Changes to the Skilled Worker Occupation List: Canada announces “Action Plan for Faster Immigration”

Changes to the Skilled Worker Priority List may be coming….Again

Those who are eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Skilled Worker Program could be risking their eligibility if they wait too long, because the Action Plan for Faster Immigration that was announced on March 16th by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney means the Government of Canada is hiring consultants to determine what professions would best benefit from being added to or removed from the Priority Occupation List.

The Government of Canada announced the Priority Occupation List in 2008 in order to fast-track the skilled worker applications so that those who worked in high-demand occupations would be able to come to Canada and begin working faster.

The Skilled Worker Program allows those with an occupation listed on the Priority Occupation List to come to Canada without a preexisting job offer from a Canadian employer in their field. However, in some cases obtaining “Arranged Employment” in advance in Canada  would be necessary to qualify.

Kenney mentioned in his announcement that the Priority Occupation List has been extremely successful, but as Canada’s economic situation changes and so must the skills that are considered in demand.

“The Action Plan for Faster Immigration is designed to make immigration more responsive to Canada’s economic conditions,” said Kenney, “when these conditions change, the instructions are meant to change too. The first set of instructions has had a significant impact, but our research shows it is time to revise them to make sure they continue to meet their goals.”

Remember, the program is meant to benefit Canada’s economy as much as the immigrants themselves. While it provides ample opportunity for skilled workers to come to Canada, the program will be ever changing to best suit the needs of the economy.

Apply Now if you Qualify for the Skilled Worker Program

What this all means for prospective Skilled Worker Applicants is that if you are considering applying for permanent residence through the Skilled Worker Program, it is imperative that you consider doing so sooner rather than later, as you occupation could be removed and replaced on the prioirty list. If this happens you may no longer qualify for immigration to Canada under this category.

Last November we reported changes to the Skilled Worker Program here. And once again, the winds of change are blowing again.

As I have said many times. Immigration Law is constantly changing; it is a moving target. And to score a “bulls eye”  you need to know what is happening behind the scene before it happens.

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

13 thoughts on “Changes to the Skilled Worker Occupation List: Canada announces “Action Plan for Faster Immigration”

  1. amir

    dear modom/sir

    good day

    im amir ,and i have 5 years experience as deck officer in international company’s,is there any chance for me to apply as skill worker.

    best regards

  2. noorul huda

    i am graduateand working in hotel and resturant indutries since 5year more in defferent position and have a certificate course of cook and hotel front office i have interested in manitoba fast track immagration. i am age of 41years and my daughter is student of D.PHARM AND OTHER BECHOLAR IN COMP.SC FROM ENGENNERING UNIVERSITY.HAVE I ANY CHANCE TO GET IMMAGRATION IN CANADA ANY PROVINCE BY CHANSE.

  3. hamid

    I am a ship officer with 1year of exprience in a national Iranian company. I graduated from marine engineering(navigation). I would like to immigrate to Canada as a Skilled Worker. Is there any chance for me?

  4. Sardar Barzingi


    I am a Computer Engineer with 6 years of experince. I have a brother in Canada and some relatives. I live in Finland with my wife and am very interested in moving to Canada under the Skilled Worker program. I wonder if I am eligble and my occupation is in the list or going to be in the list. And how ofter the NOC list will changes ?

    1. Alicia Kim

      Dear Sardar,

      The occupation of Computer Engineer is one of the eligible jobs on the NOC list. However, I suggest that you consult with an immigration lawyer to better assess your eligibility as it usually depends on detailed job descriptions.

      Thank you.

  5. Nebyat Takele

    I am Nebyat from Ethiopia. I studied Tourism Management and have 4 years of work experience as a tour guide, superviser and marketing expert in the Tigrai Tourism and Culture Agency, Ethiopia. My wife has her Bachelor’s Degree in English and has one year work experience.

    I would like to apply as a Skilled Worker. Do you think we are eligible to apply?

    Thank you.

    1. Alicia Kim

      Dear Nebyat,

      In order to qualify, you need to have a valid offer of arranged employment in Canada or have one year of continuous full-time paid work experience in one of the occupations listed on the NOC list. Your job experience as a marketing expert may qualify you under the Sales and Service Occupations category. Your wife’s eligibility also depends on what kind of work experience she has had. To better assess your eligibility, I sugges that you consult with an immigration lawyer with detailed job descriptions for you and your wife.

      Thank you.

  6. khyati chintankumar talati

    I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce in India and my husband also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry in India. Are we eligible to apply for immigration to Canada?

    1. Alicia Kim

      Dear Talati,

      In order to apply as a Skilled Worker, you need to have a valid offer of arranged employment in Canada or have one year of continuous full-time paid work experience in at least one of the occupations listed in NOC. So, your eligibility would depend on whether you have a job offer in Canada or the type of work experience you have in the past.

      Thank you.

  7. Cosmin Badea


    I am a European citizen. I now work and live in Brazil. I would like to apply as a Skilled Worker to move to British Columbia. How can I apply and can my family members apply as well? Also, how much is the application processing fee and how much does it cost to hire your firm?

    Cosmin Badea

    1. Alicia Kim

      Dear Cosmin Badea,

      In order to apply under the federal skilled worker category, you should include the results of your official langauge proficiency test (English or French) and have a valid offer of arrangement employment or have one year of continous full time paid work experience. Your family members may accompany you under your application.

      The application processing fee is $550 for a principal applicant and a family member age 22 or older and $150 for a family member under age 22 who is unmarried and not in a common law relationship. As legal fees differ depending on each case, please contact one of our lawyers with respect to the legal fees for your Skilled Worker application.

      Thank you.


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