Skilled Worker Visa

A Skilled worker visa is issued to people who may become permanent residents because they are able to become economically established in Canada. In September 2006, the new Simplified Application Procedure (SAC) was introduced and then further new legislation was ratifed by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism in February 2008. Any application submitted since Feb 27th 2008 is assessed in 3 steps. Should you do choose to use a professional consultant (recommended) follow the guidelines on the main visa page. Please note that applications for permanent residency in the Province of Quebec are not covered in this section.

Qualifying for a skilled worker visa is by far the most popular method of gaining residency. It's not an easy road though and at the moment it is a quite lengthy and complicated process. If you have read "Our Story" you'll know some of the challenges we faced and that we used an Immigration Consultant to guide us through the process and without that I doubt we'd be here today.

The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) are the national body that register and control Immigration Consultants.

Whether you decide to go it alone or use a consultant - always ensure they are registered with CSIC (via the website) and in good standing - this is for your protection.

The first step of the process is to ensure you are eligible to apply so you'll need to meet one of the following criteria:

1. you have an offer of arranged employment, OR

2. you are a foreign national who has been living legally in Canada for one year as a temporary foreign worker or an international student, OR

3. you are a skilled worker who has at least one year of experience in one or more of the occupations listed here.

Provided your application is eligible for processing you must then be able to meet the following minimum requirements to qualify:

1. you have at least one year of continuous full-time paid work experience or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment, AND

2. your work experience must be Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or Skill Level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) on the Canadian National Occupational Classification list, AND

3. you must have had this experience within the last 10 years.

Once this has been verifed your application for the Federal Skilled Worker Visa will be processed as per six selection factors and points awarded - you must meet the pass mark across the six factors. These are Education, Official Languages, Work Experience, Age and Adaptability.

On September 1st 2006, the application procedure was changed for the federal skilled workers and the Business class applicants. To apply after this date you will need to use the latest Application forms and then send in with your procesing fees. Supporting documents are to be submitted later. There are a few classes of applicants who should not use the SAP - from the CIC they are:

"are a provincial nominee; or have been selected by Quebec; or are eligible for points for arranged employment; or have a legal temporary resident status in Canada as a worker or a student and are submitting your application at the Canadian visa office in Buffalo; or have a legal status in the United States and are submitting your application through the Canadian visa office in Buffalo".

Please ensure you check your status before proceeding with an application.

As discussed on the Visa page, this may sound like good news and I'm sure in the long term it will be. However, new applicants now face a wait of several years before their application is procesed and would have no idea they do not qualify until then.

You must also be able to you must be able to prove that you have the Necessary Funds required to support you and your family for six months after you arrive in Canada.

There are two official languages in Canada and depending on your ability in English and French, you can score a maximum of 24 points. You may want to learn or improve on your language ability to increase the number of points you can earn. There is one thing about the immigration process and that is it takes time. To gain extra points for language ability you may well have time to take a course in french.

If you claim a second language you will probably have to sit a test to prove your ability. The CIC has a great online Self Assessment Tool that is very easy to use but does require TOTAL honesty when you answer!!!

The skilled worker visa Application Fee is payable at the time of application. This applies to the principle applicant, any accompanying spouse or common-law partner and dependent children.

The second fee payable for immigration on a skilled worker visa is the Right of Permanent Residence Fee. This fee is refundable if you cancel your application, Citizenship and Immigration Canada do not issue you visa or if you do not use your visa. It can be paid at any time during the application process but must be paid before your Permanent Residence visa can be issued and applies to the principle applicant, any accompanying spouse or common-law partner. All fees are payable in Canadian Dollars.