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Who may qualify?

To qualify under this category you must, at the minimum:

  • Have work experience in one of the eligible employment groups shown below

  • Have accumulated this experience for a minimum of 1 year within the past 10 (Federal Skilled Worker program) or 6 months within the past 5 (Quebec Skilled Worker Program)

  • Show proof that, once in Canada, you will have sufficient financial resources to support yourself and your family members while looking for employment

  • Obtain a minimum number of points during selection according to the grid applicable to skilled workers. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of criteria such as their age, level of education, knowledge of Canada’s official languages, work experience etc.

  • Successfully undergo Canadian government mandated security and medical examinations

Eligible employment groups

Eligible employment must be in one of the following:

  • A Management occupation

  • An occupation which usually requires a university degree

  • An occupation which usually requires college education or apprenticeship training. For instance:

      • Two to three years of post-secondary education at a community college or institute of technology; or

      • Two to five years of apprenticeship training or

      • Three to four years of secondary school and more than two years of on-the-job training, specialized training courses or specific work

  • An occupation with supervisory responsibilities or an occupation with significant health and safety responsibilities, such as firefighters, police officers and registered nursing assistants.

In the case of workers destined for Québec, work experience in an occupation which requires one to four years of secondary school education or up to two years of on-the-job training, specialized training courses or specific work experience is also eligible.


June 2010 changes to the federal Skilled Worker program

On June 2010, the Minister in charge of CIC announced changes to the Federal Skilled Worker program to respond better to the needs of the Canadian labour market.


To be eligible to apply as a federal skilled worker, applicants must either have a job offer, or they must have experience in one of 29 in demand occupations. These occupations were identified through analysis of updated labour market information and consultations with provinces, territories, stakeholders and the public.


Regarding applications presented outside of Canada by candidates who do not have an offer of employment from a Canadian employer:


  • Only applications from skilled workers with evidence of at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the last 10 years in one or more of the 29 in demand occupations (these occupations fall under high-demand areas) will be accepted for processing;
  • These applications shall be placed into processing immediately upon receipt; and that
  • Applicants, should receive a decision within twelve (12) months

These changes do not apply to the Québec program.

However the Quebec program grants additional points for candidates who have earned diplomas or degrees in areas with good medium-term job prospects. It is compiled with particular regard to Québec job market requirements (Consult 2009 List of areas of training). This list is changed from time to time when labour market requirements are revised.


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