Express Entry Over The Age of 45

Unpacking Canadian Immigration for Those Over 45

One of the most prevailing misunderstandings around Canadian immigration revolves around age – specifically, the notion that crossing a certain age threshold might diminish one’s chances of stepping onto Canadian soil as a permanent resident. As with many myths, the reality is far more nuanced and hopeful than many believe. For those over 45, Canada’s doors are not only open, but they also usher in a world of possibilities, cultural experiences, and fresh beginnings. This article delves deep into immigration policies, shedding light on the truth and offering hope for those looking to make Canada their new home in their prime years.

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Express Entry Over the Age of 45

Express Entry is the most efficient pathway to immigrate to Canada. It is the path most immigrants take to Canada. It was created to help economic migrants that can help the Canadian economy avoid long processing times and settle quickly. The process takes under one year and in some cases a few months from applying to receiving an invitation for permanent residency. Express Entry is not a program itself but rather an online system used by the Canadian government to manage applications for permanent residency from skilled workers. 


Skilled workers can apply to one of three programs:


  • Canada Experience Class: The Canadian Experience Class is an immigration program that allows individuals who have gained professional work experience in Canada to apply for permanent residency.


  • Federal Skilled Worker: The Federal Skilled Worker Program is an immigration program that allows skilled workers with work experience in a designated occupation to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.


  • Federal Skilled Trades: The Federal Skilled Trades Program is an immigration program that allows skilled tradespeople with work experience in a specific trade to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.


Applicants will be determined on a point-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) that ranks applicants based on factors such as age, education, language proficiency, and work experience. The Canadian government holds draws periodically and the highest-ranking applicants are invited to apply for permanent residency through regular draws from the pool of candidates.

Age is a factor in determining the CRS score of an applicant and the maximum amount of points are given to individuals between the ages of 20-29. After 29 the points for age drop off and after 45 applicants receive 0 points for their age towards their CRS.


Maximum Points (Without Spouse)

Maximum Points (With Spouse)

Under 18




























































This, of course, does not mean that if you are above the age of 45 you will not be selected or that your CRS score will be low. If you are unsure it is always best to speak to a qualified and licensed immigration
consultant regarding your specific situation. However, there are different ways to make your profile strong and achieve a competitive CRS score. 

Express Entry Over The Age of 45

How to Improve CRS over 45

  • Improve Language Proficiency: Proficiency in English or French is one of the key factors in the CRS score. You can improve your language proficiency by taking extra language classes. Some standardized testing such as the CLEP even offers extra practice to ensure you score well on your standardized test.

  • Gain Work Experience: You can improve your score by gaining more work experience in your NOC skill level. 

  • Improve Education: Completing additional education or completing a specialized certification will increase your overall CRS score.

  • Receiving a Job Offer: Although not mandatory, receiving a job offer from a Canadian employer will increase your application’s CRS score.

  • Provincial Nominee Programs: If nominated by a Province or Territory, you receive 600 points toward your CRS score.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada recently made changes to Express Entry draws introducing a new draw to select candidates. The new draw is based on specific categories that the Canadian government deems important to the labour market. In 2023, the categories the Canadian government will be targeting are listed below. Note that each year the categories will be reviewed and adjusted to meet Canadian labour needs.

  1. Proficiency in the French language 
  2. Healthcare
  3. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) 
  4. Trade occupations 
  5. Transport occupations
  6. Agriculture and agri-food occupations

The reason we are discussing category-based draws is that the CRS cut-off scores have been lower when compared to general draws. If you are over the age of 45 and due to your age you don’t think you will meet the cut-off to be selected. You may be competitive in category-based draws. 

Express Entry Over The Age of 45

Immigration Pathways Over the Age of 45

Express Entry is the most efficient and popular pathway to immigrate to Canada, it isn’t the only option. Here are a few other popular pathways for individuals over 45. 



For individuals with a family member already holding permanent residency or Canadian citizenship and being over 18, this route might be the most straightforward. Sponsorship options encompass categories such as Spousal, Common-law, Conjugal Partner, Dependent Children, Parents, and Grandparents. Through such sponsorships, the sponsored person can live, study, and work in Canada once they attain permanent residency. In the interim, while awaiting their permanent residency approval, they can secure a work permit to begin their professional journey in Canada.


Start-Up Visa

If you possess the financial means, the Business Immigration pathway could be a convenient option for you. You have the choice of applying via Federal or Provincial business immigration programs, such as the PNP. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or planning to set up a business in Canada, the Start-Up Visa might be suitable. To be eligible for this visa, a letter of support from a recognized angel investor group, venture capital fund, or business incubator is essential. Moreover, you must fulfill the ownership criteria for an eligible business, achieve a Comprehensive Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 5 in all sections for either English or French and possess sufficient funds for settling and covering living expenses before generating income. Additionally, numerous Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) cater to international candidates aiming to establish a business in a specific province, with many offering regional entrepreneur schemes that have a reduced investment threshold.

Canadian Spousal Sponsorship

While age plays a role in Canadian immigration, it doesn’t present a barrier for those over 45. The Express Entry system, with its various categories, offers a structured path for skilled workers, and the evolving nature of its draws caters to a diverse range of skills and experiences. Beyond that, alternative pathways, such as sponsorship and the Start-Up Visa, offer options for those looking to immigrate. The options and the fluidity of the Canadian immigration landscape emphasize that age is but one factor among many. It’s crucial for potential immigrants to remain informed, seek expert consultation, and explore all possibilities to realize their Canadian dream.

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The information in this blog is not to be interpreted or construed as legal advice. Everyone’s immigration goals, objectives and situations are different. Please contact us to speak to a consultant for advice.

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