Who is a Federal Skilled Worker in Canada – How to become one

This article explores who a Federal Skilled Worker is in Canada and how to become one.

Do you wish to become a federal skilled worker in Canada? Then this article is for you. There are about 347 eligible occupations for professionals and skilled workers around the world who want to immigrate to Canada permanently. This can only be done through the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Candidates can apply with their spouse/partner and dependent children.

However, The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is one of the three programs contained within Canada’s Express Entry system for processing permanent residency applications. All programs within Express Entry are highly competitive, utilizing Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank candidates. In this article we will explore who a Federal Skilled Worker is and all it requires to become a federal skilled worker in Canada. Read on.

Who is a Federal Skilled Worker in Canada?

A Federal Skilled Workers are persons with suitable education, work experience, age and language abilities under one of Canada’s official languages and who are selected under the Express Entry Immigration system to apply for permanent residence.

Jobs under Federal Skilled Worker in Canada

There are 347 Federal skilled jobs in Canada. Some of this Jobs under federal skilled worker may include both white-collar and blue-collar professions ranging from electricians and lab technicians to lawyers and computer programmers. However, some semi-skilled jobs, such as administrative assistants, which can require advanced skills too.

Advantages of Federal Skilled Worker:

  • Federal Skilled Worker candidates do not require any connection to Canada in order to be eligible for the program. Minimum requirements for work experience, language proficiency, and education can all be completed outside of Canada, so the program is an excellent option for those living outside of Canada.
  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program candidates receive the highest percentage of invitations to apply for jobs in Canada.

Potential disadvantage:

  • Even if you are eligible to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, there is no guarantee that you will receive an invitation to apply. If your CRS score is below the cut-off required to receive an invitation, consult our guide on how to increase your CRS score.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an online system used by the Canadian government to organize and process applications for skilled workers who wish to immigrate to Canada and acquire Canadian permanent residence status. The system manages three main federal economic programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Express Entry is designed to facilitate express immigration of skilled workers to Canada who are most likely to succeed economically. Although, the system is identified to be efficient in processing times, with 80% of applications processed in 6 months or less compared to an existing one.

Who is eligible to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker program?

In order to qualify for the FSWP, a candidate must meet certain minimum requirements regarding years of experience, level of education, age, and English or French language proficiency:

  • Work Experience: At least 12-months of continuous, full-time, skilled work experience completed within the previous 10 years (or an equal amount in part-time experience). Skilled work experience refers to experience classified under NOC Skill Level 0, A, or B.
  • Language Proficiency: Reach a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7 on an approved English or French language test.
  • Education: A minimum of a Canadian high school diploma or the equivalent in foreign education.
  • Financial Support: Enough funds to support themselves and any spouse and/or children in their settlement in Canada.
  • Residence in Canada: Must intend to live outside of the province of Quebec.

How to apply for express entry federal skilled worker

Interested candidates must submit an Express Entry profile to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). However, Submitting an Express Entry profile does not guarantee a candidate will receive Canadian permanent residence. Only after submitting an Express Entry profile will a candidate be assigned a CRS score and be considered in future Express Entry draws for Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence.

Therefor, when submitting your Express Entry profile, an FSW candidate will need to provide the following documents:

#1. Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA)

In order to claim points for education, an FSW candidate must provide a valid ECA report attesting to the value of foreign education by Canadian standards. There are five organizations in Canada authorized to issue ECA reports. This is not required for educational credentials obtained from a Canadian educational institution.

#2. Language Proficiency Test Results

All candidates under the Express Entry programs must provide results from an approved language test taken within the previous two years. Accepted tests for English include the IELTS exam, and the CELPIP exam (only available in Canada). Accepted tests for French include the Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEF) and the Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada).

#3. Identification Documents
FSW Candidates will be required to provide information from identification documents. Ideally, a candidate and all accompanying family members should possess passports valid for travel.

Federal Skilled Worker class points calculator

In order to immigrate to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) under the Express Entry Program, you are required to achieve a minimum score of 67 points out of 100 points. Thus, if score is less than 67 points you do not qualify for federal skilled worker program. The points are awarded for different factors also known as six selection factors.

The following are the six factors based on which the FSW applications are assessed:

  1. English and/or French skills
  2. Education
  3. Experience
  4. Age
  5. Arranged employment in Canada
  6. Adaptability

what is the difference between Federal Skilled Worker and Canadian experience class

The major difference between Federal Skilled Worker and Canadian experience class is that the federal skilled program allows the country to welcome tens of thousands of newcomers every year based on their ability to become established in Canada’s workforce. While, The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration program that allows individuals who have worked in Canada for at least one year to immigrate permanently.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is federal skilled worker same as Express Entry?

Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is managed under the Express Entry system and uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank candidates who wish to settle permanently in Canada. Learn more via the Canada CRS Calculator.

How many points does a skilled worker need?

If you score 67 points or higher, you may qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. If you meet the other requirements too, you can submit a profile to the Express Entry pool.

What is the processing time for Federal Skilled Worker Program?

80 percent of complete applications are processed within six months or less.

Can my spouse and children be included in my FSW application?

Individuals applying under the Federal Skilled Worker may include their children and spouse on their application for permanent residence. However, an applicant should consider how their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score may be affected when applying with a spouse.


We hope this article on who is a federal skilled worker in Canada be of help to you when you plan to immigrate to Canada as a federal skilled worker. We have another comprehensive topic about FSW program here.