Mon | Aug 10, 2020

Immigration Corner | Opportunities in Canada for over-55-year-olds

Published:Tuesday | May 26, 2020 | 12:14 AM

Dear Miss Powell,

I am 55 years old and I have a lot of experience that could be valuable for Canada. I am a geriatric nurse and I would like to work in a long-term care facility. Is it possible to get work permit or migrate to Canada? I would love to reside in the Ottawa area. I am interested in knowing how much money I need to have to migrate. I await a favourable response.

– N.B.

Dear N.B.,

There has always been a demand for nurses and other medical practitioners in Canada. This demand has increased significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic. Many provinces have issued a call for qualified professionals to join their team of front-line workers and serve in long-term care facilities.

For an international person to take advantage of this increased demand and help to the labour shortage, the individual would need to qualify under one of the established immigration programmes.

Work Permit

To qualify for a work permit, you would need to first have a job offer from a qualified employer. The prospective employer will need to confirm that he has a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) report. This is a document granted to qualified employers, authorising them to hire a foreign worker.

A positive LMIA report is a confirmation that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. This report is usually issued after Employment and Social Development Canada confirms that there is no Canadian worker or permanent resident available to do the job. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter.

Once the employer has a positive LMIA, then the foreign worker can apply for a work permit via the Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada online portal. You will need to request the following from your prospective employer: job letter, a copy of the LMIA or exemption, and the LMIA number. This information is required before you can apply for the work permit. Additionally, as part of the application process, you will need to clearly demonstrate that you have the education and work experience to qualify for the job being offered.

Permanent Residence

To apply for permanent residence, you will need to clearly show that you qualify under one of the established programmes, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, Provincial Nominee Programme or Canadian Experience Class. You do not need to have a job offer, although a job offer will increase your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

The key is to qualify and get accepted into the pool of applicants for consideration. Canada uses a points-based immigration system which grants points based on age, education, language skills, work experience and other factors such as family ties to Canada, job offer and having a provincial nomination. Under the Express Entry System, significant points are given to individuals between the age of 20 and 29, and no points are granted for those 45 and older.

Over 45 years old

You must be cognisant that because of your age, you are at a disadvantage and you will be competing with younger applicants. It is not impossible to qualify for permanent residence just because you are over 45 years old, but it is extremely difficult. You will need to overcome the loss of points for age and seek to make up the points in other ways. Your focus should be on maximising your points in areas such as education, experience in an in-demand career, family ties and provincial nomination.

Recently, Nova Scotia issued Letters of Interest to nurses who were already in the express entry pool and invited candidates to apply for provincial nomination. A nomination will grant an individual 600 points. A provincial nominee significantly increases your chances of being selected, as the average selection point is 450 points.

Another factor to note is that individuals who are over 45 years old are sometimes granted permanent residence status because they can work as caregivers. Also, some can get transferred by a company that has a branch in Canada.

The key to note is that if you have a job offer in Canada, the settlement funds criteria would not apply to you. There is no maximum limit on the amount of money to take to Canada when you are coming as a worker or permanent residence. The only requirement is ensuring that the funds are declared at the time of landing in Canada.

To apply under the Express Entry System, as a single applicant, you will need approximately CDN$13,000; family of two – CDN$16,200; family of three – $20,000; family of four – CDN$24,200; family of five – CDN$27,500. The important thing is to ensure you have a bit more, as they change the requirement on an annual basis.

To find out more about qualifying to work, live or study in Canada, I recommend that you complete our free online assessment form at or email for more information.

Deidre S. Powell is an immigration lawyer with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Email: subjectline: immigration. Connect with her via Facebook and Instagram.