Specific eligibility criteria – Federal skilled workers

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
  • 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 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 Federal Skilled Worker 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 the basic eligibility criteria for each of the three groups below.

1. Eligible occupations

You must have one year of continuous, full-time (or an equal amount of part-time) paid work experience, in at least one of the occupations below within the last ten years.

This affects you only if you applied on or after May 1, 2014. If we got your application before that date, we will process it using the rules that were in effect at that time.

  • 0013 Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services
  • 0015 Senior managers - trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c.
  • 0111 Financial managers
  • 0112 Human resources managers
  • 0113 Purchasing managers
  • 0121 Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers
  • 0311 Managers in health care
  • 0711 Construction managers
  • 0712 Home building and renovation managers
  • 0811 Managers in natural resources production and fishing
  • 0911 Manufacturing managers
  • 1111 Financial auditors and accountants
  • 1112 Financial and investment analysts
  • 1113 Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers
  • 1114 Other financial officers
  • 1123 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations
  • 1212 Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers
  • 1224 Property administrators
  • 2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers
  • 2131 Civil engineers
  • 2132 Mechanical engineers
  • 2133 Electrical and electronics engineers
  • 2145 Petroleum engineers
  • 2171 Information systems analysts and consultants
  • 2172 Database analysts and data administrators
  • 2173 Software engineers and designers
  • 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • 2232 Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians
  • 2234 Construction estimators
  • 2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
  • 2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
  • 2263 Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
  • 2281 Computer network technicians
  • 3011 Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors
  • 3012 Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  • 3111 Specialist physicians
  • 3112 General practitioners and family physicians
  • 3132 Dietitians and nutritionists
  • 3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • 3142 Physiotherapists
  • 3143 Occupational therapists
  • 3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • 3215 Medical radiation technologists
  • 3216 Medical sonographers
  • 3233 Licensed practical nurses
  • 3234 Paramedical occupations
  • 4011 University professors and lecturers
  • 4151 Psychologists
  • 4214 Early childhood educators and assistants
  • 5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters

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.

About the application cap

Due to the large number of applications we get, we can only consider a limited number of applications per year. As of May 1, 2014, there is an overall cap of 25,500 for new federal skilled worker applications. This includes a cap of 500 applications from PhD students. There are also sub-caps of 1,000 for each of the 50 eligible occupations. The caps do not affect people with a valid job offer. These are the last applications we will accept under the current system before Express Entry launches in January 2015.

2. Arranged employment

A valid job offer has to be for permanent, full-time and not seasonal work in an 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 Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC), 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 LMIA requirement under:

  • an international agreement (such as, the North American Free Trade Agreement) or
  • a federal-provincial agreement.

Also:

  • 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.

OR

  • are working in Canada and a different employer has offered to give you a permanent full-time job,

OR

  • are working in Canada in a job that is exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment, 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,

AND

The employer has a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment from ESDC.

Note:

  • You cannot get a Labour Market Impact Assessment from ESDC. Your employer must do this for you.
  • ESDC 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.

OR

  • 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).

PhD applicants must meet the same minimum requirements as any other Federal Skilled Worker Program applicant. 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 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.

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 licence 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 licence, including any steps you can take before you leave your home country.

We will not consider any more than 500 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 May 4, 2013, and ended on April 30, 2014. The new cap year began on May 1, 2014. These are the last applications we will accept under the current system before Express Entry launches in January 2015.

There are many ways to immigrate to Canada. If you do not meet the criteria to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you may qualify under another category.

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