The Skilled Worker category falls under the Economic Class and is looking for applicants who will be able to establish themselves economically in Canada. The selection criteria is based on the applicants education, skilled work experience, language skills and age as well as other factors to determine their eligibility for successful establishment in Canada. This article will review the selection criteria, interpret it and provide some hints in preparing your application as well as identifying common mistakes made by applicants applying on their own.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) constantly change, so it is important to keep up to date with any changes or amendments to the Act or the Regulations. Contact Dennis Brazolot for more information.

DENNIS BRAZOLOT | Factor One: Education

This assessment is particularly important if you completed your education / training in the military or on a day release / block release basis. Remember that you must have completed your course of study and be able to document the number of years of full-time or full-time equivalent study. For example, if you completed a three year apprenticeship on a day release basis, this will usually be considered a three year full time equivalent qualification.

You will be awarded points for your specific qualification and the number of years of education. This is relevant as educational systems around the world differ greatly and it is an area where Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) can measure your education based on the years of completed education as opposed to the type of educational credential.

You must remember that the officer can only assess you on the paperwork they receive. I advise that you submit all of your academic qualification certificates and transcripts. If you have lost them, you can apply for replacements; however they are about £35 per certificate. You don’t need to submit unrelated qualifications such as having passed your St John’s Ambulance First Aid Course.

DENNIS BRAZOLOT | Factor Two: Language Proficiency

Canada has two official languages, English and French. I will focus on English being your mother tongue. If you have been born, raised, educated and worked in the UK, it is clear that you have a high proficiency in the English language. As such, you do not need to complete an English language exam. However, you must make a written submission confirming how you obtained your language skills as well as provide supporting documentation. Don’t leave anything to chance. If you wish to claim points for your second language, French, then you must take an approved language test.

DENNIS BRAZOLOT | Factor Three: Work Experience

When your work experience is examined, you must remember that your educational background does not need to be directly related to your skilled work experience. In other words, you may have a University degree in Geography, but are now working as a Management Consultant.

You are required to have a minimum of one year’s full time, paid work experience in the ten (10) years preceding the submission of your application in an occupation currently listed on Canada’s Occupations list. This only has 38 listed occupations. This work experience must be of a certain skill level to be admissible for consideration, hence the category, skilled worker. I encourage you to refer to the NOC as your interpretation of work experience may differ from the NOC. For example, many trades people in the UK refer to themselves as an “Engineer” In Canada, you are only considered an Engineer if you have completed a University Degree in Engineering. The NOC definitions will give you greater clarity as to the duties you would perform in your occupation. You can also claim work experience in more than one admissible occupation. You will be assessed on your work experience during the ten (10) years preceding your application.

DENNIS BRAZOLOT | Factor Four: Age

This is pretty straightforward. You are allocated a certain number of points based on your age at the date of submission. You age is frozen for the processing of the application. Most people will score the maximum of ten (10) points in this factor for being between the ages of 21-49 years old. You should also be aware that the age of a dependent child is under 22 years.

DENNIS BRAZOLOT | Factor Five: Arranged Employment in Canada

There are four (4) ways to can claim points under the Arranged employment factor. I will focus on the two most used and most relevant to UK applicants. By definition, “arranged employment” means an approved offer of indeterminate employment in Canada. The most widely used and most secure option is applying for a work permit and working in Canada while you wait a decision on your application for permanent residence. This requires having a validated offer of employment in Canada from a genuine employer. Once the LMO is issued, you can apply for a work permit. It is important to understand that a Canadian employer has to go through an evaluation by HRSDC and they also have to be prepared to wait for the LMO and the subsequent work permit application to be approved before you can travel to Canada and begin work. You can claim ten (10) points under this factor if arranged employment is achieved. Once you are in Canada on your work permit, you can make your application for permanent residence. You must prove that you are in Canada, holding a valid work permit and have a LMO showing that your employment would be likely to result in a neutral or positive effect on the labour market in Canada.

A second option is to apply for Permanent Arranged Employment (PAE). This occurs when you do not intend to travel on a work permit but to wait in the UK until your permanent residence visa is issued. To claim the points for this option, the employer must commit to employing you on an indeterminate basis once the permanent resident visa is issued. There are risks involved as, although an employer is happy to offer you employment and hold it open for you, their circumstances, as well as those of the Canadian labour market, can change during the time it takes for a decision to be made on the application for permanent residence. There are other options as well under NAFTA, GATS and the Canada -Chile Free Trade Agreement, as well as intra-company transferees. By having arranged employment, you can claim an additional five (5) points under the Adaptability factor, giving you a total of fifteen (15) additional points to your total score. This may be the difference between you qualifying for permanent residence in Canada or staying in the UK.

DENNIS BRAZOLOT | Factor Six: Adaptability

You can score an additional ten (10) points in this factor. You can claim points based on your partner’s level of education (if applicable); a minimum of one (1) years authorized work in Canada; a minimum of two (2) years authorized full time, post-secondary study in Canada; arranged employment in Canada or if you have a family member in Canada. The maximum that you can score under this factor is ten (10) points and these can be accrued through a combination of the following elements that we will look at in more detail.

  1. Level of education of accompanying spouse / common-law partner (if applicable).
  2. Previous study in Canada 5 points can be claimed if the applicant or accompanying spouse / common – law partner completed a program of full time study, of at least two (2) years duration, at a post secondary institution in Canada.
  3. Previous work in Canada 5 points can be claimed if the applicant or accompanying spouse / common – law partner has completed a minimum of one (1) year full time work in Canada and had a valid work permit.
  4. Family Relationship in Canada 5 points can be claimed if the applicant or accompanying spouse / common – law partner has a relative in Canada.
  5. Arranged Employment 5 points can be claimed if the applicant has claimed points under the Arranged Employment factor. As they are already claiming ten (10) points under this factor, they receive an additional five (5) under the Adaptability factor, so their total points for having arranged employment is fifteen (15) points.

DENNIS BRAZOLOT | What else can stop me?

So that’s it only six factors to accumulate the necessary 67 points to be considered for Canadian permanent residency. Now here is the bad news – even if you score enough points, you can still be refused. If you or a member of your family has a serious criminal background ie Sexual Assualt, Grand Theft or Murder, you can be refused on security grounds. The same applies if you or a member of your family has a serious medical condition. Canada needs to be sure that you will not place excessive demands on our health system nor that you have a medical condition that could be of risk to Canadians. You also need to show that you have enough money behind you so that you and your family can settle. You must have enough money as per Canada’s Low Income Cut Off (LICO) table. This is calculated on the number of dependents you have. You can view the LICO table at If you have Arranged Employment in Canada(see Factor Five), then you do not need to show evidence of your settlement funds. If you have questions about possible barriers to you qualifying as a skilled worker to Canada, you should take advice on your circumstances. Now what happens if you do not score 67 points? Don’t give up hope as there are potentially some other options via the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP’s), where Provinces select their own migrants. This can also apply to candidates who are not classified as skilled, such as Long Haul Truck Drivers. The preparation of your application is crucial to the timely completion of your application. You must complete everything in full as this can lead to delays. Remember – You are assessed only on paperwork that you provide, so it is critical that you get it right. Dennis Brazolot is a Member in Good Standing with the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) #M041225 and the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC). He can be contacted on +1 450 458 2186 or He travels regularly to the UK for consultations.