Immigration to Canada - Federal Skilled Worker Program
The Immigration to Canada under Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is for the people with skilled work experience and generally having a college or university degree. The candidates eligible for this program apply under Express Entry System. Also, under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must plan to live outside of Quebec. (Quebec has its own Immigration Programs).
Federal Skilled Worker Eligibility Checklist-
You can use our Basic Eligibility Calculator here to assess your Eligibility to Apply for Immigration to Canada under Federal Skilled Worker Program of Express Entry System.
The details of minimum eligibility requirements for Federal Skilled Worker Program are:
1. Skilled Work Experience
i. Minimum 1-year full time (or 2 years part time) continuous work experience in last 10 years
ii. The experience must be in one of the following:
a. Management job (Skill Type 0) e.g. Manager, Restaurant Manager, Finance Manager etc.
b. Professional job (Skill Level A) e.g. Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, Architect etc.
c. Technical job and skilled trade (Skill Level B) e.g. Chef, Plumber, Electrician etc.
(For more detailed list of jobs check here)
2. Minimum Language Ability
For English as a First Language minimum 6.0 bands in each module of IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – General Training Exam. In each Module (Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing) – not overall.
For French as a First Language minimum score in TEF (Test D’evaluation de Francais) Exam must be:
3. Minimum Education Level
Minimum education must be equal to or higher than a completed Canadian Certificate Course. Applicant needs to get all educational certificates evaluated for equivalency to Canadian level of education before applying for Immigration to Canada under Express Entry.
4. 100-Point Grid
Now you must get minimum 67 points out of 100-point grid. These points are calculated on the basis of 6 selection factors. The details are given in the table below:
The detailed breakup of points in each factor are given below. You can calculate your points according to the structure given in the following tables:
Maximum 12 points
|47 and older||0|
Maximum 25 points
|Doctoral Level – PhD||25|
|Master’s Level or Professional Degree||23|
|Two or more post secondary degrees or diplomas (at least one is of minimum three years)||22|
|A three year post secondary degree or diploma||21|
|A two year post secondary diploma||19|
|A one year post secondary diploma||15|
You will need to get your Educational Credentials Assessment done from a designated organization. Your final score will only be calculated according to the Educational Credential Assessment Report.
To simplify, even if you have a master degree but the Educational Credential Assessment Report says that your education is equal to Post Graduate Diploma in Canada, then you will get points equal to having a Post Graduate Diploma. You have to submit your Educational Credential Assessment Report at the time of submission of your profile to the Express Entry Pool.
iii. Work Experience
Maximum 15 points
Your experience must be in the last 10 years. You can count 2 years of part time work as 1-year full time provided you have worked minimum 15 hours per week. If you had more than 1 type of jobs in the last 10 years then use the experience of the one that you worked at longer.
|6 years or more||15|
iv. Arranged Employment
Maximum 10 Points
You will get 10 points for Arranged Employment if you have a valid job offer from a Canadian Employer for at least 1 year in one of the occupations mentioned in the minimum eligibility requirements. This offer must be based on an LMIA from ESDC or the job should be exempt from LMIA. A valid job offer has to be for Full time continuous job.
A valid job offer has to be:
- Full Time (minimum 30 hours per week)
- In one of the following occupations
Management job (Skill Type 0) e.g. Manager, Restaurant Manager, Finance Manager etc.,
Professional job (Skill Level A) e.g. Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, Architect etc. Or
Technical jobs and skilled trades (Skill Level B) e.g. Chef, Plumber, Electrician etc.
- And fulfil one of the following conditions:
- You currently work in Canada on a work permit and
Your work permit is valid when you apply and will be valid when you get Permanent resident Visa, and
Your work permit was issued based on a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada in one of the occupations listed above and
Your employer has made a valid job offer
- You currently work in Canada in a Job that is exempt from LMIA and
Your work permit is valid when you apply and will be valid when you get Permanent resident Visa, and
Your current employer has made a valid job offer based on you being accepted as a skilled worker and
You are currently working for the employer specified on your work permit for at least one-year full time or equivalent part time.
