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Old Nov 6th 2017, 10:34 am   #1
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Default Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

Hey all,

My wife and I are looking at the possibility of moving to Canada, and recently attended Canada Live! in London. There we spoke to Brazalot, who told us that given our ages (41 and 46) and occupations, the most likely route into Canada would be to apply for a study permit as this would allow the person non studying to work for the two years of the permit.

Now, we were really impressed with the impression Brazalot gave at the event, to the point that we've paid £25 for them to do an initial review, but having done some research online, I'm reading an awful lot of negative comments about them. So, a couple of questions...

Does their initial advice sound like it makes sense? Is there anyone here who has experience of using that route to eventually gain permanent residency in Canada? I understand that after the initial 2 year permit, you get a post-study visa, and that you can use this to build up points for your permanent visa application. How feasible is this route?

I know that it's possible to do this whole thing yourself without paying someone, but assuming that we want the assistance, what options are there for someone living in North London that people can recommend? Now that we've paid the £25 (I wish I'd done the research first but hey, too late now) I see no reason not to go to this meeting with Brazalot, but I would be extremely interested to hear from people who have used other companies they might recommend.

Thanks in advance,

Phil
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 10:42 am   #2
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

Hi, welcome to BE.

Their advice might make sense, but without knowing a lot more about you, it's hard to say for sure. A study permit I would say is an absolute last resort - it's a temporary visa, no definite route to PR, and usually costs a small fortune (tens of thousands for international tuition fees). It's one I've recommended in the past (both on the forum and when doing visa assessments myself professionally - which any decent consultant will do for free BTW!), but it's definitely the bottom of list visa wise IMO, unless you have a genuine wish to do further education. Whether or not it's your only option will depend on a number of things (not just your age), including your occupations and how in demand they are, your education etc.

Have you looked in to your visa eligibility yourself? Taken the official test on the CIC website? If so, what does that say?
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 11:21 am   #3
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

I've had a quick look at visa eligibility and found it a little confusing.

I'm unsure as to how to score the Experience section of the Federal Skilled Workers. My wife has many years experience as a senior administrator and programme manager working in Further Education and Health settings. Looking through the NOC listings though, the most appropriate code I can see is Administrative Officer, which is a B. If this is the case, can we count the full 15 points towards the total? If so, we score around 70-75 points for this.

Our CRS score seems really, really low (170?). I think we are being significantly handicapped by our age here, but I'm not convinced I'm doing the calculation correctly.
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 11:36 am   #4
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by wibblyphil View Post
I'm unsure as to how to score the Experience section of the Federal Skilled Workers. My wife has many years experience as a senior administrator and programme manager working in Further Education and Health settings. Looking through the NOC listings though, the most appropriate code I can see is Administrative Officer, which is a B. If this is the case, can we count the full 15 points towards the total? If so, we score around 70-75 points for this.
Yes, you can count that - 'Skilled' is Level A, O or B.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wibblyphil View Post
Our CRS score seems really, really low (170?). I think we are being significantly handicapped by our age here, but I'm not convinced I'm doing the calculation correctly.
Definitely something wrong there if you are scoring 70-75 on the FSW points system, the two don't match up at all! Maybe you're better off totting it up yourself rather than using the automatic calculator as it has a bit more info about each set of points. Try here - Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Criteria – Express Entry

And if you want to break it down, then one of us can double check it for you if it helps.

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Old Nov 6th 2017, 12:22 pm   #5
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

Hey,

So it seems I need to slow down and read things more thoroughly

Having gone through the score breakdowns for both the FSW and CRS, I misread a few things, and now have a number of queries. I've broken things down below, and would greatly appreciate it if someone could clarify where I am unclear.

These scores assume my wife is the primary applicant.

FSW Score Breakdown
Language Skills - Assumed 24 points for English, her communication skills are excellent
Education - I misread this. My wife has a degree in Music and a PGCE(Secondary Education). Looking at the list, it doesn't look like she gets any points for this at all?
Experience - 15 points
Age - 1 point
Spouse language level - 5 (assumed)
Relatives in Canada - 5? (uncle, aunt and 2 cousins on my side. Does this count if my wife is the primary applicant)

Total points - 50?.
The 70+ came from my misreading of the Education section. However it seems odd that we don't get any points at all for my wife's degree.

