New 2013 Federal Skilled Worker Class (Updated – April 18, 2013)

(On August 17, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) announced that it would be overhauling Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Class (“FSWC”).  Numerous program announcements have been introduced since then.  Each time we have revised and updated this blog post.  The most recent update was on April 18, 2013.)

In brief, the FSWC will now focus on youth and language fluency.  It will also require foreigners to have their educational credentials assessed by designated agencies.  The Arranged Employment Opinion process is being abolished.  The program will continue to feature limits on the number of occupations which can apply, and there will be caps.

The revised program will begin accepting applications on May 4, 2013.

Eligible Occupations List

For those not applying under the Arranged Employment stream or the PhD Stream, applicants must have at least one year of continuous work experience in one of 24 occupations (the “Eligible Occupations Stream”).

The Eligible Occupations are:

  • 0211 Engineering managers
  • 1112 Financial and investment analysts
  • 2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers
  • 2131 Civil engineers
  • 2132 Mechanical engineers
  • 2134 Chemical engineers
  • 2143 Mining engineers
  • 2144 Geological engineers
  • 2145 Petroleum engineers
  • 2146 Aerospace engineers
  • 2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers/designers)
  • 2154 Land surveyors
  • 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • 2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
  • 2263 Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
  • 3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • 3142 Physiotherapists
  • 3143 Occupational Therapists
  • 3211 Medical laboratory technologists
  • 3212 Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants
  • 3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • 3215 Medical radiation technologists
  • 3216 Medical sonographers
  • 3217 Cardiology technicians and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c. (not elsewhere classified)

The eligible occupations stream will have an overall cap of 5,000 new applications and sub-caps of 300 applications in each of the 24 occupations on the list.

The New Points Breakdown

Under the new Federal Skilled Worker Class (“FSWC“), the six selection factors and the maximum number of points available for each factor will be as follows:

1. English / French Ability Maximum 24 points Maximum 28 points
2. Education Maximum 25 points Maximum 25 points
3. Experience Maximum 21 points Maximum 15 points
4. Age Maximum 10 points Maximum 12 points
5. Arranged employment Maximum 10 points Maximum 10 points
6. Adaptability Maximum 10 points Maximum 10 points
Total Maximum 100 points Maximum 100 points
Pass Mark 67 points 67 points

Factor 1: Ability in English and or French

The FSWC’s language requirements are being completely re-done, and made much more stringent.  Previously, using applicants who submitted International English Language Testing System (“IELTS“) results as an example, applicants were awarded points as follows:

High First official language:4 6.5 – 9.0 7.5 – 9.0 6.5 – 9.0 6.5 – 9.0
Second official language: 2
Moderate Either official language: 2 5.5 – 6.0 5.5 – 7.0 5.0 – 6.0 5.5 – 6.0
Basic Either official language: 1
(maximum of 2)
4.0 – 5.0 4.5 – 5.0 3.5 – 4.5 4.0 – 5.0
None 0 Less than 4.0 Less than 4.5 Less than 3.5 Less than 4.0

Under the new FSWC, the Canadian Language Benchmark requirements to be eligible for points are much higher.  The points allocation system will initially be as follows:

High First official language:6 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0
High First official language: 5 8.0 8.0 8.0 8.0
High First official language: 4 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0
Less than High 0 Less than 7.0 Less than 7.0 Less than 7.0 Less than 7.0

The IELTS equivalence is as follows:

High First official language:6 7.0 8.0 7.0 7.0
High First official language: 5 6.5 7.5 6.5 6.5
High First official language: 4 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
Less than High 0 Less than 7.0 Less than 7.0 Less than 7.0 Less than 7.0

Importantly, the FSWC will now contain a minimum language requirement.  Applicants who score less than 7.0 in any CLB language indicator will be ineligible to apply to the program.  The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (the “Minister”) shall have the discretion to increase or decrease this minimum language threshold, as well as the points allocated for test results, to meet program processing objectives.

The maximum number of points available for the second official language is 4.  To be eligible for second official language points, applicants must score a minimum of 5.0 or above in all abilities.  Essentially, points for second language will only be available for applicants who are functionally bilingual.

Factor 2: Education

Points for education are being rebalanced as follows:

Master’s or PhD (+17 years) 25 Doctoral 25
Two or more university degrees (+15 years) 22 Master’s Level or Professional Degree 23
A three-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship (+15 years) 22 Two or more post-secondary credentials (one of which is >2 years) 22
A university degree of two years or more at the Bachelor’s level (+14 years) 20 Three-year or longer post-secondary credential 21
A two-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship (+14 years) 20 Two-year post-secondary credential 19
A one-year university degree at the Bachelor’s level (+13 years) 15 One-year post-secondary credential 15
A one-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship (+13 years) 15
A one year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship (+12 years) 12
Secondary school 5 Secondary school 5

CIC is removing from applicants and immigration officers the often confusing responsibility of determining how a foreign credential should be compared to a Canadian one (previously done by comparing the number of years it took to achieve the credential). CIC is transferring this responsibility to designated organizations   Applicants with foreign credentials will be required to have a designated organization authenticate and assess their credentials prior to applying for the FSWC.  Applicants whose credentials either do not eixsit in Canada or do not have a Canadian credential equivalent will not be eligible to apply to the FSWC.

