Women become skilled shop technicians after careful training in the school at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant, Long Beach, Calif. (1942).

Woman at work [Public Domain]

The new cycle for federal skilled worker immigration programs began May 1st and ends April 30th 2015. There are significant changes to the quotas and the available jobs. The changes affect the following federal immigration streams, officially referred to as the 'economic immigration' programs:

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Candian Experience Class (CEC)

The CEC is the federal program geared most towards workers with Canadian work experience, unsurprisingly. Though the CEC was supposed to factor greatly in the new the focus on 'economic immigrants' - i.e. workers - this cycle Citizenship and Immigration Canada will only be accepting 8,000 new applications.

To qualify for CEC you must

  • intend to live in Canada, but outside the province of Quebec;
  • have at least 12 months full-time skilled work experience (or 12 months part time experience in multiple jobs totalling 30 hours per week) in Canada in the 3 years prior to the date you submit your application;
  • you must have gained your Canadian experience legally - i.e. on a work permit;
  • you must meet the language requirements.

Also, there are six ineligible occupation groups for CEC, meaning that if your Canadian experience is in one of these occupations, you cannot use the CEC to apply for permanent residence. You should look into Provincial Nominee Programs.

Here are the ineligible occupations:

Occupation Group

Inelegible Job Titles

Group 1221: Administrative Officers Access to information and privacy officer; access to information officer; administration analyst; administration officer; administration services coordinator; administrative analyst; administrative co-ordinator; administrative officer; administrative planning officer; administrative services coordinator; administrative services officer; administrator, reserve; admissions officer, post-secondary educational institution; band administrator; bilingual services coordinator; business representative – club, lodge or society; business services officer; chief invigilator; civil emergency measures officer; claims officer; communications service coordinator; coordinator, bilingual services; coordinator, office services; Crown assets distribution officer; documentation and projects analyst; financial aid officer; financial assistance coordinator – college or university; financial assistance officer; forms management officer; freedom of information officer; immigrant investors program coordinator; implementation officer; invigilator; lease administration supervisor; liaison officer; management planning officer; Native band administrator; Native reserve administrator; office administrator; office automation coordinator; office coordinator; office manager; office services coordinator; officer, access to information and privacy; officer, civil emergency measures; official languages coordinator; ombudsman officer; operating officer – administration; operational officer – administration; operations officer – administration; organization and productivity project manager; organization and productivity project officer; parking coordinator; personnel administration officer – military; personnel administrative officer – military; planning officer; preliminary press planner; pre-press planner – publishing; privacy officer; proctor; project administration officer; public trustee; records analyst – access to information; regional services chief; relocation commissioner; requirements officer – military; reserve administrator; student aid officer; student assistance officer; surplus assets officer; technical assistant – office support; test administrator; testing coordinator; testing supervisor; university admissions officer.
Group 1241: Administrative Assistants Administrative assistant; administrative assistant – office; administrative secretary; appointment secretary; church secretary; contracts secretary; executive secretary (except legal and medical); finance secretary; human resources secretary; loans and grants administrative assistant; office administrative assistant; personal secretary; private secretary; recording secretary; sales secretary; school secretary; secretary (except legal and medical); secretary, church; secretary, school; secretary-clerk; taxation service secretary; technical secretary.
Group 1311: Accounting Technicians and Bookkeepers Accounting bookkeeper; accounting technician; bookkeeper; bookkeeping clerk; budget officer; finance officer; financial officer; senior bookkeeper.
Group 6211: Retail Sales Supervisors Bakery supervisor – supermarket; cashier supervisor – retail; chief canvasser – retail; customer service supervisor – retail; delicatessen supervisor – food store; delivery person supervisor; department head, retail store; department store supervisor; department supervisor – retail; door-to-door sales supervisor; food store supervisor; grocery clerk supervisor; head cashier; liquor store supervisor; meat department supervisor; newspaper delivery persons supervisor; newspaper sales supervisor; newspaper salesperson supervisor; night crew leader – retail store; price marker supervisor – retail; produce department supervisor; rental service supervisor; retail store department head; retail store supervisor; route supervisor, retail sales; sales clerk supervisor; sales supervisor; sales supervisor – retail; stock clerks supervisor – retail; stock supervisor – retail; subscription sales team leader; supermarket department supervisor; supervisor – retail; supervisor, cashiers – retail; supervisor, delivery persons; supervisor, door-to-door salespersons – retail; supervisor, price markers – retail; supervisor, sales clerks; supervisor, stock clerks – retail; supervisor, telemarketers; supervisor, telephone sales clerks; team leader, subscription sales; telemarketer supervisor; telemarketing services supervisor; telemarketing supervisor; telephone sales clerk supervisor.
Group 6311: Food Service Supervisors Cafeteria supervisor; canteen supervisor; catering supervisor; food assembly supervisor; food service supervisor; food service supervisor, hospital; hospital food service supervisor; railway dining car food service supervisor; shift manager, fast food restaurant; supervisor, food concession; supervisor, food services; swing manager, fast food restaurant; unit supervisor – food services.
Group 6322: Cooks Assistant cook; banquet cook; breakfast cook; broiler cook; cafeteria cook; camp cook; caterer cook; construction camp cook; cook; cook, apprentice; cook, camp; cook, domestic; cook, ethnic foods; cook, first; cook, fishing and merchant vessel; cook, institution; cook, kosher foods; cook, second; cook, small establishment; cook, third; diet kitchen cook; dietary cook; domestic cook; ethnic food cook; first cook; grill cook; hospital cook; institutional cook; journeyman/woman cook; kosher foods cook; licensed cook; line cook; logging camp cook; mess cook; pastry cook; pizza cook; railway cook; restaurant cook; second cook; ship's cook; short order cook; special diet cook; special orders cook, hospital; therapeutic diet cook; third cook.


