Federal Skilled Worker - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the definition of a skilled worker in Canada?

Skilled workers are defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada as people selected based on their education, work experience, knowledge of English and/or French, and other criteria that have been shown to help them become economically established in Canada.
The term "federal skilled worker" refers to the category under which skilled workers apply if they want to live in any Canadian province or territory except Quebec.
Skilled workers who want to live in Quebec apply under a separate category. The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers and therefore applicants going to Quebec through that program are known as Quebec-selected skilled workers.

For details see Federal Skilled Worker Class.

Do I qualify for immigration to Canada under the Skilled Worker category?

To be eligible under the Skilled Worker category, you must:

  • have worked in the past 10 years, for a period of at least one year, in a full-time job (or part-time equivalent) in one or more of the occupations listed here, or have an offer of arranged employment or belong to a new PhD International Student stream introduced in Nov 5, 2011

    have sufficient funds for settlement in Canada, unless you have Arranged Employment in Canada;

  • earn sufficient points (currently 67) in the six selection factors to meet the pass mark under the Skilled Worker category.

In addition, applicants and their dependents whether accompanying or non-accompanying, under all categories of Canadian Immigration, must satisfy Canadian health and security/criminality requirements.

Is there a limit to number of files that are being submitted under Federal Skilled Worker category?

If you are applying under one of the 24 eligible occupations, as of May 4, 2013, a maximum of 5,000 Federal Skilled Worker applications will be considered for processing in the following 12 months. Within the 5,000 cap, a maximum of 300 Federal Skilled Worker applications per eligible occupation will be considered for processing each year. You can see total number of complete files received by CIC here.
Please note that hese limits do not apply to applications with an offer of arranged employment.

Can you tell me whether I am qualified under the Skilled Worker category?

Yes.  You may complete our free online assessment form so that we may determine your eligibility for Canadian Immigration under the Skilled Worker category. Alternatively, you may contact us for an eligibility assessment or if you would like us to answer your questions.

What are the required funds to establish in Canada?

The Government of Canada does not provide financial support to new skilled worker immigrants.

Please find here the table used by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to determine if you have enough money to support yourself and your family upon your arrival to Canada. The amount of money you need to support your family is determined by the size of your family. These amounts are updated every year.

You do not have to provide proof of these funds if you have arranged employment in Canada. Please note that these figures do not apply to applicants whose destination is to the Province of Quebec.

What are the application fees?

All government processing fees must be submitted concurrently with the submission of the application for permanent residence. Under federal process of your application, there are two application fees you will have to pay when you apply to immigrate to Canada: Processing Fees and Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF).

The processing fees and must be paid for the principal applicant and any accompanying spouse, common-law partner, and dependent children.

Upon acceptance, applicants must pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF). The RPRF is payable by principal applicants and accompanying spouse or common-law partners and each accompanying dependants aged 22 or over. It must be paid before the immigrant visa is issued overseas or before the applicant becomes a permanent resident in Canada.

Fo a list of current application fees, click here.

Can the Skilled Worker category pass mark change?

Currently, the pass mark under the Skilled Worker category is 67 points. Citizenship and Immigration Canada may raise or lower the pass mark without any advance notice. If you currently score at least 67 points, and otherwise qualify for a permanent resident visa, you would be well advised to submit your Canadian Immigration Application at the earliest.

Can I qualify even if I score lower than 67 points?

Yes, you could qualify. However, you are less likely. Applicants who fail to score the minimum points required, may still be approved on the basis of "Positive Discretion". If the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer believes that the point total does not accurately reflect your ability to become economically established in Canada, he or she may use positive discretion (referred to as substituted evaluation) and approve your application even though you score less than 67 points. The same guidelines apply for applicants who make the minimum score. Visa Officers may refuse such applicants if they feel that they are not suitable and will not successfully establish themselves in Canada (despite achieving the required pass mark).

Is work experience a requirement?

Work experience is an absolutely necessary requirement for a Skilled Worker applicant. You must have at least one year of full-time (or the part-time equivalent) of continuous work experience in an occupation at a skill level recognized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Accumulated part-time work experience is acceptable. Currently, you must have the minimum of one year of work experience in one of Citizenship and Immigration Canada's qualifying occupations in order to qualify under the Skilled Worker category of Canadian immigration.