- You currently don’t work in Canada and don’t intend to until you get your Permanent Resident Visa and
An employer has an LMIA and has made you a valid job offer based on that LMIA and on you being accepted as a skilled worker.
- You have a valid work permit or are allowed to work in Canada without a work permit and
You are currently working in Canada in a job that is exempt from LMIA, but not under and international or federal-provincial agreement or because of significant benefit to Canadian interests and
An employer other than your current employer has an LMIA and has made a valid job offer based on that LMIA and on you being accepted as a skilled worker.
v. Language Skills
Maximum 28 Points
Language skills are evaluated for four abilities: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing
And on the basis of First Language and Second Language among the two Canadian Official Languages, English and French.
You must take the required test before submitting your profile for the Express Entry Pool.
- First Language – Maximum 24 Points
- Second Language – Maximum 4 Points
First Language Points
As mentioned in the minimum eligibility requirement, you must have minimum 4 points in each ability to qualify. Even if you fall short in any one ability you will not be eligible for the program.
Second Language Points
In order to get 4 points you need to have minimum level given below in each and every ability of your second language according to the test you have written. Even if the score falls short in any one ability, you will get 0 points for second language. In simple words either you get 0 or 4 points for your second language.
English as First Language
The English language proficiency is based on Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) and is tested through:-
IELTS: International English Language Testing System – General Training Option (Academic is for students, so be careful while filling your form).
Speaking (Maximum 6 Points)
Listening (Maximum 6 Points)
Reading (Maximum 6 Points)
Writing (Maximum 6 Points)
English as Second Language
To get 4 points for English as a Second Language you will need to get Band in IELTS according to the table below:
French as First Language
The French language proficiency is based on Niveaux de Competence Linguistique Canadiens (NCLC) and is tested through TEF: Test D’evaluation de Francais.
This test is designed and conducted by Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris, France.
Speaking (Maximum 6 Points)
Listening (Maximum 6 Points)
Reading (Maximum 6 Points)
Writing (Maximum 6 Points)
French as Second Language
To get 4 points for French as a Second Language you will need to get score in TEF according to the table below:
|Speaking||226 or above|
|Listening||181 or above|
|Reading||151 or above|
|Writing||226 or above|
Maximum 10 Points
Adaptability is how well you are likely to integrate in the Canadian society. You can get points for one or more of the following factors up to maximum 10 points.
Language level of your spouse:
If your spouse has a minimum level of CLB 4 in each ability for either English or French.
Your previous study in Canada:
If you completed at least two years of full time study in a minimum two year program at secondary or post secondary level in Canada
Your spouse’s study in Canada:
If your spouse completed at least two years of full time study in a minimum two year program at secondary or post secondary level in Canada
Your Canadian work experience:
If you worked full time in Canada legally for at least 1 year on a job under Skill type 0 or skill level A or B
Your spouse’s Canadian work experience:
If your spouse worked full time in Canada legally for at least 1 year
|If you have an arranged Employment in Canada||5|
Relatives in Canada:
If you or your spouse has a relative living in Canada who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and 18 years or older. The relative must be one of the following: parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew.
You can apply for Immigration to Canada under Federal Skilled Worker Program only if you have the above-mentioned minimum requirements. Otherwise check other programs here.
If you are eligible to apply for Canada Immigration under Federal Skilled Worker Program then another factor that you must consider is that you will have to bring with you an amount of funds sufficient to support you and your family for at least one year.
However, if you have a valid job offer then it is not mandatory to bring those funds with you.
The amount of funds required depends on the number of family members coming with you and are given in the following table:
|Number of Family Members||Amount in Canadian Dollars|
|Each additional member||Additional $3,361|
Now that you have:
- The minimum eligibility requirements
- Got more than 67 points in the 100-point grid
- Sufficient funds or a valid job offer
- No serious health conditions or criminal convictions
- Your IELTS/TEF results and
- Educational Credential Assessment results from a designated organization
,You can create an Express Entry Profile and submit it to the Express Entry Pool under the Express Entry System.
