Federal Skilled Worker

The Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), also known as the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is one of the four programs that you must qualify for before getting into the Express Entry system. This program is usually used by those who are outside of Canada, without Canadian work experience.
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Who is a federal skilled worker?

Skilled worker is a person who can compete and succeed in the country’s knowledge-based economy and has the ability to be self supporting upon the arrival in Canada. In order to qualify, the applicant must score a minimum of 67 points out of the possible 100 points.

As of January of 2015, since the introduction of the Express Entry system, the 2014 accepted occupation list no longer applies and there are no limits on how many applicants are accepted under each occupation.

Skilled workers are chosen as permanent residents based on their education, work experience, knowledge of English and/or French, and other factors. These things often help them succeed in Canada.

Under the Express Entry system, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will invite people to apply for permanent residence based on the information they enter in an online profile. You cannot apply directly to any of these programs unless CIC sends you an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

The Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) has five main requirements:

  1. At least one year (1,560 hours total / 30 hours per week), continuous full-time or an equal amount in part-time, paid work, in the same job, within the last 10 years, and at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B
  2. Meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7
  3. Have your credentials assessed by an accepted credential assessment organization (If you have studied abroad)
  4. Show proof of settlement funds to support yourself and your family (if you are not currently working in Canada)
  5. Receive a minimum of 67 points out of 100 from the six selection factors

CIC assesses federal skilled worker applications based on six selection factors.

If you score 67 points or higher (out of 100), you may qualify to immigrate to Canada as a federal skilled worker. If you score lower than the pass mark of 67 points, you will not qualify to immigrate to Canada as a federal skilled worker. It is better not to apply at this time.

1. English and/or French skills

First Official Language Speaking Listening Reading Writing
CLB level 9 or higher 6 6 6 6
CLB level 8 5 5 5 5
CLB level 7 4 4 4 4
Below CLB level 7 Not eligible to apply Not eligible to apply Not eligible to apply Not eligible to apply

You can only get four points in total for basic-level skills in your second official language, and only if you have a score of at least CLB 5 in each of the four language abilities.

Second Official Language Points
At least CLB5 in all of the four abilities 4
CLB 4 or less in any of the four abilities 0

2. Education

You can earn selection points for your education.

To get points, you must:

  • prove that you earned a Canadian diploma or certificate, OR
  • have your foreign education assessed by an agency approved by CIC to show it is valid and equal to a completed Canadian credential.

You must include your Canadian credential or your foreign credential and Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report when you apply.

Education Maximum 25 points
University degree at the Doctoral (PhD) level or equal 25
University degree at the Master’s level or equal OR University level entry-to-practice professional degree (or equal). Occupation related to the degree must be:

  • NOC 2011 Skill Level A, and
  • licensed by a provincial regulatory body.
23
Two or more Canadian post-secondary degrees or diplomas or equal (at least one must be for a program of at least three years) 22
Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a program of three years or longer, or equal 21
Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a two-year program, or equal 19
Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a one-year program, or equal 15
Canadian high school diploma, or equal 5

3. Experoence

You can get points for the number of years you have spent in full-time paid work (at least 30 hours per week, or an equal amount of part-time).

National Occupational Classification (NOC)

The NOC is a system used to classify jobs in the Canadian economy. It describes duties, skills, talents and work settings for different jobs. CIC uses the 2011 edition of the NOC to assess skilled worker applications.

If the description and list of main duties match what you did at your last job(s), you can count this experience for points.

Use this chart to find the number of points based on your number of years of experience.

Experience Maximum 15 points
1 year 9
2-3 years 11
4-5 years 13
6 or more years 15

3. Age

You will get points based on your age on the day when the Centralized Intake Office gets your application.

Age Maximum 12 points
18-35 12
36 11
37 10
38 9
39 8
40 7
41 6
42 5
43 4
44 3
45 2
46 1
47 and older 0

3. Arranged employment in Canada

In some cases, you can get points if you have a full-time job offer of at least one year from a Canadian employer. The job must be arranged before you apply to come to Canada as a federal skilled worker.

A valid job offer has to be:

If And Points
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

CIC 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 CIC.

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) or
  • a 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 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.

10
You currently do not:

  • have a work permit, or
  • 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 Market Impact Assessment from ESDC.

10

3. Adaptability

If you have a spouse or common‑law partner who will immigrate with you to Canada, they can earn points for adaptability too. You can only get points for each item once.

The maximum number of points in this section is 10.

Adaptability Maximum 10 points
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 (speaking, listening, reading and writing). To get these points, you must submit test results from an approved agency when you apply. Results can not be more than two years old on the day you apply. 5
Your past study in Canada You finished at least two academic years of full-time study (in a program at least two years long) at a secondary or post-secondary school in Canada. Full-time study means at least 15 hours of classes per week, and you must have stayed in good academic standing (as set out by the school) 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 study (in a program at least two years long) at a secondary or post-secondary school in Canada. Full-time study means at least 15 hours of classes per week, and your spouse or partner must have stayed in good academic standing (as set out by the school) during that time. 5
Your past work in Canada You did at least one year of full-time work in Canada:

  • in a occupation listed in Skill Type O or Skill Levels A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC), and
  • with a valid work permit or while authorized to work in Canada.
Your spouse or common-law partner’s past work in Canada Your spouse / 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
Arranged Employment in Canada You earned points under Factor 5: Arranged Employment. 5
Relatives in Canada You, or, if it applies, your spouse or common-law partner, have a relative, either a

  • parent
  • grandparent
  • child
  • grandchild
  • child of a parent (sibling)
  • child of a grandparent (aunt or uncle)
  • grandchild of a parent (niece or nephew), who is
    • living in Canada
    • 18 years or older and
    • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Any Questions About FSW?