Does my work experience have to be related to my education in order to be recognized?

Your work experience does not have to be related to your education, as long as you are performing or have performed the duties of the occupation for which you are claiming points.

Is experience gained during post-secondary studies accepted?

Yes, as long as you were paid for the work done and the duties performed were in an occupation whose skill level is recognized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Must my work experience have been accumulated continuously on a full-time basis?

At a minimum, you must have one year of full-time (or the part-time equivalent) of continuous work experience in an occupation at a skill level recognized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Part-time work experience is acceptable. It is assessed in proportion to a standard full-time working week of 30 hours. For example, a two-year part-time position requiring approximately 20 hours of work each week, will be counted as approximately one year of full-time experience.

Will my application benefit if I have a close relative in Canada?

Yes, you will be awarded points under the Adaptability Factor if you or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner has a close relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and who is currently residing in Canada. To qualify as a close relative, the Canadian citizen or permanent resident must be a child, mother or father, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, grandchild or grandparent.

What is arranged employment?

Arranged employment is where a skilled worker applicant has a certain kind of job offer in place before applying to immigrate to Canada.

Will I be interviewed by a Citizenship and Immigration Canada Officer?

Applicants for a Canada Immigration Visa under the Skilled Worker category may be required to attend a personal interview with a Canadian Immigration Visa Officer. Such interviews are held to ensure the information in the application is accurate, to clear-up any uncertainties and to verify.

Canadian Immigration Visa Officers may, under all categories of immigration, grant an interview waiver, depending on the qualifications of the applicant, the quality of the supporting documentation, and the overall credibility of the applicant. The likelihood of an interview waiver varies from one Canadian Immigration Visa Office to another.

What can I do to have my interview waived?

Applications which are complete in every detail increase the chances of an interview waiver. However, interview waivers are granted at the discretion of the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer in charge of your file. It is not possible to apply specifically for a waiver. Even if an interview is waived, the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer reserves the right to call you to an interview at a later date.

What is a Security Interview?

In a small percentage of applications, an interview is held to evaluate security issues such as criminality, espionage, subversion or terrorism.

What if I have already applied and want to withdraw my application? Can I get my money back?

You can contact your local visa office and withdraw your application. Your fee will be refunded as long as the office has not begun processing your application.

Will my fee be refunded if my application is returned or refused?

If you applied before February 27, 2008, the date the changes to the immigration law took effect, your application will be processed. You will not get a refund unless you choose to withdraw your application before it is processed.
If you applied on or after February 27, 2008, and your application is not eligible for processing, you will get a full refund. If your application is processed and it is refused, you will not get a refund.

Can I select in which visa office I want my application to be processed? Can I transfer my file from one visa office to another one?

Qualified applications submitted to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) at CPC-Sydney in Nova Scotia will be automatically transferred to the Canadian Immigration Visa Office outside Canada that is responsible for the country where you are residing (if you have been lawfully admitted  to that country for a period of at least one year) or the country of your nationality.

A request to transfer your application to another Canadian Immigration Visa Office may be made to the Canadian Immigration Visa Office processing your file. The Canadian Immigration Visa Office will decide, based upon "program integrity", whether or not to transfer your application. In certain circumstances, the Canadian Immigration Visa Office processing your file may decide on its own to transfer your file to a different, more appropriate Canadian Immigration Visa Office, even without a request.

Is it mandatory to provide Language test results (IELTS for English and TEF for French)?

Under the changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Canadian Experience Class, all new applicants are required to include the results of an English or French language test as part of their application.

Previously, applicants also had the option of proving their language ability via a written submission. The written submission was intended for people whose first language was English or French. However, non-native English and French speakers frequently used this option, making it difficult for visa officers to perform an accurate assessment of the applicant's true language ability. As a result CIC now only accepts designated third-party language tests as proof of language ability.

Is Academic IELTS result accepted?

No. Only the result of General Training Test is accepted.