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Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers with Attorney David Cohen

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Every month, Attorney David Cohen will answer a few general Canadian immigration questions submitted by our readers. These questions cover immigration programs, eligibility, processing, language requirements, investing in Canada, landing, admissibility, studying in Canada, working in Canada, and much more. Here are this month’s questions and answers.

1. When will the change to the maximum age limit of dependent children take place? What is the exact change?

Earlier this year, the government of Canada announced that it will raise the maximum age of a dependent child who may be included on an application to immigrate to Canada. Starting October 24, 2017, dependent children under 22 years of age may be included on an application. The current regulations place a maximum age limit of under 19 years of age. The upcoming change marks a return to the policy that was in place prior to 2014.

The definition of dependent child applies to children included on applications for permanent residence through economic, family, and refugee/humanitarian programs.

2. How can I tell if a job offer is real or fake?

Here are some tips for distinguishing legitimate job offers from potential scams.

  • Do some research on the company and the person who contacted you. If a company does not have a website, it may be fake. If the company’s website has contact information, search this separately online.
  • Look at the email address of the person who contacted you. Reputable recruiters and employers will likely have corporate email addresses.
  • Did the recruiter or employer ask for payment upfront? If someone is asking for a deposit, training fee, or money to cover costs such as work permit or visa fees, it may be a scam.
  • Canadian companies very rarely hire without an interview, either in person or by phone. If you have only communicated by email with a potential employer who does not want to meet face-to-face or speak over the phone, it is likely a fraudulent offer.

Common scams include the promise of permanent immigration, free travel, or highly-paid work-from-home schemes. Individuals who receive a job offer that seems fraudulent are encouraged to directly contact the company named on the job offer to verify its authenticity. To learn more, or to report a possible case of fraud or scamming, visit this government page.

3. How can the human capital credentials of my spouse help to improve my Express Entry CRS score?

Individuals may create an Express Entry profile either as a single applicant or, if applicable, with a spouse or common-law partner.

Under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), used by the government of Canada to rank and select Express Entry candidates, candidates with a spouse or partner are assigned points slightly differently than single candidates.

The documentation required for a candidate to enter the pool is not always identical to the documentation needed to maximize a candidate’s CRS point total. In the case of an accompanying spouse or partner, there are several credentials that the accompanying spouse or partner can document in order to increase the principal applicant’s CRS score.

Up to 40 CRS points may be awarded for the spouse or partner’s level of education, language ability, and Canadian work experience. Of these points, 20 may be awarded for language ability, and 10 each for education and Canadian work experience. Therefore, if a spouse or partner sits a language test and/or obtains an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA, assuming that he or she did not study in Canada), the principal applicant may increase his or her CRS score. In addition, if the principal applicant or his or her spouse or partner has a sibling in Canada, a further 15 points may be awarded.

Even a slight increase in CRS score can be the difference as to whether a candidate obtains an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence, and both partners, along with dependent children, are able to apply to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.

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