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Canada Student Visa Application Discussion (Read 131 times)

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Oluwakemmy

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Canada Student Visa Application Discussion
September 29, 2020, 02:02:25 AM
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Good luck to all TRV hopefuls and to many of you here helping out with answers and words of encouragement a massive thank you to everyone of you, your efforts here contribute to the success of this thread.

HINTS ON SECURING ADMISSIONS IN CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES

This post is applicable to POST-GRADUATE STUDIES ONLY (PARTICULARLY MASTERS' DEGREE)

First and Foremost, before you start rushing to apply to programs in Canadian Universities, it is best to understand Canadian Grading Scale/System. It will be helpful for you to understand the fact that Nigerian grading scale and Canadian grading scale are radically different from each other. Hence, you may be disappointed to discover that a 3.0/5.0 GPA in Nigeria is not the same as a 3.0/4.0 in Canada so the earlier you know, the better your chances of securing admissions in Canadian Institutions. Typically, most Nigerian Institutions accept a 2:2 (Second Class Lower) for admission into their respective master's program, however, the same cannot be said about their Canadian counterparts.

First step by prospective applicant to Canadian Universities is to ascertain your GPA in Canadian Scale. You can do an unofficial and free evaluation of your GPA by using World Education Services (WES) free GPA Calculator to first determine the Canadian equivalence of your final GPA. Here is the link to calculate your GPA: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login Ensure you have your transcript with you before starting the process.

Second thing to do is to Peruse through the program website of your prospective institution to know what the requirements are. Some programs require 3.0/4.0 in the last two years of studies (i.e last four semesters of your undergraduate studies) while some require you to have 2:1 as final GPA. Understanding this will go along way in helping you decide whether to apply to the school or not.

Third thing to consider is to first decide whether you want a course-based program or thesis based program. These two things are very different in nature and operation and it goes along way to determine your chances of admission. Generally, course-based program doesn't require you to submit a research/thesis paper at the end of your program, hence, there's usually no need to secure a graduate research supervisor before you apply. At best, the school will assign you a course advisor who will guild you when you are about registering your courses. Further to the above, course-based program because of its nature does not usually come with funding/fellowship, however, if your undergrad GPA is high enough, you may be able to secure TA (Teaching Assistancship) which may/can reduce your financial burden to an extent.

Thesis-based program on the other hand requires thesis/research paper at the end of your program which must invariably be defended before you can be awarded a masters degree. A prospective applicant for a thesis-based masters is expected to have an original idea/research emphasis, or demonstrate ability to advance or improve current/persistent discourse in his/her area of research interest. Hence, they expect him/her to demonstrate or show his/her ability and capacity to pursue a graduate research /thesis in his/her research proposal and this is why you must work very hard on your research proposal. Ensure to paint yourself as a visionary who is capable of making meaningful contribution to your research area/interest. Reference your research proposal; footnotes,. ( will later on discuss how to write a convincing and compelling research proposal)

Fourth thing to do is to contact potential referees, please and please, your recommendation letter is one of the most important item to accompany your application for admission if not the most important. Therefore, I'd suggest you work hand in hand with your referees, ensure they write you a compelling letter, they should talk about the courses they taught you, the research project they supervised, your performance in their courses, your capacity to pursue an independent research, your adaptability, your commitment to effect given tasks and some other vital information that separates you from other applicants.

If you're pursuing a thesis based program, please and please try to contact potential supervisors even if the school advise you not to. It is very important to understand that the success of an application for thesis based masters is always premised on the readiness of a faculty member to supervise the applicant in question. Hence, study the page of the faculty members and familiarise yourself with their area of research. Read their works, both current and previous work, think about how you can contribute to their current research, how will your background assist their research. When you address all these, then by all means, contact them and indicate interest to work with them.

In your correspondence with them, paint yourself as a confident and independent person who requires little or no supervision, tell them your achievements, your previous works, awards, your gpa (if possible, attach your transcript to show or demonstrate you proficiency in their area of research, if you have low grades in any course that is closely knitted to their area if research, please and please do not send your transcript to them. It might discourage them, unless they requested for your transcript). Do not sound needy, don't make your correspondence with them sound like you're begging them to supervise you. Look for their previous work, if you have the capacity to discuss it, pls do, tie their previous or current work to your area of research.

Tell them the contribution you intend to make. If you have your research proposal ready, pls forward it to them. Pls and pls, while doing these things, avoid obvious or avoidable grammatical mistakes. Read any correspondence with them over and over before finally sending same. Show interest in them by reading their research work from time to time and sending them your thoughts or perspectives on their research work. Demonstrate how their research work applies to your research.

Contact multiple faculty members to determine their readiness and availability to supervise you. While doing this, do not send a generic mail, personalize each email such that it would reflect the profile of each of the faculty member. Sending a generic mail can be counter-productive. My reason for this is not far-fetched. I once contacted a faculty member in the University of Ottawa (LLM), After reading my correspondence/email, he became so motivated to assist me in ensuring admission in their program. At the time, he had 2 graduate students under his mentorship, so he told me he's willing to assist me in contacting his colleagues who are deep-seated in his area of research. Voila, he forwarded my initial mail and my attachment to the other faculty member (A woman). Imagine my surprise, when he told me he forwarded my email to his colleague and further imagine how the other faculty member would have felt upon realizing that i sent a generic mail to both of them. The saving grace was that i sent emails to 3 faculty members, i personalized each mail (The woman was one of them). If i had sent them same generic mail, she probably would lost interest in me from that moment. (Sorry for the story, I needed to buttress my point)

To improve chances of admission, if you're going for a thesis-based masters program, ensure there are enough supervisors in your area of research to avoid story that touches. If the faculty has shortage of supervisors in your area, please try to avoid the school and apply to other schools so as not to limit your chances. The essence of ensuring that the school has enough supervisors in your area of research is to reduce the likelihood of "Your application is one of the best application we have received, however, we regrettably inform you that we are unable to secure a graduate research supervisor for you".

Further to the above, contact current graduate students in the school, and discuss your application with them, they probably have invaluable advise or suggestions for you.

Some programs require your CV,....Please tailor your CV to reflect your academic/professional progression in your area of research. If you're applying for masters in Engineering and your CV keeps screaming Banking/Finance.....Your CV is invariably telling the grad admissions committee that you're better positioned to probably advance your studies in banking/finance (This is applicable to study visa as well). So please and please review your CV, ensure it aligns with your proposed program. This is one of the subtle/background factors to be considered. A faculty member in the University of Manitoba once asked me why i decided to switch to International Business Law when my transcripts and CV demonstrates my academic progression in Intellectual Property Law. (In my mind, I was like, wetin be ur business now LOL.) Of course, it was his business, cos he's interested in where my passion and interest lies so as not to waste his precious time on me.

Your Statement of Interest/Intent also very important, it is usually centered on the following;

Reason for pursuing the program,

Factors that triggered your interest in the said program,

Steps taken so far to advance your position/knowledge in the field of your proposed program,

Career trajectory and Prospects upon conclusion of the program,

How the program would add academic/professional value to you.

Etc.

