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Foreign Skilled Worker

As of July 1, 2012, the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration has stopped accepting application for Permanent Residence in the Foreign Skilled Worker and Investment Class categories. This freeze is supposed to be temporary and last until January 2013. It is meant to address the backlog of applications currently awaiting processing.

Important Changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program Announced.

On June 26, 2010, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced that the Government of Canada has amended its current immigration procedures to put even greater emphasis on economic recovery and further reduce the Federal Skilled Worker application backlog.

The changes, effective immediately, concern the Federal Skilled Worker program, including:

  • a change in the occupations that are currently 'open' under this program,
  • the creation of a limit on the number of applications which will be considered by Canadian Immigration Visa Offices, and
  • a change in the documentation required for an application under this program.

Requirements for Eligibility of Case Processing.

Under these updated instructions, an application is eligible for processing if the applicant:

  • has at least one year of continuous, full-time (or equivalent) paid work experience in the past decade in a qualifying occupation, which have been identified as the most in-demand occupations in Canada at this time; or
  • qualifies for Arranged Employment with a full-time permanent job offer from a Canadian employer.

Applicants who formerly qualified because they had been living in Canada with legal status as a Temporary Foreign Worker or an international student will no longer be eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker program, but may still meet the eligibility criteria of the Canadian Experience Class program.

Revised List of 29 Qualifying Occupations.

The former list of 38 qualifying occupations has been amended to include 11 new occupations with 20 previously listed occupations having been removed.

Effective immediately, the below is the revised list of accepted occupations in the Foreign Skilled Worker class:

0631 Restaurant and Food Service Managers
0811 Primary Production Managers (Except Agriculture)
1122 Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management
1233 Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners
2121 Biologists and Related Scientists
2151 Architects
3111 Specialist Physicians
3112 General Practitioners and Family Physicians
3113 Dentists
3131 Pharmacists
3142 Physiotherapists
3152 Registered Nurses
3215 Medical Radiation Technologists
3222 Dental Hygienists & Dental Therapists
3233 Licensed Practical Nurses
4151 Psychologists
4152 Social Workers
6241 Chefs
6242 Cooks
7215 Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades
7216 Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades
7241 Electricians (Except Industrial & Power System)
7242 Industrial Electricians
7251 Plumbers
7265 Welders & Related Machine Operators
7312 Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
7371 Crane Operators
7372 Drillers & Blasters - Surface Mining, Quarrying & Construction
8222 Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service

New Annual Numerical Limit on Applications Considered for Processing.

For those skilled workers applying under the occupation list, the government will limit the number of applications considered for processing to 20,000 total per year. Within the 20,000 limit, a maximum of 1,000 applications per occupation will be considered. This limit does not apply to applicants with a job offer.

New Requirement for Language Proficiency Results to Accompany Initial Filing.

Candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker program and for the Canadian Experience Class Program will now be required to submit the results of a language proficiency assessment exam, along with a complete set of supporting documents (such as copies of passports, evidence of educational history, documentation of marital status, proof of settlement funds, police clearances, etc.) with their application forms.


NPZ Law Group Canadian Division can assist you to immigrate to Canada based on your occupation and work experience. To acquire permanent residence based on your foreign work skills, there are several steps which need to be considered.

The Canadian Immigration system is now governed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its Regulations. Each applicant in the Foreign Skilled Worker category is assessed based on a points scale with a minimum of 67 points required to be considered eligible to emigrate. The points are awarded based on:

- Age
- Education
- Knowledge of official languages (French and English)
- Arranged employment; and
- Adaptability

An Immigration officer has discretion to refuse or allow an application that does not meet the 67 points minimum, but rule of thumb practically is that 67 points is required. Remember that there is a chance you may still qualify if you have less points than required

Primary considerations in assessing the merits of a Foreign Skilled Worker application are whether:

- the applicant has one year of continuous full-time or part-time experience in their occupation in the 10 years preceding the application; and

- the occupation forming the basis of the application is a trade that fits into certain categories of the NOC classification list prepared bv Service Canada.

Full time work experience is calculated at 37.5 hours per week minimum; experience gathered pre-graduation may be counted as long as there is time worked after graduation.

The NOC is a document describing all types of allowable occupations and their requirements. It is necessary to look at the NOC grid to determine whether an applicant fits into one of three categories, namely Management Type O, or Skilled Levels A or B.
Within the experience, must show that performed the activities described in the lead statement of the Classification, and a substantial number of the duties in the "main duties" section, and "all of the essential duties." It is important that the proper four digit code of the NOC be specified in the application.

Applicants will be happy to know that presently, there is no need to show CIC that the occupation under which they are applying is the job that will be pursued in Canada.

Although having an offer of employment does help an application both in terms of points awarded (you get an extra 10 points in the assessment) and in terms of priority (CIC gives preference to applications where there is a job offer awaiting), there is no requirement per se, of having a job waiting for you in Canada.

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