How to Qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

Please note as of January 1, 2015 the Skilled Worker program as been replaced by the Expressed Entry Program. Go to this page for more details. If you are a considered a Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), you may be able to qualify for immigration to Canada.

Requirements for Skilled Worker Eligibility

In order to be considered for the FSW program, a foreign worker must have ONE of the following:

  • At least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in one of the 24 eligible occupations (see further below)
  • Qualified for Arranged Employment with a Labour Market Opinion and a full-time, permanent job offer from a Canadian employer
  • Completed a PhD in Canada, or have completed two years of study in Canada towards a PhD, in both cases at a recognized institution

In addition, the applicant must prove an ability to speak either English or French

How are Skilled Worker Applicants Evaluated?

In addition to the work requirements, applicants are assessed on a number of different "factors" about their personal circumstances and are awarded "points" for each factor. Applicants are than evaluated on the six selection factors which determine their ability to adjust to the Canadian economy.

6 Selection Factors for Assessing Applicant's Eligibility

  1. their education
  2. their abilities in English and/or French, Canada's two official languages
  3. their work experience
  4. their age
  5. whether they have arranged employment in Canada, and
  6. their adaptability.

An applicant must score 67 points out of a possible 100 to be eligible for the Skilled Worker visa. Individuals must also show that they have enough money to support themselves and their dependents after they arrive in Canada.

How Do I Calculate My Points?

Calculating your points can be somewhat complicated. It is more than just a matter of adding up the scores. It is not recommended that you rely on your own assessment. There are many legal issues involved in the proper calculation of immigration points that must be taken into consideration when adding up your score. A thorough understanding of Canadian immigration law is required to accurately assess whether you have enough points to immigrate. It is recommended that you get a professional assessment to accurately calculate your score.

What if I don't get enough points to qualify?

It is important to note that if an applicant scores below sixty-seven (67) points, he/she may still be approved in cases where the immigration officer assessing the case exercises positive discretion in the applicant's favour. The Immigration Regulations permit an immigration officer to exercise positive discretion if the officer is of the opinion that it is likely that the applicant will economically establish himself/herself in Canada.

Beware, however, that the Immigration Regulations also gives an immigration officer the power to exercise negative discretion in cases where the applicant scores 67 points or above if the officer forms the opinion that the applicant will unlikely economically establish himself/herself in Canada.

Which Occupations are Eligible for the FSW Program?

There are 24 eligible occupations for the Federal Skilled Worker List. There is a cap on these occupation streams of 5000 and sub-caps of 300 applications in each of the 24 occupations on the list. This means that there are limited opportunities, and is a reason why enlisting professional help with your application will help your case.

Eligible Occupations for FSW Program

Engineering managers, Financial and investment analysts, Geoscientists and oceanographers, Civil engineers, Mechanical engineers, Chemical engineers, Mining engineers, Geological engineers, Petroleum engineers, Aerospace engineers, Computer engineers (except software engineers/designers), Land surveyors, Computer programmers and interactive media developers, Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics, Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety, Audiologists and speech-language pathologists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Medical laboratory technologists, Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants, Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists, Medical radiation technologists, Medical sonographers, Cardiology technicians and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c.

What To Know about Language Requirements

All applicants to the FSW Program should first determine whether they meet the new minimum language threshold: Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 7 in all four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). To prove language proficiency, a prospective applicant must take a third-party language test from an organization designated by the Minister and submit their test report along with their application to CIC.

CIC-designated language testing organizations include:

Third-party language tests are scored differently by each of the three organizations. Language test results will be accepted by CIC for two years from the date that they were issued by the designated organization.

Why Legal Help for the Skilled Worker Program is Vital

Canada accepts thousands of Skilled Worker Applications each year. However, the process is not easy and is very time consuming. Applying for Canadian Permanent residence requires knowledge of the requirements, procedures, Canadian embassies, as well as how to respond to inquires from Canada immigration during the application process.

Like all immigration applications, getting it right the first time is essential. Our firm makes sure that:

  1. Your Skilled Worker application is prepared properly which means all the documentation and necessary information is assembled and organized for review by the visa officer
  2. We prepare a detailed legal submission letter explaining why you are a qualified candidate for Canadian immigration
  3. Your application is submitted to the correct Visa office. Once your application is submitted we also monitor it as its being processed. We are there for you every step of the way!

Why Hire Us to Help ?

Our lawyers have over 17 years of experience in handling Permanent Resident cases from virtually every country. Applying for Canadian immigration will be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. Make sure your case is in good hands! The documentation and processes involved in successfully obtaining an Immigration visa are complex and usually require legal expertise. We have helped thousands of individuals to successfully get Canadian permanent residence and we can help you too!

The first step towards a successful application is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.

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