Sun | Jan 17, 2021

Immigration Corner | What is my best migration option?

Published:Tuesday | July 14, 2020 | 12:17 AM
Deidre S. Powell
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

I am looking worldwide for opportunities to do well. I am a 28-year-old recent graduate with a master’s degree from the United States of America (USA). However, with what is happening there, I am wondering where is the best place for me to explore – Canada or Australia. Which has the better immigration system?

Can I qualify to live in Canada even if I don’t have family there? I hear that I need to show that I have a certain amount of savings and investments. How much would I need? Thanks in advance for your guidance.

– A.F.

Dear A.F.,

Canada and Australia have a similar immigration system. However, many Jamaicans prefer Canada because of its proximity to Jamaica. Both countries have a points-based immigration system, whereby individuals who have the education, skills, work experience, and other factors, may get permanent residence in a matter of months. I will highlight below why I recommend Canada. However, ultimately, the decision is yours.

Canada is touted as the leading country for immigration and is the country of choice for most professional and skilled workers worldwide, this is despite the COVID-19 outbreak. Canada’s handling of the outbreak has been exceptional, and the government has continued to process applications for permanent and temporary residence.

A record number of individuals from the Caribbean, Europe and Asia have been granted permanent residence of Canada in recent years. Canada values newcomers’ contribution to the economy of Canada and the role they play with handling the coronavirus crisis.


You do not need to have relatives in Canada to qualify to live permanently in Canada. There are various programmes available for qualified professionals and skilled workers to gain permanent residence. The most popular ones are the Federal Skilled Workers Programme (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Programme, Canadian Experience Class, and Provincial Nominees Programme. Individuals who qualify under these programmes may apply to the government of Canada to be granted permanent residence through the Express Entry system.

The key to qualifying to come to Canada is to ensure that you have a high Comprehensive Ranking Score to compete with other applicants from around the world. Under the Express Entry system, each candidate is assessed and given a score based on their current and past professional work experience, education, language ability, age, adaptability, and a few other factors. This score will determine whether you are selected to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence of Canada.


You did not state your occupation, however, you should know that the system is not occupation-specific. So, you may stand a good chance of being selected under the FSWP. Most individuals with a degree qualify under this programme, which is designed for individuals who have work experience in skilled and professional occupations.

The government of Canada has created a system based on occupations in the Canadian labour market and classify them under the Canadian National Occupation Codes (NOC). The NOC describes the duties, skills, educational requirements, talent, and work setting for various jobs. Under the Express Entry system, jobs are classified under skill levels ‘O’, ‘A’ or ‘B’ and ‘C’. Details about the jobs that fall under each category may be provided by a Canadian immigration lawyer, who can provide additional information and let you know if your occupation falls under NOC A, B, or O based on your work experience and job duties.


Another important factor is that individuals must clearly demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to relocate and provide for your family or have proof of a qualifying job offer in Canada. Individuals should be prepared to show a minimum of approximately CDN$13,000 for a single person; for a family of two, approximately CDN$16,200; a family of three, approximately CDN$20,000 in savings or investments or liquid funds. You should note that this figure will change annually.

You should also be able to pass the government of Canada’s medical and security checks to be granted permanent residence. There may be other options available to you, based on the finer details of your case. To find out if you qualify under any of these programmes or other programme in Canada, I suggest that you consult an immigration lawyer. You may also find out if you qualify by completing the free online assessment at or sign up on my Facebook page.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada Bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Send your questions and comments to email:, subject line: immigration. Call 613.695.8777 Find her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.