Please understand that there are no generic required documentations for applying to schools and programs in Canada; some programs/schools require some documents while other don't, e.g some programs only require your RESEARCH PROPOSAL, TRANSCRIPT, CV, RECOMMENDATION LETTERS, while some requires STATEMENT OF INTENT, TRANSCRIPTS, RECOMMENDATION LETTERS, etc. What I am saying in essence is that you'd have to study and digest the program requirements as contained in the program website to fully understand which documents to submit. So please take your time to study the program website before applying. Understand the program requirements such as residency, tuition, duration etc before submitting your application.


FINAL NOTE

Admission into Master's program in Canadian Institutions is not an easy task, you have to be ready to do serious research in order to submit an airtight application. It will benefit you to understand that these Canadian Universities receive thousands of applications from different people from different background. You'd be competing with applicants with almost perfect applications from countries with advance educational system which are by far better than what is obtainable in our country. So the least you could do is to try as much as possible to submit a near perfect application.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 02:35:10 AM by Oluwakemmy »

Oluwakemmy

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Comprehensive list of requirements for study visa application

All required CIC Forms, altogether four(4) in number:

- IMM1294 form/study permit form; fill on the computer don't use PEN, validate and sign. If you have been refused visa(s) in any country you MUST answer YES to it in a section provided for it in this very form. Failure is 5 YEARS BAN.
- Lagos visa office instruction form: Included checklist from page 1-5 (tick documents submitted) and Study Permit Questionnaire page17-18 (fill this very questionnaire with pen).
- Family information form, fill on the computer.
- In addition current CIC application fee for both visa & biometrics is N56,000 approximately

Educational documents:
- Waec/Neco.
- B.sc certificate/HND/Masters certificate as the case may be.
- Transcripts.
- NYSC certificate.
- Intending school admission letter & invoice and school fees receipt as the case may be.
- Relevant professional certification(s) if applicable.

Identification documents/others:
- Birth cert. and sibling(s) birth Cert.
- International passport and its photocopies of data page only
- Passport photograph
- police report
- previous visa(s) to satisfy travel history if applicable. If you don't have don't necessarily worry.

Financial document/source of income and proof of relationship

If you sponsor is a working class then the following:
- Employment letter of sponsor, 6 months Pay-slip, work Id and Introductory letter if possible.
- 6 months bank statement of the sponsor with adequate funds and a reference letter attached to it by the bank (bank letter head, signed and stamped).
- Any asset of the sponsor e.g Land documents but in some cases if not available, don't worry
- Sponsors may be self/father/mother/brother/sister/uncle/cousin/inlaw/wife/husband. The idea of family friend I can't guarantee anyone.

If you sponsor is a business man/woman/person/self-sponsor entrepreneur then the following:
- 6 months bank statement of a sponsor with adequate funds and a reference letter attached to it by the bank (on bank letter head, signed and stamped).
- CAC documents/certificate of registration, tax clearance certificate(s), if the already mentioned is not available, invoices, transaction receipts and rent receipts can play here to prove sources of income.
- Land documents if available.

Proof of relationship are;
select as apply to the sponsor you intend using.
- Marriage certificate
- Birth certificate/affidavit of age

N.B: the 2 listed above are the substantial and convincing proves. For example if my sister is married and her husband is sponsoring me. To prove relationship, my birth cert. and my sister's birth cert. come to play. since the in-law is my sponsor, to prove that, my sister's hubby has to get (their/his) marriage certificate and his birth cert./affidavit of age. So the key factor in proving any relationship is marriage cert. and birth cert/affidavit of age. Anyone if applicable I didn't mention is entertained.

In addition, detail sponsorship letter written by the sponsor or by your aid, then signed by the sponsor and affidavit of sponsorship which would be taken to and signed in a High court.

For the principal applicant:

If you are done with youth service, endeavour to explain any gap more than one year
for those employed, List of requirements are:
- Employment letter(s)
- 4/6 months payslips and if your account statement indicates your monthly salary and allowances, point that to the VO via your SOP if payslips are not available to you. In some cases I assume that the VOs point such out on your bank statements and may not bother about payslips.
- Introductory letter as the case may be.
- Study leave in cases if you are coming back or claimed coming back to work with your same organisation.
- Your Personal Bank Statement and a reasonable amount is expected if you are a mature applicant and having worked longer years. I do advice above N1m or surplus if you are opportune. Pension statements and insurance if available as the case may be.

If you are unemployed for more than 1 year and for many years but have tangible productive activity and which may have connection to your intended program and background, you should endeavour to explicitly explain this on your LOE/SOP and provide evidence by means of documents available. But if you don't, you can ask others for a positive solution.

If your are currently serving(NYSC):
- Call-up letter.
- Nysc ID card.
- PPA letter.
- Discharge certificate if you are done serving.
- NYSC statement of account if possible. Make sure you explain to the VO that you are serving your father-land(Nigeria) and it is mandatory for every graduate in Nigeria.
If you are out of service and idle for less than one year, endeavour to at least explain something meaningful you have been doing with your time.

For mature applicants of at least 28 years old and are employed, home ties may be of employment/assets/family/stock and bond etc.
Mature Single applicants that are employed; at least land documents to serve as home tie which the VO assumes would compel you to come back when you can't legally stay in Canada. stock & bond which worth reasonable value may play if any.
Married men/women; your wife/husband and kid(s) are already strong home tie(s).Addition of land documents, car particulars if available is to strengthen the financial/economic ties.

NB: Home ties vary and the VO may assess yours depending on your profile and case, so the above stated especially for Single(marital status) may vary.
In addition it doesn't mean that some documents required for TRV application and was unintentionally omitted and which may be irrelevant would lead to refusal. It won't as long as the relevant ones and ''a must'' is there.

More so, carefully choose your programs especially PGC(d)/dipoma applicants. Very soon, the mistake you made by choosing the wrong program and assuming that it's related when the COURSE MODULES of your intending program don't clearly correlate with your employment or its activities/previous studies, would amount to PURPOSE OF VISIT & CURRENT EMPLOYMENT SITUATION refusals and other refusal factors if other areas ain't taken care of.

Meanwhile those that have wider gap-year (4/5/6yrs more) and intend pursuing studies with diploma/UG afterwards. This style adopted by some is always complex in dealing with such applications and I find it difficult speaking on this aspect.

And Finally put more effort on your SOPs. Make it comprehensive, detailed and free from grammatical errors. Paragraph, structure it and make it professional. Avoid plagiarism, It spoils so many things. It has denied so many even the competitive masters admission in Canada.

In any case, see this pdf file for a comprehensive list of all post-secondary and PGD programs in Canadian colleges.

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Look through the pdf for all the schools that offer your course, then go to each website and see their annual tuition costs.

Tips on writing a sound SOP for trv purpose:

No doubt writing a sound SOP goes a long way in determining the outcome of your visa application especially if you're going for a PGC/PGD. Below are cogent guild lines in composing a very solid statement of purpose.

First and foremost, I cannot over emphasize the importance of paragraphing. Make sure that each paragraph has a purpose to serve in your sop. And ensure that the paragraphs flow from one to another. So that the VO attending to your application will flow well with the SOP.

