How Much is BTA from Nigeria to Canada? A Complete 2023 Guide


Business Travel Allowance (BTA) is a specialized foreign exchange product from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that provides access to foreign currency for Nigerians traveling abroad for business purposes. This guide will provide a breakdown of everything you need to know about getting BTA dollars from Nigeria to Canada.


What is BTA?

BTA stands for Business Travel Allowance. It is an allocation of foreign exchange set aside by the CBN for Nigerians traveling abroad for legitimate and verified business reasons.

Along with its cousin product PTA (Personal Travel Allowance), the BTA scheme aims to bridge the huge gap between the official CBN exchange rate and exorbitant black market rates.

Some key things to note about BTA:

  • – It provides foreign currency at the CBN rate which is over 3x better than the parallel market currently
  • – Maximum limit is $5,000 per quarter
  • – Applicants must provide confirmed return flight ticket, valid visa, travel purpose & duration, and other documents
  • – Banks must report use cases to CBN to prevent misuse of BTAs

So in summary, BTA gives business travelers from Nigeria discounted access to foreign currency including USD, GBP, EUR etc. Applicants can get up to $5,000 per quarter at far better than black market rates subject to specified CBN requirements.

BTA Rates in Nigeria

The exact BTA rates applicable in Nigeria depend on the currency. Here is a breakdown as at December 2023:

| Currency | CBN Rate | Black Market Rate |
| USD | N801/$1 | N1245/$1 |
| GBP | N1024/£1 | N1580/£1 |
| EUR | N882/€1 | N1270/€1 |

As you can see, you get over 3 times more value applying through the official CBN BTA scheme compared to the parallel or black market.

Rates at the bank are updated from time to time as the CBN makes changes so always confirm the latest numbers. Typically, you can check the official selling rates on any bank’s website.

For those curious about Canada’s currency, the Canadian Dollar rate is:

| Currency | CBN Rate | Black Market Rate |
| CAD | N598/C$1| N960/C$1 |

the CBN BTA rate is far more lucrative for applicants traveling to Canada compared to sourcing CAD or USD via the black market by a huge margin!

How Much BTA Can I Get for Canada?

According to CBN guidelines released in 2022, the maximum BTA amount business travelers can access is:

$5,000 per quarter

A quarter refers to a 3 month period. So theoretically, you could get up to $20,000 BTA in a year split across 4 quarters.

However, banks do not always stick to these limits. Some Nigerian banks have been known to provide less due to internal policies or liquidity issues.

For Canada specifically, you want to apply for either:

  • Up to $5,000 USD
  • Equivalent CAD based on the prevailing rate (currently around C$6,700)

Compare the rates and options across a few commercial banks in Nigeria and go with the best offer if you require BTA for a trip to Canada.

Some top banks frequently used for BTA include:

  • Access Bank
  • Zenith Bank
  • GTBank
  • UBA

Be sure to also inquire about limits, processing timelines, and account requirements when engaging your preferred bank.

Who Can Apply for BTA to Canada?

The CBN BTA scheme has specific eligibility criteria for applicants. You must satisfy these when applying:

Eligibility Rules:

  • Must be a registered business entity in Nigeria
  • Have a current business account with a Nigerian bank
  • Provide supporting documents proving legitimacy of travel purpose along with regular paperwork

Qualifying business travel purposes include:

  • Business meetings
  • Site visits
  • Trainings
  • Trade shows
  • Conferences
  • Contract/partnership negotiations and more

So CEOs, executives, managers, traders, contractors, and other business people traveling abroad for work reasons can leverage this scheme. Do ensure you have the right visa type too!

For Canada, permissible visas include:

  • Business Visitor Visa
  • Work Permit Visa

And the usual requirements must be met too – valid international passport, confirmed return ticket on a 5+ hour route originating from Nigeria, and minimum 2 weeks to 6 months trip duration.

If you satisfy the above BTA requirements for Canada or other countries, then apply through your commercial bank’s business desk to access hugely discounted foreign currency.

How to Apply for BTA to Canada From Nigeria

Here is an overview of the step by step process to secure BTA dollars for Canada:

Step 1: Prepare Requirements

Gather documents showing your Canada trip is for a legitimate business reason. This includes:

  • Business registration certificate
  • Tax ID
  • Bank account statement
  • Letter of invitation
  • Event brochures etc.

