Canada is one of the worlds highly developed countries with a flourishing economy that is dependent upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade with United States.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) selects eligible candidates on the basis of their ability to succeed economically in Canada. This popular program follows a selection system that evaluates the skills of an individual, which are in accordance with the needs of the Canadian labor market. The total of 100 points is available to applicants with points awarded for official language ability, age, education, work experience, employment already arranged in Canada and adaptability. The current pass mark is 67.

The immigration authorities at Canada have proposed some changes in FWSP, which were announced in December 2012. These improvements will come into effect from May 2013.

The intake of most of the new FSWP applications has been paused since July 1, 2012, except for those with a qualifying job offer and those who applying under the PhD stream. This pause will be lifted and will be re-established on May 4, 2013.
All individuals considering applying on or after May 4 should keep in mind that if their application will not be processed if it does not meet the following requirements:

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


If an applicant meets at least one of following requirement, they must also meet the minimum threshold for language and obtain an educational credential assessment.

Eligible Occupation List

  • Overall cap of 25,000 applications in eligible occupations stream
  • Cap of 500 applications for PhD eligibility stream
  • No limit on applicants who have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer

Sub-caps of 1,000 applications for each of the 50 eligible occupations below (their 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) code is included in brackets):

  • 1. Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services (0013)
  • 2. Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c. (0015)
  • 3. Financial managers (0111)
  • 4. Human resources managers (0112)
  • 5. Purchasing managers (0113)
  • 6. Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers (0121)
  • 7. Managers in health care (0311)
  • 8. Construction managers (0711)
  • 9. Home building and renovation managers (0712)
  • 10. Managers in natural resources production and fishing (0811)
  • 11. Manufacturing managers (0911)
  • 12. Financial auditors and accountants (1111)
  • 13. Financial and investment analysts (1112)
  • 14. Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers (1113)
  • 15. Other financial officers (1114)
  • 16. Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations (1123)
  • 17. Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers (1212)
  • 18. Property administrators (1224)
  • 19. Geoscientists and oceanographers (2113)
  • 20. Civil engineers (2131)
  • 21. Mechanical engineers (2132)
  • 22. Electrical and electronics engineers (2133)
  • 23. Petroleum engineers (2145)
  • 24. Information systems analysts and consultants (2171)
  • 25. Database analysts and data administrators (2172)
  • 26. Software engineers and designers (2173)
  • 27. Computer programmers and interactive media developers (2174)
  • 28. Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians (2232)
  • 29. Construction estimators (2234)
  • 30. Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians (2241)
  • 31. Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics (2243)
  • 32. Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety (2263)
  • 33. Computer network technicians (2281)
  • 34. Nursing coordinators and supervisors (3011)
  • 35. Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (3012)
  • 36. Specialist physicians (3111)
  • 37. General practitioners and family physicians (3112)
  • 38. Dietitians and nutritionists (3132)
  • 39. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists (3141)
  • 40. Physiotherapists (3142)
  • 41. Occupational therapists (3143)
  • 42. Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists (3214)
  • 43. Medical radiation technologists (3215)
  • 44. Medical sonographers (3216)
  • 45. Licensed practical nurses (3233)
  • 46. Paramedical occupations (3234)
  • 47. University professors and lecturers (4011)
  • 48. Psychologists (4151)
  • 49. Early childhood educators and assistants (4214)
  • 50. Translators, terminologists and interpreters (5125)


Minimum Language Threshold:

All prospective applicants to the FSWP should meet the new minimum language threshold: Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 7) or Niveaux de comptencelinguistiquecanadiens (NCLC) 7 in all four skills (listening, speaking and writing). An applicant must take a third-party language test from an organization designated by the minister and submit their test report along with their application to CIC.

  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)An FSWP applicant must score at least 4L on the CELPIP-General test in each of the four skills to meet the minimum language threshold.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)An FSWP applicant must score at least 6.0 on IELTS General Training test in each of the four skills to meet the minimum language threshold of CLB 7.
  • Test devaluation de francais(TEF)An FSWP applicant must score at least 206 in reading, 248 in listening and 309 in both speaking and writing on the TEF to meet the minimum language threshold of NCLC 7.

Arranged Employment

Earlier, employers used to apply for an Arranged Employment Opinion (AEO) when they wished to hire a foreign national on a permanent, full-time basis and support their employees’ application for permanent residence through the FSWP. CIC will not accept AEOs in support of an FSWP application from May 4, 2013. Instead, most offers of arranged employment would be requiring a Labour Market Opinion.

Educational Credential Assessment (ECA):

Another important change that took effect on May 4, 2013, is the introduction of the education credential assessment (ECA). Applicants may start the process of getting an ECA before May 4 if they are planning to submit a foreign education credential. Applicants who have Canadian educational credentials do not need to get an ECA, unless they are also submitting a foreign educational credential in support of their application.

Four organizations have been designated by CIC to provide ECA reports for purposes of immigrating to Canada under the FSWP application. The designated organizations are:

  • Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing studies;
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada;
  • World Education Services; and
  • Medical Council of Canada

CIC will only accept ECA reports issued after the date the organization was designated by CIC to provide ECA reports for immigration purposes (i.e. April 17, 2013).

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