There's no format in writing a sound SOP however, there are basic requirements which I will try to highlight and adumbrate further below.

start by briefly introducing yourself, your academic/work background, and your present activity e.g nysc and then briefly talk about your intending program.

The first thing your sop should deal with is your reasons for choosing the program. What actually inspired your decision to pursue the program. This area is quite tricky; a lot of people make the mistake of stating generic reasons like "I have always had passion for" the VOs probably see this phrase way too much grin. Whatever informed your decision to pursue a program should have either economic, academic or career undertone.

The next thing you should address is your preparations for the program, is your undergrad discipline related to the intending program? Is the program available in Nigeria? Why didn't you attempt to do the program in Nigeria? In this segment you can state that you're eager to launch your career and that the program takes longer in many institutions here in Nigeria or that the program is not available in Nigeria. In doing this, do not condemn Nigeria as the vo may think you're not patrotic and that may work against you regarding home tie and trust me these Oyinbo people love patriotism to a fault. You can also state that you've tried taking some online courses but they were simply introductory and probably won't provide you with sufficient knowledge or experience needed to succeed in your career.

If the intending program is inconsistent with your academic background but it is related to your work, you should highlight the specific transferable skills and experience you have garnered over the years in your field of work that would assist or aid your transition into your intending program and subsequently after your program.

Aims, goals and Future projection;
Before you deal with this part, my advice is for you to first check your program website, most often than not, the program outcomes is usually stated in the program website. Just copy them and then build on them. Some people make the mistake of stating that after their program they would work for their father or aunty or whatever or even return back to their present place of work, as cogent as this seems, it doesn't fully describe what your goals are. Your goals should be something that can be reasonably perceived as being an achievement not just that "you intend to go back to your place of work" that's just your intention not your goals.

In addition to the above you should state what your career projections are. I.e in the next few years after your program where do you see yourself. Take for instance, you're going for marketing course in canny...you can state that your goal is to head the marketing department of 500 fortune companies or to be a well respected and recognized consultant in the field of marketing. Etc bla bla. However, you have to be very realistic taking into consideration several factors such as age; academic background and achievement etc. This will go along way to convince the VO that indeed you have a career plan and achievable goals and plan of studying in canada is not just an attempt to run away from your country grin.

Also, it is always advisable to highlight in one or two paragraphs what courses you're expected to learn during your program. And how the courses would add value to your career. For example; if you're going for HR, after your program, it is expected that you would have learnt the following skills; Communication and presentation skills, problem solving skills, strategic planning skills etc. This should to an extent convince the VO that indeed you have genuine interest in the program and of course the program will add value to you career wise or upgrade your already acquired knowledge and skills in your field of work.

Furthermore, you should say one or two things about the school particularly what attracted you to the school. Here you can state that you've been exchanging correspondence with the staff particularly the international admissions office of the school and some of the instructors of your program and that they're very responsive, accommodating and eager to help and you believe an environment like that would foster your academics etc. check the school website to get more information regarding the benefit of studying in the school. You'd be surprised to find that there are so many things on the website that could help you in writing a sound sop.

In case you're going for a program that is partially related to your undergrad discipline..... It is better to state in one paragraph the courses that you took during your undergrad which is directly related to your intending program. For instance if you're going for international business management but your undergrad discipline was let's say economics, ensure to check your transcript and fish out those courses you took that are directly related to your intending program. You can just state that "having taken so so courses during my undergrad, I believe I have made necessary preparations for my intending program" frankly I think this is one of the reasons why CIC request for our transcripts. It would be better if you assisted the VO in reconciling the disparity between your undergrad discipline and your intending program. Sometimes these VOs maybe too impatient to actually check if there are courses in our transcript that are related to our intending program. So better remind them of their job.

DRAFTING YOUR SOP

I just thought to say this on the floor of the house. So people can learn while drafting their SOPs.

I have noticed that people try to paint Nigeria as a lesser country than Canada, by stating that Nigeria has a poor standard of living and education, the country is this and that, bla, bla, bla.

Please even though we all know the state of things in Nigeria, it is not wise to state it in your SOP. It is fine to paint Canada as the best place to study and all the good stuff as a reason for your choice, but leave it at that. We all know that Nigeria has issues and the VOs know it. But don't let it come from you.

Most times we wonder why some of us are denied because of "Home tie", but it might be more than having assets or a family back in Nigeria, your perception about your country matters a lot. Westerners love PATRIOTISM to the core!

If I were a VO, and you tell me bad things about your country in your SOP, I will deny you based on home tie, even though you have assets and family, because as far as I am concerned, why will you want to come back to a country that you think is poor in everything??

My advice is, when stating the reasons for choosing Canada just stop at raining down praises on Canada's economy and standard of education. NEVER say ill about Nigeria....

CLICK HERE TO FIND A SOP SAMPLE FOR THE VISA OFFICER
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CLICK HERE TO FIND A LETTER OF SPONSORSHIP SAMPLE
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Oluwakemmy

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A TIP ON GETTING A SUPERVISOR FOR RESEARCH/THESIS BASED M.Sc and Ph.D

First don't just go and mailed any professor in your department, there is a reason why most of the departments in Canadian Universities list all the names, contact, and research interest for all their lecturers, some lecturers also has website or the website of their lab were they list all their research interest, publications, seminars, previous thesis they supervised, the current work going on in their research lab.

Some (like my department) even go to the extend of listings all their graduate students (both M.Sc and Ph.D) with their thesis topics, their supervisors and publications, some schools also collect the previous thesis and publish them online on their website.

So why am I saying all this?

You need to understand that these potential supervisors need to know what you will be contributing to their current research work or what new research topic you had in mind.

As a student who wants to pursue Thesis based M.Sc or Ph.D, you need to at lest know your research interest or what you wanna Work on when you reach Canada, better still it's always an added advantage if you can get a research topic right before you start contacting potential supervisors, I know to must of us Nigerians this is little bit hard since must of our Universities are not research oriented and so must of us doesn't have background in doing research. But that's where the information on the department website and Google can be of help :

- Go through the website of your department and find about the various lectures in the department, and their research interest, if they have website go through it and see their previous Research, if they work in a particular lab in your department go through the website of that lab and find about the current research goin on at the lab.
- Look for students in the department doing research on your area of interest and their current supervisors
- Check previous graduates of the department and go through their published thesis.
- Search Google about your area of interest and the recent developments going on in that particular area
- Make conclusions about the research topic you want based on the information you find from the research you did above, or atlest know what
Part you are interested in and the recent developments going on in that part as regards to your potential supervisor's research interest.

Note: this can take some days so set aside some days and concrete time for this, after all remember you are going for a research in Canada so you might as well start to learn how to go about doing it

After you make your research, get a list of professors that suits your needs and contact them,

Here is some tip for writing the email

Don't just list your previous achievements and start praising the supervisor that you really want to work with them...and calling them all sort of good names, this will hardly help in my opinion, try to make it professional...unlike our Nigerian lectures, these people like to know about your research interest and how serious and dedicated you are, while adding your previous achievements, awards, previous research and publications relevant to your proposed research area is always very important, you should also do some thorought research about what you want to do so that you can tell the professor how passionate you are about doing research and the knowledge you had about the recent developments in that particular area you are interested in, and also the prerequisites and good grades you had.