You’ll also need the regular travel documents:

  • Confirmed return flight ticket
  • Valid Canadian visa
  • Valid international passport
  • Passport photographs

Step 2: Approach Your Bank

Submit your BTA application by visiting your bank’s business banking desk along with:

  • Completed BTA application form
  • All documents gathered above
  • Payment slip for the processing fee (charged by bank, usually around N5,000)

Pro Tip: Ask for the specific BTA requirements upfront so you have the full checklist handy!

Step 3: Submit Supporting Documents

Some banks may ask you to input extra details or upload documents on a dedicated portal for CBN oversight.

Provide complete and accurate information at every stage to avoid rejection!

Step 4: Get Approval

If your Canada BTA application is approved, the bank will request you to visit a branch and validate your documents.

Next, your BTA dollars get credited into your domiciliary account and disbursed based on bank policies after your passport is stamped.

So that’s the overall application process in 4 steps!

How Long Does BTA Approval Take?

BTA approval timelines depend primarily on:

1. CBN reviews and foreign currency availability
2. Internal bank protocols

On average, it takes 5-10 working days for BTA approval after submission of complete documents.

Banks receive periodically allocated foreign exchange from CBN which gets exhausted quick. So filing early, even 1 month before travel, helps ensure your dollars are reserved.

You can also follow-up frequently with your bank using your tracking number to get status updates.

Do note that approval times may stretch longer during seasons with peak outbound travel from Nigeria. It’s best to be proactive when planning foreign trips!

Can I Pay with Card Abroad After Getting BTA?

A common question is – after getting BTA specifically for a trip, can you pay via card directly for expenses instead of carrying all cash?

The CBN BTA guidelines primarily expect you to make withdrawals abroad from the credited funds.

However, banks have started providing debit/prepaid card options linked to your BTA amount.

So yes, you can pay directly with your BTA card in some cases! Here are some possibilities:

  • BTA Mastercard: Load up to $5K to use abroad
  • Multicurrency card: Make payments in USD, EUR, GBP etc.
  • Domiciliary debit card: Use for withdrawals and payments

Check with your bank on the available payment card options when planning your trip. Carrying minimal cash and making payments directly via a card in Canada is more secure and convenient.

But don’t forget to keep all documents handy for reconciliation purposes in case the CBN monitors use of disbursed BTA.

BTA from Nigeria to Canada – FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about getting BTA for Canada trips:

Can I get BTA multiple times a year?

Yes, technically you can get up to $20K BTA annually if applying each quarter. However, banks may enforce limits below the defined CBN caps.

What if my return dates change after getting BTA?

Inform your bank immediately! Defaulting after BTA collection can lead to account freezes or prosecutions per CBN guidances.

How soon before my Canada trip should I apply?

2 weeks minimum but apply earlier as approvals depend on FX availability and reviews.

Can someone else apply BTA for me?

No, third parties cannot directly apply. However, corporate accounts can assist employee BTA applications with a letter.

Can I use BTA in cash to pay tuition fees?

No.  BTA is strictly for legitimate business expenses applicable to your stated Canada purpose and duration.

So in summary, while applying for BTA to Canada, be sure to satisfy CBN requirements, prepare early, inform banks of changes, and use funds strictly per stated business reasons only.


We hope this comprehensive guide has provided complete clarity on:

  • What is BTA? CBN’s Business Travel Allowance scheme offering discounted FX.
  • Current BTA rates in Nigeria far better than parallel market options.
  • Maximum Canada BTA amount you can access per quarter and year
  • Eligibility criteria to apply as a business traveler from Nigeria
  • Step by step application process through commercial banks
  • Average Canada BTA approval times in Nigeria
  • Using BTA card payments for convenience vs carrying all cash
  • Answers to common Canada BTA frequently asked questions

So if you are a business person looking to cover trip expenses abroad, apply early for BTA through a reputable Nigerian bank!

Getting USD, CAD or GBP at official rates will save you a lot compared to sourcing from the black market.

Safe travels!


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