Canada News Article – October 2005

This factor came under quite a bit of scrutiny when the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) came into effect in June 2002. This factor allows for additional points to be claimed supporting an application as a skilled worker. The factors favour an applicant who has an accompanying spouse or common-law partner as they have more opportunities to claim points under this factor. It was argued that this was unfair and discriminatory to single applicants who would not have the same opportunity to claim additional points. It was debated that there should be a lower pass mark for single applicants, however Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) held firm. The purpose here is to be able to allocate additional points if you, according to CIC, have the criteria that will assist you in adapting to life in Canada.

You can score an additional ten (10) points in this factor. You can claim points based on your partner’s level of education (if applicable); a minimum of one (1) years authorized work in Canada; a minimum of two (2) years authorized full time, post-secondary study in Canada; arranged employment in Canada or if you have a family member in Canada.

The maximum that you can score under this factor is ten (10) points and these can be accrued through a combination of the following elements that we will look at in more detail.

1. Level of education of accompanying spouse / common-law partner (if applicable). You can claim either 3, 4, or 5 points depending on the level of education you accompanying spouse / common-law partner. The higher the qualification, the more points you can claim. In this case, 3 points are allocated for a 12-15 point qualification; 4 points are allocated for a 20-22 point qualification and 5 points for a 25 point qualification.

2. Previous study in Canada 5 points can be claimed if the applicant or accompanying spouse / common – law partner completed a program of full time study, of at least two (2) years duration, at a post secondary institution in Canada. This study must have taken place after the age of seventeen (17) and they must have had valid study permits. Keep in mind that they did not have to have obtained the educational credential, but must have completed at least two (2) years of study. So you may have completed two years of a three year degree and you will be able to claim points.

These points are only awarded once, so if both had completed two years of previous study in Canada, only 5 points, not 10, will be allocated.

3. Previous work in Canada 5 points can be claimed if the applicant or accompanying spouse / common – law partner has completed a minimum of one (1) year full time work in Canada and had a valid work permit.

4. Family Relationship in Canada 5 points can be claimed if the applicant or accompanying spouse / common – law partner has a relative in Canada. They must be related by blood, marriage, common-law partnership or adoption to a person who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada. Eligible family members are parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, child of a parent, child of a grandparent or grandchild of a parent. A key word here is living in Canada. If you have an eligible family member who is living in the UK, for example, you cannot claim the points. Documentation will need to be provided to confirm that they are residing in Canada.

5. Arranged Employment 5 points can be claimed if the applicant has claimed points under the Arranged Employment factor. As they are already claiming ten (10) points under this factor, they receive an additional five (5) under the Adaptability factor, so their total points for having arranged employment is fifteen (15) points.

It is important to know that, in order to claim points under the Adaptability factor, the criteria must be met at both the time the application is made and at the time the visa is issued. This means that if you had submitted an application claiming points based on your accompanying spouse / common-law partner and, during the processing, they decide to longer accompany you, then points you received under the Adaptability factor cannot be counted.

However, if you add a spouse / common-law partner to your application before a decision is made, and they meet the criteria for points under the Adaptability factor, these points must be counted. Also, if the applicant and/or spouse / common-law partner completes further study, works in Canada, gains arranged employment or gains relatives in Canada before a decision is made, points must be awarded accordingly.

Dennis Brazolot is a Member in Good Standing with the Association of Immigration Counsel of CANADA (AICC) and can be contacted on +1 450 458 2186 or He travels regularly to the UK to meet with clients.