Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

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What is it?

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is aimed at foreign skilled workers and their families with work experience outside Canada who want to immigrate to Canada permanently. This program is a form of Express Entry program, and helps in fast-tracked processing of the application.

Who can apply?

The applicant must satisfy the following eligibility criteria for being accepted as part of the program:

Work Experience Requirements:

  • The candidate must have had skilled, paid work as part of one of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) levels, 0 (Managerial jobs), A (Professional jobs) or B (Technical jobs and skilled trades). The applicant must have completed all of the essential job duties and most of the main duties.
  • Experience gained during the last 10 years, in the same type of role (primary occupation) for which the application is filed is necessary.
  • At-least 1560 hours of work must have been done over a continuous year of full-time employment, equivalent part time employment over a longer period or full-time employment at more than one job. More than 30 hours of work per week will not be counted towards the total of 1560 hours.

Language Requirements:

The applicant must take an approved language test in either English or French from the following:

  • English
    • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP): The test taken should be the General test and not the General-LS test.
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): The test should be taken in the General training format and not the Academic format.
  • French
    • Test d’évaluation de français (TEF): The test results should prove the candidates written and oral communication skills.
    • Test de connaissance du français (TCF): The test results should prove the candidates written and oral communication skills.

The test should be taken from an agency approved by IRCC. The results have to be collated with the express entry profile. For an applicant to be eligible, he/she must obtain a minimum score of CLB 7 in English or NCLC 7 in French if these are their first languages, or if these are their second languages, a minimum score of CLB 5 and NCLC 5 respectively in all of reading, writing, listening and speaking abilities.

The test scores must be less than 2 years old when applying.

Education Requirements:

  • The applicant must have either of the following:
    • A degree/ diploma/ secondary/ post secondary credential from Canada.
    • A foreign degree/ diploma/ secondary/ post secondary credential which has been proved to be equivalent to the Canadian counterparts through an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). Existing ECA reports can be submitted provided they are not more than 5 years old.

Financial Requirements:

The applicant must have sufficient money to support him/her and family to settle in Canada. If the candidate is either legally able to work in Canada, or has a valid job offer from an employer in Canada, then he/she does not need to submit the proof of funds. As per the number of family members, the funds required are as follows:
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

The funds must be readily available (so money in the form of non-liquid assets such as real estate do not qualify). Money present with spouses can also be counted. Official letters of authorization from banks and other institutions are counted as proof of funds.

Other Requirements:

  • The visitors must be eligible to visit Canada based on other norms which may be specific to the country of origin, depending on the economic and political situation in the country as well as the financial stability of the family.
  • The applicants must apply for the visa from outside Canada.
  • Some other aspects such as the nature of family relationships, purpose of visit and relations with the home country may also be looked at during the application process

How are applicants selected?

The selection criteria are a mix of several factors such as:

  • Age
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Presence of job offer
  • Adaptability with respect to settlement

All these criteria are mapped to a 100 point grid with points for each criteria. The current passing cut off is 67. After calculation of each candidate’s scores, the applicants are ranked and the highest-ranking applicants are invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada.


The break-up of points for different criteria is as follows:

Factors Points
Education Up to 25 points
Language Skills Up to 28 points
Work Experience Up to 15 points
Age Up to 12 points
Arranged Employment Up to 10 points
Adaptability Up to 10 points

Note that this program is applicable for regions outside the province of Quebec. To settle in Quebec, the province has a different program.

The applications are typically processed in 6 months or less.

Assessment Form