Canada immigration: What you need to know about the application process
points system and what not to do


With world-class education, free health insurance and a multicultural ecosystem — what's not to like about Canada? In turn, Canada needs more people, owing to its ageing population and low birth rate.

World-class education system, free health insurance and a multicultural ecosystem make millions seek residence in Canada. Happily, the attraction is mutual—the country needs more people, thanks to its low birth rate and an ageing population.

To obtain the coveted Canadian Permanent Resident (PR) status, you need to tick their rather long list of boxes. The good news is that the immigration process—already quite straightforward—became faster in 2015, with the introduction of the Express Entry programme. Since then, thousands have realised their dream of calling the beautiful country their new home.

The ideal immigrant

If you are a young, skilled person who will contribute to its economy, Canada wants you.

“I would place the ideal age for immigration at 29,” says Rudra Kumar, of Delhi’s Navyah Immigration Agency. “By then, you have earned your master's degree and gained at least three years of work experience. Plus, you get the maximum number of points in the age category of the Comprehensive Ranking System, dramatically increasing your chances of getting a PR.”

Age is, indeed, a key factor now. The closer you get to your 40th birthday, the lower you score on the age front. After 45, no points are awarded under this bracket, though you might still offset that with your language skills and work experience.

The express entry program

Gone are the years of waiting in endless suspense to hear back on your application. Under the new scheme, you can check your score online to see if you qualify for immigration. Criteria include age, family ties, language, education, work experience, and occupation. If your score is adequate, file your application, sit back and wait.

“The process was very smooth for us,” says journalist Purva Bhatia, who moved to Canada under the scheme. “We got our PR within nine months, and the only frustrating bit was getting documents from Delhi University! We needed to get our degrees evaluated by WES Canada for the application, and it took multiple trips to the University to get that done.”

Another tip, says Bhatia, “I was the main applicant between me and my husband since I had a master's degree, which meant a higher score between the two of us. Once we got the PR, my husband asked for and got a transfer from his company to Toronto.”

Alternative ways to immigrate

“My pathway to immigration was not entirely points-based. I applied for immigration under the self-employed category for Internationally Renowned Artists and Athletes,” says Bhaskar Chattopadhyay, author and translator, who moved to Toronto from Bengaluru at the age of 43.

Though applicants are generally not interviewed under the Express Entry scheme, Chattopadhyay received an interview call from the Canadian Embassy in Delhi. “The phone call lasted 10 minutes. The interviewer wanted to know how much of the Canadian writing, publishing and screenwriting landscape I had researched and how I planned to sustain myself and my family if and when I landed in Canada. It was a fairly straightforward chat, at the end of which I was told that my application was being considered favourably.”

Another common route is to study or work in Canada, and to apply for your PR while you are there.

Should you hire an agency

“Right from the research, to preparing my application package, to payment, I did everything myself,” says Chattopadhyay. “I feel I saved a lot of money and time by doing so, and I owned the outcome too. Whichever way the decision turned—I would have had only myself to blame or praise.”

However, a good agency can save you time and effort. And some applicants simply feel more confident leaving the paperwork to professionals. Just make sure you sign up with a bona fide agency. “Personally, I know of three acquaintances who lost a lot of money trusting fraudulent agencies who guaranteed them PR and jobs here in Canada,” cautions Bhatia.

“Even if you do go through an agency, you simply have to do your own research,” adds Chattopadhyay. “You need to have a very good understanding of what your chances are, what you are getting into, how much time it could take, what is needed of you and what it would cost you."

The commonest reason for rejection

Never lie when you apply. Period.

“People often source experience certificates from their relatives,” says Kumar. “In one case, the applicant’s uncle forgot to sound out his new HR head on their arrangement. So, when the Canadian authorities made a verification call, the staffer flatly denied knowing any such person, and he was barred for life from applying to Canada.”


by Shubhra Krishan

scalabrinian spirituality 2023


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