Chioma Ogamba Ifediata: I started Kisha immigration to help people become global citizens
Chioma Ogamba Ifediata is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kisha Immigration, a licensed Canadian immigration company located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The trusted brand was born out of her passion for helping people find greener pastures and sharing in their joy when their dream becomes an exciting reality. Kisha Immigration is affiliated to Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC), College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC) and Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC).
Chioma studied Applied Business Computing in the United Kingdom and graduated with First Class Honors and got educated in four countries. Being an ardent believer in personal development and never-ending improvement, she moved to Canada as a permanent resident, then acquired degrees in Canadian Immigration Consulting, Information Technology, and an MBA (Business administration), graduating at the top of her class with a perfect CGPA of 4.0/4.0 in all three.
Chioma is delighted in witnessing people’s lives change entirely for the best. Their lives get transformed in a way that generations will be inspired by her actions to become a licensed Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).
In this interview with ESTHER IJEWERE, the immigration consultant shares her inspiring journey and how she didn’t let the ASUU strike deter her from chasing her dreams.
MY childhood did inspire me on my current path, even without my knowing of it at the time. My father passed away when I was five years old; I remember hearing about how he was diagnosed with cancer and needed to seek a different opinion and receive treatment outside Nigeria. Sadly, his first visa application got rejected, and it was already too late for him by the time the second visa was approved. He passed away before the planned travel date.
Around the same time, I heard the story of another family member who was diagnosed with the same kind of cancer, but had the access to travel abroad and was able to receive treatment there. These two scenarios stirred up many emotions for me as I grew up pondering so many ‘what ifs’ that might have averted my dad’s unfortunate demise. What if he had global access? What if he did not require a visa to have access to good healthcare in the first place? He still would not have survived even if he got good medical attention; we will never know. There is nothing like having a second option to fall back on if necessary.
When most people think about immigration, they see it solely as a gate pass to better living opportunities, but in some cases, it bottles down to life and death. As citizens of third-world nations where most of our leaders travel abroad to seek better healthcare, what becomes the hope of the others that cannot afford it? My dad’s untimely demise birthed my passion for attaining global access and high quality of life for myself, my family and future generations. This eventually snowballed into me having a business immigration programme decades later.
Inspiration Behind Kisha Immigration
The inspiration for Kisha immigration came when I realised that I spent most of my free time since 2016 speaking to people on the phone for long hours, guiding them on how to get a second residency. Consequently, when it came down to choosing a business idea to develop, Global Mobility was the perfect choice; there was nothing else I was more passionate about and also solved a problem people needed help with.
When trying to figure this out, the first question I asked myself was, ‘what is in my hands?’ It was helping people become global citizens, which would totally change not just their lives, but that of their immediate family and future generations! In other words, helping them unlock their global access by attaining a second residency/citizenship through entrepreneurship, investments, education, and work experience.
I thought to myself, ‘If I enjoyed doing this for free, I might as well get paid doing it while changing lives at the same time.’ I believe that as a child of God, I should have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. One of the ways I hold onto this scripture is that I should not be restricted in my movement or access to other parts of the world.
There are diverse ways to achieve this; for me, one of the ways was through immigration, cultivating a global mindset and unlocking my global access. Seeing how immigration transformed my life and the lives of everyone I helped achieve the same results inspired me to start Kisha Immigration Inc. So, I transitioned from my 9 to 5 aspect of my career that spanned across different domains and industries (financial services, information technology, business analysis, robotic process automation and project management) to focus squarely on my passion – Global Mobility.
Advantage of Studying In Four Countries
The exposure I gained from studying in four countries gave me the right foundation for my career. I started at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, then moved to Malaysia to start a new programme at a UK-affiliated university. I transferred to the UK to finish that degree and graduated from the University of Sunderland. That experience as a young woman gave me an insight into how different the world was from where I hailed from; the diverse cultures, global opportunities, and higher standard of living.
