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I’m over 35 with kids, can I immigrate to Canada?

Yes, but you need a strategy, good savings and perseverance. Read this article to know what the solution is. Let’s start by explaining the objectives of the current Canadian immigration system as of 2015. The two main objectives are:

  1. 1. Attracting youth (under 32 years) with a high level of English and highly educated. And/or

  2. Facilitating permanent residency for people who have the support of a job offer from a Canadian company – also with a fairly high level of English.

(This article does not make reference to business and investment programs, its main focus is immigration through work.)

This means that a middle aged professional (35-50 years), with postgraduate studies, who has a medium or high level of English and more than five years of work experience does not qualify to immigrate to Canada. This is due to the fact that the point system for Express Entry puts people over 35 years of age at a serious disadvantage.

Without talking about the business investment programs, the only remedy for middle-aged people who want to immigrate to Canada is by getting a job. As you can imagine, getting a job while living outside of Canada is somewhat complicated.

The solution? Put together a strategy that combines study and work. When someone studies at a Canadian college or university, they are granted a work permit allowing them to work 20 hours a week while attending classes and 40 hours per week during the holidays. Additionally, after graduating, they are entitled to an open work permit for the same number of years that their studies; typically between 1 to 3 years. (You have to check with each institution if they are eligible for this program.) The two most common options are:

  1. Study a Masters in Canada. Two years of study and work part-time + 2 years of open work permit. Total: 4 years in Canada to find a steady job that can support the permanent residency process for the whole family. The budget to study a master’s degree at a Canadian university is of about $30, 000 to $50,000 Canadian dollars in tuition fees. This option also allows the student’s spouse to receive an open work permit for the duration of the years of study which doubles the chances for the family to find a Canadian job offer.

  2. Study an International Business certificate for 1 year with an open work permit for that year. Total: 1 year in Canada to find a job that can support the permanent residency process. For this program, the tuition fees are roughly $9000 to $20 000 Canadian dollars.

Note that it is important to have a high level of English to be accepted in an institution to study or to apply for residency; level 7 or 8. Children under 19 years will have the right to study for free in the public school system or the private system (if they wish to pay tuition) while their parents work and study.

This video explains the options for families who wish to immigrate to Canada.

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