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How can age affect your immigration plan to Canada?

Updated: Apr 19

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Age is often a factor that is overlooked by those wishing to immigrate, but can play a significant role in an applicant’s eligibility for immigration to Canada

Canada offers many different immigration programs and streams (e.g., skilled workers, entrepreneurs, investors…) each with its own specific requirements. Many popular immigration programs in Canada, both at a provincial and federal level, do not specifically set an age requirement (other than a minimum age of 18 years old). However, age still plays a very significant role in the likelihood that a candidate will be selected as part of that program. According to the statistics of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the country has welcomed over 2.1 million immigrants, in the past 7 years. Looking back further at these statistics, 76.1% of these immigrants are between 15 and 44 years old. In contrast, only 6.8% of the immigrants admitted in recent years have been between 45 to 59 years old.

Immigrants in Canada are mainly from 15 to 44 years old.

An example of how age may affect the likelihood of selection can be seen in Canada’s provincial nominee programs (PNPs), for the business class. For example, a candidate submitting an expression of interest to Prince Edward Island’s entrepreneur stream, where candidates are invited to apply based on the number of points they score in various categories, is able to claim 30 points if they are aged between 30 and 44. However, from this point onward, the number of points candidates can claim decreases, with those over 54 unable to claim any points in this category. This is a theme common in most PNPs, including Saskatchewan’s Entrepreneur Stream (where candidates over 55 can claim no points for age) and Nova Scotia’s Entrepreneur Stream (where candidates over 56 can claim no points for age).

At a federal level, age is also a significant factor in express entry programs, which are a direct route to permanent residence. These include the federal skilled worker, federal skilled trades and Canadian experience class programs. Selection of candidates for such programs is again based on points gained in specific categories, including age. For express entry programs, candidates between 20 and 29 years old are able to claim 100 points for age. This then begins to decrease, and candidates over 45 years cannot claim any points.

What is evident in many Canadian immigration programs therefore is that, although there is no specific upper age limit, it becomes significantly harder to immigrate the older a candidate becomes, increasing the importance of making immigration plans during the prime years of one’s life.

This is not to suggest that there is a prejudice against older candidates for immigration to Canada, or that other programs do not exist which would accommodate older applicants. Many of them could have substantial work or management experience, high language proficiency, advanced educations, innovative ideas or their own businesses. Such factors can help them to offset the points lost for age in economic immigration. Additionally, some programs, like the Start-Up Visa (SUV) program, for example, have no upper age requirements and this is not considered a factor in terms of selection. Applicants to the SUV program instead must have an innovative business idea that they intend to develop in Canada and must also obtain the support of a designated entity (i.e., an authorized angel investor, venture capital funds or business incubator). For more detail about the requirements of the Start-Up Visa program, please read:

Another example, PEI province has established an evaluative point grid which consists of various criteria such as age, educational level, or language proficiency. Among these criteria, business ownership and senior management experience occupy the biggest proportion, accounting for 25% of total available points. This proportion shows that business management plays an important role in the success of this immigration program.

Although age might affect your prospects for immigration, it is crucial to remember that it is not a determining element, as long as you meet the minimal requirements for all selection factors, you could have chance to receive an ITA to apply for a Canadian PR visa even if you are over 40 years old.

If you plan to immigrate to Canada, there are several categories under for which you can apply. For more details, please meet our lawyers as soon as possible to find out your eligibility for various immigration programs. We will help you identify the appropriate pathway immigration.

Source: (31/07/2022)

CJ Legal Services Vietnam

Telephone: (+84) 028 3821 6083



Address: 18th floor, Unit 1802, Bitexco Financial Tower, No 2 Hai Trieu Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC.

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