The Canadian education system is a huge attraction and draws students from all over the world. With the increase in the number of Nigerian international students applying and pursuing education in Canada every year, the number of study permits is also increasing, making the processing time longer. Nigerians currently occupy the fourth most represented nationality in Canada in 2019. And a new pilot program – the Nigeria Express Student program – can shorten the entire study permit processing time.
Last year, more than 11,900 Nigerian students received their study permits. The Nigeria Student Express (NSE) is a pilot program that aims to cut off excess time in issuing a study permit. This program promises to shorten the study permit processing time of Nigerian students from eight weeks to an average of 20 days.
According to the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), to be eligible for applying under this program, the Nigerian students need to receive applications of acceptance under any Canadian post-secondary educational institution for a post-graduate diploma course or a master’s, bachelor’s, or doctorate program.
SDS or the Student Direct Stream program is another program that provides a 20-day study permit processing time for study permit applications. NSE shares some similarities with SDS. Both of these programs share the same aim of shortening the processing time of study permits.
The main difference between these two programs is that students residing in the countries of India, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Morocco, Pakistan, or Vietnam can apply for a post-secondary study permit via SDS. In contrast, only the students from Nigeria are eligible to apply for NSE who have received a degree or a postgraduate acceptance at any Canadian institution.