apps. Note that a good chunk of the highlighted trade volume is routed through local CMOs to purchase Nigerian securities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE). Long term, these innovations would also serve as a channel to offer Nigerian guarantees to a global audience which would be a massive positive for the economy.

            The quest for diversification of portfolios to include foreign securities can only be good overall. It underscores the global trend in cross-border trade in securities as disintermediated by technology and the need to enhance portfolios’ value globally.

            Rather than curbing the practice of offering Nigerian and international stocks in a basket, this micro-investing trend should be allowed to flourish within reasonable regulatory frameworks. These platforms make investments attractive, easier, and affordable. Micro investing will curb the menace of pyramid and Ponzi schemes while introducing a new generation into Nigeria’s securities market in parallel with their appetite for global securities. Regardless of what we decide, the world has gotten smaller, and information that enables people to easily seek the best economic outcomes is readily available. While other nations gain from micro-investing, shouldn’t our people do too?

            The ultimate beneficiary of increased wealth for Nigerians is the Nigerian economy. Rather than shutting Nigerians off from the rest of the world, we should be accelerating global access for our millions of people; hence this is the time for dialogue, not shutdowns.

             

            Kola Aina is the Founding Partner at Ventures Platform and writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

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            Blurb

            Buy what? Dangote vs BUA Cement

            Dangote Cement has a market capitalization of N3.65 trillion, while BUA posts a N2.49 trillion capitalization, but does size win?

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            I want to review the performance of the largest quoted companies in Nigeria.

            On the Nigerian Stock Exchange, they don’t come any bigger than Dangote Cement (Dangote) and BUA Cement (BUA). Only MTNN stands with both cement companies in terms of market capitalization. Dangote and BUA are both blue-chip companies, in the same sector and both enjoy federal import protection, they also both serve a local market with huge demand for cement.

            Which is a better investment? Let us assume I have N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira,) which should I buy? Let us review both stocks with FY 2020 results they posted. For consistency, I am going to use my trading view terminal numbers.

            READ: Dangote Cement joins MTN in the trillion-naira club, as 2020 revenue surpassed N1 trillion

            Market Capitalization

            First, we talk about capitalization, (Market cap is the number of shares issued x market value of shares ). Dangote Cement has a market capitalization of N3.65 trillion, while BUA posts a N2.49 trillion capitalization. Does size win? Dangote is bigger? Not yet!

            Market Price

            With N100,000 I can buy about 465 shares of Dangote at N215 a share and 1,360 shares of BUA at N73.50 per share. Is BUA cheaper? do we have a winner? Not quite. Let us dig deeper.

            Dangote Cement posted a Net Income figure of N276 billion, if we divide this earning by the number of issued shares which is 17 billion, we get an Earnings Per Share (EPS) of N16.14, so every share of Dangote Cement earns (not pays) the investors N16. Similarly, the Earning Per Share of BUA is N2.0

            READ: BUA Cement loses N162 billion in market value in a week

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            Thus when I buy Dangote Cement N215 per share, I am buying 16 times the earnings of Dangote. We can simplify this by simply comparing the price I pay per share of Dangote to the EPS of Dangote (Price to Earnings Ratio), thus I invest my cash of N215 to buy 16 times the earnings of Dangote, thus the Price to Earnings Ratio of Dangote is 13.31 (P/E). Using the same calculation, the price for each earnings of BUA (the P.E.) is 35.38. This means even though I am paying more cash for each share of Dangote, I am paying less to buy the earnings of Dangote, thus Dangote is cheaper than BUA.

            So our first milestone is reached, we have used the Net Income, Market Price, and Number of Issued shared to get the Earnings Per Share, we have then determined what amount of earnings we are buying to determine which stock is at a bargain.

            READ: Oba Otudeko’s stakes in Firstbank and Honeywell are worth over N10 billion

            What else?

            Let us look at the earnings that will be paid in cash. Remember, Earnings, is just the Net Income of Dangote, we as equity holders have the opportunity to share in any portion of the Net Income.

            Dangote in 2020 paid out from earnings N272.69 billion as dividends, this translates to about N16 per share or in terms of returns 7.44%. We get this Dividend Yield return by comparing the dividend paid to the market price per share (D/P). BUA also in 2020 paid out N59.26 billion as dividends from earnings, this translates to a dividend yield of 2.81%.

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            So, if I invested N100,000 in shares of Dangote Cement, I would earn a cash return of 7.44%, if I did the same with BUA I would earn a cash return of 2.81%.

            READ: Jumia: In search of the elusive break-even sales

            Let us go a bit deeper…

            When you buy a stock, you are buying into the earnings and cash flow. Dangote Cement in 2020 earned N276 billion and paid N272 billion as dividends meaning they retained about N3 billion for that FY while generating over N248b in Free Cash Flow. Similarly, BUA earned a net N71.52 billion, paid out N59 billion in dividends, retained N19 billion but posted a negative Free Cash Flow of (N95.49 billion). Should BUA cement have simply used that cash to finance working capital rather than paying it as dividends? Perhaps. Let us speak more of Cash flow.

            Cash retained is cash not paid to you the investor. You have to ask how well your company is utilizing that cash retained. Should it all be paid out as dividends? Or retained in the company to fund expansion and growth?

            READ: Three things Nigerians can learn from Warren Buffet’s latest letter

            Look at it this way, if Federal Government Bonds were offering a Yield of 15% and we see that Dangote is offering a yield of 7.44%, then as shareholders you should demand that Dangote pays more cash to you to allow you to invest in FGN bonds because you get a higher return (at lower risk). The point is any company retaining cash or paying cash at a lower yield than the market is hurting the investors, who are missing the opportunity of investing higher elsewhere.

            Let us score both company managers by how well they have managed the revenues and capital of the companies

             

             Return on Assets %Return on Equity %Return on Invested Capital %EBITA Margin %Net Margin %Debt to AssetsLong Term Debt to Assets
            Dangote Cement14.6231.2126.9244.0424.310.240.08
            BUA Cement11.1519.1215.3541.8732.030.360.23
            FY 2020

            Across the board, the management of Dangote Cement has done a better job when compared to BUA Cement in managing the assets of the company. Dangote Return on invested capital is higher with a much lower recourse to debt and of course a higher FCF number.

            Overall, on Earning, Returns and Efficiency, it appears Dangote Cement posts better fundamentals…

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            Disclaimer

            There is a wealth of information that should help decide whether you should buy a stock or not and how long you can hold on to it. Our recommendation is based on the information we currently have and is wholly the opinion of the writer

            This article is an investment guide and as such you should conduct extra analysis before deciding whether to buy, sell or hold a stock. The decision to buy, sell or hold a stock is solely yours.

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