A report from the Immigration , Refugees and Citizenship Canada has revealed that Nigerians took the second place among nationals of countries seeking asylum in Canada in 2017 .
The report , according to a chart on CNN on Friday, revealed that no fewer than 6 , 005 Nigerians applied for asylum in Canada last year , which was about four times the 1 , 495 Nigerians who sought asylum in the North American country in 2016 .
According to the report, Haiti topped the chart with 7 , 785 applicants in 2017 and a distant 620 in 2016 , while United States came third with 2 , 550 applicants in 2017 and 395 in 2016 .
Meanwhile , outside the legal applicants , there are indications that many more Nigerians have explored the illegal route of crossing into Canada at its southern border with the United States .
BBC had reported in May that Canadian immigration officials were working with their US counterparts to stem the rising immigrants .
The report indicated that in 2017 alone, more than 20 , 500 migrants crossed illegally into Canada at the US border to seek asylum , which represented about 40 per cent of total claims .
“ In the first three months of this year , over half the 5 , 052 asylum claims by those who crossed the border were Nigerian nationals and most had valid US visas , ” it said .
Meanwhile , Canadian officials told CNN that while Canada remains an open , welcoming country , crossing into it is not “ a ticket for permanent residence. ”
“ Coming to Canada , asking for asylum in Canada is not a guarantee for permanent residence in Canada , ” Louis Dumas , a spokesperson for the immigration ministry , said in 2017 .
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said further that minors sometimes accompany adults to the country .
There were fears that Nigerians seeking asylum in Canada may now face a hard time following a ruling by Canada ’ s Immigration and Refugee Board in May rejecting the asylum claim of a Nigerian woman who fled her home to allegedly escape the practice of female genital mutilation .
The tribunal said she could have sought refuge in the large Nigerian cities of Ibadan or Port Harcourt , away from her rural family home .
A group of Canadian refugee lawyers had described the ruling by a tribunal as unfair to Nigerian asylum seekers .