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Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) Route

Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program is a program (FSWP) designed specifically for foreign immigrant class who want to work in Canada permanently. The program allows candidates who have not been to Canada to apply for immigration to Canada as permanent residents online through Express Entry system.

Understanding Canada’s Federal Skilled Workers Program

FSWP is an objective system introduced by the Canadian government for candidates who want to immigrate and work in Canada permanently. The system replaced the old system which was used to choose candidates based on subjective reasons. With FSWP, all applicants are judged based of their rank in both Comprehensive Ranking System and the selection factors. With the Federal Skilled Worker Program, candidates are now ranked uniformly based on age, education, language skills, work experience, occupation, among other factor.

Federal Skilled Worker Program Advantages

The FSWP has some advantages over other express entry systems which the candidates who apply for Canada PR under it may enjoy. The advantages include:

  • It can be acquired in a very short time, as low as six months.
  • It offers the highest percentage of permit to immigrants who apply for Canada PR permit. In 2018, it offered permit to more than half of applicants who applied for PR.
  • Candidates do not require any connections to qualify for this program. Once you reach the minimum requirements, you can apply online and stand a chance of invitation to apply (ITA).

Federal Skilled Worker Program Requirements

For a candidate to be eligible to apply for FSWP, the candidate must reach the minimum requirements for the program.

Below are the requirements you must meet to be eligible.

Work Experience

The first requirement for this program is one year work experience in a skilled job in the last ten years before applying. The experience must be in a job ranked by the National Occupational Classification as:

  • Managerial jobs (skill type 0)
  • Professional jobs (skill level A)
  • Technical jobs and skilled trades (skill level B)

The experience can be either in the form of

  • A full-time job where you work for a 12 months period
  • A part-time job equivalent to a full-time job of one year
  • Student job in which you are paid in wages or commission

Language skills

You must take a language test in either of English or French to show your level in any of the languages. The test will show your proficiency in speaking, listening, writing and reading. For English, you can take IELTS and for French, you can take FEC.

You must also score the minimum mark for Canada Language Bench Mark which is 7 in all. The higher mark you score, the your chances of qualification. The language test becomes invalid two years after the day you got the result.

Education

You must have completed a diploma or certificate in a Canadian high school or if you went to school outside Canada, you must have diploma or certificate equivalent to a Canadian high school and then provide:

  • foreign credentials and
  • an Educational Credential Assessment for immigration purposes which shows that you have completed from a school equivalent to a Canadian high school.

Proof of Fund

You must have proof that you have enough money to settle down in Canada with your family or a proof that you have secured a job or that you can work legally in Canada. If you do not meet the financial requirements, you will not qualify for Federal Skilled Worker Program. Another thing about this program is that the fund increases as the number of family members increases. You will see the details below.

Admissibility

You have to be legally allowed into Canada before you can qualify for Federal Skilled Worker Class. This means you have to be cleared by the police of having no criminal record. You also have to be cleared medically to show that you are medically fit.

Federal Skilled Worker Program Eligibility

Once you have met the above mentioned requirements, you are eligible to apply for Canada permanent residence through the Federal Skilled Worker Program organized under the express entry system by IRCC.

Federal Skilled Worker Program Settlement Funds

The FSWP requires that the you must have a certain amount of money in the bank before you can qualify to apply for express entry through the system. The money shows that you are ready to settle down in Canada with your family members. If you are not able to meet this criteria, then, you may not qualify to apply for Canada PR through this program.

The fund increases as the number of family members increases. This table shows the minimum amount you need to immigrate to Canada. If you have more money, you should list the full amount in your profile or application.

View Settlement Fund Requirements
Number of
family members
Funds required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $12,960
2 $16,135
3 $19,836
4 $24,083
5 $27,315
6 $30,806
7 $34,299
For each additional family member $3,492

Acceptable Proof of Funds for FSWP

Funds must be readily available to you. For example, you can’t use equity on real property as proof of settlement funds. You also can’t borrow this money from another person. You must be able to use this money to pay the costs of living for your family (even if they aren’t coming with you).

If your spouse is coming with you, you can count money you have together in a joint account. You may be able to count money in an account under their name only, but you must prove you have access to the money.

The funds must be available both when you apply and when (if) we issue you a permanent resident visa. You must prove to an immigration officer that you can legally access the money to use here when you arrive. For proof, you must get official letters from any banks or financial institutions where you’re keeping money.

Letter(s) must:

  • be printed on the financial institution’s letterhead
  • include their contact information (address, telephone number and email address)
  • include your name
  • list outstanding debts such as credit card debts and loans
  • include, for each current bank and investment account, the
    • account numbers
    • date each account was opened
    • current balance of each account
    • average balance for the past 6 months

IRCC updates the minimum amount you need every year, based on 50% of the low income cut-off totals. The changes are small, but there is a chance they could affect your eligibility. Be sure to check the new numbers once they’re posted.

Federal Skilled Workers Program Selection Factors

Candidates who meet the requirements must indicate that they score the following marks in the selection factor as listed below. The candidate must score 60 out of 100 points in the eligibility point grid.

