Who Is Eligible for Skilled Worker Immigration to Canada?

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While Canadian citizens and permanent residents do not require a work permit or visa to work in Canada, that is not the case for foreign nationals. International immigrants wishing to work in Canada are required to get a work visa. You may be able to apply for both temporary and permanent skilled worker visa Canada programs.

Express Entry Immigration

The Government of Canada implemented the Express Entry Immigration system with the Federal Skilled Worker Program in 2015. The Express Entry scheme for federal skilled workers has 347 qualified occupations. Interested candidates who fulfill minimum eligibility criteria can create an application profile and send it to the Express Entry Pool.

The profiles of the applicants in the pool are ranked using a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The candidates with the best scores are considered for an opportunity to apply for a permanent residence permit. If a candidate receives an invitation for the application, they must complete and submit the application form within a 90 days time frame.

Who is considered a federal skilled worker?

Candidates meeting the academic qualifications, age, language skills, and professional experience requirements fall in the Federal Skilled Workers category. They are considered for the selection of permanent residence via the Express Entry Immigration system.

To be admitted to the Express Entry Pool as a Federal Skilled Worker, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Full-time salaried employment for at least a year or the equivalent in a consistent part-time job in one of 347 qualified occupations classified under the appropriate National Occupational Classification system within the previous ten years.
  • The job experience must be recognized within the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system.
  • Earn at least 67 points to maintain the skilled worker score grid and meet the six selection criteria.
  • Pass a third-party language exam and demonstrate intermediate-level language proficiency in English or French (equivalent to the Canadian Language Benchmark of 7).
  • Have adequate settlement funding.
  • Pass criminal record background and physical examination.

Skilled Worker Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must score at least 67 points on the skilled worker selection criteria to be considered for the FSW program. The factors include education, age, language, job experience, scheduled Canadian employment, and adaptability.

The education category has a maximum of 25 points 

Education is worth a maximum of 25 points, with Ph.D. degree candidates receiving the most. To monitor their Canadian analog, a permitted third party examines overseas qualifications and issues points based on that equivalency.

The permitted/ designated third party for credential assessment includes—

  • World Education Services
  • Comparative Education Service (University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies)
  • Medical Council of Canada
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada

The language category has a maximum of 28 points and a minimum of 16 points

  • Only applicants who can demonstrate intermediate to advanced proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages, English or French, will be considered.
  • A higher level of language skills can get you up to 24 points.
  • This selection factor requires applicants who meet the minimal requirement to score at least 16 points.
  • The benefits of bilingualism are considered insignificant in terms of a person’s economic performance in Canada.
  • Under the new point system, the number of awarding points for a second official language is limited to four as the maximum points.

The employment category has a maximum of 15 points and a minimum of 9 points.

One-year minimum qualification period and a six-year maximum consideration period.

The age category has a maximum of 12 points.

  • Candidates between the ages of 18 and 35 will be given up to 12 points.
  • Every year after the age of 35 reduces the allocation by one point.
  • Zero points are awarded after the age of 47 (and above).

The arranged Employment category has a maximum of 0-10 points. 

  • Under arranged employment, points are allowed to individuals who have a confirmed job offer in Canada. It is evaluated based on the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) employment standardized protocol.
  • LMO assesses applications for Canadian work permissions to simplify selection processes labor market demands.
  • The prospective employer must prove to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada that—
  • Employing skilled foreign labor would have favorable effects on the domestic labor demand.
  • This validates an employment proposal and helps the candidate gain points for this selection factor.
  • Candidates with a genuine job offer will receive 10 points in this factor and 5 points in the Adaptability selection determinant, totaling 15 points.

The adaptability category has a maximum of 10 points.

Applicants who hold at least one year of full-time Canadian work experience in a technical, managerial, or skilled trade section receive maximum points.

  • A validated offer of employment further adds five adaptability points.
  • Other factors that contribute to this selection criterion include:
  • Close relatives with permanent residence status.
  • The applicant or spouse has done education in Canada.
  • The spouse has previous Canadian job experience.
  • The spouse speaks one of Canada’s official languages.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program selects highly qualified candidates but doesn’t enable skilled crafts applications. The points required for Express Entry may change over time— speak with a reputable Canada skilled immigration consultant before applying to stay informed and updated about the latest changes. 

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