Comprehensive Ranking System
There is one final thing that you may consider before creating your Express Entry Profile and that is your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score.
Express Entry Draws take place from time to time and the Ranking is based on Comprehensive Ranking System. Comprehensive Ranking system calculated points out of a maximum of 1200 points.
These points are divided into 3 main factors:
- Core human capital factors like Age, Education, Language skills and Work Experience,
- Skills Transferability Factors, and
- Additional factors like Provincial Nomination, Arranged Employment Canadian Education, Siblings in Canada and French proficiency.
For detailed break-up of points according to Comprehensive Ranking System, check here.
Express Entry System
To apply for Immigration to Canada under Federal Skilled Worker Program you need to create an online profile and submit to the Express Entry Pool. Here your profile will be ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
Once your rank comes up in the Express Entry Draw, you will be invited to apply with your documents for final approval. Once you receive your Invitation to Apply (ITA) you will have 60 days to update the profile and submit all the necessary documents online.
Click here to know more about the Express Entry System for Canada Immigration.
Federal Skilled Worker Application Process
Once you have determined that you are eligible and can achieve a good rank, you should prepare to apply for Immigration to Canada under Federal Skilled Worker Program through Express Entry System. I have divided the process into 7 phases for better understanding and preparation.
Educational Credential Assessment
First, send your educational certificates, degrees and diplomas for Educational Credential Assessment report to an approved agency designated by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Click for complete list of Designated Organizations. Apply to the one applicable to your education. Credential evaluation agencies estimate processing times to be as high as 20 weeks, so do this immediately after deciding to apply for Canadian Immigration.
Second, you must sit for IELTS for language ability score, along with your spouse. If you know French then you must also appear for TEF.
IELTS – International Language Testing System is used to evaluate English language skills. You need to appear for General Training as Academic is for students. Click here for complete details.
TEF – Test D’Evaluation de Français is used to evaluate the French language skills. Click for details.
Do prepare for these tests as knowing the language doesn’t mean you can ace the test. Practising the test format helps a lot. The language score can impact your final ranking. Utilise the time as you are waiting for your Education Credential Assessment anyways.
In case you already have your language ability test results and want to use those make sure the test results will not be more than 2 years old when you finally apply for permanent residency after getting invited.
While you are waiting you can prepare with the information to put in your profile. You will need the following information:
Personal details as mentioned in your passport like: Name, Date of birth, City and Country of birth, Passport Number
Any previous applications to immigration Canada – if yes then file number or Unique Client Identifier
Number of family members including yourself, spouse, dependent children and grandchildren
How much money you will take to Canada – Check the minimum requirement as fixed by Canadian Government
Relatives living in Canada who are over 18 years of age and a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and the province they live in
Education details – For each post secondary course or program – Field of study, month and year of start and completion, total duration of study, name of institution and city
Canadian Province where you want to live
If you want to use any consultant, lawyer, friend or family member as your representative then name and email id of your representative
NOC of primary occupation i.e. the occupation in which you have maximum experience in the last 10 years and date of your becoming qualified to work in this occupation like completion of a study or getting a licence etc.
Work history – Job title, joining and leaving month and year, hours per week, NOC code, Employer name, City and country of work
And the same information about your spouse
Organize all this information on a sheet of paper or a word document where this would be handy while completing your profile.
Express Entry Profile
After you get your educational Credential assessment report and language test results you should complete and submit your profile.
Create your profile at the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada website. Submit your profile once you review the information and check for completion. You will receive an email regarding submission of your profile and status. An Express Entry Profile Number will also be generated for you.
You can go to your profile any time and check for any updates and in case you have some new information like improved language test results, renewed passport number etc. you must update that and resubmit the profile.
Your profile will remain active for one year in case you are not invited to apply for permanent resident status. At which point you can resubmit. However, if you have properly verified your eligibility and ranking you would get an invitation long before expiry of one-year timeline.
