Information about the Federal Skilled Workers Program, requirements, points attributed, the application process and more relevant details.

The Express Entry Program is a platform developed by the Canadian Government to attract high skilled workers to immigrate to Canada. There are different types of programs that operate in the Express Entry such as:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Program
  • Provincial Nominee Program (only uses the platform, but has different rules)

This article will go through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and its details.

What is the Federal Skilled Worker Canada Program?

Being a Canada skilled worker or a federal skilled worker is highly beneficial. You can move permanently to Canada and become a permanent resident. After a few years, you can also apply for Canadian citizenship.

Because of all these benefits, many people want to immigrate to Canada and the country also needs skilled workers, so they developed the FSWP. This program invites the most qualified and experienced people who apply from all over the world and who fulfill the conditions to immigrate.

The applicants must meet the strict criteria and get the necessary points. They must also try to have a job offer in a highly skilled job position to be able to maintain their status. The process takes from 6 months to 1 year to be completed if you apply and is very competitive.

What are the requirements for the FSWP Canada?

In order to be eligible for the Federal Skilled Workers Program, there are different sets of criteria you must fulfill such as:

  • Minimum selection criteria points;
  • Proof of funds;
  • Admissibility;

Minimum selection criteria points

These points are based on a number of factors which have different points assigned by the Canadian Government. In order to find out how much you scored, you must take an eligibility test on the Government of Canada website. This test will ask you a series of questions to determine whether you meet the minimum eligibility criteria, such as questions about your age, nationality, work experience, language skills and so on. The total points on the test are 100 and you must score 67 or more points to be eligible. The following tables show the criteria and the points for each so you can calculate them.

Language Proficiency

Language skills on English or French, which are Canadian official languages are necessary. The points are assigned for reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. You must take an approved language test for English (CELPIP or IELTS) or French (TEF Canada or TCF Canada) and based on those points, you get scored on what is known as a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).

First official languageSpeakingListeningReadingWriting
CLB level 9 or higher6666
CLB level 85555
CLB level 74444
Below CLB level 7Not eligibleNot eligibleNot eligibleNot eligible

If you have language skills in the second official language of Canada, you can also get an additional 4 points.

Second official languagePoints
At least CLB 5 in all of the 4 abilities4
CLB 4 or less in any of the 4 abilities0


You are also required to have at least a secondary (high school) diploma from a foreign or Canadian institution. The more educational diplomas you have, the more points you will get. If you have a foreign diploma, then you must convert it to a Canadian degree through getting an Educational Credential Assessment report from an approved agency.

This agency will evaluate your diplomas and will assign an equivalent Canadian degree to it. The points range from 25 points for a Doctoral Degree to 23 for a Master’s Degree, 21 for a Bachelor Degree in various fields and so on. To check the full list of degrees and their corresponding points, visit the Education Factor Points for FSWP.

Work experience

You are also required to have some full-time or part-time, paid work experience to get points at skill levels 0 (management jobs), A (professional jobs that require e university degree) or B (technical jobs or trades that require a college diploma or apprenticeships).

In order to determine the type of job that you have, you must find the National Occupational Classification (NOC) code. Once you do that, you can compare the years of experience and get the corresponding points.

ExperienceMaximum 15 points
1 year9
2 – 3 years11
4 – 5 years13
6 or more years15


You also get points depending on your age group, as follows.

Under 180
18 – 3512
47 and older0

Arranged employment in Canada (Max. 10 points)

You can also get points if you already have a job offer in Canada. The job offer must be for at least 1 year and it must not be seasonal. The work must be continuous, paid, and full-time (at least 30 hours per week) in a skill level 0, A, or B. To get the points you must be in one of these situations:

  1. You have a valid work permit based on a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in a job that belongs to a skill level 0, A, or B. You are also working for the employer for which the work permit was issued and the employer has made a valid job offer for you if you become a permanent resident.
  2. You are currently working in Canada in a job that is LMIA-exempt because the job is based either on an international agreement (such as the North American Free Trade Agreement – NAFTA), it is of significant benefit to Canada, or is based on a federal-provincial agreement. In this case, you must have a valid work permit, you have been working for that employer for the past year continuously and the employer has made you a job offer for when you become a permanent resident.
  3. You do not have a work permit, but an employer who has a LMIA has made you a job offer to start when you become a permanent resident.
  4. You have a work permit for Canada and are working for an employer who is LMIA exempt; however, you have a job offer from a different employer who has a LMIA to start working when you become a permanent resident.


