This is a complete immigration to Canada from Kenya guide.
I will educate you on pursuing and getting opportunities in Canada and the easiest way to land a job in Canada from Kenya.
We shall dive right in..
Immigration to Canada from Kenya : All you need to know
Let’s get the geographical view of Canada first.
Canada borders the US in the south, Greenland (a territory of Denmark), Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France controlled island).
There are no states in Canada and instead, we have 10 provinces including New Brunswick and Manitoba.
Now, some provinces attract more foreigners because of various reasons.
These include Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.
For example, a lot of immigrants prefer the latter since it doesn’t snow as much as the rest of the territories.
The two main languages are English and French.
What to know before you immigrate to Canada
· The weather
Like the US, there are 4 seasons here- summer, spring, winter, and fall.
Each season lasts about three months though the period can vary from region to region.
Having said that, Canada is extremely cold during winter- and it can sometimes last over 4 months in some regions.
· Cost of living
Life is expensive in Canada.
To put this into perspective, you can expect to spend as follows when living in Toronto
|Status||Average cost(without rent)|
|1 person(per year)||$12,464.76|
|Student (per month)||$879.95|
|4 person family(per month)||$3,790.91|
|4 person family (per year)||$45,490.92|
Meanwhile, the monthly rent comes to about $1,632.92 for a 1 bedroom flat here.
That tells you one thing: You’ll need to have sufficient finances (or be sure of a well-paying job) before flying out.
· Opportunities in Canada for Kenyans
There are plenty of opportunities here for foreigners including Kenyans both in academics and employment.
But as you might be aware, western countries prioritize their citizens when it comes to jobs so getting a job as a foreigner isn’t a walk in the park.
I will expound on this in a little while and give you a practical proposal.
· How much will immigrating to Canada cost you?
Now that’s a tough one because costs vary immensely.
I know that some agents will advise you to have a certain amount of money but the truth is, what you’ll spend really depends on your reasons for travelling.
Let me ask you:
Would you expect to spend the same amount as a student as when you’re moving with your whole family?
Of course, not.
The thing is, the applicable expense will depend on a host of factors including:
- The pathway/program you’re using to gain entry (for example, Express entry, provincial nominations etc.).
- The province you’ll be settling in.
- The number of children and whether you’re coming with your spouse
Immigration to Canada from Kenya : The basics
The question you should ask first is are you eligible for the job or study opportunity you have in mind?
There are different criteria for each province, job, and even study opportunities and you have to satisfy them to stand a chance.
If you have someone guiding you, ask him/her about your eligibility before even applying (or research independently).
Sorry, but that’s the bitter truth.
Next, are you admissible?
Well, to be allowed entry, you must not have a criminal record, be healthy as a horse, and have adequate finances.
There could be other factors so be sure to investigate your admissibility before applying to avoid wasting your hard-earned money.
Only commence the application process if sure of these two.
Let’s now go to the specifics of getting a job in Canada..
Immigration to Canada from Kenya : How to get a job in Canada
People often make a mistake of thinking that paying an agent guarantees you a job.
Well, sorry sweetheart but it doesn’t work that way.
No amount of money will buy you a job or Canadian residence if you won’t fulfill the two basic criterions: Eligibility and admissibility.
That’s because Canadian immigration is purely merit-based meaning that it’s your credentials to sell you.
In fact, there’s a whole checklist of things to satisfy and you MUST comply.
For example, there are age limits for various job cadres.
Note that Canada doesn’t run a lottery system like the US Green card (DV lottery) so it’s MERIT, MERIT, and MERIT only.
I will explain how the Canadian job market is organized and the alternatives available to you next.
How the Canadian Job market is structured
Canadian jobs are assigned codes/class.
Here are a few examples:
- Code 1311 -Accounting technicians & bookkeepers
- Code 1111- Financial auditors & accountants
- Code 2154 – Land surveyors
And since the classification system is determined by certain skillset, you can’t work in that job if you lack the requisite skills.
Please note that, contrary to what you might have heard, not all jobs are in demand.
Again, those in demand ask for a very specific skillset – and this will also vary in the provinces.
The primary goal of the Canadian government is to protect the locals so it allows companies to recruit from outside only if a specific talent is missing locally.
Some of these posts are senior and the firm must prove to Service Canada that they have tried their best to hire locally to no avail.
In short, while Kenyans still land jobs in Canada, it’s not as easy as some make it look.
Forget that job link- for the most part, it’s the Canadian company that approaches you (or a recruiter) and make you a job offer.
Only then can you apply for VISA and work permit.
If lucky, this method is awesome since the company caters for your air ticket, medical insurance, and all incidental expenses.
