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Skilled Worker Visa Guide

Skilled workers are defined as people whose education and work experience will help them find work and make a home for themselves as permanent residents in Canada. A skilled worker must have at least one year of full time work experience (37.5 hours per week or more) in the last ten years in one of the occupations deemed acceptable according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

The occupations of the NOC are divided into 5 categories:

Skill Type 0 Management Positions
Skill Level A Professional Occupations
Skill Level B Technical Trades and Paraprofessional Occupations
Skill Level C Intermediate Level, Clerical or Supportive Functions
Skill Level D Elemental Sales, or Primary Laborer Occupations

Only experience in the Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A and B are considered acceptable when applying for permanent residency in Canada through the Skilled Workers Class.

Using a points system, Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials assess applicants who meet the NOC requirements. Applicants must achieve a minimum score of 75 points in order to be eligible to become a Canadian Permanent Resident.

The point system is as follows:

Education Maximum 25 points
Official Languages Maximum 24 points
Experience Maximum 21 points
Arranged Employment Maximum 10 points
Age Maximum 10 points
Adaptability Maximum 10 points

The highest possible score is 100, and a passing score is 75. If an applicant scores below 75 points, there is still a possibility that they can be approved as a Permanent Resident in Canada. Section 76(3) of the Immigration Regulations Act permits a Visa Officer to use his or her discretion, and approve an application where an applicants score is below 75 points. The officer must be convinced that the applicant will be able to economically establish himself/herself in Canada. The same section allows an officer to refuse an applicant with a score of 75 or higher, if they feel that the applicant will not be able to economically establish himself/herself in Canada.

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