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National (Federal) Skilled Worker Class Immigration
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Eligibility criteria for federal skilled worker applications - Immigrate to Canada

Skilled workers are people who are selected as permanent residents based on their ability to become economically established in Canada. Federal skilled worker (FSW) applications are assessed for eligibility according to the criteria set out below.

Basic eligibility - For your application to be eligible for processing, you must:

  • have a valid offer of arranged employment, OR
  • be an international student enrolled in a PhD program in Canada (or graduated from a Canadian PhD program within the past 12 months) and meet certain criteria.

Work experience minimum requirements

If your application is eligible for processing, it will then be assessed against minimum requirements. Your work experience must be:
  • at least one year, continuous, and paid (full-time or the equivalent in part-time); AND
  • a 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) list.


The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) selects immigrants based on their ability to succeed economically in Canada. After meeting eligibility requirements, applicants are assessed against selection criteria, also known as the �points grid.� There are 100 points available to applicants, with points awarded for official language abilities, age, education, work experience, employment already arranged in Canada, and adaptability. The current pass mark is 67.

After a thorough review of relevant research, an extensive program evaluation, stakeholder and public consultations, research and study of best practices in other immigrant-receiving countries, improvements to the FSWP were announced in December 2012. These improvements will come into force on May 4, 2013.

A pause on the intake of most new FSWP applications has been in place since July 1, 2012, except for those with a qualifying job offer and those who applying under the PhD stream. The pause will be lifted and an eligible occupations stream re-established on May 4, 2013.

While Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will not be accepting applications for the 24 eligible occupations until May 4, 2013, there are some new requirements that applicants can start preparing for, such as language tests and foreign educational credential assessments. The complete application process, featuring the new selection criteria, will be available on CIC�s website by May 4, 2013.

All individuals who are considering applying on or after May 4 should be aware that if their application does not meet the new criteria, it will not be processed. A prospective applicant should ensure they meet at least one of the following requirements:

- They have at least one year of continuous work experience in one of the 24 eligible occupations;
- They have a qualifying offer of arranged employment (*note changes to the arranged employment process were previously published in this web notice); or
- They are eligible to apply through the PhD stream.

If prospective applicants are confident that they meet at least one of the above requirements, they must also meet the minimum language threshold and obtain an educational credential assessment (if submitting a foreign educational credential).

The eligible occupations stream will have an overall cap of 5,000 new applications and sub-caps of 300 applications in each of the 24 occupations on the list.

  Federal Skilled Worker Qualifying Occupations:
0211Engineering managers
1112Financial and investment analysts
2113Geoscientists and oceanographers
2131Civil engineers
2132Mechanical engineers
2134Chemical engineers
2143Mining engineers
2144Geological engineers
2145Petroleum engineers
2146Aerospace engineers
2147Computer engineers (except software engineers/designers)
2154Land surveyors
2174Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2243Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
2263Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
3141Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
3143Occupational Therapists
3211Medical laboratory technologists
3212Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants
3214Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
3215Medical radiation technologists
3216Medical sonographers
3217Cardiology technicians and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists

Point System for Skilled Federal Worker Explained

Did you know that Federal Skilled Worker in Canada applicants must receive 67 points. Furthermore, regardless of the number of points collected, Canadian Immigration Visa Officers always have the discretion to accept/refuse an application based on a substituted evaluation. The collection of points maps like this:

Point System for Skilled Workers in Canada
Education Max 25 points
Language Skills Max 28 points
Work Experience Max 15 points
Age Max 12 points
Arranged Employment Max 10 points
Adaptability Max 10 points

Minimum Language Threshold

All prospective applicants to the FSWP should first determine whether they meet the new minimum language threshold: Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or Niveaux de comp�tence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 7 in all four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). To prove language proficiency, a prospective applicant must take a third-party language test from an organization designated by the Minister and submit their test report along with their application to CIC.

Language test results will be accepted by CIC for two years from the date that they were issued by the designated organization.

CIC-designated language testing organizations include: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and Test d��valuation de fran�ais (TEF).

Third-party language tests are scored differently by each of the three organizations. Here are the scores on each of the tests that correspond to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or Niveaux de comp�tence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 7 or higher

Arranged Employment

Previously, employers have applied for an Arranged Employment Opinion (AEO) from Human Resources Skills Development Canada when they wished to hire a foreign national on a permanent, full-time basis and support their employee�s application for permanent residence through the FSWP.

Starting on May 4, 2013, CIC will no longer accept AEOs in support of an FSWP application. Instead, most offers of arranged employment will require a Labour Market Opinion

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