Invitation to Apply
When you get an invitation to apply for permanent resident status you will have 60 days to apply with all required documents. Log into your online account. Fill in the Application for Permanent Residence under Express Entry. Once you complete the form a document checklist will be generated.
The documents will be mainly to prove the information that you have given in your profile. You will also be asked to update any information that has changed since then.
You will need to upload the documents through your online account so make sure all your documents are in .jpg, .png, .doc, .docx, .pdf or .tiff formats.
Documents for Express Entry Application for Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Language test Results
- Educational Credential Assessment Report
- Proof of Work Experience
- Police Certificates
- Medical Exam
- Proof of Funds
- Marriage certificate (If married)
- Valid job offer (if you have one)
- Provincial nomination (If you have one)
- Valid Passport
Language Test Results
These are your IELTS and/or TEF results. Make sure they are not more than 2 years old.
Educational Credential Assessment Report
This is the result of your educational Credential that shows the level of your education as compared to the Canadian studies. However you may need to upload your original educational certificates also.
Proof of Work Experience
An experience letter from the employer for the period worked. This letter must be on the company letterhead mentioning the name, address, contact number and email of the company. It should also mention the name and designation/title of the signing authority.
The experience letter must mention the designation/job title, job duties and responsibilities, dates of starting work and leaving or if it is current position, work hours per week and annual salary plus benefits.
For self employed documents proving business ownership like certificate of ownership, and third-party documents indicating the service provided and payments made along with tax returns as income proof.
You and any accompanying family member over 18 years of age need to submit a Police Clearance Certificate. This certificate states that you don’t have any criminal record. You will need to submit a police clearance certificate from each jurisdiction i.e. City, State or Country that you have lived in for over 6 months continuously since the age of 18.
The certificate must be less than six months old. You will have to apply to your local police headquarters. You can also apply online to passport office, but they will only issue one for the address mentioned in your passport. So it makes more sense to apply through passport office if you have lived at the same address since the age of 18.
You will have to make an appointment with an approved doctor for your medical exam. You will pay the fees directly. The doctor will give you a form after conducting the exam. You will upload this to your application. The results of the medical will go directly to the Canadian visa office.
When you make the appointment ask for any requirements. You will have to carry your passport or any other identification with your photo. You may also be required to carry recent passport size photographs.
Proof of Funds
You will have to show that you have enough funds to support yourself and your accompanying family members for at least one year after moving to Canada. The minimum amount required is shown in this table.
This money must be in liquid state and in a Bank or financial institution. You will need to submit a certificate from the bank or financial institute on their letterhead stating the amount of funds they are holding in your account.
The certificate must mention:
- The bank’s contact details
- Your name
- Details of each account that you hold stating account number, date opened, current balance and average balance of last six months
You will need to upload the copy of biographical data pages of your passport. These are the pages that contain your personal information including address.
Your passport must be valid for more than six months from the date of your application for permanent residency. If not then renew it immediately and update information in your profile.
You must submit digital photographs according to the specifications given by the Immigration Department of Government of Canada.
The main requirements of photographs are that:
- It should be against a white background
- 50 mm x 70 mm in size
- Face must be clearly visible
- Photo should not be more than 6 months old
Click here for detailed specifications of the photographs. You can take these to the photographer for a proper photograph as per requirements.
You will need to pay a processing fee along with your application. This fee is non-refundable after the processing of your application has begun. The fee is paid online so a credit or debit card is required.
Processing fees is for:-
- Principal applicant C$ 550
- Spouse of principal applicant C$ 550
- Each dependent child C$ 150
You may also pay Right of Permanent Residence fee at this time or at a later stage but before your final visa is issued. This fee will be refunded if you withdraw your application or your application is not approved.
The right of permanent residence fee is C$ 490 per person but there is no fee for dependent children.
Along with the above mentioned documents you will need to fill the application form. So be ready with the following information before you start the application. The following information is needed for the principal applicant, spouse and all dependent children over 18 years of age.
