A. Basic eligibility– Federal skilled workers
We can only process your application if you:
- have one year of continuous full-time (or an equal amount of continuous part-time) paid work experience
- in one of the eligible occupations within the last ten years, OR
- have a valid offer of arranged employment, OR
- are an international student who is enrolled in a PhD program in Canada (or who graduated from a Canadian PhD program within the past 12 months) and meet the factors below.
Also, no matter which of the three groups above you apply under, you must:
- include the results of your official language test showing that you meet the minimum language threshold (Canadian Language Benchmark 7) in all four language skill areas (speaking, listening, reading and writing) when you apply, and
- include either a completed Canadian educational credential or a completed foreign educational credential with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an approved organization, and
- have at least one year of continuous full-time (or an equal amount in continuous part-time) paid work experience within the last ten years in the primary occupation you state in your application.
Remember that even if your application is eligible to be processed, you must meet all of the other FSW program requirements, such as meeting the pass mark on the selection grid and having enough money to support you and your family in Canada.
See basic eligibility criteria for each of the three groups below.
1. Eligible occupations
This affects you only if you applied on or after May 4, 2013. If we got your application before that date, we will process it using the rules that were in effect at that time.
You must have one year of continuous, full-time (or an equal amount of part-time) paid work experience, in at least one of these occupations within the last ten years:
- 0211 Engineering managers
- 1112 Financial and investment analysts
- 2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers
- 2131 Civil engineers
- 2132 Mechanical engineers
- 2134 Chemical engineers
- 2143 Mining engineers
- 2145 Petroleum engineers
- 2144 Geological engineers
- 2146 Aerospace engineers
- 2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers/designers)
- 2154 Land surveyors
- 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
- 2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
- 2263 Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
- 3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
- 3142 Physiotherapists
- 3143 Occupational Therapists
- 3211 Medical laboratory technologists
- 3212 Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants
- 3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
- 3215 Medical Radiation Technologists
- 3216 Medical Sonographers
- 3217 Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists
These occupations are either:
- Skill Type 0 (management occupations) or
- Skill Level A (professional occupations) or
- Skill Level B (technical occupations and skilled trades)
on the Canadian National Occupational Classification list.
2. Arranged employment
A valid job offer has to be for permanent, full-time and not seasonal work in a NOC 0, A or B occupation.
Depending on your case, there are different factors that make a job offer valid.
1. You currently work in Canada on a temporary work permit, and:
- your work permit is valid both when you apply and when the visa is issued (or you are authorized to work in Canada when your visa is issued), and
- CIC issued your work permit based on a positive labour market opinion (LMO) from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), and
- you are working for an employer named on your work permit who has made a permanent job offer based on you being accepted as a federal skilled worker.
2. You currently work in Canada in a job that is exempt from the LMO requirement under:
- an international agreement (such as, the North America Free Trade Agreement) or
- a federal-provincial agreement.
- your work permit must be valid both when you apply and when the visa is issued (or you are authorized to work in Canada when your visa is issued), and
- your current employer has made a permanent job offer based on you being accepted as a skilled worker.
3. You currently:
- do not have a work permit, or
- do not plan to work in Canada before you get a permanent resident visa.
- are working in Canada and a different employer has offered to give you a permanent full-time job,
- are working in Canada in a job that is exempt from a Labour Market Opinion, but not under an international or federal-provincial agreement, and an employer has made you a permanent job offer based on you being accepted as a skilled worker,
The employer has a positive Labour Market Opinion from HRSDC.
- You cannot get a Labour Market Opinion from HRSDC. Your employer must do this for you.
- HRSDC will only confirm permanent job offers for occupations listed in skill type 0 or skill level A or B of the NOC.
- A CIC officer must be convinced that you are able to perform the job offered to you. If the occupation is regulated in Canada, the officer must also be convinced that you will be able to become licensed or certified when in Canada.
3. PhD students
You must be either:
- an international student enrolled in a PhD program in Canada who:
- has finished at least two years of study toward a PhD,
- is in good academic standing at the time you apply, and
- did not get an award that requires you to return to your home country to apply your knowledge and skills.
- a graduate of a PhD program in Canada who:
- graduated no more than 12 months before the date we get your application, and
- did not get an award which required you to return to your home country to apply your knowledge and skills (or did, but have already met the terms of the award).
Note: PhD applicants are subject to the same selection criteria as any other FSWP applicant, including minimum language thresholds, having either a completed Canadian educational credential or a completed foreign credential with an ECA, and work experience requirements (i.e. one year of continuous full-time paid experience in a single NOC 0, A or B occupation).
We will not consider any more than 1,000 applications for processing each year in the PhD stream. These applications will not be included in the total for any other cap. We will consider applications in the order we get them.
The last cap year began on November 1, 2012, and ended on May 3, 2013. The new cap year began on May 4, 2013, and will end on April 30, 2014.
If you are eligible, we will tell you that we have sent your application to one of our offices for processing. They will assess the rest of your application. Once they have started this process, we cannot give you a refund on your fee.
Note: If you got an Educational Credential Assessment, it does not guarantee you a job in your field or that you will be able to get a license in Canada. If you plan to work in an occupation that is regulated in Canada, you should contact the regulatory authority in the province where you plan to live. They can give you important information about getting your license, including any steps you can take before you leave your home country.
There are many ways to immigrate to Canada. If you do not meet the criteria to apply under the FSWP, you may qualify under another category. Learn more about your options.
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