If you can follow these steps and do some research before contacting supervisors I assure you you wil get some good response from these people, and if you have good grade you might even secure yourself a scholarship if u are lucky the supervisors has some funding to give to students...

Lastly, I'm not expert nor guru, I just share my experience and what I found out through research...so I stand to be corrected

MORE IDEAS ON FINDING A SUPERVISOR


1. Be patient, the process takes time and a lot of e-mails.

2. Make sure you tailor each e-mail specifically to the supervisor you are interested in. Check their profile, read their research interests, check their current projects, and if possible glance at one or two of their recent publications. Sometimes on the profiles of supervisors their number of graduate students are mentioned, if they have a lot its unlikely they would have space for you, this isn't always true but it can save you time when you are prioritizing who to e-mail.

3. Include your CV and transcript with each e-mail.

4. Please please make sure your e-mail is well written and professional, use clear English as well as good punctuation and spelling. Note you are from Nigeria in Africa (no offence to us) but sometimes these people might have the unfair assumption that because of where you are from your english might be terrible, no one wants to work with someone they cannot communicate with. Use appropriate titles, do not call a Professor a Doctor, some supervisors will not care, some do care very much.

5. Note that these people are busy, if your e-mail is not replied immediately just be patient, wait for about 3-7 days and forward the initial e-mail with a BRIEF re-introduction. "Dear Dr/ Professor X. My name is Bleep, I am a potential applicant to program x. I sent you an email x-days ago regarding the potential of you being my supervisor for x program. I decided to re-send this e-mail as I was not sure you had seen it. Kind regards, X". If there is no reply it is safe to assume they might not be accepting students, however you can give it another 7 days and send another e-mail, if there is still no reply move on.

6. Your CV is an important part of your application. I say application because you are basically applying to work with the supervisor, spend time crafting a straight to the point CV. A good CV (for a fresh graduate anyway) should be no longer than 2 pages, if you have been working it is understandable that it might be longer. Note again though that these people do not have time so try to be concise. Make your CV appealing to the eye. Also avoid including your age, sex, religion, marital status or all of that, these are simply unnecessary and might bias the supervisor against you for example with your personal religious affiliation.

7. Small tip: I used send my e-mails to supervisors at around 8:30-10AM at wherever they were located, I did this because these are the times an average working person would get into the office and read their mail to plan for the day. No evidence this helps anything but sha..


Now to the formats.

Format 1:
I really prefer this format because its simple and straight to the point, you state why you are e-mailing and you direct them to your CV and transcripts for further information. Saves both them and you precious time.

Dear Dr/Prof X,

My name is X and I am a candidate for the MSc Bleep program at the University of X to begin in Fall/Winter/Summer 201x. The purpose of this e-mail is to enquire about the availability of masters graduate student positions in your lab.

I am interested in the research you are conducting on (what you are interested in). The basis of my interest in your research is a scientific interest in (reasons why you are interested). I have attached my CV and transcripts for your consideration. Thank you for taking the time read my e-mail.

Kind regards,
Your name.



Format 2:

I used this at the beginning when I thought I would be getting quick responses and I thought had all the time in the world. While this format is more robust and indeed you give the supervisor a good picture of your self as an applicant, I do think it is a bit lengthy and might be a turnoff for supervisors, however I have received positive responses with this format. Some Supervisors might however ask you to send something like this as a "career plan".

Dear Dr/Prof X,

My name is X and I am interested in applying for the (your program) at the University of X for a Fall 201x start. The purpose of this e-mail is to enquire about the possibility of you acting as my faculty supervisor during the course of the (your program).

To briefly describe my profile, I am a (your degree) graduate from (your University) with a passion for research (if you are going or a thesis based program you will be doing research). I am interested in the research you are conducting on (summarize their interests) which motivated me to contact you regarding the possibility of you being my supervisor for (your program).


Here I discuss the knowledge and research experience I have relevant to their own research


I possess knowledge of (knowledge relevant to their research) which I gained through modules on these topics during the course of my (what you studied) degree. I have also had experience of geology/biology/chemistry/finance etc research; (How you gained this experience). I have described this/these experiences/projects (as appropriate please) in my attached curriculum vitae. Through these experiences I have gained (briefly describe what you gained from these experiences- laboratory techniques, analytical methods, project management etc)

I have attached my CV for your consideration which describes my research experience and research competencies. I have also attached my university transcripts which show the courses I studied during my (what you studied) degree. My transcripts are graded using the Nigerian grading system which differs from the Canadian system however I have confirmed my overall grade of Second Class, Upper Division is sufficient for entry to the (your program of interest).

I believe I can gain valuable knowledge and experience under your supervision but also use the knowledge and research experience I have previously gained in order to contribute positively to your research. I am very happy to further discuss my grades, research experience, and interests and I look forward to your reply at your convenience.

Kind regards,
Your name.

STEPS TO CANADA ONLINE VISA APPLICATION

Hey there, Tired of waiting, and feeling Frustrated with the Canada visa Paper route processing time?
The solution you need is right here. Online route is all you need to get going grin

Follow these easy steps:

1. Visit You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to register……Click on Apply online, you’ll get a prompt asking if you have applied before……Click NO……you get the next prompt asking “What are you applying for?”......Select STUDY PERMIT………you get another prompt asking “Have you used our online questionnaire to find out if you’re eligible to apply?”……your answer here should be NO since you’re applying for the first time, but if you’ve filled the questionnaire before then you can click YES.

2. After Clicking a NO to the Eligibilty Questionnaire question in step 1 then it takes you to an info Page……Just Click START……..Now that you’re on the getting started page…..Take your time to read the instructions……And then Click NEXT……Please fill in the Questionnaire correctly as these will be used to generate a Checklist code for you to upload your documents on your myCIC account.

3. After completely filling the Eligibility Questionnaire you will hit the “Review your answer page”……Please scan through to confirm your answers to the Questionnaire…….Then Click CONTINUE…………It will take you to a page were your CHECK LIST CODE is boldly written……the one I generated for mysef now is OX2980052333(plsssss this na my own code oooo,go generate your own biko).….Please copy your CODE or save that page or print that page……Just don’t misplace your own checklist code biko…..if you do, then you will have to fill another questionnaire all over again to generate another checklist code….. Please note that the checklist code you generated has expiry date(probably 2 months) so if you plan on generating the code make sure you use it before it expires else you would have to generate another.

4. Now that you have created your check list code the real application begins……you will have to re-iterate from Step 1 by visiting You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login ….Click on Apply online, you get a prompt asking if you have applied before……Click NO……you get the next prompt asking “What are you applying for?”......Select STUDY PERMIT………you get another prompt asking “Have you used our online questionnaire to find out if you’re eligible to apply?” ……at the point click YES........It then ask you “Do you have a code that looks like this: QK4350881372?”……..Click YES…….Then it takes you to “Create myCIC account page”……Click START.........Now you’re at the page……Click GCKey Login…….since you do not have a Username and password yet then click REGISTER FOR A NEW GC-KEY........After you must have registered…..It takes you to terms and conditions page….Just click I ACCEPT……….

