Independent Skilled Worker

Many Independent Skilled workers find the process of immigrating is like trying to fit square pegs into round holes. They sort of meet the qualifications, but have some problems in different areas, and don’t quite fit. And if they can’t convince a Visa Officer of that, they fail.

At Lowe & Company, we’ll “shape up” your application, to smooth out the sharp corners, and make the best fit into the immigration regulations. We may ask for more detailed reference letters; character references; research into your school background; advise you on job opportunities and Work Permits in Canada; or prepare your case for a Substituted Evaluation.

Independent Skilled workers have education, skills and experience which will help the Canadian economy. They are assessed on a Point System, and must obtain at least 75 points to “pass”.

You must also prove that you have enough cash to live for 6 months, based upon the Low Income Cut Off table. For example, a family of 3 people would need to show that they had funds of at least $13,902.

If you can’t obtain 75 points, you may still be able to qualify if you can prove that you will be able to become successfully economically established in Canada; this is called a “substituted evaluation”.

Point System Assessment Criteria

  • Age: (10 points ) If you are between 21 and 49, you will obtain the maximum 10 points, and 2 points will be deducted for each year before 21 and after 44.
  • Education: (25 points ) You get 5 points for Secondary School, 20 points for a 3 year University Degree, 22 points for a 3 year non-University Diploma or Certificate, and 25 points for a Masters degree.
  • Language: (24 points ) You can get up to 16 points for high proficiency in the first language of either English or French, and up to 8 points for at least moderate proficiency in your second official language.
  • Work Experience: (21 points ) You earn 15 points for 1 year of skilled work experience, 17 points for 2 years, 19 points for 3 years, and 21 points for 4 or more years. Unlike the previous system, all skilled jobs get the same points. Managers, doctors, lawyers, and other jobs that didn’t qualify before now do.
  • ArrangedEmployment: (10 points ) If you have a job offer from a Canadian employer that has been approved by Human Resources Development Canada (“HRDC”), or if you are working in Canada with a Work Permit that is valid for at least 12 months after the date of your immigration application, you may qualify for 10 points under this category.
  • Adaptability: (10 points ) A maximum of 10 points can be assessed for the following criteria:
  • 3-5 Points: your spouses’ education;
  • 5 points: 2 years of full time study in Canada;
  • 5 points: 1 year full time work in Canada;
  • 5 points: Bonus for Arranged employment; or
  • 5 points: having relatives in Canada who are citizens or permanent residents.

Substituted Evaluation

If you get less than 75 points, but can prove that you will be able to establish yourself economically in Canada, a visa officer, with the supervisor’s approval, may exercise his discretion to approve your case. On the other hand, even if you get 75 or more points, the visa officers can also exercise negative discretion, if they feel that you won’t be able to establish yourself in Canada. In the past 5 years, discretionary power was used in less than 3% of the cases, but positive discretion was exercised 16 times more than negative discretion.