Changes to Skilled Worker Immigration Categories Announced


In order to address the growing backlog of skilled worker immigration applications and labour market shortages,  Immigration Minister Kenney announced an Action Plan for Faster Immigration today.

High-demand Skilled Worker Immigration Categories

The plan includes issuing instructions to visa officers reviewing new federal skilled worker immigration applications to limit their processing to candidates who:

  • are in 38 high-demand occupations such as health, skilled trades, finance and resource extraction (see below) ; or
  • have an offer of arranged employment; or
  • have already been living legally in Canada for one year as a temporary foreign worker or international student.

The list of 38 occupations was developed after consultations with the provinces and territories, business, labour and other stakeholders.  Retroactive to February 27, 2008, new federal skilled worker applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria outlined above will not be processed, and the application fee will be fully refunded. “The eligibility criteria apply only to new federal skilled worker applicants and will not affect Canada’s family reunification or refugee protection goals,” said Minister Kenney. Applicants who are now no longer eligible for the federal skilled worker immigration category (because of the restriction of occupations) may qualify under another category, such as the Provincial Nominee Program, or as temporary foreign workers, which could then put them on a path to permanent residency through the new Canadian Experience Class. Minister Kenny says that new federal skilled worker applicants, including those with arranged employment, should now receive a decision within six to 12 months compared with up to six years under the old system.

The 38 Qualifying Occupations, or Skilled Worker Immigration Categories are listed below:

  1. 0111: Financial Managers

  2. 0213: Computer and Information Systems Managers

  3. 0311: Managers in Health Care

  4. 0631: Restaurant and Food Service Managers

  5. 0632: Accommodation Service Managers

  6. 0711: Construction Managers

  7. 1111: Financial Auditors and Accountants

  8. 2113: Geologists, Geochemists and Geophysicists

  9. 2143: Mining Engineers

  10. 2144: Geological Engineers

  11. 2145: Petroleum Engineers

  12. 3111: Specialist Physicians

  13. 3112: General Practitioners and Family Physicians

  14. 3141: Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists

  15. 3143: Occupational Therapists

  16. 3142: Physiotherapists

  17. 3151: Head Nurses and Supervisors

  18. 3152: Registered Nurses

  19. 3215: Medical Radiation Technologists

  20. 3233: Licensed Practical Nurses

  21. 4121: University Professors

  22. 4131: College and Other Vocational Instructors

  23. 6241: Chefs

  24. 6242: Cooks

  25. 7213: Contractors and Supervisors, Pipefitting Trades

  26. 7215: Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades

  27. 7217: Contractors and Supervisors, Heavy Construction Equipment Crews

  28. 7241: Electricians (Except Industrial and Power System)

  29. 7242: Industrial Electricians

  30. 7251: Plumbers

  31. 7252: Steamfitters, Pipe fitters and Sprinkler System Installers

  32. 7265: Welders and Related Machine Operators

  33. 7312: Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics

  34. 7371: Crane Operators

  35. 7372: Drillers and Blasters – Surface Mining, Quarrying and Construction

  36. 8221: Supervisors, Mining and Quarrying

  37. 8222: Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service

  38. 9212: Supervisors, Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Processing and Utilities

NOTE: the occupations above are all Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or Skill Level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) on the Canadian National Occupational Classification list.

How to Qualify as Skilled Worker Immigration in Canada

These changes can be quite difficult to understand. If you or somebody you know are planning to immigrate to Canada under the skilled worker immigration program, you should consult an immigration lawyer to help.  Fill out our Free Online Assessment Form and one of our experienced immigration professionals will review information to determine your eligibility for the skilled worker immigration program.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

26 thoughts on “Changes to Skilled Worker Immigration Categories Announced

  1. Irene


    I am Irene. I have worked as an Executive Secretary (from 1994 to 2007).
    Since 2007, I have been into the business of serviced apartments and last three years onwards, I am also designing indian ethnic garments for bridal and party wear. Although I am not trained fashion designer.
    My qualifiations are SYBcom
    I can bring in a networth of 1 cr to Canada with me from sale of personal property assets.
    I am separated and divorce in progress. Husband will have no claim of kids (mutually agreed)
    and currently want to move to Canada with my 2 daughters (14 and 6).
    Is it possible?
    I just want to leave the country and settle abroad with my daughters for their betterment of future.

    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Irene. Thank you for writing to us. Canada has several paths the might be available to you so that you may obtain Canadian permanent residency for you and your daughters. In order to find the best solution for you, we will need to know a lot more about your situation: citizenship, education, language skills, etc. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you and your daughters. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Vahe

  2. Tanya

    Hi I’m Tanya, Married nd working in kindergarten as teacher for one year,my husband working as a team lead, handling customers in a renowned company, having experience more than 6 years, can we both apply for PR in Canada

    1. Sarah Jane MacDonald

      Hello Tanya,
      Some more information is needed in order to assess your eligibility for Canadian PR. Please go here to fill out our Free Online Eligibility Assessment. One of our Canadian Immigration Team Members will get back to you within 24 hours.

      Sarah Jane

  3. Anonymous

    hi i am parminder singh me and my wife both are MA and B.Ed .she have three year experience. l am PGDCA in computer .this diploma complelted after Bacholar study. i have five years experience of supervisior.can we applly for PR for canada. plz reply
    i will wait

    1. Sarah Jane MacDonald

      Hello Parminder,
      Please fill out this Free Online Eligibility Assessment, a member of our experienced Canadian Immigration Team will review your eligibility and contact you with the results within 24 hours.