5. After clicking accept….it ask you if you already have a client ID which is also known as UCI number…..if you had previously applied to CDHC either through paper route or other route and you were given a UCI no please click YES…..but if you are just freshly applying to the Embassy then click NO…..Then it takes you to the Mycic Enrolment were you will fill your names, DOB, Country of birth, passport number……Then click CONTINUE…..Next is to create your security question …… click CONTINUE…….Then it ask for your email…..enter your email and click CONTINUE……. you get to your main cic page were you get to click APPLY ONLINE……….It ask you for the checklist code(remember the code we created at the beginning)…..

6. Enter your checklist code……..Now it takes you to the checklist questionnaire review page……Please note that you can still modify your questionnaire on the fly if you are not satisfied with some answers you provided…..all you need to do is click on MODIFY…….When you are done reviewing the page, click CONTINUE……Then it takes you to the part where you get to upload all you scanned documents……View the picture below to see what it looks like……

7. Please always click the question(?) attached to each upload section….example:- once you click the (?) attached to “Proof of Means of Financial Support” you will get these long lists
• your bank statements for the past four months
• a bank draft in convertible currency
• pay stubs
• an employment letter
• proof of assets or business
• proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees
• tax reports, declarations or statements
• proof of a student/education loan from a financial institution
• a letter from the person or institution providing you with money
• proof of funding paid from within Canada, if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program
• proof of a Canadian bank account in your name if money has been transferred to Canada

All you need to do is look for the documents you are able to provide on this list and then Copy and Paste them into a Microsoft word after scanning…..Save the document as PDF format in other to get a lower size pdf document…..if at the end you shrinked to pdf and you still have a larger size pdf, then please download a pdf compressor You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

This is just for a section of Upload…..there are other Upload section(check the pics) were you need to also shrink documents to lower size….Please do this right and make your documents as clear as possible after shrinking.

When you are done uploading all docx......It takes you to the Review page.....Click CONTINUE.......Now you're at the payment page....Please make use of Zenith or First bank master card.....It has been tested and trusted to work on CIC platform.

Now that your application has been completed....always watch out for any message in your cic account....usually they notify you via your email of any pending message in your CIC account so always check your email regularly grin

Please note that these steps also apply to Visiting Visa application.....Just follow the Instructions for Visiting Lobatan!!! grin

take your time to study this well….Its practical so do not be scared to read all…..once you get going with it on your PC/Laptop you would see how easy it is to apply Online……Package your application well and then leave the rest to baba God…..GOD AINT SLEEPING grin

Oluwakemmy

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How to tackle common reasons for denial


1.Travel History:

Most times this is ticked in addition to other 'core' reasons for denial and is mostly for applicants who have zero travel experience (out of their home country). However, sometimes it is ticked for people who have travelling experience (why this is so remains unclear though speculatively, the idea is that it is either an error on the VO's part or the countries the applicant has travelled to is considered insignificant).

Solution: Travel history is seldom (in my experience, never) a stand-alone reason for visa denial. So, travelling around the globe after a visa denial shouldn't be seen as the most ideal solution. Rather, one should explain succinctly to a VO in one's SOP why one has little or no travel history and convince VO you are not a flight risk (presenting solid home ties can help here). Tell a good story to show without doubt that you will return home after your studies.

2. Length of proposed stay and purpose of visit:

Most times the two are tied together. This implies that the VO isn't convinced you're going to study or that you need the degree you're going for. It could also imply inconsistency in your academic/work background and your chosen course of study. Nine times out of ten an applicant with a First degree going for a diploma will be denied except such applicant is able to convince the VO of his/her rationale for choosing the diploma programme.

Another reason why the above could be ticked is when your intended programme of study is not at all related to your background (academic/professional). Length of proposed stay may imply that the VO isn't convinced you need that much time away from your home country in pursuit of a degree or that you can obtain the needed experience in the time frame quoted. (keyword: convinced It is very likely that two different VOs might see things differently i.e where one VO feels your current job as a junior business analyst is unrelated to your chosen course of study in International Business [got this from an applicant's GCMS notes], another VO reviewing the same application may feel otherwise. All one can do is to convince as much as possible and hope/pray one's VO is eventually convinced)(This part is speculative and not a fact. Further input is needed from other members of the house)

Solution:
Ensure that you carefully select a programme which ties into your work or academic background or both. Go for a programme which is considered a step higher than your current degree. If you have been denied on these counts and you feel it was an oversight, justify your reasons for choosing the programme in an SOP. If you have to go for a lesser programme, give genuine reasons why. All you need to do is present your side of the story and hope for the best. VO's are human.

3. Current employment situation and personal assets/financial status:

This applies mostly to applicants who have been working, are mature, unemployed, or have an unexplained study (or activity) gap.

Solution:

If you have been working and you neglected to prove this to the VO in a prior application, kindly address this by adding relevant employment documents in your next application eg. letter of introduction from work, employment letter, pay slips, pension statement, tax payment proof, etc.

Please apply as befit your circumstance(s). There is no use adding a document that will have a VO confused. For example, an applicant who is an unpaid intern adding pay slips is contradictory and may backfire on his/her application. Only use documents that tell your story not just imitate someone's application.

If you have a study/work/activity gap, you definitely need a well-worded SOP (and documents to back your story if available, these could be pictures, papers, letters etc.). Show the VO you have not been idle by demonstrating what you have been doing. Any activity which is deemed developmental (paid or unpaid) can come into play here whether it's in your church, mosque, community etc.

For personal asset/financial status (mostly for mature and employed applicants), boost your account and show what assets you have in your next attempt. Fixed deposits, property, inheritance, vehicle etc., can come into play here. Basically, anything that can serve as an home-tie. Particularly, if you're unmarried, without kids, and of marriageable age, you need to provide extra solid evidence(s) of home-ties. Work on presenting evidence of deep family roots in your home country.
You will be surprised but showing you have personal property, fixed assets, stock etc still fail to convince some VOs and may still result in denial on these grounds of personal assets.

INSUFFICIENT FUNDS....FOR STUDIES AND PERSONAL EXPENSES

In this case, the VO believes you have not shown proof that you have enough money to support yourself while studying in Canada. This happens to just about any applicant even those with more than sufficient sums in the account used. Here are some reasons why this section is ticked;

The VO isn't convinced your sponsor will actually sponsor you
The VO distrusts the account presented (This could be due to money lodgement: a situation where huge sums of money is deposited into an erstwhile inactive account within a short period before visa application or s/he (VO) believes the account presented is not genuine)

The amount quoted in your 'funds available section' is contradictory to the amount sponsor has declared for you

Sponsor did not declare any amount for you or state why s/he is sponsoring you (peculiar to applicants using relatives, extended family, family friends, uncles, aunts, non-relatives etc.

The amount in the account is actually low
(these are the ones I can recall at the moment. House gurus should please add any I have omitted)

Solution:

Fill your forms carefully and accurately especially the funds available section. Do your conversions and detail everything correctly. Ensure your sponsor declares how much will be available to you for studies, living expenses, accommodation etc. yearly or for the duration of your studies. Let sponsor's declaration be in tandem with what you fill as funds available. If you have 2,000cad and sponsor has 60,000cad, your total funds available should be 62,000cad. Ensure your sponsor (if non-relative or distant relative) does not declare everything in his/her account for you without a justifiable reason. If your sponsor (parent in this case) has to declare everything in his/her account, it's better the sponsor isn't retired or having enormous responsibilities (in this context, it means you having many younger siblings) or the sponsor has an active and provable source of income.

