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Federal Skilled Worker

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.

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FSW Program Requirements

In order to qualify for FSW, a candidate must meet certain minimum requirements regarding your 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 settlement in Canada.
  • Residence in Canada
    Must intend to live outside of the province of Quebec.

If a candidate meets the requirements listed above, they also must demonstrate that they score a minimum of 67 out of 100 points on the FSW eligibility points grid:

FactorPoints
Education25
Language Proficiency28
Age12
Work Experience15
Arranged Employment10
Adaptability10
Minimum Pass Score67

Factor 1: Education

Level of EducationPoints
Doctoral (PhD) level25
Master's level23
Two or more post-secondary degrees - at least one for a program of at least 3 years22
Post-secondary degree - 3 years or longer21
Post-secondary degree - 2 years19
Post-secondary degree - 1 year15
Secondary school5
Maximum25

Factor 2: Language Proficiency

Language Proficiency
EnglishIELTS ScorePoints
First Official LanguageSpeakingListeningReadingWriting
CLB 966666 pts/ability
CLB 855555 pts/ability
CLB 744444 pts/ability
Second Official Language (OPTIONAL)
*Score must be met in all four abilities44444 points
EnglishCELPIP ScorePoints
CLB 999996 pts/ability
CLB 888885 pts/ability
CLB 777774 pts/ability
Second Official Language (OPTIONAL)
*Score must be met in all four abilities55554 points
FrançaisMarque TEFPoints
Première langue officielleExpression oraleCompréhension de l'oraleCompréhension de l'écritExpression écrite
NCLC 9371+298+248+371+6 pts/compétence
NCLC 8349-370280-297233-247349-3705 pts/compétence
NCLC 7310-348249-279207-232310-3484 pts/compétence
Seconde langue officielle (OPTIONELLE)
*vous devez atteindre le seuil minimal dans chacune des quatre compétences linguistiques226-371+181-298+151-248+226-371+4 points
FrançaisMarque TCFPoints
Première langue officielleExpression oraleCompréhension de l'oraleCompréhension de l'écritExpression écrite
NCLC 914+523+524+14+6 pts/compétence
NCLC 812-13503-522499-52312-135 pts/compétence
NCLC 710-11458-502453-49810-114 pts/compétence
Seconde langue officielle (OPTIONELLE)
*vous devez atteindre le seuil minimal dans chacune des quatre compétences linguistiques6+369-397+375-405+6+4 points
Maximum28

Factor 3: Age

AgePoints
Under 180
18-3512
3611
3710
389
398
407
416
425
434
443
452
461
47 and older0
Maximum12

Factor 4: Work Experience

Work ExperiencePoints
6 or more years15
4-5 years13
2-3 years11
1 year9
Maximum15

Factor 5: Arranged Employment

Arranged EmploymentPoints
IfAnd
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) ora 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
Maximum10

Factor 6: Adaptability

AdaptabilityPoints
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
Maximum10

Provided a candidate meets these requirements, they will be eligible to submit an Express Entry profile for the Federal Skilled Worker program. However, candidates should note that they must meet Canada’s basic admissibility requirements. Certain criminal offences and medical conditions may make a person inadmissible to Canada.

FSW Application Procedure

Interested candidates must submit an Express Entry profile to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 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.

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

  • 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.
  • Language Proficiency Test Results
    All candidates under the Express Entry programs must 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).
  • Identification Documents
    Candidates will be required to provide information from identification documents. Ideally, a candidate and all accompanying family members should possess passports valid for travel.

If a candidate is successful in receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian for permanent residence, they will move onto the second stage of the application process. In this second stage, the applicant will have 60 days to prepare and submit an electronic Application for Permanent Residence (eAPR). This application requires further documentation.

Since the Express Entry system launched in 2015, the lowest ranking FSW candidate to receive an ITA held a CRS score of 413 points. If an applicant’s CRS score is below this score they should actively pursue options for improving their score.

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