Four organizations have been designated by the Minister to provide educational credential assessment reports. The designated organizations are:

Factor 3: Experience

Under the new FSWC, points for experience in a skilled occupation will be allocated as follows:

Experience Current Points New Points System
1 year 15 9
2 year 17 11
3 year 19 11
4 year 21 13
5 year 21 13
6 + year 21 15

Prior to its recent suspension, the FSWC was limited to applicants with at least one year of experience in one of 29 eligible occupations.  This limitation was implemented through Ministerial Instruction, and it is not clear whether the Ministerial Instruction will continue, or if it is being abolished.  As such, it is not yet clear whether the FSWC will be reduced to experience in certain occupations.

Factor 4: Age

Under the new FSWC, points for Age will be allocated as follows: :

16 or under 0 17 or under 0
17 2 18-35 12
18 4 36 11
19 6 37 10
20 8 38 9
21-49 10 39 8
50 8 40 7
51 6 41 6
52 4 42 5
53 2 43 4
54 and over 0 44 3
45 2
46 1
47 and over 0

Factor 5: Arranged Employment

The Arranged Employment Opinion process is being eliminated.   Instead, points for Arranged Employment will be available as follows:

10 Applicant is a Temporary Foreign Worker (“TFW”) in Canada pursuant to either a positive Labour Market Opinion (“LMO”) or is authorized to work in Canada without a work permit, is working in a skilled position, and has been offered indefinite employment.Applicant is a Temporary Foreign Worker working in Canada pursuant to an international agreement or an agreement between the federal government and the province(s), is working in a skilled position, and has been offered indefinite employment.Applicant is not in Canada however an employer or an officer has obtained a positive LMO for the applicant.

CIC has indicated that switching from the Arranged Employment Opinion to the LMO will increase efficiency and reduce fraud.  While it will certainly do the former, it is not yet clear why abandoning the AEO in favour of the LMO will reduce fraud.

As well, it is unclear in the third scenario above whether the LMO only has to be valid at the time of application, or if a new LMO must be obtained prior to the permanent resident visa being issued.

Factor 6: Adaptability

Points for adaptability are being rebalanced as follows:

Spouse’s partner’s education. 3-5 Spouse’s education. 0
Applicant or spouse has one year of full-time previous work in Canada. 5 Applicant has one year of full-time skilled previous work in Canada. 10
Possession of Arranged Employment Offer 5 Applicant has Arranged Employment points. 5
Any relatives in Canada who are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. 5 Any relatives in Canada who are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and over the age of 18 5
Applicant has previous study of 2 or more years in Canada. 5
Applicant’s spouse has previous study of 2 or more years in Canada. 5
Applicant’s spouse scores 4 on all language abilities. 5
Applicant’s spouse has previous work in a skilled position in Canada. 5

The maximum number of points available for adaptability continues to be 10.

42 thoughts on “New 2013 Federal Skilled Worker Class (Updated – April 18, 2013)

  1. I believe the person was asking if the NOC list will apply as per the new rules or if only the selection points would apply.

    1. The simple answer to this is that “nobody knows.” Alot of people are mistakenly thinking that because the Regulations do not mention an Occupation List that there is none. This is incorrect. The Regulations do not specify whether there is an Occupation List. Ministerial Instructions do. And those have not yet been released.

    1. Can you please let us know the Quebec is accepting new application under the category of training in demand? If yes what are there points requiremets? Any information related to calaculating the points will be much apprecaited.

  2. Yes it is already under process since May, anytime soon i ll be getting some outcome. So just wanted to confirm how much score I can get from my 4 yrs Bachelors degree in Nursing. I suppose by jan i ll be having my credentials assessed.


    1. Hi Steven,
      I have a question with regards to Educational Credentials Assessment.

      CIC has said that it would come up with list of designated organizations which would authenticate and access the credentials prior to applying for the FSWP 2013? Is the list already out? Thanks.

  3. And 23 points is for Master’s Degree but does it include any min years of study last like time included 17 years?

    I’ve started my PhD research this year, does it qualify me for the full 25 points as a PhD research student?

  4. Regarding Abdulaziz Mohammed’s question, Minister Kenney stated on Twitter on 18 August: “The new Skilled Worker Program will be limited to applicants in NOCs 0, A, & B, but won’t be limited to particular occupations.” And on 03 Sep: “That’s why there will be a cap on the number of new applications accepted when we re-open the FSWP.” Of course, Twitter and are two different websites, and 2013 is so far away.

