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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.Under the recent change, can my 21-year-old son be included on our permanent residence application under the Federal Skilled Worker Class? We haven’t applied yet, but we have an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and expect to do so soon.

A recent change brought in by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on October 24, 2017 allows children under the age of 22 to be considered as dependents on any Canadian immigration program. Previously, only children under the age of 19 were considered dependents. For the Federal Skilled Worker Class, in order to be considered a dependent the child must be under 22 years of age at the time IRCC receives the complete application.

2. If I apply to a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and am approved for nomination, will I get 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points in my Express Entry profile? I have seen conflicting answers to my question.

This is a good question, and the answer is: that depends on the particular PNP stream or category the application was filed under.

Since January, 2015, with the introduction of the Express Entry immigration selection system, provinces and territories have been able to allocate a portion of their PNP allocations to streams aligned with Express Entry. These are known as ‘enhanced’ streams, and a successful application under an enhanced stream results in the applicant obtaining a provincial nomination worth 600 Express Entry CRS points and an Invitation to Apply (ITA) at a subsequent draw from the pool.

Provinces and territories also offer PNP streams and categories that are managed completely outside the Express Entry system. These are known as ‘base’ PNP streams, and applicants who obtain a provincial nomination through a base stream do not obtain 600 additional CRS points. Indeed, applicants to a base stream may not even have an Express Entry profile. Nonetheless, successful applicants to a base PNP stream are also able to subsequently apply for permanent residence. IRCC will process the application outside the Express Entry system, which is likely to result in a longer processing time at the federal processing stage, as compared to enhanced nominations.

3. When will the Quebec Skilled Worker Program reopen for people outside Quebec, Canada?

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP, also referred to by the government of Quebec as the ‘Regular Skilled Worker Program’ to differentiate it from other economic immigration programs offered by the province) is expected to open for up to 5,000 new applications during an intake period that will occur before March 31, 2018. The exact dates for the upcoming intake period are yet to be announced. The announcement was made in the Gazette Officielle du Québec, which lists all the legislative and regulatory decisions taken by the government of Québec, in March, 2017.

Applicants first apply to the government of Quebec for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, also known as a CSQ), before applying to the federal government for Canadian permanent residence. Quebec assesses the application based on criteria set by the province, while the federal government assesses for admissibility factors.

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