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The Federal Skilled Worker Class / category requires applicants to obtain sufficient points based on the following selection criteria listed hereunder which are stipulated in Regulation 76 (1) (a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act – Regulations:

  1. Education
  2. Proficiency in English and / or French
  3. Experience
  4. Age
  5. Arranged Employment
  6. Adaptability

1. Education

Is covered by Regulation 73 of the IRPR 2002 which is defined as “any diploma, degree or trade or apprenticeship credential issued on the completion of a program of study or training at an educational or training institution recognized by the authorities responsible for registering, accrediting, supervising and regulating such institutions in the country of issue”(Citizenshipe and Immigration Canada, 2011). Regulation 78 (1) defines “full-time” and full-time equivalent” explaining the hours of instruction required.

The table below lists all the acceptable /eligible credentials pertaining to education and the points that are awarded (visabureau.com, 2012).

Points for education

Level Points
For a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. and at least 17 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 25
For 2 or more university degrees at the bachelor’s level and at least 15 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 22
For a 3-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 15 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 22
For a University degree of 2 years or more at the bachelor’s level and at least 14 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 20
For a 2-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 14 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 20
For a 1-year university degree at the bachelor’s level and at least 13 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 15
For a 1-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 13 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 15
For a 1-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship and at least 12 years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. 12
You completed high school. 5

2. Language Proficiency

The applicant is required to have knowledge of one of Canada’s two official languages either English or French. If the applicant is capable of providing evidence (language test) for both languages, a maximum of 24 points should be awarded for proficiency in English and French. This is covered under Regulation 79 of the IRPR 2002. The table below shows the method of calculating points. It is important to note that “CIC officers will not hold an interview to assess your language proficiency. CIC will only accept test results from designated language testing agencies”(Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2012).

Points for language

First Language Speaking Listening Reading Writing
High proficiency 4 4 4 4
Moderate proficiency 2 2 2 2
Basic proficiency 1 1 1 1
No proficiency 0 0 0 0
Second Language Speaking Listening Reading Writing
High proficiency 4 4 4 4
Moderate proficiency 2 2 2 2
Basic proficiency 1 1 1 1
No proficiency 0 0 0 0

3. Work Experience

Regulation 80 (R 80) clearly states that a maximum of 21 points shall be awarded for full-time work experience.
The table below illustrates how the points are allocated pertaining to work experience. Moreover to be eligible for points, the applicant must comply with the following criteria:-

  1. Work Experience must be within the last 10 years.
  2. Work Experience must be either Skill type O or Skill level A or B as per the Canadian National Occupational classification list.
  3. Must be full-time work, by virtue of R 80 (7); “full-time work is equivalent to at least 37.5 hours of work per week”.
  4. Work Experience must be in a high demand occupation (29 eligible occupations as per the Ministerial instructions) – Exception Job offer of Arranged Employment – in that case – criterion B (above) shall apply in other words experience must be skill type O, A or B.
Points for work experience

Years Points
1 year 15
2 years 17
3 years 19
4 years 2

4. Age

By virtue of Regulation 81, a maximum of 10 points shall be awarded to the applicant / skilled worker subject to being at least 21 years of age and less than 50. The table below illustrates how the points are awarded under the Age criterion.

Points for age

Age Points
Less than 17 years of age 0
17 years of age 2
18 years of age 4
19 years of age 6
20 years of age 8
21 – 49 years of age 10
50 years of age 8
51 years of age 6
52 years of age 4
53 years of age 2
More than 53 years of age 0

5. Arranged Employment

This is covered under Regulation R (82) of the IRPR 2002.

If you managed to obtain an arranged employment offer you have a better chance of qualifying under the skilled worker category. The rules for arranged employment offers depend on your current employment status:

A. If you are already working in Canada:

  • Your employer needs to offer you a permanent job if the skilled worker application visa is approved,
  • Your current work permit needs to be valid when you apply for permanent residency status, and also when the skilled worker visa is issued, and
  • You must have a positive labour market opinion (LMO) or your employment needs to be exempt from the arranged employment requirement.

B. If you are not already working in Canada and:

  • You do not have a valid work permit, or
  • You have a work permit, but you fail to meet the criteria in the section above,

Then you need an arranged employment offer that meets the following criteria:

  • Your proposed employer commits to hire & employ you for an undetermined timeframe,
  • Your proposed employer has received a positive Arranged Employment Opinion from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and
  • You comply with your occupation’s regulatory and/or licensing standards in Canada.

It is noteworthy mentioning that the employer is responsible towards arranging for a positive employment opinion from HRSDC. This process cannot be performed by the applicant.

Points for arranged employment

Employment Points
You have a permanent job offer that has been confirmed by Human Resources Development Canada. 10

 6. Adaptability

This is covered by Regulation 83 of the IRPR 2002. A maximum of 10 points will be awarded by virtue of the Adaptability Criterion. The Adaptability factor is intended to give you points that may enhance your ability to become economically established in Canada. Points may be awarded for one or a combination of the following factors listed hereunder (up to a maximum of 10 points overall):-

  1. Partner’s Education- Accompanying Spouse or Common-Law Partner.
  2. Previous work experience in Canada- Applicable to Principal Applicant or Accompanying Spouse or Common-Law Partner.
  3. Previous Study in Canada-Applicable to Principal Applicant or Accompanying Spouse or Common-Law Partner.
  4. Arranged Employment- If you receive points for the Arranged Employment factor, or if your accompanying spouse or common-law partner has obtained arranged employment in Canada, you may also be awarded 5 points under the Adaptability Factor.
  5. Relative- Physically residing in Canada. Applicable to Principal Applicant or Accompanying Spouse or Common-Law Partner. A close relative is a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident. “Close Relative” refers to the following familial relationship:
    1. Parent
    2. Grandparent
    3. Child
    4. Grandchild
    5. Son
    6. Daughter
    7. Sister
    8. Brother
    9. Niece
    10. Nephew
    11. Aunt or Uncle

The following chart determines how many points / method of calculating points applicable to each criteria.

Points for adaptability

Factors Points
Spouse of common-law partner’s level of education:
Secondary school (high school) diploma or less 0
A 1-year diploma, trade certificate, apprenticeship, or university degree and at least 12 years of full-time or full-time equivalent studies 3
A 2 or 3-year diploma, trade certificate, apprenticeship, or university degree and at least 14 years of full-time equivalent studies 4
A Master’s Degree of PhD and at least 17 years of full-time or full-time equivalent studies 5
Minimum 1 year full-time authorized work in Canada:
You, or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner, completed a minimum of 1 year of full-time work in Canada on a valid work permit. 5
Minimum 2 years full-time authorized post-secondary study in Canada:
You, or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner, completed a program of full-time study of at least 2 years’ duration at a post-secondary institution in Canada. You must have done this after you were 17 years old and with a valid study permit. There is no need to have obtained an educational credential for these 2 years of study to earn these points. 5
Has received points under the Arranged Employment in Canada factor. 5
Has family relationship in Canada:
You, or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner, has a relative (parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, child of a parent, sibling, child of a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or grandchild of a parent, niece or nephew) who is residing in Canada and is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. 5