One of the tasks of an immigration consultant is to find a unique approach and to offer an original strategy to help a client move to Canada. What could be an immigration strategy for couples over the age of 30 with not enough points in Express Entry and not meeting the requirements for provincial programs? In this blog, we will describe an unusual immigration strategy for student couples!
During 2019-2020 the cut-off scores in Express Entry have increased significantly. Even 3-4 years ago, candidates who scored 440-450 points were considered as those will get an invitation to apply right after registration. In the last two years, such people can stay in the pool of candidates for a year and never receive an invitation either to Express Entry or from provincial programs.
What to do if you do not have enough points?
In one of our blogs last year, we already wrote how to increase points in Express Entry. In that publication, we described absolutely all the options available, including learning French. In this article, we want to present an immigration scenario for couples over 30.
The standard immigration via education strategy assumes that the main applicant goes through all the stages in this capacity. In this article, we will talk about a non-standard approach when we focus on the spouse of the main applicant for a study permit.
The standard immigration strategy for students requires admission to an academic program. In 99% of cases, we always insist on enrolling in a two-year study program. This is done to ensure that the applicant has the opportunity to obtain a three-year Post-Graduate Work Permit. To get it, it is mandatory that the educational institution is public and participates in the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program. In the future, a graduate of a Canadian university or college receives a work permit, finds a job, gains Canadian work experience and, as a result, acts as the main applicant when applying for permanent residence in Canada.
As you know, the spouses of foreign students are entitled to an Open Work Permit. This type of work permit allows foreign nationals to work for any employer. In turn, this allows us to build an immigration strategy based on the Canadian experience of the second applicant.
Case study: unusual immigration strategy for student couples
Let’s consider this situation with a specific example. Meet John and Mary – citizens of South Africa. They are both 34 years old, which means they score 25 points less for age (75 out of 100) in Express Entry. John has a master’s degree, and Mary obtained a bachelor’s degree. They passed English at CLB 9 and CLB 7, respectively. And each of them has over three years of experience in their home country. It is reasonable that the main applicant should be John as has more points for language and education. Unfortunately, they score only 437 points in Express Entry. This is about 25-30 points lower than required to get an ITA. Alas, none of them have been able to find a Canadian employer and have no occupation in demand in any of the provincial programs.
Let’s imagine that Mary enrolls in a one-year college program and receives a study permit. Accordingly, John receives an open work permit. Once Mary begins her studies, John finds a job as an office administrator – a profession at the NOC B skills level, which means that it falls under the description of skilled work for Express Entry.
A year later, Mary receives a diploma, and John, having worked for one year and having collected 1,560 hours of Canadian work experience during this period, turns into the main applicant for permanent residence. He is now 35, which means he lost another 5 points for age but gained 35 points for 1 year of Canadian experience. As a result, now they have 467 points, and with such a score the chances of being invited to Express Entry are very high.
Additionally, admission to a public college and university is more difficult due to the stricter requirements for admission, as well as higher language requirements. At the same time, there is a huge number of private colleges in Canada, the cost of studying in which may even be lower than public ones, since studying in such colleges does not provide for a Post-Graduate Work Permit.
In addition, we deliberately ignore other opportunities that may open up for John and Mary in Canada. For example, Ivan’s employer can apply for the LMIA in support of PR, which could bring them 50 more points, or there is an option that Mary enters another one-year program in college, which gives John the opportunity to gain two years of Canadian experience, and after losing 10 points for age, gain 46 and get 473 points in total. Finally, the language level of both Mary and John could grow while they live in Canada, which can also bring them more points in Express Entry.
A standard immigration strategy for students usually takes four years. It will take two years to complete the study program and at least one more year to gain Canadian work experience. Finally, applying for permanent residence will take another year or so. As a result, together with the preparation for admission to study and relocation to Canada, it will take about four years. The strategy outlined in this blog may well be within two years.
Thus, if your case sounds like John and Mary’s, such an unusual immigration strategy for student couples may be good for you. The most important thing is that your immigration route will be from within Canada, which will allow you to improve your standard of living and live in Canada even before you receive a permanent residence status!
Co-Founder and Director of Immigration Canada Pro
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
ICCRC License Number R706744
My name is Oleg Schindler. I am a licensed Canadian immigration consultant and would love to help you find the right strategy. During the consultation, I will analyze your case in detail and tell you about the possible options. The consultation can be by phone or video. The cost of the consultation will be deducted later if we sign a retainer agreement with you.