My suggestion here would be you identify and try to work with a legit Canadian recruiter.
It’s worth a trial if you have excellent papers and significant job experience.
If you doubt your chances under this approach, I would propose that you try the express entry….
What is express entry?
Unlike what some of you think, express entry isn’t an independent pathway
Rather, it’s a means to help you apply for various pathway e.g. federal skill workers, provincial nominations, federal skill trade and such.
It’s more so a platform to facilitate your access to myriad opportunities as an immigrant, most of which comes with permanent Canadian residence.
How much will applying for express entry cost you?
Again your first question should be whether you’re qualified for your target federal skill workers (professional skill), federal skills trade (technical workers), or provincial nominations.
Now, lots of people apply from across the globe and what the government does is award scores to each application then pool them.
They’ll occasionally go to in there and pull out the names of the individuals with the highest points.
The process is competitive and you’ll need to register great scores to be picked.
And so, instead of blinding applying for the express entry, it’s better to check your eligibility and your likely score first.
You can do so here.
You should only proceed to apply if you’re convinced that your scores are good enough.
Notably, your profile in the pool- and few agents will tell you this- only lasts for one year after which you’re thrown out.
Here is my advice regarding the express entry:
You’ll probably have a better chance of obtaining a higher score (and hence to be selected) if you meet the following conditions:
- You’re young.
- You’re highly educated, at least a first degree (Federal skilled worker).
- You’re super healthy.
- You speak excellent English or French.
- You’re financially stable.
Note that for federal skills trade, they won’t accept you if you lack certification to that effect. Acceptable certifications include those from:
- NITA (Artisans and technicians)
- CISCO (IT)
Besides, you should have a history of having been employed gainfully in the economy to be considered.
Immigration to Canada from Kenya : What’s the easiest way for Kenyans?
Admittedly, the aforementioned conditions are tough and only a lucky few Kenyans meet them.
But it’s not all doom and gloom and you can still immigrate to Canada even if minus the above.
And that’s by going to Canada as a student.
You should obviously be young (at least 18 years) and be able to raise the required resources- unless you have won a scholarship.
Students are allowed to work as they study and you may qualify for an open work VISA on completing your studies.
Many websites are discussing educational opportunities in Canada out there and you can get more information from them.
You can start with this one.
In short, unless you’re sure of scoring well in the express entry method, it’s easier to get access via the student way.
Immigration to Canada from Kenya :A word on Canada agents in Kenya
I believe agents can only do so much and you shouldn’t be overoptimistic.
Yeah, there could be a few honest ones out there but always due your due diligence.
Above all, don’t be too desperate since this is what exposes you to scammers.
ALSO READ: Canada agents in Kenya
In this last section of our Immigration to Canada from Kenya guide, I will tackle a couple of other important issues surrounding the migration process.
Immigration to Canada from Kenya : Canada Visa Application Requirements
To be eligible, you must meet the following basic requirements:
- Hold a Kenyan passport.
- Be in perfect health.
- Have no past immigration-related or criminal convictions.
- You must convince the immigration officials that you have solid ties—like a family, home, or assets—that will force you to return to Kenya (Unless you have been awarded Canadian citizenship)
- Persuade the immigration officials that you will depart Canada after your visitation period.
- Have enough funds for your stay (a bank statement will suffice)
You might also be asked to undergo a medical examination.
In addition, you may be asked to produce other documents such as an offer (for jobs) or a college admission letter.
Contacts and location of the Canada Visa Office Nairobi Kenya
The Canada Visa Office in Nairobi is located at Gigiri (Limuru road), near the US embassy, Just opposite the KTTC College.
It’s housed within the Canadian high commission to Kenya and it’s open all weekdays up to 4.00pm unless there’s a national holiday.
Canadian Embassy Kenya Contact Number
You can call the embassy on 020 3663000.
But they rarely answer any immigration and VISA questions on phone so it’s better to visit them in person.
How much is Canadian VISA fee in Kenya?
It depends on the nature of your visit. But in general, it ranges between shs. 10000 (per person) to a maximum of shs.50000 (for a family).
You should add shs. 6,580 and shs. 13,170 for an individual and family respectively if you need your biometrics taken.
You will also be charged about shs.3500 extra if you’re applying via an agent/application center.
ALSO READ: Canadian Visa Agents In Nairobi
Wrapping it up
Now, many of you have requested me to shed some light on how you can immigrate to Canada from Kenya and I hope this helps.
And as you go for Canadian immigration, remember to do your due diligence since scammers are waiting out there.
You can also seek the help of a regulated Canadian immigration consultant if you’re unsure about any part of the process.
As usual, I will be happy to answer your questions and comments about this Immigration to Canada from Kenya guide.