Procedures related to the issuance and delivery of Canadian visas including the location of issuing offices, the types of visas issued, and the validation process [NGA100149.E]

Canada's Deputy High Commission to Nigeria in Lagos is responsible for issuing temporary resident visas (TRV) for workers, students and visitors (Canada 21 Feb. 2005a). In correspondence to the Research Directorate, the Canadian Deputy High Commission in Lagos said that it also issues temporary resident permits (TRP) (ibid. 26 July 2005). Canada's High Commission to Nigeria in Abuja only "offers limited consular services for Canadians in Nigeria" as well as development assistance services, while immigration applications are managed through the Canadian Embassy in Accra, Ghana (ibid. 21 Feb. 2005b).

Regarding the procedures to be followed and requirements to be met by someone wishing to apply for a TRV, the Deputy High Commission explained that they differ for students, workers and visitors and that the procedures and requirements for each are outlined on the Internet at http://www.nigeria.gc.ca (ibid. 26 July 2005). Some of the commonly required documents include: a completed application form; a valid passport or travel document that guarantees re-entry to the country that issued it; two recent passport-size photos for each family member applying for the visa (name and birthdate written on the back of each photo); proof of funds available to support the applicant and his/her family members during their stay and to enable them to leave Canada (ibid. 21 Apr. 2004). The Deputy High Commission mentioned that passports are examined to ensure that they are genuine (ibid. 26 July 2005).

The Deputy High Commission explained that applicants do not need to apply in person for a visa as long as the required documents are submitted on their behalf (26 July 2005). A visitor visa may take only one day to process, whereas student and worker visas may take as long as six to eight weeks to allow time for medical exams, interviews and document verification (Canada 26 July 2005). According to the Deputy High Commission, following the screening of the application form and other submitted documents, any applicant can be interviewed at the request of the Canada-based officer (ibid.). The Deputy High Commission noted that although not everyone is interviewed, there are no specific clients who are exempt from this process (ibid.).

The Deputy High Commission said that the Canadian visa officer (CVO) is the only person authorized to approve a visa application, although they noted that there is no indication of who gave final approval of the passport foil on the visa (ibid.). Unless there is a technical problem with the document, no signatures, stamps, or handwritten details appear on the visa foil (ibid.).

Regarding student visa applications, when asked if officers independently verify with the educational institution whether the applicant is enrolled or simply rely on the acceptance letter provided by the applicant, the Deputy High Commission said that the officers "spot check" when there is a concern with any of the documents (ibid.). Regarding bank accounts, officers will verify with a bank's head office if the documentation submitted appears suspect (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection.

References


Canada. 26 July 2005. Canadian Deputy High Commission, Lagos. Correspondence.

_____. 21 February 2005a. Canadian Deputy High Commission, Lagos. Home Page. http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/nigeria/about_embassy_lagos-en.asp [Accessed 26 July 2005]

_____. 21 February 2005b. Canadian High Commission, Abuja. Home Page. http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/nigeria/about_embassy-en.asp [Accessed 26 July 2005]

_____. 21 April 2004. Canadian High Commission, Abuja. "Visas and Immigration." http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/nigeria/visa_intro-en.asp [Accessed 26 July 2005]