- Skilled worker express entry comes under Economic Program
- You must know your personal information like height, eye colour, distinguishing marks
- Your current mailing address and residential address if different from mailing address and contact number
- Your father and mother’s personal details that include
- First Name
- Last Name
- Date of birth
- Town/city and country of birth
- Date of death (if applicable)
- Details of your activities in the last 10 years or since the age of 18 if your age is less than 28 years. These activities are working, studying, unemployed or travelling etc. Make sure there are no gaps in between. You will need to provide month and year for start and end of each period
- Details of any memberships of political, social, student, trade or professional associations that you hold or held in the past
- All residential addresses including postal codes where you have lived in the past 10 years or since the age of 18 if your age is less than 28 years. Include addresses of any hostels where you have lived during the course of your studies
- Personal details of your brothers, sisters, half or step brothers or sisters
- If you have a representative then your representative’s name and contact information including email
When you have all the above-mentioned information and documents combined with the information filled in phase 3, it will be very easy to fill in the application for permanent residence. Complete and submit the application. Take care that all the documents uploaded are clear and readable and all the information is correct. Double-check it before submitting. Your approval will come within 6 months from the date of submission of completed application.
After approval of your application you will be asked to submit your passport(s) for visa issuance. You will get instructions about whether to submit directly to visa office or through VFS. Submit the passport(s) as soon as possible and start preparing for the party.
This is where you start preparing for actually moving to Canada. Click here to know more about preparations before actually moving to Canada.
FAQs for Federal Skilled Worker Program for Immigration to Canada.
How is work experience calculated?
A Full Time work experience means 30 Hours per week and 1560 Hours per year. (Any hours that you have worked over 30 hours/week or 1560 hours/year will not be counted.)
An equal Part Time work means 15 hours/week for 2 years. Even if you have worked more or less than 15 hours each week, you will get the benefit if total hours add up to 1560 in 24 months.
You will get the benefit even if you have worked full time at more than 1 job. i.e. total 30 hours/week.
What is Skill Type 0 job?
The Skill Type 0 Jobs are Management jobs and cover from Senior Management Positions to Middle Management.
Skill Type 0 jobs include but are not limited to:
- Senior Managers,
- Financial, Human Resources, or Purchase Managers,
- Insurance, Real Estate, Banking, Investment, Advertising, Marketing, Public Relations Managers,
- Telecommunications, or Courier Services Managers,
- Engineering, Architecture, Information Systems Managers,
- Health Care Managers,
- Public Administration Managers,
- School Principals,
- Library and Museum Managers,
- Managers in Publishing, Broadcasting, Motion Pictures,
- Managers in Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program,
- Sales Managers,
- Retails and Wholesale Trade Managers,
- Restaurant and Food Service Managers,
- Accommodation Service Managers,
- Managers in Customer and Personal Services,
- Construction or Facility Operation and Management Managers,
- Transportation Managers,
- Managers in Natural Resources,
- Managers in Agriculture, Horticulture or Aquaculture,
- Manufacturing Managers,
- Utility Managers
This list shall give you an idea of the jobs related to Skill Type 0. As mentioned above this list is not exhaustive and may change anytime. For latest jobs and their classifications, duties and responsibilities check here.
What is Skill Level A job?
The Skill Level A jobs are Professional occupations and usually require a University Degree. The jobs associated with Skill Level A may include:
- Accountants and Auditors,
- Investment Professionals,
- Human Resources Professionals,
- Business Management Consultants,
- Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Professionals,
- Physicists, Astronomers, Chemists, Geoscientists, Oceanographers, Meteorologists and Climatologists,
- Biologists, Forestry and Agriculture Consultants and Specialists,
- Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics and Chemical Engineers,
- Industrial, Manufacturing, Metallurgical, Materials, Mining, Geological, Petroleum, Aerospace Engineers,
- Architects, Urban and Land use Planners, Surveyors,
- Mathematicians, Statisticians and Actuaries,
- Computer and Information System Professionals,
- Nursing Supervisors and Registered Nurses,
- Physicians, Dentists and Veterinarians,
- Optometrists, Chiropractors, Pharmacists, Dieticians and Nutritionists,
- Audiologists, Physiotherapists,
- University Professors, College and Vocational Instructors,
- Secondary and Elementary School Teachers,
- Psychologists and Social Workers,
- Employment Counsellors,
- Researchers and Consultants,
- Librarians, conservators and Curators,
- Authors, Editors, Journalists,
- Translators, Interpreters,
- Creative and Performing Artists
The above mentioned are some of the occupations under the Skill Level A as per NOC classifications. For complete and updated list and their corresponding duties and responsibilities check here.
