'Federal Skilled Worker Class' defined
PhD stream
Eligible occupations and numerical limits

Minimum work experience required
Minimum language proficiency requirement

Educational credential assessment
Age
Arranged employment

Adaptability
Settlement funds
Minimum points for eligibility and substituted evaluation


?On July 1 2012 Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) imposed a "temporary pause" on the acceptance of new Federal Skilled Worker Programme applications, except for arranged employment and PhD stream cases. The reasons given for this temporary pause were to allow CIC to manage inventory pressures and to align future intake with the implementation of proposed regulatory changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Class. The new Federal Skilled Worker Programme began accepting applications on May 4 2013.

'Federal Skilled Worker Class' defined

The Federal Skilled Worker Class includes persons who are skilled workers and who may become permanent residents on the basis of their ability to become economically established in Canada and who intend to reside in a province other than Quebec. A foreign national is a skilled worker if:

  • during the 10 years before the date on which the application for a permanent resident visa is made, he or she has accumulated, over a continuous period, at least one year of full-time work experience, or the equivalent in part-time work, in the occupation identified by the foreign national in the application as his or her primary occupation, other than a restricted occupation, which is listed in Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC);
  • during that period of employment he or she performed the actions described in the lead statement for the occupation as set out in the occupational descriptions of the NOC;
  • during that period of employment he or she performed a substantial number of the main duties of the occupation as set out in the occupational descriptions of the NOC, including all essential duties;
  • he or she has submitted the results of an evaluation of proficiency in either English or French, indicating that he or she has met or exceeded the language proficiency threshold set by the minister for each of the four language skill areas. The evaluation results must have been issued by an organisation or institution designated under R74(3) and must be less than two years old on the date on which the application is made; and
  • he or she has submitted either a completed Canadian educational credential or a completed foreign diploma, certificate or credential and its equivalency assessment, which must have been issued by an organisation or institution designated under R75(4) and must be less than five years old on the date on which the application is made.

On January 31 2012 Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Statistics Canada replaced the 2006 edition of the NOC with the 2011 edition. Applications received in the Federal Skilled Worker Class on or after May 4 2013 are to be assessed against the 2011 edition of the NOC.

PhD stream

An applicant who qualifies under the PhD stream may apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme even if he or she does not have arranged employment and is not on the list of eligible occupations. To qualify under the PhD stream, the applicant must be either:

  • an international student enrolled in a PhD programme in Canada who:
    • has finished at least two years of study toward a PhD;
    • is in good academic standing at the time of applying; and
    • has not received an award that requires him or her to return to his or her home country to apply his or her knowledge and skills; or
  • a graduate of a PhD programme in Canada who:
    • graduated no more than 12 months before the date on which CIC receives the application; and
    • has not received an award that requires him or her to return to his or her home country to apply his or her knowledge and skills (or did, but has already met the terms of the award).

PhD applicants are subject to the same selection criteria as any other Federal Skilled Worker Programme applicant, including minimum language thresholds, having either a completed Canadian educational credential or a completed foreign credential with a credential assessment, and work experience requirements (ie, one year of continuous full-time paid experience in a single NOC 0, A or B occupation). No more than 1,000 PhD stream applications will be accepted each year.

Eligible occupations and numerical limits

Applicants who do not have arranged employment and who do not qualify under the PhD stream will require at least one year of continuous full-time work experience in one of the listed eligible occupations. Applicants who possess this work experience may apply without a job offer.

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. The list of eligible occupations (and the corresponding 2011 NOC codes) is as follows:

  • engineering managers (0211);
  • financial and investment analysts (1112);
  • geoscientists and oceanographers (2113);
  • civil engineers (2131);
  • mechanical engineers (2132);
  • chemical engineers (2134);
  • mining engineers (2143);
  • geological engineers (2144);
  • petroleum engineers (2145);
  • aerospace engineers (2146);
  • computer engineers (except software engineers/designers) (2147);
  • land surveyors (2154);
  • computer programmers and interactive media developers (2174);
  • industrial instrument technicians and mechanics (2243);
  • inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety (2263);
  • audiologists and speech-language pathologists (3141);
  • physiotherapists (3142);
  • occupational therapists (3143);
  • medical laboratory technologists (3211);
  • medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants (3212);
  • respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists (3214);
  • medical radiation technologists (3215);
  • medical sonographers (3216); and
  • cardiology technicians and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists not elsewhere classified (3217).

Minimum work experience required

Pursuant to R75(2)(a), the applicant must have accumulated at least one year of continuous full-time paid work experience, or the equivalent in continuous paid part-time work experience, in the occupation identified in his or her application for permanent residence as his or her primary occupation, which is listed in Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations), Skill Level A (professional occupations) or B (pechnical occupations and skilled trades) of the 2011 NOC. In order to meet the minimum requirements, the applicant's skilled work experience must:

  • have occurred during the 10 years preceding the date of his or her application for permanent residence; and
  • not be in an occupation that has been designated as a restricted occupation (no occupations are currently designated as restricted).

In addition, during that period of employment, the applicant must have performed:

  • the actions described in the lead statement for the occupation as set out in the occupational description of the NOC; and
  • a substantial number of the main duties, including all essential duties, of the occupation as set out in the occupational description of the NOC.