CEC Occupation Caps:

  • An overall cap of 8,000 new, complete applications;
  • No individual caps for NOC 0 or NOC A occupations;
  • 200 new, complete applications for each eligible NOC B occuatpion.

See how many spaces are still open here.

If you don't qualify for CEC, check out the Provincial Nominee Program options.

Federal Skilled Trades (FST)

The FST is a new program that allows tradespeople to come to Canada. Previously, these tradespeople wouldn't have qualifed for the Federal Skilled Worker program. The FST began as a pilot project last year, meaning that it was just a test to see whether or not it was a viable program - whether or not there was enough interest from applicants and whether or not it would meet Canada's economic needs. The FST quota for this cycle is 5,000 applicants, which is up from 3,000 previously. So that would suggest it's a success and it seems likely to be a core part of the 'economic immigration' programs going forward.

To qualify for FST, you must

  • plan to live in Canada but outside of the province of Quebec;
  • meet the language requirements;
  • have at least 2 years full-time work experience in a skilled trade within the five years prior to the date you submit your application (or the equivalent amount of part time experience - must be 30 hours a week for two years);
    • Skilled trade means trades in the following NOC groups:
      • Major Group 72: Industrial, Electrical and Construction Trades;
      • Major Group 73: Maintenance and Equipment-operation Trades;
      • Major Group 82: Supervisors and technical jobs in Natural Resources, Agriculture, and related production;
      • Major Group 92: Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities Supervisors and central control operations;
      • See the full list here;
    • Equivalent part time experience means you worked 15 hours per week in a single job over four years, or in more than one job for a total of 30 hours per week over two years;
  • meet all the requirements for the particular trade as laid out in the NOC;
  • have an offer of full-time employment in Canada for at least one year OR a certificate of qualification in your trade issued by a provincial or territorial organization authorized to do so - to see whether or not your trade requires certification, visit the website for the province or territory you plan to live in:


FST Occupation Caps:

  • Overall cap of 5,000 new, complete applications;
  • 100 applications maximum per trade.


Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

The FSW is the mainstay of the 'economic immigration' streams, and it is also the most complicated. There are three streams with three separate sets of criteria with an overall quota of 25,000 new, complete applications:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Applications supported by a job offer (no quota)
  • Federal Skilled Worker Applications in occupations exempt from the job-offer requirement (25,000 spots)
  • PhD applicants (500 spots - included in the total 25,000 spots for the FSW)


Job Offers

If you have a job offer from a Canadian employer that meets these criteria and is in a NOC 0 (managers), A (professionals) or B (tradespeople and technicians) occupation, the quotas do not affect your application. You can apply whenever you and your employer are ready.

