Skilled Worker Immigration to Canada
Skilled Workers and their families compose the majority of new immigrants to Canada. They are chosen based on their ability to become economically established in Canada, with the aim that they should fill shortages in the Canadian labour market, thereby contributing to Canada through their work and taxes.
The Federal Skilled Worker Category
The Federal Skilled Worker Category (FSWC) allows those who have at least one year of skilled work experience to apply for permanent residence in Canada
, provided that they obtain sufficient points under the point score system. Federal Skilled Workers must apply under the Express Entry system rather than directly to a visa office.
Skilled Work Experience
To qualify as a Skilled Worker, the applicant must have at least one year of full time skilled work experience. Skilled occupations are those that fall under skill types 0, A, or B of the National Occupation Classification
(NOC), which is a comprehensive listing of employment occupations in Canada. NOC 0 occupations are managerial in nature, NOC A occupations are professional, and NOC B occupations are technical jobs and skilled trades. “Full time” experience is at least 30 hours per week of continuous employment, or the equivalent in part-time work. This experience must have been gained within the last 10 years in order to be counted.
The Point System
A preliminary requirement for applicants under the Skilled Worker category is to pass a point system test designed to assess whether they are likely to become successfully established in Canada. The point system measures six factors related to the applicant and assigns a score to each factor. If the applicant’s total score meets the pass mark then they potentially qualify under the Skilled Worker category. A total of 100 points are available and the pass mark is currently set at 67. The factors measured under the point system are:
- Education (25 points)
- Language Skills (English and French) (28 points)
- Work Experience (15 points)
- Age (12 points)
- Arranged Employment (10 points)
- Adaptability (10 points)
The rules for determining what scores will be awarded under the above categories are complicated and depend on various factors. If you would like our office to calculate whether you meet the pass mark under the point system and are otherwise qualified as a Skilled Worker, please complete the Free Assessment
form. A brief description of the six factors is as follows.
Skilled Worker applicants will be awarded points based on their highest level of education, ranging from 5 points for a secondary school credential to 25 points for a Ph.D. Foreign educational documents must be accompanied by a Canadian equivalency assessment report from an approved agency in order to be considered.
2. Language Ability
Applicants under the Skilled Worker category must prove their language ability in English and/or French in order to obtain points for this factor. This requires that the applicant provide the results of an approved language test to the immigration authorities as part of their application. The applicant must show a Canadian Language Benchmark
of at least 7 in the first language and 5 in the second language in order to receive points. Four language ability factors are considered: speaking, reading, writing and listening. Each factor will be separately scored in the language test. A total of 28 points are available. Language tests results must not be more than two years old at the time the Skilled Worker application is submitted.
3. Work Experience
Skilled Worker applicants will receive points in assessment for each year they have worked up to six years. The maximum score is 15 points. The work experience must be skilled in nature and must be full time experience or the part-time equivalent of full time experience. This experience is generally demonstrated by providing reference letters from the applicant’s employers setting out their work duties. These duties must be substantially the same as the duties for the occupation as set out in the National Occupation Classification
Full points for age (12) are awarded to those applicants who are between 18 and 35 years of age. For every year that the applicant is older than 35 they will lose one point in assessment.
5. Arranged Employment
If the Skilled Worker applicant is in Canada with a work permit that was obtained on the basis of a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and the applicant’s employer is willing to employ them on a permanent basis, then the applicant will obtain 10 points for having arranged employment in Canada. If the applicant is working not in Canada but has an offer of employment based on an LMIA, then 10 points will also be awarded.
Points for adaptability will be awarded for having a spouse with sufficient English or French language ability, for at least two years of study in Canada by either the applicant or their spouse, for at least one year of work experience in Canada by either the applicant or their spouse, for having a close relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada, or having arranged employment.
Skilled Worker applicants also need to show that they have sufficient funds to settle in Canada once they arrive and during the period it will take to find a home and employment. The amount required depends on the total family size. This requirement does not apply to those who are working in Canada or have arranged employment.
Apart from meeting the above criteria in order to qualify as a Skilled Worker, and as with any other category of permanent residence application, all applicants and their immediate family members will have to show that they are not inadmissible to Canada, including that they do not have any criminal record and that they are in good health.
Those who wish to apply for permanent residence in Canada through the Skilled Worker category must do so through the Express Entry
system. This requires that they complete an online profile and wait to be invited to apply before they may submit their application.
The law firm of Matthew Jeffery, Barrister & Solicitor, has years of experience assisting Skilled Workers to immigrate to Canada. If you are interested in applying as a Skilled Worker please complete our FREE ASSESSMENT
form and we will contact you with further information if you qualify.