Immigration to Canada as a Skilled Worker

by Taiwo Olalere

Have you thought about immigrating to Canada and making a better life for yourself and your family? You are not alone. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, over 235,000 people arrived in Canada and became permanent residents in 2004.

One of the categories under which a prospective applicant can immigrate to Canada as a Permanent Resident is the skilled worker category.

Applicants are assessed against six selection criteria and awarded points. In order to qualify to immigrate to Canada under the skilled worker category, the principal applicant must be awarded 67 points out of 100 points by the immigration officer at the Canadian High Commission.

The six criteria against which applicants are measured against are education, official language proficiency, work experience, age, arranged employment, and adaptability. In addition, if an applicant does not have arranged employment, he/she must have settlement funds.

Each of these selection criteria is explained below.


The maximum score a principal applicant can earn under this selection criterion is 25 points.

In determining the points to award under this selection criterion, an immigration officer has to assess the highest level of educational credential completed and the total number of years of full time education or full time equivalent that an applicant has completed at the time the application is made.

For example, John Amadi completed six years of primary school and six years of secondary school in Nigeria. He went on to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree at Igbinedon University. Under the education selection criteria, he would be awarded 20 points. This is because he has a university degree of two years or more at the bachelor’s level, combined with at least 14 years of full time study.

Official language proficiency

The maximum score a principal applicant can earn under this selection criterion is 24 points.

The two official languages in Canada are English and French. The immigration officer will assess the principal applicant’s proficiency in the official languages. The points scored by the principal applicant depends on his/her language proficiency level: basic, moderate or high abilities in English and or French. A principal applicant is assessed on his or her ability to:

* listen;
* speak;
* read;
* and write.

Proficiency is established in one of two ways. The first way is to take an approved test. The other way is to provide written evidence of proficiency in the language.

If the principal applicant decides to take an approved test, the results are conclusive of the principal applicant’s proficiency in the language or languages. For example, the immigration officer must award the maximum points if the applicant’s test result indicates that the principal applicant is highly proficient. The immigration officer has no discretion.

On the other hand, if principal applicant elects to provide written evidence instead of taking the approved test, they would need to establish their proficiency through written evidence. They type of written documents provided will depend on the personal circumstances of each principal applicant. The immigration officer has discretion to determine what he or she wants to award based on the written documentation provided to support the language proficiency.

There are pros and cons to taking either of the two approaches. It depends on the circumstances of the principal applicant.

Work Experience

The maximum score a principal applicant can earn under this selection criterion is 21 points.

This is a mandatory requirement. A principal applicant must have one or more years of full time paid work experience in one of the occupations listed in the National Occupation Classification document. The principal applicant’s work experience must fall within the category of Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B on the Canadian National Occupational Classification. These are the occupations where the Canadian government, among other things, believes that there are labour market shortages.

The work experience acquired must fall within the 10 years preceding the date the application. If the applicant does not have work experience, he or she would not qualify under the skilled worker category.


The maximum score a principal applicant can earn under this selection criterion is 10 points.

Principal applicants that are 21 years old up to 49 years old will score 10 maximum points. If a principal applicant is less than 21 years old, 2 points will be deducted for each year under 21. If a principal applicant is 50 years old or over, 2 points will be deducted for each year over 49. For example, an applicant that is 51 years old will score 6 points.

Arranged Employment

The maximum score a principal applicant can earn under this selection criteria is 10 points.

Generally speaking, a principal applicant that has a valid, genuine, permanent full time job offer from a Canadian employer that has HRDC confirmation from the Canadian government will be awarded 10 points.

Most principal applicants may not have arranged employment. It is not compulsory that a principal applicant have arranged employment.


The maximum score a principal applicant can earn under this selection criterion is 10 points.

If the principal applicant has a spouse who has educational credentials, he or she may score some points under adaptability. Furthermore, if the principal applicant or the spouse or common law partner of the principal applicant has worked in Canada before or studied in Canada before, additional points may be earned.

In addition, if the principal applicant or the principal applicant’s spouse or common law partner has a relative living in Canada who is a Canadian or permanent resident, additional points will be earned. Relatives are parents, grandparents, children, grand children, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, or nephews.

Settlement Funds

Where a principal applicant does not have arranged employment (previously explained above), they must show proof that they have settlement funds to support themselves and their dependants when they arrive in Canada. For example, an up to date bank statement. The current amount required as settlement funds will vary depending on the family size of the principal applicant. The settlement funds must be transferable and available, unencumbered by debts or other obligations.

Mr. Taiwo Olalere who is a Canadian immigration lawyer wrote this article. He can be reached at or through his web site at Canadian Immigration Lawyer.

Please note that the content provided in this publication is general information only. It is not intended as nor should it be regarded or relied upon as legal advice or opinion. You should consult with an immigration lawyer for specific advice on your situation. Please note as well that the presentation of information in this publication or your use or reliance upon the information above does not establish a lawyer-client relationship between you and Olalere Law Office and any person associated or working for Olalere Law Office.

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shimelis April 30, 2012 - 8:49 am

I can achieve the criteria listed above,so I can migrate to Canada and learn aswell as live.thank you for the opportunity you provide,for Education,permanent residence in Canda.again thank you.yours sincerly Shime bye

ritesh April 29, 2011 - 8:23 am

hi this interest me and i would like if you can help me about the skills worker pr by giving me more information thanks my email is

bodunrin July 8, 2010 - 3:46 pm

Making a better life for yourself and your family has been on top of my list. kindly help me out with canadian immigration details.

Tobs April 13, 2010 - 10:09 am

Quite informative

Adekunle March 25, 2010 - 11:24 am

the article is quite an eye opener, enlightening and educative.

Osarenmwinda Monday March 23, 2010 - 1:03 pm

i realling like the article, Iam a pharmacist in Nigeria. What is the nature of the test? and how do i go about it? Cananda is my dream country, please help me in anyway you can

ayanlowo olufemi festus April 9, 2009 - 7:30 pm

i really like this article,it’s eye opener.i v tried the test b4,but not successful.i think i shall try again.

OBIAGWU July 16, 2008 - 3:59 pm


Gnanendrakumar August 12, 2007 - 4:19 am

i am working at srilanka as a data entry operator, here is not enough security to me.. i like to get any jobs from canada as a computer field. i have more experience

oyegbola ishala sheu January 2, 2007 - 11:57 am

dear sir,ma,

i hereby applying for a immigration canada as a skill worker ,

Anonymous January 9, 2006 - 1:40 pm

Examples would help. But fairly easy to understand regardless.

Anonymous July 13, 2005 - 9:33 am

i just visited a site called and took a free eligibility test that would assess my chances of emigrating and it went thus as above it is also wise to make proper enquiries before you think of migrating to make a living or develope a career in any given country.

Anonymous May 9, 2005 - 10:14 am

i love the article because i have been looking for the opportunity and thank god that i get it .the way the article is analise i like it may god blees u abundantly,sir i have interest on the skilled worker in canada pls send to my box how i can do it sir, my mail box is thank sir .my name is gabriel omosalewa from nigeria

segun akinyode January 1, 1970 - 12:00 am

could you resolve this puzzle?-the web site you quoted shows more than 200,000 lawyers.pls make yours explicit.


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