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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
Language Proficiency 28
Work Experience 15
Arranged Employment 10
Minimum Pass Score 67
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).
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.