I had the resolve, as a young lady, to strive for better. I wanted the opportunity to operate on a global interface, interact with different people across the globe, and experience diverse cultures. I did not want to be restricted to where I was from.
One of the goals that preceded my other goals at that moment was obtaining a second passport. I was confident that it would open the doors of the world to me. This turned out to be our mission at Kisha; to open the doors of the world to our clients and help them gain global access. Being able to provide the same for my children and future generations started from my studying abroad and seeing what was obtainable outside Nigeria. Today, my entire family is Canadian; my child even became Canadian before my husband and me. It all started with my dream of what I wanted for my family, and today that dream has become my reality.
How I Became A Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
I started as a regulated Immigration consultant and expanded toward having global partnerships to offer business immigration, citizenship, and residency by investment programs in over twenty countries. However, this feat was not achieved overnight; it took years of persistent arduous work. I was aware that to help more people attain the transformational heights that come with immigration, I needed to have a team and structure set in place; I could not do it alone.
However, I could not start Kisha Immigration without a Canadian immigration consulting license, and getting this license required obtaining a Diploma in Canada Immigration Law first. I was operating on a hectic schedule then, and the only way I could start and finish the programme was during my maternity leave. Canada grants a one-year parental leave to nursing mums, and this was one of the rewards about Canada that intrigued me as a young girl even before I moved to the country.
As ambitious as I am, I decided to use the opportunity to complete my one-year diploma and my MBA. I graduated from both programmes with a perfect CGPA of 4.0/4.0, went on to write my license exam, which I aced on the first trial.
My Relocation Journey
My first stint at relocating was over a decade ago during a protracted ASUU strike when I was still in UNN. I did not want any breaks in my studies, and I loved learning. That is when I relocated for the first time with my immediate younger sister to complete my studies. After graduation, I had to go back home due to the change in the UK immigration policies.
I was determined to relocate again. I had shared my plans to relocate a second time with one of my friends, and through her, I learned of a new programme that had recently launched in Canada at the time – Express Entry. It was the opportunity to gain Canadian permanent residency based on my professional work experience. A year later, I got selected by the Canadian government to send in my application and I did. The rest they say is history.
This goes to show that there is no one way to get a second residency or citizenship. It commonly happens through education, but it can also happen through entrepreneurship, real estate investments and skilled work experience
Challenges Of My Work
Owing to the fraudulent experiences that most of our prospects and clients have had with fake immigration agents, sometimes, their ability to trust us is diminished when they first approach us. We aim to be very transparent when we work with our clients.
The goal is to deliver as soon as we can within a reasonable timeframe. If there are any immigration changes along the way, we notify them immediately, because a few of my core values are transparency, excellence, and integrity. These form the foundation on which Kisha Immigration is built on.
Lastly, explaining to prospects and clients the importance of working with a licensed immigration consultant who is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant can be challenging. Finding out if the immigration consultant managing your application is licensed or working in collaboration with a licensed consultant is more important than having a physical office. This is because an unscrupulous company can easily pack up and vacate the office, but a license obtained in a country like Canada, with as much diligence and sacrifice as I have put in, is priceless. The chance of me deliberately jeopardising my license is non-existent.
Profiling Of Black Women And How They Can Be Supported
Black women can have high performing careers and businesses; they should not be under-estimated, because they can excel at endeavours they set out to accomplish. However, they also need support and should be encouraged. So, encourage them in their work, business, and other achievements, not only when they get married or have children.
We can be supported by having our businesses posted online and circulated among your WhatsApp and Facebook groups; if you are the ideal client we seek, patronise us. Let us do all we can to empower and support Black women to succeed.
How We Help Our Clients Move To Canada At Kisha Immigration
We help first class clients get second citizenship or residency through Canada Business Immigration Programs, citizenship by investment programs in the Caribbean, and residency by investment programs in Europe and beyond – over twenty countries worldwide. We also go the extra mile to help them settle in when they relocate to a new country as residents and guide them on the path to citizenship.