What is Skill Level B job?
The Skill Level job is one that usually requires a college education or trade certificate. The jobs that may fall under this category are:
- Executive Assistants, Recruitment Officers,
- Property Administrators,
- Purchasing Agents,
- Event Planners,
- Administrative Assistants – General, Legal and Medical,
- Court Reporters, Transcriptionists, Record Management Technicians and Statistical Officers,
- Bookkeepers, Accounting Technicians,
- Insurance Adjusters, Assessors, Valuators and Appraisers,
- Customs and Shipping Brokers,
- Technologists and Technicians in Chemical, Geological and Minerals, Biological Fields,
- Technologists and Technicians in Agricultural, Forestry, Conservation, Fishery, Landscape and Horticulture Fields,
- Civil, Mechanical, Industrial, Electronics, Electrical Engineering Technologists and Technicians,
- Technologists and Technicians in Architecture, Drafting, Surveying,
- Industrial Designers,
- Technical Inspectors and Regulatory Officers,
- Pilots, Flight Engineers, Flying Instructors, Air Traffic Controllers,
- Deck Officers, Engineer Officers, Marine traffic Regulators and Railway Traffic Controllers,
- Computer Network Technicians,
- Medical Technologists and Technicians,
- Opticians, Nurses, Paramedical, Massage Therapists,
- Social and Community Service Workers,
- Photographers, Camera Operators, Audio and Video Technicians,
- Announcers and Broadcasters,
- Creative Designers and crafts persons,
- Athletes, Coaches, Referees,
- Retail Sales Supervisors, Retails and Wholesale Buyers,
- Insurance Agents and Brokers,
- Real Estate Agents and Sales Persons,
- Food Service, Accommodation, Cleaning, Travel Supervisors,
- Chefs, Cooks, Bakers,
- Hairstylists, Barbers, Tailors, Shoemakers,
- Jewellers, Upholsters,
- Industrial, Electrical and Construction Trades Contractors and Supervisors,
- Machining, Metal Forming and Shaping Trades,
- Electrical Trades and Telecommunication Workers,
- Plumbers, Pipe Fitters and Gas Fitters,
- Carpenters and Cabinetmakers,
- Masons, Tile setters, Plasterers,
- Contractors and Supervisors – Mechanic Trades, Heavy Equipment,
- Supervisors – Printing, Railway Transport, Motor Transport,
- Machinery Mechanics, Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanics,
- Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Mechanic,
- Aircraft Mechanics,
- Elevator Mechanics,
- Truck and Bus Mechanics,
- Crane Operators, Drillers and Blasters,
- Printing Press Operators,
- Supervisors in Natural Resources and Agriculture,
- Supervisors in Processing and Manufacturing,
- Assembly and Fabrication Supervisors,
- Power Engineers and Power Systems Operators,
- Water and Waste Treatment Plant Operators
For complete list of occupations and jobs under Skill Level B and their classifications, Duties and Responsibilities check here.
Which are the approved agencies for Educational Credential Assessment?
The organizations designated for ECA by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada are:
- Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- World Education Services
- International Qualifications Assessment Service
- International Credential Evaluation Service
- Medical Council of Canada
- Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (professional body for Pharmacists)
For further details about Educational Credential Assessment click here.
Federal Skilled Worker Eligibility Calculator
Check your Eligibility to Apply for Immigration to Canada under Federal Skilled Worker Program of Express Entry System.
Also check your Comprehensive Ranking Score – Express Entry Points using our CRS Calculator.