Ensure you provide clear and genuine documents (statement of account especially). If applicable/available, add a bank recommendation letter.

For a re-application, pay tuition if applicable as some schools don't accept full payment of any kind until school commences (a term at least) and show evidence of payment. Boost the account overtime (if the account was low in previous attempt) until it's sufficient or more than sufficient.

HOW TO SHRINK FILES FOR YOUR ONLINE VISA APPLICATION


  • scan picture

    Open Word Application

    drag and drop all pictures into Word application

    Now this is how you reduce the quality/size

    click to select one picture

    look for the "FORMAT" tab at the top of the word application (it should be the last to the right)

    click it.

    when you do, the icons at the top should change, so from the Top Left Corner, look for "compress picture"

    click it

    uncheck "Apply only to this picture" & select E-mail (96ppi), click on ok

    save your word doc. and check the size again VOILA

SAMPLE LETTER OF INTRODUCTION FROM YOUR WORK PLACE


March 10, 2014

The Visa Officer
The High Commission of Canada
Visa Section
Lagos.

Dear Sir,

RE: (ur full name in block letters)
We write to introduce (ur name), a staff of our company who has shown interest in traveling to your country to obtain a degree in ... In preparation for greater opportunities in his career.
He is the ... (Ur position) and has an annual salary package of N...

Kindly assist him as he needs a study permit from your embassy.

Yours faithfully,
Blah blah NIGERIA LIMITED

Signature,
Name and designation of the HRM

CIC E-MAIL FOR INQUIRIES

accra.immigration@international.gc.ca

MEDICAL EXAMINATION LOCATIONS IN NIGERIA


ABUJA

Name: Bolanle Olusola Ariyo
Address: Abuja Clinics,
22 Amazon Street,
Maitama,
E-mail:appointment@abujaclinics.com
Telephone: (234) 0803 665 0436/7042842
Spoken Languages: English

Name: Kehinde Victor Soyemi
Address: Abuja Clinics,
22 Amazon Street,
Maitama,
E-mail:appointment@abujaclinics.com
Telephone: (234) 0803 665 0436/7042842
Spoken Languages: English

Name: Osaro Enogie Ejenobo
Address: Abuja Clinics,
22 Amazon Street,
Maitama,
appointment@abujaclinics.com
Telephone: (234) 0803 665 0436/7042842
Spoken Languages: English

LAGOS

Name: Alexandra Anga
Address: The Childrens Practice and the Consultants Practice,
25 Raymond Njoku Street,
Ikoyi,
e-mail: consultantspractice@yahoo.com
Telephone: (234) 146 119 41, +234-7065859845
+234-8093540899
Spoken Languages: English, French

Name: Funmilayo Alakija
Address: Q-Life Family Clinic,
Plot 155a Prince Ade Odedina Street,
off Sinari Daranijo, Victoria Island Annexe,
e-mail: qlifecare@hotmail.com and info@qlifefamilyclinic.com
Telephone: +234-8113975433 or +234 7027704055
Spoken Languages: English

Name: IOM Migration Health Assessment Centre
Address: 5D Reverend Ogunbiyi Street,
Ikeja,
Telephone: + 234 (807) 2191112
Spoken Languages: English

PORT-HARCOURT

Name: Gabriel Ogbu Ominyi
Address: Prime Medical Consultants,
Eliada Estate (Also known as Cocaine Village),
Near 1st Artillery Junction,
Port-Harcourt, Rivers State,
Telephone: (234) 0809 084 0688
Spoken Languages: English

CLICK HERE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT WORK PERMIT AFTER GRADUATION
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IS IT HARDER OR EASIER TO GET A TRV WITH PGC/PGD ADMISSION VS. MASTERS?

I honestly don't know why people make a fuss about this issue of PGC/PGD.

There are lots of people both in the past and in the present that have gotten trv with these programs. It's not a sin to want to pursue PGC/PGD.

Those who have been delayed should request for their gcms notes and find out what's wrong with their app.

Yes, it easier for the masters applicants because they're going for pure academic exercise except the few ones among them going for professional masters degree like MBA. So most often than not the VOs don't really pay attention to their future prospects as long as there is program consistency. And let's face it getting a masters admission no be beans. The difficulty/competitiveness of masters admissions sometimes weigh in to convince these VOs.

If you're going for PGD/PGC on the other hand you need to submit an airtight application.

Admission for masters is competitive and difficult.... Trv is easier. They hardly have to proof that they're genuine students.

Admission for PGD/PGC is easy but trv is more complex and difficult.

Govt of Canada is just being thorough with PGC/PGD trv applications to weed out non genuine students.

Myself I finished with a reasonable GPA.....getting a masters admission wouldn't have been my problem, I have seen people with far lesser GPA secure masters admission. Buh I am inclined to upgrade my professional career. am not really interested in an academic exercise in masters for now. Maybe in the future sha.

Do the needful, submit your application and hope for the best. Either PGC/PGD or masters we all have a chance in securing trv.

IF YOUR APP IS MORE THAN THE AVERAGE PROCESSING TIME, CLICK HERE TO SEND A CASE SPECIFIC ENQUIRY TO CIC:
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HOW TO CARRY MONEY TO CANADA FROM NIGERIA AFTER TRV APPROVAL

I'll advise you get a PTA (Personal Travel Allowance) from Diamond bank or Fidelity bank (The 2 banks I know with the lowest exchange rate when I did mine 2 years back). The max you can get with this is $4,000USD which you can come to Canada with and convert back to CAD as soon as you open your account at any of the Canadian Financial institutions.

In addition, if you still need more massive transfer, initiate the form A transfer before leaving with your bank (1st or Diamond bank is ideal in this case too cos of their low rates) by telling your account officer about your intentions. When you get to Canada, open an account, send down your bank details back home and let one of your family members complete the transaction for you (reason for payment is usually tuition and /or upkeep). All that will be required is your bank details, admission letter, NYSC discharge cert, Degree cert (not too sure).

Lastly, since the placing of the annoying limit of $300/day on offshore withdrawal from ATM by CBN, this option has further being advisable for POS transaction (there is no charge as well as limit for POS transactions with your debit cards, master or visa).
I'll advise Diamond bank for offshore ATM transactions as well cos they have one of the lowest conversion rates and their charge is $240 per withdrawal.

Also note that visa card conversion rate is lower than mastercard irrespective of the financial institution.

N/B: While I was taking my courses during the fall session, this study about the different transactions was ongoing all thru as well. So, basically talking based on personal experience.

CHANGING INSTITUTION AFTER TRV & LANDING IN CANADA

Changing institution at the post-secondary levelIf you applied for a study permit to attend a post-secondary institution after June 1, 2014, you must notify Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) via your MyCIC account every time you change institutions. You are not required to apply for a new study permit when changing institutions that are at the same level of study (e.g., from a college to a university).