For our ambitious ‘study abroad’ clients, we help them select the right programme, school, and country to study in. Process their admissions and visa applications as well. We also help them settle in the country that will become their new home. Sometimes, international students find it difficult to excel in their studies and land great jobs; we help them achieve this through our Academic and Career Excellence Coaching program. We also ensure that they have the right citizenship blueprint of that country. That is usually the ultimate goal for most clients.
Three Women Who Inspire You And Why
Despite being a young widow, my mum gave us the best education possible. So, I grew up without feeling the impact of not having a dad so much. She remained diligent and focused on giving us the best, which set the bar high for what I wanted for my children; I wanted to provide them with beyond what my mum gave me, and thankfully, I am already doing that.
My aunt is another hugely inspiring figure in my life. Her name is Mrs. Chibuzo Barth-Akaba. She is a fantastic woman, and it is so inspiring to see her build her different businesses and try to utilise all her talents.
Then, growing up, there was Oprah Winfrey, an inspiring black woman on a global stage spitting wisdom. She looked like me, so that was so encouraging and inspiring. Representation is so important; it acts as a catalyst to walk on a journey that once seemed out of reach.
My Advice For Nigerian Youths Affected By ASUU Strike
I would first address the parents and guardians of students who have experienced or are currently experiencing the arduous ASUU strike. As much as you would want them to go back and continue the programme, the best course of action would be to send them abroad. If it seems too expensive, they could try applying for scholarships, and there are schools with affordable tuition fees abroad. My mum did not necessarily send me to a top study destination at first, but when I got there, I could transfer to the UK on a partial scholarship.
Delays in getting education and becoming a graduate are saddening. I was studying Electronic Engineering at UNN before I relocated. Because engineering was not available during my programme selection, I opted for IT, which I had to start over, but I ended up graduating months ahead of my counterparts at UNN. I went through the fast-track route and had three semesters in a year instead of two semesters. It might be different for everyone; you might be required to stay an additional year or two, but even with that, coming out with a marketable degree makes it worth it. Studying abroad makes you a well-rounded individual with a global mindset.
To the youths in question, if studying abroad does not seem attainable, then the ASUU strike is the ideal opportunity to develop and hone skills that would prove helpful, whether in your immigration journey or other general aspects of your life.
I still need to improve, but I try to ensure they coexist nicely. I have gotten to a point where I have consciously decided to stop working on weekends to spend quality time with my family and give attention to other aspects of my personal life. Because these are two crucial facets of my life, I try to understand how to manage both so that one does not adversely affect the other. It is all about being disciplined with time management.
Other Projects And Activities
I am enthusiastic about helping young people access good education without financial constraints. Given this, we are launching a foundation in my dad’s memory dedicated to keeping his name and legacy alive. The Foundation will be launching soon and will cater to the needs of the underprivileged while equipping them with capacity-building skills.
I do not believe in the saying, ‘don’t just give a person fish, but also teach them how to fish,’ which proves to be more sustainable. We will also have workshops targeted at teaching them skills that they can monetise to create a better life for themselves.
Being A Woman Of Rubies
I consider myself a woman of value and excellence, and I am also a robust and tenacious woman who sticks with what she starts until she finishes it. No matter how long or complex, I keep going as long as I can achieve it. Inspiring people to become the excellent version of themselves is also one of my favourite things to do.
One Thing I Wish To Change In The Canadian Immigration Process
It is common knowledge that Britain colonised Nigeria. Therefore, we speak, write, and hold degrees in English, so it is puzzling that Nigerians are still required to take English language proficiency tests for visa purposes. Most schools in Canada no longer demand IELTS from international students, but the Government of Canada still mandates that IELTS be taken for specific immigration pathways. It should be scrapped, as it is unnecessary for Nigerians.