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Allen and Hodgman | Canada Skilled Worker Program Announces Occupations List

Canada Skilled Worker Program Announces Occupations List

A notice posted on the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada on April 18, 2013 announced the occupations list for the skilled worker class. This list applies only to persons who do not have approved job offers. Persons with job offers can apply in any skilled occupation. The notice also identified the organizations that will evaluate non-Canadian academic credentials.

The notice also stated that each occupation on the list will be capped at 300 “complete” applications, and the list as a whole will be capped at 5,000 applications.

The skilled worker program reopened on May 4, 2013 for persons without job offers. The program remains open to persons with approved job offers, and to candidates with Canadian PhDs. Regardless of your category, all applicants must reach the pass mark of 67 points based on the new point system. This system awards points for education, language ability in English or French, work experience, arranged employment, age, and several additional adaptability factors including a relative in Canada, Canadian work experience or education, and the language ability of the spouse of the principal applicant.

As of mid-August, none of the occupation categories had yet received 300 applications, although several categories, including computer programmer and financial analysts, are very close to meeting the quota. It may seem surprising that these common categories have not been filled. The explanation is the great difficulty in preparing and submitting a “complete” application. The difficulties include the following:

  • All points for language ability are based on taking an approved language test. There are no exceptions, regardless of your place of birth or language of education.
  • All points for education based on a non-Canadian degree must be based on an evaluation by an evaluation agency approved by the Canadian government. In all cases school transcripts must be sent directly from the college or university to the evaluation agency.
  • All work experience must be confirmed by detailed and specific letters from your current and former employers.
  • The application form includes a seven page document checklist.

It is difficult or impossible for individuals to prepare these applications without professional guidance. Our firm is now accepting cases from persons with proven work experience in one of the listed occupations, and who appear clearly capable of reaching the 67 point pass mark. In the event your application cannot be filed or is rejected because the quotas have been reached for the current year, we will agree to refile your case next year when the quotas are reset, providing your occupation is still on the list. Please send an email to for additional information. Please include an explanation of your current situation and an up to date resume.