CRS Score
Section A
Age - 0 points
Level of Education - 112 (should this be 119 if her PGCE counts?)
First official language - 32 (assumed)

Section B
Level of Education - 8 (Degree in Computer Science. I also have a PGCE, so should this be 9?)
First official language - 5 (assumed)

Section C
Education - 25? (not sure on this one. Assuming good language proficiency, the music degree and PGCE)
Foreign work experience - 13? (my wife has a number of years working as a TEFL teacher abroad, but this was a long time ago now)

Section D
Nothing applies here

Total points - ?

Even with a very optimistic reading though, it still doesn't look good

Thanks in advance for any help.

Phil
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 4:20 pm   #6
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by wibblyphil View Post
Education - I misread this. My wife has a degree in Music and a PGCE(Secondary Education). Looking at the list, it doesn't look like she gets any points for this at all?
This bit is a little confusing in that it talks about Canadian qualifications. However, you still score points if you get your non-Canadian qualifications assessed to show what there equivalency in Canada would be (this is called an Education Credential Assessment (ECA). In your case I would think your wife would score 22 points points for 'Two or more Canadian post-secondary degrees or diplomas or equal (at least one must be for a program of at least three years)'

Quote:
Originally Posted by wibblyphil View Post
Relatives in Canada - 5? (uncle, aunt and 2 cousins on my side. Does this count if my wife is the primary applicant
I think it would but do check the requirements below from Selection factors: federal skilled workers

You, or if it applies, your spouse or common-law partner, have a relative:
•living in Canada
•18 years or older and
•a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

This relative must be a:
•parent
•grandparent
•child
•grandchild
•child of a parent (sibling)
•child of a grandparent (aunt or uncle)
•grandchild of a parent (niece or nephew)


Total points - 72?


Quote:
Originally Posted by wibblyphil View Post
Foreign work experience - 13? (my wife has a number of years working as a TEFL teacher abroad, but this was a long time ago now)
This any work experience outside of Canada not necessarily foreign to your home country. Therefore any of your recent work experience counts.
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 4:56 pm   #7
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

Thanks for the clarifications. By my reckoning this is what we now have...

FSW Score Breakdown
Language Skills - 24 (assumed)
Education - 22
Experience - 15
Age - 1 point
Spouse language level - 5 (assumed)
Relatives in Canada - 5

Total - 72

CRS
Section A
Age - 0 points
Level of Education - 119
First official language - 32 (assumed)

Section B
Level of Education - 9 (Degree in Computer Science and a PGCE)
First official language - 5 (assumed)

Section C
Education - 25
Foreign work experience - 50 (assumed language level, 3+ years experience)

Section D
Nothing applies here

Total - 240

Which still puts us well below the required number for the CRS I think...
If that's the case, what are our options?
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 5:22 pm   #8
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

I agree with your FSW points, but not your CRS points. You've miscalculated the language points (it's 32 for each ability, so max of 132 in total for the principal applicant, and ditto for the spouse i.e. 5 for each ability rather than overall = 20 in total).

I'd also give you 50 for the education & language ability under the transferability factors, rather than 25 (as you've assumed max points for IELTS).

So by my reckoning, that's another 136 points you hadn't given yourselves. Sadly I still don't think that will be enough to get you selected, but have another look bearing the above in mind and let us know your final score.
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 5:30 pm   #9
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by wibblyphil View Post
Thanks for the clarifications. By my reckoning this is what we now have...

FSW Score Breakdown
Language Skills - 24 (assumed)
Education - 22
Experience - 15
Age - 1 point
Spouse language level - 5 (assumed)
Relatives in Canada - 5

Total - 72

CRS
Section A
Age - 0 points
Level of Education - 119
First official language - 32 (assumed)

Section B
Level of Education - 9 (Degree in Computer Science and a PGCE)
First official language - 5 (assumed)

Section C
Education - 25
Foreign work experience - 50 (assumed language level, 3+ years experience)

Section D
Nothing applies here

Total - 240

Which still puts us well below the required number for the CRS I think...
If that's the case, what are our options?
I think you are miscalculating.

