Qualifying Occupations for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

Federal Skilled Worker FSW

Prior to January 2015, the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program provided a list of 50 qualifying occupations. However, on January 1, 2015 the new and improved online Express Entry Immigration system was introduced under the Economic Class. Under Express Entry, the updated Federal Skilled Worker program offers more flexibility in terms of qualifying employment options.

In order to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Stream in the Express Entry system, you must first meet the minimum requirements set out for the FSW qualifications. If you do meet the FSW minimum requirements, then you can submit an online application under this stream through Express Entry.

Initially, under the Express Entry system, you will submit something called an “expression of interest” profile. All expression of interest submissions are put in a pool of applicants and ranked according to Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) criteria. This is a system which applies to all Express Entry applicants, including Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class, and Federal Skilled Trades. Some of the criteria evaluated for the CRS includes: Age, Level of Education, Official Language Proficiency, Canadian Work Experience, as well as a host of Skill Transferability Factors. There are also points awarded for those who apply with a spouse that has the necessary qualifications.

High ranking candidates under the Express Entry system will be likely to receive an “invitation to apply” from the government. Once this invitation to apply is received, candidates have only 60 days to submit a full application online. If you upload all necessary information in the next 60 days and are successfully processed, you will receive Permanent Residence in Canada. The advantage of the new Federal Skilled Worker program under the Express Entry system is that it expedites processing and can allow candidates to receive a Permanent Resident visa in a much shorter period of time than before.

List of Eligible Occupations for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

  • 0211 Engineering managers
  • 1112 Financial and investment analysts
  • 2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers
  • 2131 Civil engineers
  • 2132 Mechanical engineers
  • 2134 Chemical engineers
  • 2143 Mining engineers
  • 2144 Geological engineers
  • 2145 Petroleum engineers
  • 2146 Aerospace engineers
  • 2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers/designers)
  • 2154 Land surveyors
  • 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • 2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
  • 2263 Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
  • 3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • 3142 Physiotherapists
  • 3143 Occupational Therapists
  • 3211 Medical laboratory technologists
  • 3212 Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants
  • 3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • 3215 Medical radiation technologists
  • 3216 Medical sonographers
  • 3217 Cardiology technicians and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c. (not elsewhere classified)

Specific Conditions Applicants must meet in order to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Stream

If you want to apply as a Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) under Express Entry, the conditions are as follows:

Language Requirement:

  • Proof of language proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages (English or French)
  • Must meet a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark 7 in all four skills
  • Must be tested by a recognized third party (for example: IELTS)

Education Requirement:

  • Canadian secondary or post-secondary degree, or an Educational Credential Assessment by one of the following recognized ECA organizations:
    • World Education Services
    • Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
    • Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada
    • International Credentials Assessment Service of Canada
    • Medical Council of Canada

Financial Requirement:

  • Have proof of necessary financial resources to support yourself and your family once you arrive in Canada

Work Experience:

  • Have 1 year of continuous full-time paid work experience (or the equivalent in part-time) continuous employment
    • Must be within the last 10 years
    • Must be in a National Occupation Classification (NOC) 0, A, or B occupation

Other Requirements:

  • Undergo a successful medical examination and security background check
  • Score a minimum of 67 points on the six selection factors for Federal Skilled Workers

Some of these specific conditions will be examined in more detail in the following section.

1 Year Continuous Full-Time Paid Work Experience (or Equivalent Part-Time) Continuous Employment

Work experience is a key requirement for the Federal Skilled Worker stream. You must show that you have performed at least 1,560 hours of continuous paid work in a job from the National Occupational Classification (NOC) (either 0, A, or B). Due to the requirement of paid work, volunteer work or an unpaid internship cannot be used to calculate hours. The job must have been consistent, which means that you didn’t change jobs during the period you are using to calculate your minimum hours.

Regulations state that the skilled work experience can be either full-time or part-time within the last 10 years. This offers the applicant quite a bit of flexibility. For example, for full-time, if you worked a minimum of 30 hours per week for 12 months, that would qualify you for the minimum 1,560 hours. For part-time, if you worked a minimum of 15 hours per week for 24 months, that would give you the requisite 1,560 hours.

Importance of Job Duties Matching National Occupation Classification (NOC)

It’s important that the duties of your job match the occupational description in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) database. Otherwise, your work experience will not qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker stream for Express Entry. For example, if you go to the NOC Database and select NOC 1241 – Administrative Assistants, you will find the following information:

  • Basic job description (usually one or two sentences)
  • Example Titles: These are alternate titles that a job typically has. For Administrative Assistant some example titles are: Executive Secretary, Sales Secretary, Office Administrative Assistant, etc.
  • Main duties: This details some common duties performed in the selected occupation. For Administrative Assistant some example duties are: order office supplies and maintain inventory, determine and establish office procedures, set up and maintain manual and computerized information filing systems, etc.
  • Employment requirements: This section outlines minimum education requirements needed for the selected occupation. For Administrative Assistant these are: completion of secondary school, completion of a one or two year college or other program for administrative assistants or previous clerical experience

By matching up your job experience with the NOC database, you can confirm that you have relevant work experience for the Federal Skilled Worker stream under Express Entry.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you have any questions about Federal Skilled Worker program under the Express Entry Route and determining you eligibility criteria or if you need assistance with any other immigration matter, contact us today. The representative will assess your situation and determine the best options available to you.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a Way!

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