You can also earn points for various factors that determine how you will adapt to life in Canada.

AdaptabilityMax. 10 points
Your spouse or common-law partner has an English or French language proficiency of CLB 4 or higher in speaking, listening, reading, or writing.5
You have completed at least 2 years of full-time study at a secondary or post-secondary school in Canada5
Your spouse or common-law partner has completed at least 2 years of full-time study at a secondary or post-secondary school in Canada 
You worked for at least 1 year full-time in Canada with a valid work permit in a job with skill type level 0, A, or B10
Your spouse or common-law partner had worked in Canada for at least 1 year as a full-time employee with a valid work permit5
You have found a job in Canada5
You or your spouse/common-law partner have relatives who are living in Canada and are over 18 years old and have Canadian citizenship or permanent resident. The relative can be a:


  • Parent
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • Child
  • You or your spouse’s sibling
  • You or your spouse’s aunt or uncle
  • You or your spouse’s niece or nephew

Proof of funds

In addition to getting 67 points out of 100 to qualify, you must also have enough funds to cover your stay in Canada for 3 to 6 months. You must prove this through submitting bank account statements.


You must also be admissible under a permanent resident visa for Canada. This means that you must have a clean criminal record, not pose a risk to Canada’s national security, and be a healthy individual.

Only if you fulfill all of the above criteria, can you apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).

How to apply for the Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program?

If you have determined that you are eligible and that you will get 67 or more points, then the next step is to start the application process.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is not a direct application program. This means that you will only submit a profile to the Canadian Government and they will choose who is the most qualified to apply for permanent residence. The whole process takes from 6 months to 1 year and you have to do the following actions.

Get supporting documents

Before you compile your profile, you must have these supporting documents ready:

  • A valid passport of travel document;
  • Language test results (English or French);
  • Education Credential Assessment Report
  • Job offer letter from an employer in Canada (if you have one);
  • Police certificates to prove you have a clean criminal record;
  • Medical examination;
  • Proof that you have enough funds to cover your stay in Canada if you are invited to apply;

Submit your profile

Next, you must open an account on the Government of Canada website and start your FSWP profile. In the profile form, you will write down your personal information and any details that can earn you points. You will also submit the supporting documents.

You have 60 days to submit your profile from the day you started or you will have to start again. Once you submit your profile, you must wait for the selection period. In the meantime, you can submit additional supporting documents or documents that improve your scores such as new language proficiency tests or a job offer letter if you get it later.

Get invited to apply

The Canadian Government will then evaluate all the profiles that are submitted based on the CRS Calculator. If you are one of the people who are the highest ranked, you will get an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

You can accept the invitation or you can refuse it if it is for a different program than the FSWP. If you refuse your invitation, then you must start all over again with a new profile.

Apply for permanent residence

If you accept the invitation, then the Government of Canada will send you the forms you must submit to apply for permanent residence. You will have to submit more supporting documents as well as pay the fees. The fees which apply for the FSWP are as follows:

Type of fee$CAN
Economic immigration application fee1,040

 (Includes processing fee of $550 and right of permanent residence fee of $490)

Economic immigration application fee

 (without right of permanent residence fee)

Application fee including spouse or common-law partner1,040

 (Includes processing fee of $550 and right of permanent residence fee of $490)

Application fee including spouse or common-law partner (without right of permanent residence fee)550
Application fee including a dependent child – per child150

After you submit the forms, documents, and fees, the Canadian Government will evaluate you and if they accept your application, you can make travel arrangements and move to Canada. If they deny it, they will inform you of the reasons and you can apply again.

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