Sat | Jan 23, 2021

Immigration Corner | My partner dumped me, now I don’t qualify

Published:Tuesday | December 1, 2020 | 12:07 AM
Deidre S. Powell
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

I am in a pickle. I was in a common-law relationship with a financial adviser for over four years. We were planning to go to Canada together and entered the express entry pool together. We had over 400 points and we were anxiously waiting to be selected. Last month, I heard that my partner was seeing a teacher, and I confronted him. He got mad, packed his bags, and moved out. He later told me that he deleted my information from his profile and that he is now living with that teacher and so I should apply on my own! Miss Powell, I am so devastated. Imagine, I am the one who brought up the idea of moving to Canada. Now when I try to re-enter the pool on my own it tells me I don’t qualify. What can I do? Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I hope that my letter will be one of the answers published as I’m feeling very desperate and lonely right now.

– A.R.

Dear A.R.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. However, I am glad that you are not dwelling on the past and now determined to move forward on your own. The key is to get the knowledge and understanding for yourself and to move on.

The Express Entry System is one that gives points to individuals based on factors such as age, language skills, education, work experience, connection to Canada and other factors. It is a system that manages applicants who qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trade, Canadian Experience Class, and some Provincial Nominee Programmes. Points are given to each applicant based on the factors above.

If you tried to enter the pool and were deemed ineligible, then it means that your overall score was too low and could be because of factors such as age, education, language, or work experience. I, therefore, strongly recommend that you schedule a telephone meeting to review your qualifications and experience to see the best strategy for moving forward. Nevertheless, I will outline below some ways you could examine to see if you could improve your score to over 400 on your own.


Language Skills: Did you do a language examination? You cannot enter the pool without providing language results. You will need one of the approved test results for either or both the English and French language. The approved language tests for English are the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (general test) or the International English Language Testing System (general training). For French, the approved test is the TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de Français. IRCC will accept the TEF results if you wrote your test before March 1, 2020. If you wrote the test on or after March 1, 2020, you need to provide TEF Canada test results.


What is your educational background? What is your occupation? You did not state your occupation or your education. Each occupation has a minimum qualification that is required for employment in Canada. Although there is technically no occupation list to enter the express entry pool, your job must fall with the National Occupational Classification (NOC) code NOC A, B, or O Skill type, to qualify.

The NOC code is based on the job duties and the work the person does. Typically, this includes supervisory, management, professional occupation, some technical or skilled trades. For anyone to enter the pool, they will need to have a university or college degree or diploma or training as an apprentice, depending on the job.

Most importantly, you must have an educational credential assessment report if your education is outside of Canada. Check to see the minimum education required for your occupation and ensure that you have the required proof of education.

If you do not have the required education, you may look at coming to Canada via the study permit route. This is something you should discuss with a lawyer.


The other option is to get a job offer. A valid job offer from a qualified Canadian employer could give you a substantial number of points to help you to get you into the pool and ultimately get selected for permanent residence. This means that you will need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment Report from your prospective employer. This information will be required to submit with your application for a work permit or for permanent residence via the Express Entry System.

If you have a valid job offer, you could apply for a work permit and come to Canada. Once you have been granted a work permit, you could be on a pathway to receiving permanent residence in Canada. The work permit and Canadian work experience must be valid and legitimate for the time that you are permitted to be in Canada.


Many individuals have been able to enter the pool based on a Provincial Nomination. Most provinces, except Quebec, operate an express entry-linked schemes whereby you could be nominated for permanent residence. Popular provinces are Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. These provinces conduct regular draws. Most of the provinces have an occupational list that specifies the types of applicants they would consider. You should examine the provinces website to learn more about these programmes.

There may be other options available to you depending on your age, education, work experience, and finances. I recommend that you book a consultation with an authorised Canadian immigration lawyer to look at the various options based on the details of your case.

Deidre S. Powell is an immigration lawyer, mediator, and notary public in Ottawa, Ontario. Submit your questions and comments via her website or call 613.695.8777. You can also find her on, Twitter, and Instagram. Visit her website at to book a telephone meeting.