For example, you must notify CIC if you submit a letter of acceptance from the University of Ottawa when you apply for your study permit but then transfer to Carleton University once you arrive in Canada.

Oluwakemmy

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TRAVELLING TIPS


My advice to those who have gotten heir TRVs and those wo are yet to get based on my one week here.
1. Please sort out your accommodation before you come / My flight came into Calgary at 9.57pm and I immediately had to take a taxi round town that night for a hotel, this cost me a total of 70 dollars because most hotels were already booked and we moved from one place to the other. I eventually went to one I checked up back home in Nigeria. Funny enough when I arrived there, I was told all the rooms had been taken except for one which was reserved. When I heard this I was suspicious I could be the "one" person they were talking about and to my greatest surprise when I mentioned my name to the receptionist, he said it was me. It happened that I tested the booking feature whether it works back home in Nigeria when searching for a place.

The moral of this story is , sort your accommodation out. It took me 70 dollars to run through the city looking for a cheap place and what saved me from sleeping in a very expensive place was the random reservation I made. Please if you don't get on_campus residency, please make a hotel booking for minimum of 3 nights . If not you may fall into serious wahala.

2. Please carry less clothes when you are coming. Especially short sleeves. This is a cold climate area. The chances that your clothes you bought in niaja would be like wearing nylon here. In other words, tehy would be ineffective against the cold. This is still the end of summer and its already worse than any haramattan i have ever experienced. #this goes to the JJC's like me who are just travelling to colder climates for the first time.

3. Carry beta money for warm clothing. (see 2. Above).

4. Before you pay for rent outside school,come first and see the place physically. It would also be good to see your house mates and places like the kitchen and bathroom (if your sharing) to know whether you can live in such a place.

5. Please prepared to be shocked at the prices you would pay for a room and bath. Before you come, check kjiji.com and other rental websites and see what the range is. So as to avoid stories that touch.

6. PLEASE IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO COOK , YOU BETTER SORT THAT OUT NOW. If not you might spend as much as 30 dollars a day on eating outside (the lower limit ). You'll get almost all major foodstuffs in the malls and superstores. There are also some Nigerian shops where you would buy things like egusi, our won Indomie, cray fish etc. Please once you get here, that should be your first question for Nigerians who have resided here for some time. ALSO CARRY INDOMIE AND PLENTY GALA if you can. They are more important than that fancy short sleeve you are packing. grin . The gala especially woud be you best friend for the first few days

7. Be prepared for some serious culture shock of which the greatest would be the realization that you may be the only religious person per 400 people you meet. You would be immersed within a generation of atheists, So keep your religious views and opinions /habits to yourself. na OYO things for here oh. Someone got sued here for using a microphone to preach on the streets (true story).

8. Carry some drugs along with you especially flagyl, paracetamol and enuf malaria medicine. medical care here is about 100 times more expensive than back home in niaja. SO its not that I am encouraging self medication but getting malaria here is close to getting typhoid back home. The system here isnt used to the treatment of malaria so it would cost you a fortune. Besides, if you fall ill within the first few days, you may not even know how to get a bus or taxi to the hospital. so USE YA HEAD

9. Once you land. Study the transport system like a book. Its different from Niaja. You may not even see taxi's on the road at all. The bus and the trains are the most efficient means of getting around once understood. You actually do not need a car here. Please this is 2013. Got online and Google the city transit for the city you are in. Also make use of your eyes to read signs . They are extremely helpful.

7. BE PREPARED TO GET MISSING ABOUT 6-7 times before you find your footing around the city/town. When this happens, dont panic. Just ask people around you. People here are very nice.

8. As soon as you land , getting a working line with data/internet connection is more important than eating.the data aspect is particularly important because everything here bis basically on the internet. If you are lost, you can find your way back through your google maps. Please once again, if you are the type that thinks technology isn't so important, be ready to be lost in every single aspect of life. from missing lecture notifications to actually getting lost around your won neighborhood. Your gps/google map would be your best friend here.

9.After you get a phone,the next thing is to open an account at the nearest bank and get a working debit card (naija MasterCard would work too if you have money in it). Everything here is paid preferably through POS terminals using your debit cards.

10. Also get used to coins. you'll be needing them more often than you think.

That's all for now, would try to update as much as possible as i make more observations. I hope i have save some of you some serious money by these tips.

Travelling Tip #2: PORT OF ENTRY(POE) ISSUES, DEPORTATION AND THE PROMISE LAND

Receiving your study permit approval from the CIC and finally preparing to arrive in Canada ought to be the most memorable experience in the life of a student. Often at times, the experiences are unforgettably disastrous for some people. I will share some experience gathered from friends on this topic and give a layman's advice on the best way to deal with it. If anyone ever saw Tom Hank's 2004 movie ' The Terminal" you may have an idea of how immigration checks at the port of arrival into a developed country. How will you feel if after a 20hrs long flight, you see your PROMISE land (Canada) but fail to enter ? How does deportation scare anyone? The answers are not far-fetched. A Port Of Entry( POE) is the legal entry point into a country (in this context your arriving airport where the immigration officers interrogate your documents before issuing you your study permit/work permit. Often, at times, students for some reasons best know to them choose the wrong flight routes or arrival destination airports. Lets look at this scenario, A student who is due to school in a university in Abuja books a flight with MM1 as his final destination. Any immigration officer will be suspicious. Why not arrival in Abuja but Lagos? why dont you have any connecting flight? An even better example is this. A student heading to a school in Halifax, Novas Scotia in the far Northern parts of Canada made Pearson Intl Airport In Ontario (way South) his final destination..Such a student has left himself opened to be devoured. Why not a connecting flight to Halifax, but Pearson in Toronto? What are your reasons? The stammering begins and the emotional and psychological demeanor is obviously exposing at this point. At this point, your fate is in the hands of the officer and your God. If your answers are unconvincing as was in the case of a lady yesterday in Toronto, then deportation is the result. You are at the border of Canaan, but cannot enter. Oya back to Lagos.

What you must know is the following:

1.Your letter approving your study permit you received in Nigeria from the CIC is not an authorization of AUTOMATIC entry into Canada
2. You have not gotten your study permit until it is issued to you by the immigration officer at the airport in Canada. What you carried all this while was a mere introductory letter and a visa to allow you to be processed for entry into Canada
3. If your final arriving destination is unreasonably far from your school or province you are likely to be interrogated, and worse case scenario deported.
4. Thousands of people arrival in Canada by the minute. Staying in an immigration queue at the airport awaiting your immigration process can be the most nerving moment in your travel tale. You are in a queue with arabs, aisans and other races. While some of these students enjoy the comapanionship of their parents or friends, you are rather alone by yourself in the queue intimidated by the mere look at how the officers attend and scrutinize those students before them. Your emotional, psychological and articulation balance will all be shaped by this bizarre atmosphere. Remember that the immigration officers have been psychologically trained to detect misinformation, lies..etc in your communication and documentation. Be well composed when in the queue and before the officer..Be consistent and straight forward in your answering.