Immigration officers will award the applicant up to a maximum of 15 points for work experience as follows.

Click here to see table.


Minimum language proficiency requirement

Applicants must demonstrate that they meet or exceed the threshold(s)set by the minister for proficiency in either English or French for each of the four language skill areas (reading, writing, speaking and listening). Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the required level of language proficiency in all four language skill areas by submitting the results of an English or French language test from a designated testing organisation with their applications. Language test results must not be more than two years old at the time of application receipt and are considered conclusive evidence of an applicant's language proficiency. No other written evidence may be considered.

To obtain points for the first official language, applicants must currently meet the minimum level of CLB 7 for the first official language in all four language areas. To obtain points for the second official language, applicants must meet the minimum level of CLB 5 in all four language areas.

Approved English tests
International English Language Testing System
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) has two options for the reading and writing tests: General Training and Academic. Applicants must take the General Training option.

First official language (maximum 24 points)


Click here to see table.

Second official language (four points if the applicant meets minimum threshold in each of four language abilities)

Click here to see table.
 

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Programme
The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Programme (CELPIP) has three tests:

  • CELPIP-General;
  • CELPIP-General LS; and
  • CELPIP-Academic.

Applicants must take the CELPIP-General test.

First official language (maximum 24 points)

Click here to see table.


Note: CELPIP test results for tests written before May 3 2013 will have the following scores for CLB levels 9 and 10.

Click here to see table.


Second official language (four points if the applicant meets minimum threshold in all four language abilities)


Click here to see table.

Approved French test
Test d'évaluation de Français
Applicants must submit results from the following Test d'évaluation de Français (TEF) tests as proof of their French language proficiency:

  • reading;
  • listening;
  • writing; and
  • speaking.

First official language (maximum 24 points)

Click here to see table.


Second official language (four points if an applicant meets minimum threshold in each of four language abilities)

Click here to see table.

Educational credential assessment

To be awarded points for education, the applicant must provide evidence that he or she has earned a Canadian secondary or post-secondary educational credential, or submitted his or her completed foreign educational credential and the equivalency assessment issued by a designated organisation or institution. The educational credential assessment report must indicate an equivalency to a completed Canadian secondary or post-secondary educational credential.

The purpose of the educational credential assessment is to determine whether the applicant's foreign educational credential is authentic and equivalent to a completed credential in Canada. Applicants who have Canadian educational credentials do not need an educational credential assessment, unless they are also submitting a foreign educational credential in support of their application.

As of April 17 2013, four organisations have been designated by the immigration minister to provide educational credential assessment reports for the purposes of immigrating to Canada under the new Federal Skilled Worker Programme. Additional organisations may be designated by CIC in the future. The designated organisations are:

  • the Comparative Education Service, University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies;
  • the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada;
  • World Education Services; and
  • the Medical Council of Canada.

The Medical Council of Canada has been designated only for those principal applicants who intend to apply with specialist physician (NOC Code 3111) or general practitioner/family physician (NOC Code 3112) as their primary occupation in their Federal Skilled Worker Programme application.

CIC will accept only educational credential assessment reports issued after the date on which the organisation was designated by CIC to provide educational credential assessment reports for immigration purposes (April 17 2013). An educational credential assessment report will be valid for immigration purposes for five years from the date on which it was issued by the designated organisation.

Up to a maximum of 25 educational credential points may be awarded and will be allocated as follows.

Click here to see table.


Age

Immigration officers may award the applicant up to a maximum of 12 points for his or her age (on the date of the application).

Click here to see table.

Arranged employment

Up to 10 points will be awarded to an applicant for arranged employment if he or she ican perform and is likely to accept and carry out the employment and meet the requirements for a valid offer of employment. The requirements to be awarded points for a valid offer of employment depend on the applicant's circumstances, and are summarised below.

Click here to see table.
 

No points shall be awarded for arranged employment if the employer making the offer is an embassy, high commission or consulate in Canada or appears on the published list of banned employers (which have previously been found to have violated the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme).

Adaptability

Immigration officers will award the applicant up to a maximum of 10 points for adaptability as follows.

Click here to see table.

?Settlement funds

In addition to the selection criteria, the applicant must also have sufficient funds available to support his or her settlement in Canada pursuant to R76(1)(b)(i). However, applicants are not required to have settlement funds if the applicant is authorised to work in Canada and has been awarded points for arranged employment in Canada. The funds must be:

  • available and transferable; and
  • unencumbered by debts or other obligations.

Immigration officers must be satisfied that the applicant has at his or her disposal, with sufficient liquidity, and with the ability to transfer those assets, the necessary threshold of funds to support his or her establishment in Canada on arrival. The amount of funds is assessed according to the applicant's family size, using 50% of the current low-income cut-off from Statistics Canada for urban areas with populations of 500,000 or more.

Minimum points for eligibility and substituted evaluation

Applicants must have a minimum of 67 points to qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme. However, if the selection criteria described above are considered insufficient indicators of whether the foreign national will become economically established in Canada, an immigration officer has the discretion to substitute his or her own evaluation and approve the application. Substituted evaluation is to be considered on a case by-case basis.

For further information on this topic please contact Henry J Chang at Blaney McMurtry LLP by telephone (+1 416 593 1221), fax (+1 416 593 5437) or email (hchang@blaney.com).

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