    Mr. Meurrens: Has CIC stated anywhere the specific equivalent of CLB 9, which according to your post is IELTS S7 R7 W7 and L8? I can only see up to CLB 8 in the Canadian Experience Class application guide.

  5. Hi, Please confirm me about the spouse IELTS minimum required score – is it mandatory to get an individual score of 4 in all the categories – listening, reading, writing, speaking? or a total average of 4 will do?

  6. according to new points based rule, may i eligible to apply permanent resident to Canada or not? from the following criteria
    Education: Master degree in Management
    Experience: Teaching at higher secondary level since 2009

    1. Ganesh, it is unknown yet whether the new program will be limited to certain occupations. What you should do in the meantime is take the IELTS / TEF to see if you meet the language requirements.

  7. Hi, Mr. Meurrens:

    Thank you for your wonderful blog!

    I understand that there is a class action against the changes to FSWC. However, my question is, is it a breach of S.15 of the Charter when they award points based on age?

    Or does the Charter only apply to Canadians and whoever live in Canada?

    Thank you,


  8. I took the ielts recently and got 7.5 listening,7.5 speaking,7.0 writing and 5.5 reading with a total band score of 7.0. Does that mean that my result is not qualified to apply for the FSW program even if i got 7.0 for my total band score?i was able to meet all the other requirements already.

    1. The proposed change states that:

      CIC proposes to recognize the importance of language to socio-economic integration by (1) requiring minimum language abilities in order to qualify for the program; and (2) significantly increasing the maximum points awarded for fluency in one official language from 16 points to 24 points. Under the proposed Regulations, the Minister would fix the language threshold according to criteria set out in the Regulations. The Regulations would also provide that the Minister would communicate that threshold publicly. Initially, it is anticipated that the threshold would be set at Canadian Language Benchmark 7 (CLB 7) or Niveau de compétence linguistique canadien 7 (NCLC 7) for all four abilities (speaking, oral comprehension, reading and writing). This threshold corresponds to having “adequate intermediate proficiency.” The CLB and NCLC are recognized as the official Canadian standards for describing, measuring and recognizing the language proficiency of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants in both English and French.

      I will let you read into that what you will, however, I certainly don’t think it would be a bad idea to try again on the IELTS.

  9. hello sir steven! merry xmas! my General training IELTS score for each ability: S-8.5, L-7, W-6, R-7. Band Score is 7. Am i qualified? Thank you and more power!

  10. Sir, take my salute. I want to apply as fstp in 2013. My ielts score is Listening= 5.0, Speaking= 5.5, Reading= 4.0 and Writing= 5.5. i think these scores equivalent to CLB5. if i eligible for fstp, i will apply for immigration to Canada. pl reply and give me a good decision. thanks. i am looking forward to hearing u.

  11. My IELTS GT Score is Speaking-6,Listening-6,Writing-5.5,Reading-6 Am I eligible for Canadian Immigration-2013 according to IELTS minimum score requirement?

  12. Hi,
    could you please provide some info about any institutions I can look at for getting my credentials assessed?

    Thank you in advance

  13. Hi,

    1. My IELTS result is: L8.0, R 7.0, W 6.0, S 6.5. Am I eligible under the new rules 2013? According to the chart in this site, do I get 21 points for the language?
    2.What is the process for the Qualifications to be assessed and credited?
    3. If my spouse has a relative living in Canada, do we earn point for it?


  14. Hi Steven,


    2. Does the Banking experience cover the cateosgry of “1122-Professional occupations in business management consulting”. Although i fullfil soem or few job responsibilites that were mentioned under this cateogy.


  15. Sir, i just want to clarify what is the real points for 3 years of work experience in the new point system coz in your grid it shows 13 points , however in other websites they just give 11 points.

  16. Dear Steven,

    i have 3 years bachelors degree aswell a 2 year diploma,how much points will be awarded for education according to new rules,please specify.


  17. Dear Steven,

    My query is with regard to the EOI model which has been discussed on CIC site. I would like to know that someone whose profession needs a licence to practice in Canada, how will he or she get through this process or get ITA (Invitation to Apply) because no employer would like to give an offer of employment who is not eligible to work in that profession in Canada? Let’s say a Physiotherapist from India who still has to get a licence to practice.

    Do you think this is fair or is CIC thinking something else for professionals?

    What are your views on EOI model?


  18. with the new occupation list as of April 2013, I see that teachers and educational staff in general are not eligible to apply as SKILLED workers anymore. Is this right? thanks

  19. Hi, this is an amazing post.. +1 for that…

    Please advice, I have done 2 years diploma in medical laboratory technician course after my 12th. So when I send my documents for credential evaluation, should I send documents for 12th as well.

    Looking forward to hear from you soon

  20. Its really a goog policy accept the section of Adaptability and language Section.It will more sweetable if Canadaian Govt. give quit relux in said two rules.

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