The Jakpa program is an immigration pathway specifically designed for Nigerian citizens who wish to move to Canada. It is a government-sponsored program that aims to attract skilled workers and professionals from Nigeria to contribute to Canada’s growing economy.
This program was introduced in 2015 as part of the International Mobility Program (IMP) by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It falls under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and allows employers in Canada to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis for up to 24 months.
The name “Jakpa” is derived from the pidgin English slang phrase “jakpa”, which means “to escape” or “to leave”. This reflects the purpose of the program – providing an opportunity for Nigerian citizens to leave their home country and start a new life in Canada.
Under this program, Nigerian nationals can apply for a work permit without having a job offer beforehand. This makes it easier for them to explore employment opportunities in Canada and secure a job before making the move. The work permit issued through the Jakpa program is valid for two years, after which candidates may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through various programs such as Express Entry or Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).
One of the main benefits of the Jakpa program is that it does not require applicants to have high levels of education or language proficiency like other Canadian immigration programs. However, having strong language skills and relevant education or experience in a specific field can increase your chances of being selected.
Why consider moving to Canada from Nigeria?
- Advantages of Moving to Canada from Nigeria
- Strong Economy and Job Opportunities
- Welcoming Culture and Diversity
- Quality Education System
- Health Care Benefits
- Safety and Security
- Outdoor Activities and Natural Beauty
- Pathways to Citizenship
Types of Immigration Programs and How Long Each takes to get Approved
1. Express Entry Program: This is one of the fastest ways to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker. The average processing time for this program is around 6 months from the date of submission. However, this can vary depending on factors such as your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and whether or not you receive an invitation to apply (ITA).
2. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): Each province in Canada has its own PNP that allows them to nominate candidates who meet their specific criteria for permanent residency. Processing times for PNPs can range from 6 months to over a year, depending on which province you apply through.
3. Family Sponsorship: If you have a close family member who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, they may be able to sponsor your immigration application. Processing times for family sponsorship can vary greatly and may take up to 20-24 months.
4. Study Permits: If you plan on studying in Canada, it’s important to note that processing times for study permits can range from 2 weeks up to several months depending on your country of residence. It’s best to apply as early as possible to allow for any potential delays.
5. Work Permits: Similarly, processing times for work permits can range from 2 weeks up to several months depending on your country of residence and the type of work you will be doing in Canada.
Eligibility Criteria for the Jakpa program
1. Age: The first eligibility requirement for the Jakpa program is age. Applicants must be between 18 and 35 years old at the time of application. This ensures that individuals who are young and have potentially more energy and motivation to settle into a new country are given a chance to apply.
2. Education: The Canadian government places great importance on education and therefore, applicants must have completed at least secondary school (equivalent to high school) or higher education such as a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or PhD from a recognized institution in Nigeria.
3. Work Experience: In addition to education, work experience is also taken into consideration for the Jakpa program. Applicants must have at least one year of full-time work experience in a skilled occupation within the past five years before applying. A skilled occupation is defined as an occupation classified under NOC (National Occupational Classification) skill level O, A or B.
4. Language Proficiency: English and French are the two official languages of Canada, and applicants must demonstrate proficiency in either language through approved language tests such as IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or TEF (Test d’évaluation de français). This ensures that applicants can communicate effectively in the language of their chosen province.
5. Adequate Funds: Moving to a new country requires financial stability, and applicants must demonstrate that they have enough funds to support themselves and any accompanying family members for at least the first three months after their arrival in Canada.
6. Good Health and Character: All Jakpa program applicants must undergo medical examinations and provide police clearance certificates to prove that they are in good health and have no criminal record. This is to ensure that individuals who may pose a risk to the Canadian society are not granted entry.
7. Intention to Settle: The ultimate goal of the Jakpa program is for individuals to settle permanently in Canada. Therefore, applicants must demonstrate their intention to settle in Canada by providing a detailed settlement plan outlining their plans for finding work, housing, and integrating into Canadian society.
8. Provincial Nomination: The final eligibility criteria for the Jakpa program is obtaining a provincial nomination from one of the participating provinces or territories in Canada. Each province has its own specific requirements and selection criteria, so it is important for applicants to research and understand the requirements of their chosen province before applying.
- Valid Nigerian Passport: Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Canada.
- Permanent Resident Visa: To become a permanent resident of Canada, you will need a valid permanent resident visa issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
- Proof of Funds: You must demonstrate that you have enough funds to support yourself and any accompanying family members during your initial stay in Canada. This can include bank statements, employment letters, or other financial documents.
- Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA): If you plan on working or studying in Canada, you will need to get an ECA done for all your education qualifications. This assessment verifies the authenticity and equivalence of your educational credentials with Canadian standards.
- Police Certificates: As part of the immigration process, you will be required to provide police certificates from every country where you have lived for more than 6 months since turning 18 years old.
- Medical Exam Results: All immigrants to Canada are required to undergo a medical examination conducted by an approved panel physician before their arrival in Canada. The results of this exam must be submitted to IRCC.
- Job Offer Letter: If you have a job offer from a Canadian employer, you will need to provide a copy of the job offer letter and any other relevant documents.
