How can I come to Canada as a skilled worker?
The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is for people who are selected to immigrate to Canada because of their work experience and skills.
Important Note: Recently, there have been significant changes to this program. New caps for this program came into place on May 1, 2014. There has also been a change to the list of eligible occupations. In addition, there will be major changes to the application process in January, 2015 when the new Express Entry system is implemented.
To qualify as a skilled worker you must first meet the minimum requirements of the skilled worker class, including:
- You have a job offer;
- You have work experience in at least 1 of the eligible occupations; or
- You are an international student who graduated from a PhD program in Canada within the last 12 months or you have completed at least 2 years of your PhD program.
Your work experience must be:
- For at least 1 year, continuous, full-time (or the equivalent in part-time), and paid; and
- From the list of eligible occupations, which are Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or Skill Level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) on the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC); and
- Within the last 10 years.
CIC has identified eligible occupations.
This year, CIC will only consider for processing:
- 1,000 applications per eligible occupation; and
- 25,000 applications in total.
These limits do not apply if you have a permanent job offer. CIC will only consider 500 applications in the PhD eligibility stream.
Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. If you submit an application after the limit has been reached, you will get your application back and a refund for any paid fees. This process will change in 2015 when the Express Entry system will be implemented.
If you meet the minimum requirements, your application will be assessed on 6 selection factors:
- Your education;
- Your abilities in English and/or French (Canada’s 2 official languages);
- Your work experience;
- Your age;
- If you have arranged employment in Canada; and
- Your adaptability.
Each of these factors has a point value. Read more about the point system.
The current pass mark is 67 points. Take a self-assessment test to see how many points you may get.
You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada, unless you have a job offer.
- Download and fill out the forms in the Federal Skilled Worker Application Package.
- Take an approved language test and include the results.
- Obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from a designated organization and include the report.
- Include all supporting documents.
- Pay the application fee and fill out the Fee Payment Form – Application for Permanent Residence – Federal Skilled Worker (IMM 5620) [PDF].
- Mail your application to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Previously, you could send your supporting documents at a later date. Now you must send supporting documents when you apply, or your application will not be processed.
This program does not apply to people who plan to live in the province of Quebec.
For More Information
- Federal Skilled Workers – Information on selection criteria and how to apply. From Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
- Come to Canada – A tool that can help you figure out what your options are if you want to come to Canada as an immigrant, student, worker or visitor. From Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) – The federal department responsible for Canadian immigration and citizenship. Its website has information on immigration policy, programs and services, application kits, and more.
- CIC Help Centre – A tool that helps answer frequently asked questions on immigration matters. It offers several ways of searching through the information available, including search by keyword. From Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
New Express Entry Immigration System
Thursday, April 24, 2014
The Government of Canada has introduced a new system of recruiting immigrants. The new system is called “Express Entry” and has been referred to as “Expression of Interest” in the past. It will start in January 2015.
Under the “Express Entry” system, individuals interested in immigrating to Canada provide information about their skills and experience. If applicants meet certain eligibility criteria, they will be considered to immigrate to Canada. Only people who are given a job offer or who have been nominated under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will be invited to apply for permanent residency. Approved applicants can expect processing times to be 6 months or less.
More information on the Express Entry Program can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.