Sun | Jun 26, 2022

Immigration Corner | Does age matter?

Published:Tuesday | May 24, 2022 | 12:08 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

How does the Canadian government choose people to go to Canada? How can I get to Canada quickly? I hear age is a big factor, but I’m not sure why that would be important if I’m healthy and have the money to move. Can you shed some light on this issue for me? I’m the principal of a school and have the money to move with my family. Does my age really matter? What else should I look at?

– N.T.

Dear N.T.,

The fastest way to become a permanent resident of Canada is via the Express Entry System. In spite of the pandemic, the Canadian government has still been processing applications. The Express Entry System is utilised by the government to process economic applications for persons who qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, Federal Skilled Trade Programme, the Canadian Experience Class and some Provincial Nominee Programme.

This is a process whereby each applicant is evaluated based on a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) that awards points or scores to applicants, done on key factors that the government uses to determine their likelihood of success and their ability to quickly integrate into the Canadian society.


Canada does not hide the fact that their generous immigration system is geared towards attracting the brightest and the best persons with the core skills required to help reverse the effects of an ageing population trend, as many baby boomers are now leaving the workforce and are now requiring care and attention. The general purpose of economic immigration is generally to boost the Canadian economy, and having the resources to move to Canada is a good thing, but there are other factors that will be considered.

Applicants can be awarded most of the points required for selection just based on a core set of human capital factors that are used to assess economic outcomes, such as age, level of education, official language proficiency and Canadian work experience. Additionally, an applicant can be awarded 40 points for spousal factors. Having a brother or sister living in Canada who is a citizen or permanent resident, and strong French language skills, can increase your overall scores significantly.

There is also the possibility of being awarded 100 points for a set of skills transferability and 600 points for candidates who have a provincial or territorial nomination and/or a qualifying offer of arranged employment. Under this system, candidates can score up to a maximum of 1,200 points, and everyone should aim to get the best to maximise their scores as the system is competitive.


Age is a significant factor as a candidate can get up to 110 points just based on this category. The CRS selection tool evaluates a candidate and grants a score based on his age and the age of their spouse or partner, if they have one. An individual who is 18 years old or 31 years old and single can get 99 points just for age. Compare this with an individual who is between the age of 20-29. If single, the points that would be awarded would be 110. If married, the points would be 100, plus an additional 40 points is available based on spousal factors.

An analysis of the CRS reveal that the points awarded begin a sharp decline from the candidate’s 30th birthday onwards. A 32-year-old would be awarded 94 points, while a 35-year-old would be awarded 77 points. A 40-year-old will only get 50 points, while persons 45 years old and older will get zero points for age. So, the general trend is that you keep losing points the older you get.


Individuals who are thinking of immigrating to Canada should aim to apply before their 35th birthday, as the points drop significantly by the time an applicant is 35 years. The general trend is that individuals are usually granted an invitation to apply for permanent residence if they can score between 415 to 460 points. Although age is an incredibly significant factor, if you are losing points for age, there are other factors that you can use to ensure you can be selected. Most individuals opt to further their education in Canada as the comprehensive ranking system rewards applicants for their prior periods of study in Canada, or a previous working history in Canada. If you have an approved job offer, you could also be awarded between 50-200 additional points.

What you should be doing is to examine your core points and add the additional points based on the factors above, to determine your total score. Your aim is to score above 400 to even stand a chance of being selected for any of the programmes.

Many individuals find it difficult to navigate the Canadian immigration system. However, there are many immigration lawyers who offer free eligibility assessment to determine if you qualify or if you are a strong candidate under the Express Entry System. If you are still confused, then I suggest that you book a telephone consultation with us to guide you further.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Submit your questions and comments via Tel: 613-695-8777, or find her on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.