Federal Skilled Worker Canada Immigration Program

Federal Skilled Worker Canada Immigration Program

The requirements of the skilled worker category are intended to assess applicants, who are likely to become economically established in Canada after arrival.

To be eligible, applicants must either:

  • Have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in one of the 38 qualifying occupations; or
  • Have been living in Canada with legal status as a Temporary Foreign Worker or an international student for at least one year; or
  • Qualify for Arranged Employment with a full-time permanent job offer from a Canadian employer.

In addition to that, there are three other characteristics an individual must possess to be eligible to immigrate under the skilled worker category.

  • The first is a minimum level of work experience. A skilled worker must have at least one year of continuous full-time employment (or the equivalent part-time). This work experience must be of a skilled nature, satisfying either Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B in Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC) system. This work experience must have come within the 10 years before applying.
  • The second element of the skilled worker category is one of the financial resources. This is a straightforward requirement – an applicant must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to support themselves and their dependents for 6 months after arrival in Canada. If you have an approved job offer, this requirement is waived.
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  • The third element of the skilled worker category is a points-based assessment. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) uses a points-based system to measure an applicant’s potential for establishing themselves in Canada. Applicants are awarded points based on six different selection factors. An individual must reach 67 points on this assessment to qualify for immigration to Canada. A satisfactory score on this evaluation does not, however, guarantee approval, as Canadian Immigration Visa Officers may use their discretion to approve or refuse an application based on a substituted evaluation.


The selection factors that make up the assessment are:

Education (maximum 25 points)

Ranges from 5 points for completing high school to 25 points for completing a master’s or Ph.D.

The system also gives credit for trade certificates or apprenticeship programs.

Language Skills (maximum 24 points)

Canada uses both English and French as official languages, and you may receive credit for proficiency in either one or both.

Marks are awarded separately for abilities to listen, speak, read, and write each official language.

Experience (maximum 21 points)

  • Full points for four or more years of experience at an appropriate level.

Age (maximum 10 points)

  • Full points for being between the ages of 21-49.

Arranged Employment (maximum 10 points)

  • If you hold a permanent job offer from a Canadian employer or are applying from within Canada and hold a temporary work permit, you may receive credit for your Canadian employment.

Adaptability (maximum 10 points)

This category brings in several factors related to an applicant’s ability to adapt to living in Canada, including previous experience working or studying in Canada or having family in Canada.

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Altogether these three elements, along with other requirements such as security clearances and medical examinations, make up the bulk of the criteria to come to Canada under the Skilled Worker category. If you are applying to live or work in Montreal or elsewhere in Quebec, however, you must meet the selection criteria of the Province of Quebec, outlined below.

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