- Proof of Language Proficiency: Depending on your visa category, you may need to provide proof of language proficiency in English or French through an approved language test such as IELTS or TEF.
How does the Application Process Work
- Gather all necessary documents: This includes your passport, proof of work experience, language proficiency test results, educational documents, and proof of funds.
- Prepare your application package: Fill out the forms required by IRCC and gather all supporting documents.
- Submit your application: You can submit your application online through the IRCC website or on paper at a visa office in Nigeria.
- Pay the application fees: The current processing fee for a work permit under the Jakpa program is $155 CAD.
- Attend an interview (if required): Some applicants may be asked to attend an interview at the Canadian visa office in Nigeria.
- Wait for a decision: Processing times vary, but it typically takes around two weeks to receive a decision on a work permit application.
- Prepare for arrival in Canada: If your application is approved, you will receive your work permit and can start planning for your move to Canada.
Preparing for your Move
1. Budgeting for Your Move:
Moving to a new country can be an expensive endeavor, so it’s important to create a budget plan before making the move from Nigeria to Canada. Start by listing all potential expenses such as travel costs, visa fees, shipping or storage fees, and initial living expenses in Canada. It is also advisable to set aside some additional funds for unexpected expenses.
Research the cost of living in your chosen destination in Canada and compare it with your current living expenses in Nigeria. This will give you a rough idea of how much you need to save or budget for your move. Keep track of your finances and try to cut down on unnecessary spending to ensure you have enough funds for the move.
2. Housing Options:
Finding suitable housing is one of the biggest challenges when moving to a new country. Start by researching different neighborhoods in Canada that align with your preferences and budget. Consider factors such as safety, proximity to public transportation, schools, and amenities.
If possible, try visiting Canada before the move and explore different housing options in person. This will give you a better understanding of what is available within your budget range. You can also use online resources like real estate websites or social media groups to search for rental properties or roommates.
It’s important to keep an open mind when looking for housing as it may not be exactly like what you are used to back home. Also, factor in additional costs such as security deposits and utility bills when considering different housing options.
3. Visa and Immigration:
Before making the move to Canada, you will need to obtain a visa and meet all immigration requirements. The process can be complex and time-consuming, so it’s important to start early.
Research the different visa options available for your situation and determine which one is best for you. You may also want to consider hiring an immigration lawyer or consultant to help guide you through the process.
Be sure to gather all necessary documents, such as your passport, birth certificate, educational certificates, and proof of funds, as these will be required for your visa application. It’s also important to thoroughly read and understand all visa requirements before submitting your application.
It’s important to research healthcare options in Canada before your move. While Canada has a universal healthcare system that provides basic medical services at no cost, there may be additional costs for prescription medication or specialized treatments.
You may also need to enroll in a provincial health insurance plan once you arrive in Canada. Check with the local government websites for more information on the specific requirements for your chosen province.
5. Employment Opportunities:
Finding employment in Canada can be challenging for newcomers but it’s not impossible. Start by researching job opportunities in your field and understanding the job market in Canada.
Consider getting your credentials evaluated to determine their equivalence in Canada. This will help you understand if you need to undergo any additional training or certification before seeking employment.
Networking is also important when looking for job opportunities. Connect with professionals in your field through online platforms, attend job fairs, and join professional organizations in your chosen industry.
Moving to a new country can be daunting, but with proper planning and research, the process can be less overwhelming. Start early and seek guidance from others who have made the move before you. With determination and resilience, you can successfully prepare for your move from Nigeria to Canada.
Life in Canada
Canada is known for its diverse population and welcoming attitude towards immigrants from all around the world. However, as a newcomer, you may still experience some level of culture shock when adjusting to life in the country. Some of the factors that may contribute to this include language barriers, differences in values and customs, climate change (especially if you are moving from a warmer region), and even food choices.
To overcome culture shock, it’s crucial to keep an open mind and be willing to learn about Canadian customs and practices. Talk to locals or other expats who have been living in Canada for some time; they can offer valuable insights into adapting to your new home. Also, try engaging in activities or joining groups that align with your interests; this will help you feel more connected with your community.
Canada has a robust economy with numerous job opportunities across various industries. As an immigrant from Nigeria looking for employment opportunities in Canada, it’s essential first to understand how the job market works in your field of expertise.
One of the best ways to find job opportunities is by networking. Attend job fairs, connect with people in your field through LinkedIn or other professional networks, and reach out to recruitment agencies. It’s also crucial to have a well-written resume and cover letter that highlights your skills and qualifications.
The Canadian government also offers various programs and services to help newcomers find employment, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). These programs allow skilled workers to apply for permanent residency based on their education, work experience, and language proficiency.
Canada has a publicly funded healthcare system called Medicare, which provides essential medical services to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The system is paid for through taxes, and there are no out-of-pocket costs for most medically necessary services.
As an immigrant, it’s essential to have health insurance coverage until you become eligible for Medicare. Some provinces may have a waiting period before you are eligible for provincial healthcare coverage. It’s recommended to purchase private health insurance during this time.
Overall, Canada offers a high standard of healthcare with excellent medical facilities and trained professionals. However, wait times for non-emergency procedures can be long due to the high demand for services .