Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has made several significant changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Class Program. From May 4, 2013, applicants must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • have at least one year of continuous work experience in one of the 24 established eligible occupations;
  • have a qualifying offer of arranged employment; or
  • be eligible to apply through the PhD stream.

The established eligible occupation stream will have an overall cap of 5000 new applications and sub caps of 300 applications in each of the 24 occupations on the list. The eligible occupations, with their corresponding 2011 National Occupation Codes, are as follows:

  • 0211 Engineering managers
  • 1112 Financial and investment analysts
  • 2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers
  • 2131 Civil engineers
  • 2132 Mechanical engineers
  • 2134 Chemical engineers
  • 2143 Mining engineers
  • 2144 Geological engineers
  • 2145 Petroleum engineers
  • 2146 Aerospace engineers
  • 2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers/designers)
  • 2154 Land surveyors
  • 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • 2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
  • 2263 Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
  • 3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • 3142 Physiotherapists
  • 3143 Occupational Therapists
  • 3211 Medical laboratory technologists
  • 3212 Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants
  • 3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • 3215 Medical radiation technologists
  • 3216 Medical sonographers
  • 3217 Cardiology technicians and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c. (not elsewhere classified)

CIC will continue to use the point system to assess applications under the new Federal Skilled Worker Program; however the manner of assessment will be considerably different as of May 4, 2013. The maximum number of points an applicant can achieve will continue to be 100 points with the pass mark being 67. As before, points will be allotted on a set of selection criteria that are considered critical in a prospective immigrant’s economic success in Canada. These criteria are Language Proficiency, Education, Age, Work Experience, Arranged Employment and Adaptability.

Applicants will be required to meet a minimum language threshold (level 7) of the Canadian Language Benchmark in all language abilities. Applicants’ language ability will be the most important factor in the selection representing 28 points. (Previously, 24 points were allotted under this category.) Those applicants with high proficiency in at least one of the two official languages of Canada will receive the most points.

Applicants will now be required to have their credentials assessed. Previously, points were awarded based on applicants’ educational credentials from their home country. These credentials were not compared or assessed against Canadian educational standards. The new regulations require a mandatory assessment of foreign educational credentials to determine equivalency to Canadian credentials. CIC will not accept credentials that are not equivalent to Canadian credentials.

As well, under the new Federal Skilled Worker Program there will be more emphasis on youth. A maximum of 12 points will be available under this criterion. Previously, a maximum of 10 points were allotted for the age factor, however, as of May 4, 2013, twelve points will be given up to age 35 with diminishing points from age 35-46. There will be no age points awarded after age 46.

With respect to work experience and arranged employment, from May 4, 2013, CIC will be reducing the total number of points for work experience from 21 to 15 and increasing the years of experience required to get full points.

Finally, the criterion of adaptability on the selection grid will also change so that extra points will be awarded to those whose spouses have proficiency in at least one of Canada’s official languages and who have Canadian work experience.