Check FSW Selection Criteria
FSWP Selection Factor Points
Education 25
Language Proficiency 28
Age 12
Work Experience 15
Arranged Employment 10
Adaptability 10
Minimum Pass Score 67

Once a candidate meets these requirements, the candidate can apply for express entry, but candidates who have these should also know that certain conditions like criminal records or medical conditions can make them inadmissible into Canada and thus they may be disqualified.

Eligibility Criteria for Federal Skilled Worker in Canada

Level of Education
Level of Education Points
Doctoral (PhD) level 25
Master’s level 23
Two or more post-secondary degrees – at least one for a program of at least 3 years 22
Post-secondary degree – 3 years or longer 21
Post-secondary degree – 2 years 19
Post-secondary degree – 1 year 15
Secondary school 5
Maximum 25
Language Proficiency
Language Proficiency
English IELTS Score Points
First Official Language Speaking Listening Reading Writing
CLB 9 6 6 6 6 6 pts/ability
CLB 8 5 5 5 5 5 pts/ability
CLB 7 4 4 4 4 4 pts/ability
Second Official Language (OPTIONAL)
*Score must be met in all four abilities 4 4 4 4 4 points
English CELPIP Score Points
CLB 9 9 9 9 9 6 pts/ability
CLB 8 8 8 8 8 5 pts/ability
CLB 7 7 7 7 7 4 pts/ability
Second Official Language (OPTIONAL)
*Score must be met in all four abilities 5 5 5 5 4 points
Français Marque TEF Points
Première langue officielle Expression orale Compréhension de l’orale Compréhension de l’écrit Expression écrite
NCLC 9 371+ 298+ 248+ 371+ 6 pts/compétence
NCLC 8 349-370 280-297 233-247 349-370 5 pts/compétence
NCLC 7 310-348 249-279 207-232 310-348 4 pts/compétence
Seconde langue officielle (OPTIONELLE)
*vous devez atteindre le seuil minimal dans chacune des quatre compétences linguistiques 226-371+ 181-298+ 151-248+ 226-371+ 4 points
Français Marque TCF Points
Première langue officielle Expression orale Compréhension de l’orale Compréhension de l’écrit Expression écrite
NCLC 9 14+ 523+ 524+ 14+ 6 pts/compétence
NCLC 8 12-13 503-522 499-523 12-13 5 pts/compétence
NCLC 7 10-11 458-502 453-498 10-11 4 pts/compétence
Seconde langue officielle (OPTIONELLE)
*vous devez atteindre le seuil minimal dans chacune des quatre compétences linguistiques 6+ 369-397+ 375-405+ 6+ 4 points
Maximum 28
Age Factor
Age Points
Under 18 0
18-35 12
36 11
37 10
38 9
39 8
40 7
41 6
42 5
43 4
44 3
45 2
46 1
47 and older 0
Maximum 12
Work Experience
Arranged Employment
Arranged Employment Offer Points
If And
You currently work in Canada on a temporary work permit. Your work permit is valid both when you apply and when the visa is issued (or you are authorized to work in Canada without a work permit when your visa is issued)

and

IRCC issued your work permit based on a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Your employer would have applied for the LMIA, which you then had to attach to your application to IRCC

and

You are working for an employer named on your work permit who has made a permanent job offer based on you being accepted as a skilled worker.

10
You currently work in Canada in a job that is exempt from the LMIA requirement under an international agreement (such as, the North America Free Trade Agreement) or a federal-provincial agreement. Your work permit is valid both when you apply and when the visa is issued (or you are authorized to work in Canada without a work permit when your visa is issued)

and

Your current employer has made a permanent job offer based on you being accepted as a skilled worker

and

You have been working for that employer for at least 1 continuous year, full-time or part-time equivalent.

10
You currently do not have a work permit, or do not plan to work in Canada before you get a permanent resident visa.

OR

You are currently working in Canada and a different employer has offered to give you a permanent full-time job

OR

You are currently working in Canada in a job that is exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment, but not under an international or federal-provincial agreement.

An employer has made you a permanent job offer based on you being accepted as a skilled worker

and

The employer has a positive Labour Impact Assessment from ESDC

10
Maximum 10
Adaptability
Adaptability Factor Points
Your past work in Canada

You did at least one year of full-time work in Canada (NOC Skill Type 0, A or B) with a valid work permit or while authorized to work in Canada.

10
Your spouse or partner’s full-time work in Canada

Your spouse or common-law partner did at least one year of full-time work in Canada on a valid work permit or while authorized to work in Canada.

5
Your past study in Canada

You finished at least two academic years of full-time (15 hrs/week) study in a program at least two years long at a secondary or post-secondary school in Canada, and stayed in good academic standing during that time.

5
Your spouse or partner’s past study in Canada

Your spouse or common-law partner finished at least two academic years of full-time (15 hrs/week) study in a program at least two years long at a secondary or post-secondary school in Canada, and stayed in good academic standing during that time.

