Federal Skilled Workers

As of January 1, 2015, the Federal Skilled Workers program is now managed under the new expedited electronic management system called Express Entry.  The key change from before January 1, 2015 is the fact that in addition to qualifying for the Federal Skilled Worker program (with a minimum of 67 points), you must create a profile in Step 1 of the Express Entry process, and be ranked according to your personal qualifications.  Based on this ranking (out of a maximum 1,200 points), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will make regular draws and send invitations to apply for permanent residence, to the highest ranked and most qualified candidates from the Express Entry profile pool.  Step 2 is to submit your application and supporting documentation to CIC for the permanent residence approval process, with the goal of approvals in less than 6 months, based on verifying your qualifications and meeting other security, medical and admissibility criteria.

In other words, the three federal immigration programs now under the Express Entry process, including the Federal Skilled Workers class has gotten more difficult and competitive; however, the good news is if you have the experience, skills, language proficiency and or/arranged employment to rank you among the top of the Express Entry pool, the approval process to gaining permanent residence can now be completed in 6 months or less, and there are no longer any caps for applications to the program.

Quebec’s Federal Skilled Worker program, in the meantime, remains relatively unchanged, and remains the only other skilled worker immigration program whereby with a passing score of 49 for single individuals and 57 for married individuals, applicants can predict their chances for receiving a CSQ that enables them to qualify for Canadian permanent residence.

The good news is that there are no longer any caps on the Federal Skilled Worker class for permanent residency status, and only those applicants with the highest CRS totals for each draw will receive an invitation to apply from CIC.  Furthermore, Canada is continually seeking qualified skilled workers as immigrants, to fill chronic shortages in many skilled worker categories across the country.

The minimum requirements to qualify under the Federal Skilled Workers program include:

  • At least one year (1,560 hours total/30 hours per week) continuous full-time or an equivalent in part time within the last 10 years, and be at NOC skill type 0, A or B
  • Employment must be paid work (volunteer work, unpaid internships do not count)
  • Minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 7
  • Have a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, OR
    • A completed foreign credential, AND
    • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by CIC showing your foreign education is equal to a completed Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree
  • Meet all the conditions set out in the six selection factors (language proficiency in English/French, education, work experience, age, valid job offer, and adaptability)
  • Proof of settlement funds, unless you are currently able to legally work in Canada AND you have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada;
  • You must be admissible to Canada;
  • You must plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

Speak to one of the immigration professionals at Mamann, Sandaluk & Kingwell LLP to book a consultation, and find out how you may qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker program for permanent residency status in Canada.

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