Changes to Skilled Worker Immigration Categories Announced

By Michael Niren November 28, 2008 2 min. read


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:

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.