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Priority Occupation List PDF Print E-mail

On November 28, 2008, Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Canada Minister Jason Kenney announced the new instructions for the processing of all Federal Skilled Worker applications received since February 27, 2008. 

Priority Occupation List was introduced mainly to reduce the processing time frame leading towards faster Immigration and seeks to shrink immigration application processing times to 6 to 12 months.

Under the Immigration Minister's new instructions, Canadian Immigration Visa Officers reviewing Federal Skilled Worker applications will process those from candidates who:

  • Have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in one of the 38 qualifying occupations; or
  • Have been living in Canada with legal status as a Temporary Foreign Worker or an international student for at least one year; or
  • Qualify for Arranged Employment with a full-time permanent job offer from a Canadian employer.

The list of 38 qualifying occupations was compiled based on consultations with provincial and territorial business and labour stakeholders.  They have been identified as the most in-demand occupations in Canada.

Qualifying Occupations for Federal Skilled Worker applications (listed by National Occupational Classification (NOC) categories)


National Occupational Classification (NOC)

Construction Managers0711
University Professors4121
College and Other Vocational Instructors4131
Financial Managers0111
Financial Auditors and Accountants1111
Managers in Health Care0311
Specialist Physicians3111
General Practitioners and Family Physicians3112
Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists3141
Occupational Therapists3143
Head Nurses and Supervisors3151
Registered Nurses3152
Medical Radiation Technologists3215
Licensed Practical Nurses3233
Restaurant and Food Service Managers0631
Accommodation Service Managers0632
Computer and Information Systems Managers0213
Geologists, Geochemists and Geophysicists2113
Mining Engineers2143
Geological Engineers2144
Petroleum Engineers2145
Crane Operators7371
Drillers and Blasters – Surface Mining, Quarrying and Construction7372
Supervisors, Mining and Quarrying8221
Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service8222
Supervisors, Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Processing and Utilities9212
Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades7215
Contractors and Supervisors, Heavy Construction Equipment Crews7217
Electricians (Except Industrial and Power System)7241
Industrial Electricians7242
Steamfitters, Pipe fitters and Sprinkler System Installers7252
Welders and Related Machine Operators7265
Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics7312

Those Federal Skilled Worker applicants (submitted on or after February 27, 2008) do not have experience in a listed occupation, will have their applications returned and their processing fees refunded (unless the Minister has otherwise instructed that applications be retained).  Federal Skilled Worker applications submitted before February 27, 2008 will be processed based on previous assessment criteria and processing times.

The changes to the Federal Skilled Worker category will not affect any other classes of Canadian immigration. 

For those applicants who have their files returned, there are several other categories under which they may qualify for Canadian immigration. The Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP) for one, is an attractive fast-track option.

Please note that changes have also been made regarding the submission process for Federal Skilled Worker applications.

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