I've just run through the CRS tool, using the information you have provided. I wasn't 100% sure if you both have degrees and a PGCE or just one of you, so I have assumed you both have. If not, the points for education for the spouse would be reduced. This is for the 46 year old being principal applicant:
Core/Human capital factors

Age = 0
Level of education = 119
Study in Canada = undefined
Official Languages = 128
First Official Language = 128
Second Official Language = 0
Canadian work experience = 0

Subtotal - Core/Human capital factors = 247

Spouse factors

Level of education = 9 * this may be reduced if only 1 degree (or no degree)
First Official Languages = 20
Canadian work experience = 0

Subtotal - Spouse factors = 29

Skill transferability factors
Education

A) Official Language proficiency and education = 50
B) Canadian work experience and education = 0

Subtotal = 50
Foreign work experience

A) Official Language proficiency and foreign work experience = 50
B) Canadian and foreign work experience = 0

Subtotal = 50

Certificate of qualification = 0

Subtotal Skill transferability factors = 100

Comprehensive Ranking System formula

Subtotal Core/Human capital + Spouse factors + Skill transferability = 376

Provincial nomination = 0

Job offer = 0

Study in Canada = 0

Sibling in Canada = 0

French-language skills = 0

Subtotal Additional points = 0

Grand total = 376
That's without a job offer. If the 'younger' of the 2 of you were to be the principal applicant (presuming the education is the same, degree + PGCE) then the points would go up to 403, which is almost there. That doesn't appear to include (under adaptability) the relatives in Canada and any points you may get for that.

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Old Nov 6th 2017, 5:33 pm   #10
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

Hi Phil,

My wife and I are currently going the Study permit route (she's got the permit and I'm waiting on approval for my Open Work permit)

We've found the process to be quite easy, however it is very expensive as you need to have your tuition fees and survival cash for the first year (we've been saving like mad to get the cash together)

We went this route for a few reasons:
1) it seemed to be the best option for us as it seemd very difficult to get any jobs without a visa as I'm not specialised enough

2) my wife wanted a break from her career and so HE seemed like a good idea for retraining and also getting Canadian education and work experience to help with the CRS for EE.

Happy to chat about our experiences so far if you want!
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 8:06 pm   #11
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

Interesting, very interesting

Thanks all for the clarifications and corrections. Seems we're much closer than we had assumed. I think we'll probably go ahead with the meeting with Brazalot, as we've paid the initial fee now and it doesn't cost anything extra. I would still appreciate any recommendations for other consultants/companies that people have used for similar services.

Obitim - thank you for the offer, which we may well take up if we establish that the study permit route is the one we're going to pursue.
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 8:16 pm   #12
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by wibblyphil View Post
Interesting, very interesting

Thanks all for the clarifications and corrections. Seems we're much closer than we had assumed. I think we'll probably go ahead with the meeting with Brazalot, as we've paid the initial fee now and it doesn't cost anything extra. I would still appreciate any recommendations for other consultants/companies that people have used for similar services.

Obitim - thank you for the offer, which we may well take up if we establish that the study permit route is the one we're going to pursue.
Personally, I wouldn't go to the meeting. If you do decide to go, please, please don't sign or agree to anything! There is nothing that an Immigration Consultant can do to 'up' your points or improve your chances. You can find out the different routes you could apply through by using the CIC website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/index.asp

YOU will be the person who has to gather all the documentation, fill in the forms etc., you will be paying for someone to check it, basically. There are application checking services out there that will cost you considerably less than an Immigration Consultant, if you really feel the need! The only reason I personally would use an Immigration Consultant was if I had a complicated background, a criminal record or health issues (or was a refugee or similar). There is nothing they can do that you can't do on your own, providing none of those things apply.

Have you looked into the Atlantic Pilot Project or any of the Provincial programs?

You can obtain all the information and help you need (for routes and for applying) for free - here.

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Old Nov 6th 2017, 9:00 pm   #13
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

Thanks for the advice - we will be very, very careful.

I have had a look at the Atlantic Pilot Project, as that is one area we're particularly interested in moving to, but I found it virtually impossible to get an overview of the companies that were participating and any jobs that were part of the scheme.

I haven't had a look at the Provincial Programs yet - that's next on my list
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 9:10 pm   #14
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by wibblyphil View Post
Thanks for the advice - we will be very, very careful.

I have had a look at the Atlantic Pilot Project, as that is one area we're particularly interested in moving to, but I found it virtually impossible to get an overview of the companies that were participating and any jobs that were part of the scheme.

I haven't had a look at the Provincial Programs yet - that's next on my list
Which Province do the family members reside in? Some give extra points or preference if you have family ties to them.

Not sure if you are working in IT but this post might be of use: Global Talent Stream - we have IT vacancies

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Old Nov 18th 2017, 2:38 pm   #15
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Default Re: Advice for couple looking at using a study permit to gain initial entry to Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obitim View Post

Happy to chat about our experiences so far if you want!
Hi, the study permit route appears to be the only route for us into Canada. Are you happy to chat about your experiences with another couple, considering this route?
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