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Job Offer-Exempt Occupations

A certain number of occupations do not need job offers, and so those applying for permanent residence through this section of the FSW can come to Canada without pre-arranging employment, provided the application is approved. The list of eligible applications has expanded this cycle to 50 - the FSW is no longer just open to engineers.  There will be maximum quotas of 1,000 applications for each occupation, though obviously at least half of those occupations will be capped lower than that as the total cap for all occupations is 25,000. Here are the occupations for 2014-15:











0013 Senior managers — financial, communications and other business services 0911 Manufacturing managers 2132 Mechanical engineers 2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics 3143 Occupational therapists
0015 Senior managers — trade, broadcasting and other services 1111 Financial auditors and accountants 2133 Electrical and electronics engineers 2263 Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety 3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
0111 Financial managers 1112 Financial and investment analysts 2145 Petroleum engineers 2281 Computer network technicians 3215 Medical radiation technologists
0112 Human resources managers 1113 Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers 2171 Information systems analysts and consultants 3011 Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors 3216 Medical sonographers
0113 Purchasing managers 1114 Other financial officers 2172 Database analysts and data administrators 3012 Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses 3233 Licensed practical nurses
0121 Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers 1123 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations 2173 Software engineers and designers 3111 Specialist physicians 3234 Paramedical occupations
0311 Managers in health care 1212 Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers 3112 General practitioners and family physicians 4011 University professors and lecturers
0711 Construction managers 1224 Property administrators 2232 Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians 3132 Dietitians and nutritionists 4151 Psychologists
0712 Home building and renovation managers 2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers 2234 Construction estimators 3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists 4214 Early childhood educators and assistants
0811 Managers in natural resources production and fishing 2131 Civil engineers 2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians 3142 Physiotherapists 5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters


PhD Stream

If you are an international student enrolled in a Canadian PhD program or if you graduated from a Canadian PhD program within 12 months of applying for permanent residence, you are eligible for the FSW provided you also have 1 year of work experience in your occupation in the last 10 years.

The quota of 500 applications is included in the overall FSW quota of 25,000. That means that if the program reaches 25,000 applications before the PhD quota has been filled, the PhD stream will be closed anyway.


Qualifying for the FSW

If you meet one of the above three qualifications, you still must qualify in other ways:

  • As stated above, your work experience must be in a NOC 0, A or B occupation;
  • your work experience must total a minimum of 1560 hours and it must all be in the relevant occupation;
  • that work experience must have been amassed within the 10 years prior to the submission of your application;
  • volunteer work and unpaid internships do not count;
  • you must meet the language requirements;
  • you must either have a Canadian education or foreign education credentials backed up by an Education Credential Assessment that is CIC-approved;
  • you must qualify under the "selection factors" (see below);
  • you must be able to demonstrate you have enough money to come to Canada and survive financially (CAN$11,824 for one person with no dependents, for example);
  • you must be admissible.


Selection Factors

Regardless of how you qualify for the FSW program, you will be evaluated on six 'selection factors', as has been the case in previous years.  It is a point-system out of 100 points - 67 or more points means you qualify for the program (though you may or may not be approved, depending on your credentials, etc) and less than 67 points means you do not qualify.

Selection Factor


Maximum Points

English and / or French Ability
  • 6 points each for Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 9 in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing;
  • 5 points each for CLB 8 in a category;
  • 4 points each for CLB 7 in a category and CLB 5 in the other of Canada's two official languages.
  • 25 points for a PhD or equivalent;
  • 23 points for a Master's or an 'entry-to-practice' degree;
  • 22 points for 2 or more post-secondary degrees or diplomas (at least one must have been for 3 years or longer);
  • 21 points for 1 post-secondary degree or diploma program of three years or longer;
  • 19 points for 1 post-secondary degree or diploma program of 2 years in length;
  • 15 points for 1 post-secondary degree or diploma program of 1 year in length.
  • 5 points for high school.
Work Experience
  • 15 points for 6 or more years experience in the occupation;
  • 13 points for 4-5 years;
  • 11 points for 2-3 years;
  • 9 points for 1 year.
  • 12 points if you're age 18-35;
  • 11 points if you're 36
  • 10 points if you're 37
  • and so on until age 47 - 0 points for those under 18 or over 47.
Job Offer 10
Adaptability 10

So what are you waiting for?

Apply Today


2014 FSW Eligible Occupations


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