5
Arranged Employment in Canada

You earned points under Factor 5: Arranged Employment

5
Your spouse or partner’s language level

Your spouse or common-law partner has a language level in either English or French at CLB 4 level or higher in all four language abilities (IELTS Listening 4.0, Reading 4.5, Writing 3.5, Speaking 4.0)

5
Relatives in Canada

You, or your spouse or common-law partner, have a relative who is living in Canada AND 18 years or older AND a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, either a:

  • parent,
  • grandparent,
  • child,
  • grandchild,
  • child of a parent (sibling),
  • child of a grandparent (aunt or uncle),
  • or grandchild of a parent (niece or nephew)
5
Maximum 10

For more information about FSW selection criteria, please see the program page on CIC website.

Federal Skilled Worker Program Document Checklist

To apply for express entry through the FSWP system, then you must make sure that the following documents are ready. The documents listed below are mandatory for all applicants for permanent residence through express entry.

  • Travel document
  • Police Certificate
  • Medical test result
  • Copy of proof of fund
  • Copy of marriage certificate

Apart from the above mentioned documents, you may be required to present other important documents if you are asked to do so.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Applying for Canada PR under FSW

If you want to get your permanent residence permit through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the following guides will help you right from the time you check your eligibility to the time your PR is issued to you.

Step 1: Check if you are eligible

The first step to take when applying for PR in Canada through FSWP is to check if you are eligible for the program. For you to be eligible, you must meet the minimum requirements for applying for express entry into Canada through Federal Skilled Worker Program. This means you must have achieved the requires listed above.

Step 2: Make sure that you have the necessary documents

To create your online express entry profile, you must obtain all the necessary documents needed for that exercise. Your documents will help you to qualify for express entry draw.

Some of the documentary you may need include:

Identification: You must have a valid means of identification like a valid passport or other travel documents.

Language test result: You must have a copy of your language test result showing your language proficiency in either of Canadian official languages. You can take IETLS for English or FEC for French. The test result must be within two years from the day you apply for it to be valid. Ability to speak both languages adds to your points.

Education: You will need Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) for education completed outside Canada to prove that it is equivalent to at least a Canadian high school.

Step 3: Create an online express entry profile:

After getting the above mentioned documents ready, then you can create your online express entry profile providing all the necessary details required to score you high in the CRS. Apart from official documents, you will be required to provide personal details which are self proclaimed.

Step 4: Improve your profile

After your registration and you discover that your score is low, you have the opportunity to improve it and rank better under Comprehensive Ranking System. You can do this in numerous ways. You can decide to retake your language exam if your score is below the minimum score.

You can also decide to complete extra working experience or check if you are eligible under any Provincial Nominee Program under the express entry system.

Step 5: Receive the Invitation To Apply (ITA)

After completing your online express entry registration, you then wait for the invitation to apply. After receiving the ITA, you have only 60 days to submit your application for permanent residence. ITAs are done by IRCC every two weeks through express entry pool.

Step 6: Submit your e-application

When you have received your ITA, the next thing to do is prepare your documents for online application. Before applying online, you must have:

  • completed your medical exam with an IRCC recognized physician
  • provide a police check from all the countries you have lived for at least six months since you attained the age of 18.

Your e-application must be submitted within 60 days from the day you receive your ITA, so you are advised to gather all these documents and keep them ready. The time frame for this is relatively short.

Step 7: Receive Confirmation of Permanent Residence status

After you have submitted your online application, a panel will review it and send you a confirmation of your permanent residence status, this confirms that that you have obtained a PR permit. You will be then offered a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) document signed by a Canadian officer at a point of entry or at an IRCC office with the date when the permanent residence was issued.

Step 8: Apply for a PR card

Once you have received your confirmation of permanent residence document, you immediately apply for a PR card. This card can be used whenever you travel outside Canada as a proof of your status in Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions About Federal Skilled Worker Program

1: Who is eligible for Federal Skilled Worker Program?

Ans: Professionals or skilled workers who want to immigrate into Canada on a permanent basis who have more than one year of experience in a particular job. Candidates can travel into Canada with their spouse, common law partner or children.

2: What is the processing time for Federal Skilled Worker Program?

Ans: About 80% of applications are approved within six months. You must keep all the necessary documents ready before submitting your application.

3: Who can help me with my Canadian PSWG?

Ans: The program is organized under the express entry system by IRCC.

4: When is the Federal Skilled Worker Program draw?

Ans: The draw for FSWP is organized every two weeks under the express entry pool by IRCC. After the draw, an invitation to apply (ITA) will be sent to all successful candidates. If you are among the successful students, you are expected to submit your online application within 60 days from the day of invitation.

You should also make sure that all the necessary documents are ready because, the process does not take long to complete.

5: Which workers are needed in Canada under FSWP?

Ans: The Federal Skilled Worker Program is open for a range of skilled workers. Once the job falls under National Occupational Classification as an O, A or B jobs.

Skill type O(zero) include works in areas covering management jobs like restaurant managers, food service managers etc.

Skill type A include professional jobs mostly from a university degree. It includes engineering, IT, legal occupations.

Skill type B include technical jobs and skilled trade that requires college diploma. It includes office workers, plumbers etc.