US Permanent Residence > Permanent Residence > Skilled Workers
Federal skilled worker applications are assessed for eligibility according to a set of instructions issued by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism which took effect on July 1, 2011. As Canada's labour needs change, new instructions will be issued.
First, your application must meet one of the following criteria:
- have a valid offer of "arranged employment" (i.e. approved by HRSDC), or
- have one year of continuous full-time paid work experience in at least one of the occupations listed here
- be an international student enrolled in a PhD program in Canada (or graduated from a Canadian PhD program within the past 12 months) and meet certain criteria
For detailed job descriptions and educational requirements for each of the occupations in demand, please refer to the National Occupational Classification.
If you meet one of the above criteria, your application will then be assessed according to the "points system".
Points are awarded to the applicants on the basis of the following factors:
- Education (maximum 25 points)
- Proficiency in English and/or French (maximum 24 points)
- Work Experience (maximum 21 points)
- Age (maximum 10 points)
- Arranged Employment (maximum 10 points)
- Adaptability (maximum 10 points)
- have at least one year of full-time paid work experience (within the last 10 years)
- prove that they have the funds required for settlement Proof of Funds; and
earn 67 points in the six selection factors listed above.
Federal skilled worker applicants who meet these criteria and have at least 67 points will be given equal priority in terms of processing along with the Canadian Experience Class. Processing times are being estimated at between 6 to 12 months.
There are many ways to immigrate to Canada. If you don't meet the criteria to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you may qualify under another category.
What happens if I already applied to immigrate to Canada before July 1, 2011?
If you applied before July 1, 2011, your application is not affected by the new law. These applications will be processed according to the rules that applied when the application was filed with the visa office. If you decide to withdraw your application, you can contact your local visa office. Your fee will be refunded as long as the office has not begun processing your application.
Do I still have to qualify under the points system?
Yes. If a skilled worker application is found eligible for processing, it will then be assessed according to the points system. In light of this procedure all skilled worker applicants are now asked to submit a completed regular application.
If I applied before the new law came into effect, and I am eligible for processing according to the criteria in the instructions, can I withdraw my application and reapply under the new system?
Yes, if you have previously submitted an application that qualifies under the list of 29 occupations, you may wish to reapply. At some point you will be asked to discontinue the first application. The fees may or may not be returned to you depending on the stage of processing of the application.
Do the changes affect application fees?
The changes do not affect the current application fees.
What if I am not eligible under the criteria outlined in the instructions?
If you submitted your application after February 27, 2008, and you do not meet the criteria in the Ministerial Instructions, your application will not be processed. The visa office will simply return your application with the full fee refunded. The eligibility criteria outlined in the instructions are meant to reflect Canada's labour market needs.
If I am an international student or temporary foreign worker living legally in Canada, should I apply under the Canadian Experience Class?
Some international students and temporary foreign workers living legally in Canada are eligible to apply to stay permanently in Canada under either the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The main differences between eligibility for the two categories are the length of time you've spent in Canada and the way you'll be assessed.
Federal skilled worker applicants must be assessed against the points system for factors like education, language proficiency, work experience, age, arranged employment, and adaptability. CEC applicants must meet specific minimum requirements for language ability, and for those in the worker stream must have the requisite 2 years of Canadian work experience and, for those in the students stream, the minimum of 2 years post-secondary education plus one year of work experience.
You may contact us to determine which application would be best for you based on your particular circumstances.
Online Assessment Form - If you would like to have your qualifications assessed, please click here.
In order to receive points under the Arranged Employment selection factor, an applicant must have either a work permit in Canada or have a positive Arranged Employment Opinion from HRSDC Canada. Certain work permits in Canada qualify for Arranged Employment points without a Labour Market Opinion from HRSDC.
In order to receive Job Offer Validation, an immigration officer must make a determination that the employment by the skilled worker would likely result in a neutral or positive economic effect in Canada.
For information on HRSDC Labour Market Opinions and Arranged Employment Opinions, please refer to our section on work permits in temporary residence or visit the HRSDC Website.
In order to locate a HRDC office in Canada, please visit:
Human Resources Development Canada
Ottawa introduces new rules for skilled worker applications, June 29th, 2009
Language test for everyone – Guidy Mamann, May 5th, 2008
Who’s dependent, who’s not? Guidy Mamann, March 31st, 2008
New Canadian Experience Class set to launch -- Guidy Mamann, January 14th, 2008
Work experience trips skilled worker – Guidy Maman, December 10th, 2007
Skilled workers lose big – Guidy Mamann, November 5th, 2007
Visa officers not obligated to give advice – Guidy Mamann, March 19th, 2007
Applying in Buffalo a big risk – Guidy Mamann, January 15th, 2007
Best, brightest not the best way – Guidy Mamann, November 20th, 2006
Simplified process for skilled workers – Guidy Mamann, July 17th, 2006
Skilled worker’s kids’ eligibility up in the air – Guidy Mamann, June 26th, 2006
Cookie cutter approach not fair to kids – Guidy Mamann, October 24th, 2005
Immigrating can be leap of faith – Guidy Mamann, July 11th, 2005
Read fine print to avoid deportation – Guidy Mamann, April 18th, 2005