Skilled worker immigrants are chosen for their ability to become successfully established in Canada. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act introduces new selection criteria with more emphasis on applicants' education and such flexible skills as language rather than on their intended occupation. Effective Jan 2013, all new skilled worker applicants and those currently in the system who have not yet received a selection decision will be assessed with a pass mark of 67.
There are two stages in the determination of whether a person qualifies as a skilled worker. The first stage is an evaluation of whether the applicant meets the "minimum requirements" to be considered a skilled worker. The second stage involves an evaluation of whether the applicant will be able to economically establish in Canada based on an award of units of assessment under the six selection criteria. If the applicant does not meet the minimum requirements in the first stage of assessment, the application is refused and no further assessment is required.
Stage One: Minimum Requirements
According to Regulation 75, which sets out the minimum requirements Skilled Workers must:
have at least one year of skilled work experience within the past 10 years in a management occupation or in an occupation normally requiring university, college or technical training as set out under Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). The skilled worker must not be in an occupation that is designated a "restricted occupation". At the present time there are no occupations listed as restricted. Have a score of 6 and above for speaking, listening, reading and writing for IELTS. Have enough money to support themselves and their dependants as they settle in Canada. This is known as Settlement Funds.
Stage Two: Selection Grid
In addition to the above requirements, applicants are assessed on a variety of selection criteria which evaluate their ability to adapt to the Canadian economy.
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To be considered under the Federal Skilled Worker category, applicants must score a minimum of 67 out of the possible 100 points. The pass mark may be amended by the Minister to reflect changes in the Canadian labour market, economy and society as well as the changing demands of prospective immigrants to Canada.