      All the best,
      Sarah Jane

  4. Vishant

    I am Vishant and having a 8+ Year in IT industry. I am currently living in India and looking forward to move to Canada. I have been working as a Quality Analyst Lead for past 6years. Am i eligible to apply for a canadian based job? Also if i am able to get my PR done in Canada or not?

    I was working in US for past 3 years until recently i have to move back to India for personal reason.

    Thanks and Regard,
    Vishant Bhandari

    1. Michael Niren Post author

      Hello Vishant
      Thank you for your post. You seem to be a very well qualified person and you may qualify under the Federal Skilled worker category. You can complete our immigration online assessment and we can see if we can help
      Michael Niren

  5. rilesh patel

    hi, i m rilesh patel

    i have master degree in organic chemistry and three year work exp. in laboratory as analyst. can i apply for pr for canada? if yes. in which catagery i can apply for PR.?

    1. Michael Niren

      Hello Rilesh
      The FSW program is not going to be active until May. It is hard to determine if you will be eligible for the category. You would have to get an assessment from us to know for sure. You can email us at [email protected] if you are interested in an assessment.

  6. epirot

    I am looking for an Attorney to represent me.
    Does you company only advise or do you also represent people who want to emigrate to Canada?

    1. Michael Niren

      Our law firm does indeed represent applicants wishing to apply for Canadian immigration. You can contact us for a consultation at 416 410 7484 or email us at [email protected]

  7. Irfana

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    This is Irfana . My husband have done my Masters ’s in Computer Science .He has 15 years of working experience as an IT manger . We live in Pakistan. I want to know whether my husband eligible to get the PR in Canada with my family ?

  8. Jaskarn Singh Kaler

    Hi Sir/Madam , I am master’s degree holder in Arts stream and also I have a B.Ed degree ( in M.Ed), and have more than 5 years of teaching experience at College level (teacher training college). My spouse also has a Master’s degree in Arts and B.Ed degree with two years experience of teaching. Am I eligible for Permanent Residence of Canada with my family? I have also sufficient funds to show.

  9. Zahid Hussain

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    This is Zahid. I have done my bachelor’s in Computer Science (Major. Software Engineering). I have had 2 years of working experience as an IT officer. I live in Pakistan. I want to know whether I am eligible to get the PR in Canada or not.

    Awaits your reply


  10. Ajay SIngh


    I am into Sales and marketing and having total 15 yeras of experience (in communications), My wife has done fashion designing from a reputed institution so do i qualify under new skilled permanent residency programme.


    Ajay Singh

  11. Harjipreet Kaur

    Respected sir/madam
    I have done master’s degree in arts and batchlor of education and also have two years diploma in cutting tailoring and embroidery from technical board of education with 7-8 years of experience(as a tailor)in india and i m a student in australia at present.My husband’s aunt is canadian permanent residant.That’s why i want to know taht can i apply under skilled worker catagory or any ather catagory for canadian permenent residency?

  12. niaz ali

    hi i am illegel in usa .i have mba degree from pakistan i have 4 years exp. my wife have also master degree in education .she is living in pakistan.can i quilify for canadian immigration.

  13. Amit

    Dear Sir,

    I have been working in Canada on a temporary work permit for the past 4 months in the field of finance. I wanted to know:
    1. Will I be eligible to apply for a PR through Federal Skilled Worker Class or through Canada Experience Class?
    2. DO i get a preference based on which skill type (manager or professional or technical) I belong to?


  14. Rohan

    I am a Manufacturing Engineer working in a OEM Industry in USA with more than 3 yrs of experience and have Master’s Degree in USA..
    Am I eligible to apply for the Permanent Resident Card?

  15. Sunil Khullar

    Hi, I am 31 years old Indian. Presently serving in Government Sector. I am Personal Assistant to Commissioner in Local Government Department. A commissioner is an IAS rank officer. I am in govt. job for the last 12 years. My wife is home maker. Can I be eligbile to apply for Canada PR, and on what basis.

  16. Masood

    Sir.I applied for canadian immigration in nov 2005.
    what effect action plan of new poilcy will on my case.
    can i do the stop my case and apply for new category?

  17. Michael

    As a RN, your occupation is on the occupation list so you may be eligible for Skilled Worker immigration. However, there are other criteria to consider. You can submit your resume to us and we can evaluate whether you qualify or not.

  18. Balveer kaur

    I am a registered nurse. I want to know if I am eligible for skilled worker immigration to canada.

  19. Michael Niren

    Hello Sameer
    Based on the new changes to the Skilled Worker category, you and your wife may have difficulty qualifying for Permanent Residence to Canada. However, in order to properly assess your case, you should consult with a qualified immigration lawyer directly. Only this way, can you really determine if you qualify.
    Michael Niren

  20. sameer

    Hi, I’m Sameer. Me and my wife, both want to apply for Canadian Permanent Residence under the Federal Program in Canada. My wife she is a primary teacher here with more than four year of experience and got double bachelor’s degree. I have more than 10 yrs. experience in media and I have completed a bachelor degree and post graduation diploma in mass communication. I want to know whether we are eligible to get the PR in Canada or not.
    Waiting for your reply soon.

    Thanks and Regards,
    [email protected]


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