Even though some students from Nigeria may have intentions of not really attendning the school upon arrival or have other agendas, You must not not choose the wrong destination points for final arrival. If your School is in Newfoundland, I beg pls use a connecting flight to get there...But wait? what if i have not much funds and I decided to stop over in say Toronto Or Montreal in Quebec and pick a bus to my school which is few hours drive? well, you must be ready to answer this concisely to the officer when he pokes such questions at you. If possible show him/her proof that you already booked a bus or car for that transit.. I know two guys of friends of mine who were painfully deported upon arriving in Pearson, Toronto (instead of Edmonton, Alberta) and Montreal, Quebec (instead of St. Johns, Newfoundland). Na your groundnut u dey go harvest for Montreal or Toronto?

Maybe u dey go spend time with your long time borobor abi?

LIVING IN CANADA


For those who are still hopeful or just about to apply, I want to encourage you all to have faith and follow the process with a clear and genuine motive. We have no idea the amount of help we get from here and the millions we have all collectively saved by going through this forum. I personally have directed about 4 people who have all been successful since I got mine and this is usually my first point of reference whenever I am guiding them.

Lastly, I usually end with a piece of advice or two based on personal experience and how Nigerians can make the most of their stay here. I do this because my schedule is unforgiving and I don't know when I would be free to post again.

1. KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES

Most of us coming here actually are in search of better opportunities in life and career especially as things are so tight back home and I a can speculate that bout 80% of applicants are doing this via the academic route which is a good thing. Those whoa are here are already aware of how the system here can be to your immense advantage or can squeeze the hell outta you mentally and physically. My ultimate advice is that we never forget the major reason for coming here in the first place. As much as money is important, and hustling etc, make sure your academics does not suffocate because you want to make some extra $$$. From experience, I can say, sometimes its better to maintain the lowest budget possible, work only if you have to and when you have the free time available and invest time and create a strong academic reputation for yourself in school. It would get you very far.... Take note, the work I refer to here doesn't include summer jobs but the kinda jobs that eat deep into your academics. See it this way : You may spend all the time hustling and raking up money (which in my opinion doesn't even come close to what you would earn at a very good place after graduation) and fail to perform strongly which immediately places you in a tight angle post graduation. You are already black and African, you cannot add a bad academic standing to that. Pick a struggle...

2. KILL PART OF THAT NAIJA MENTALITY

We must avoid approaching Canada with our Naija mentality - That there is no connection between academic success and success in the market. Connections and all still exist here to a certain degree but largely, this is a merit based system and things like references can take you to places you never could penetrate. Canada unlike most other countries, isn't bad in terms of Racism but you must remember that your nationality and skin color and even accent puts you somewhat at the base of the ladder. This is a bitter truth. So expect prejudice and stereotyping but always respond with excellence. The element of surprise is your most potent weapon. As a personal example: I got an offer from a top architectural firm that wasn't actually hiring to the bewilderment of my Canadian coursemates who still find it hard to believe that a 3rd world country graduate can outperform them. That was in my first year and the job still dey fridge till now. No CV, NO application, No Resume, Just recommendation. Another example is that the current President of the Royal Architects Insititue of Canada is Nigerian. Samuel Óghale Oboh, Full born and bred in Naija who made it through excellence and I actually benefit from his reputation even without my knowing him personally. So my people, excellence is a superior advantage here.....Try to make use of it.


3. MY PEOPLE, MIX UP!!!! ABEG.......
This is very important as the way the Canadians would react to you would be based largely on how timid or interesting you are and believe me, it helps in many ways from help with several aspects of your settling in, to academic assistance and tips about job offers and financial aid. Alo the prejudice factor reduces with an increase in interaction with the. face it, you are in their country. Learn their culture (without loosing sight of yours) learn about their cities, people and even start training yourself to speak English properly, in other words, learn the proper phonetics. (I cant believe I am saying this ). Trust me, there is nothing more mentally demoralizing than having someone ask you to repeat yourself over and over again. If you observe closely, this can spell the difference between them liking you and them not wanting to have a discussion with you both in school and subsequently at work. Its not fakeness, its called "blending in". This doesn't mean you should form whenever you see your fellow naija man. In fact at the slightest opportunity to switch to pidgin or naija accent, pls do to keep our culture alive. NB: I only realized this much later. I wish I started early.

4. KEEP EYE FOR GROUND

Well a lot of us have been conditioned by the Nigerian system that we don't believe that the world can be a good place and sincere people still exist. There are tons of opportunities just there for grabs in form of awards, financial aids and scholarships. Even programs and community initiatives that can go a long way for you. This connects to point no.2 in certain ways but also its not all academic.

Participation also goes a very long way. try to seize the opportunity this system offers you and grab whatever is within reach. I depends on where you are but largely, don't expect people to tell you about it. They might not know that you don't know. SO ask questions, and always been on the look out for things like this.

Also this is another aspect I wish I took more advantage of. I say this personally because I benefited and actually spent 4 months living and studying in Barcelona, Spain and traveling to over 12 cities in Europe as a recipient of a travel scholarship.

So yes, another man's country can give you free money and opportunities your own country couldn't give you. Life isn't as bad as we were made to believe.

5. OPEN YOUR MIND...but don't loose it.

This is probably the most sensitive point and is so because of where we are from and the cultural and societal values on certain things.

a) First aspect I would hammer on is Religion. Well am sure one of the first things that would shock you here is the percentage of atheists here which may range from 40% in the older generation to about 85% in the current age distribution of 16-35 years. You would also encounter several other types of people who believe in things that would challenge the very foundations of your own faith.

Please once you land here, instead of dragging with them, getting overly animated and or even condemning them to hell fire ( or wherever) , try and keep your views to yourself but never be ashamed or intimidated into not speaking about it when you feel like.

Also take it easy - for those who bind and cast demons or see things other people cant see ( I say this with no intention to mock). But try to understand one thing, most of them don't care and its most likely that the powers, principalities and demons are actually based in Naija where the wickedness and evil is in exponential proportions compared to here. . You would make yourself look seemingly violent when you carry the matter for head. I think this info is clear enough.

b) Sexuality with special emphasis on Homosexuality and gay rights. Please, please and please, Learn to approach the matter with wisdom and tolerance in mind. You would encounter several individuals who are openly gay and they may have the best of personalities.

As much as possible, try to keep your personal views to yourself and learn to interact without being judgmental towards them because they would notice immediately. I personally strongly disapprove of the ideology or way of life but I have several friends who happen to be gay now. I have learned that its their choice and the personality and character of the person has no connection to how they choose to love their lives.

Hence I don leave the mata for Baba God to gauge the case himself. Its my job to love my neighbor without trying play God. NB: This doesnt mean in any way that I have accepted that way of life as I still feel free to discuss/debate (not be angry or unnecessarily vexed) my own take on the issue.

I hope I have helped one or two people who are about to make the switch to this part of the world. I tried my best to drop as much as I can because such first-hand information is hard to come by in one cohesive piece and I really wish I knew such prior to my coming.

Its a beautiful country here and my prayer and ambition is that one day people would create huge forums and discussion groups about how to move over to Nigeria.

Good luck to all the expectant applicants, may your TRV come unobstructed by the special grace of God.

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I have also attached some documents to compile for a successful TRV.

 

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