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A much faster Canadian study permit application process (Nigerian Student Express program) was introduced into the Nigerian/Canadian study application system in 2020. This program was introduced to process Nigerian students’ applications for Canadian study permits within a short period (20 days). The Student Direct Stream (SDS) was formerly the system in place for this process. With a long processing time, the SDS remains stringent thus, the need for the NSE.


Despite the introduction of the NSE, Nigerian students can still apply for a Canadian study permit under the Student Direct Stream.  Registration under either of the two is done with the IRCC system. Here are some differences to note between both programs:

  • PROOF OF FUNDS: The SDS requires that applicants purchase a Guaranteed Investment Certificate of CAD 10,000 as well as provide proof of full payment of tuition fees for the applicant’s first year of study. 
    • As such, the average financial commitment for SDS was approximately 43,623 CAD in the first year of study.
  • BANK STATEMENTS: Evidence of existing funds is a key requirement for a Canadian study permit. This evidence is provided using bank statements. The Nigerian Student Express program uses the mybankstatement electronic system which has affiliations with most banks. Paper-based bank statements is a major requirement under the Student Direct Stream program.
    • The Nigerian Student Express program requires that the applicant provides proof of funds of CAD 30,000. The NSE does not require proof of paid tuition. 
  • PROCESSING TIME: Standard processing time for a Canadian study permit under the SDS is 4 weeks. But could take about 4 months. Whereas, the NSE processes Canadian study permit in 20 days.
  • MEDICAL REPORT: While processing your Canadian study permit, the NSE requires that you provide an upfront medical examination and include the result in your application. The SDS does not require this.
  • LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: NSE demands that IELTS be written with a minimum score of 6. Whereas, SDS does not require IELTS from applicants. This is where many students may have an issue with applying under the Nigerian Student Express program.

Some Nigerian banks issuing myBankstatement for the Nigerian Student Express program:

  • Access Bank Plc
  • Access Bank Plc (Diamond Bank Plc)
  • Fidelity Bank Plc
  • First City Monument Bank Plc
  • Guaranty Trust Bank Plc
  • Union Bank of Nigeria Plc
  • United Bank for Africa Plc
  • Zenith Bank Plc
  • Heritage Banking Company Limited
  • Ecobank Nigeria Plc
  • Polaris Bank Limited
  • Sterling Bank Plc
  • Wema Bank Plc
  • Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc

Who can apply for a Canadian study permit?

  • Applicant must have been accepted into a DESIGNATED LEARNING INSTITUTION (DLI) in Canada.
  • A person with proof of sufficient funds for tuition fees and living expenses.
  • A law-abiding citizen with no prior criminal record. Providing a police character clearance/certificate proves this.
  • Be in good health and show a willingness to take a medical examination, if required.
  • A candidate who can prove and convince the immigration officers that they will leave Canada after their authorized stay.

Who is eligible for Canada’s Nigerian Student Express Program?

The NSE and SDS are similar. The eligibility requirements have little to no difference. Students applying under the Nigerian Student Express program must in addition to the above-listed points, have a minimum score of 6 each in IELTS Academic.

The Nigerian Student Express program has recorded a lot of successes for Nigerian students applying to study in Canada. As at 2019, Nigeria ranked 9th as a source country for Canada’s international students. The country recorded a total of 11,985 study permit holders from Nigeria at the end of 2019. Nigerian immigration to Canada has greatly increased over the years. Many international students prefer Canada as opposed to other countries. This is largely due to their programs that allow international students to get permanent residency after school. 

Canada’s uniqueness is in its openness to international students and workers. So far, Canada remains home to 21 of the world’s top 500 universities. Now is the perfect time for you to take advantage of the Nigerian Student Express (NSE) program. 

Reach out to us at or here to get started on your Canadian study permit application.