Have Questions?
close slider
Have Questions?
close slider

Call Us


Federal Skilled Worker Program FSWP

Canada is looking for young, self-motivated, educated individuals and professionals to help it thrive economically. Because of its knowledge-based economy, the country is looking for work-ready people who can adapt to and meet the demands of a fast changing employment market. The Canada skilled worker visa has transformed into a life-changing opportunity for all ambitious skilled individuals and professionals seeking to make a livelihood in the maple nation.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, jobs are trickling back into the market as companies are being opened and the recovery is expected to continue. As part of a go-getting economic recovery strategy, Canada wants to welcome nearly 1.2 million new international immigrants by 2023. Individuals with the appropriate talents can easily immigrate to Canada. They can improve their level of living in this developed country. Engineers (civil, mechanical, software, and petroleum), technicians, teachers, professors, and lecturers; nurses, healthcare practitioners; information technology; salespeople and marketers; bankers; insurance providers; accountants; tradespeople; and many others are in high demand in the country.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is a popular immigration route through the Express Entry immigration online system that expedites the immigration process. This is one of three skilled worker programs in Canada, which are organized by the Express Entry system. The new Express Entry system aims to process all applications for the federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). According to Canadian government statistics, FSWP immigrants have productive and rewarding careers in Canada, and the majority of successful Express Entry candidates enter the country under this program. Furthermore, obtaining immigration through the FSWP is preferable as it allows you to get permanent residency in approximately six months, as opposed to the lengthy processing timelines for Canada's other skilled worker programs.

With this program, competent people with extensive job experience, employability, and flexibility can apply and get a legal Canadian Permanent Residency Visa, i.e., if your profile is chosen from an Express Entry pool of candidates, you will be entitled to work and settle in Canada as a permanent resident. Applicants for the Federal Skilled Worker Program must fulfill the minimal visa criteria. Before applying for this visa, applicants first need to create an online profile and submit an expression of interest to show their interest in applying for a visa; thereafter, they will be moved to the Express Entry Pool.

This program is a point-based system in which candidates are evaluated based on factors such as age, education, experience, language abilities, adaptability, and if they have a work offer in Canada. The Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) does not require a job offer in Canada, although it can improve your chances of success.

Before receiving an invitation to apply for this visa, applicants for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) must achieve a certain number of necessary requirements, including a minimum of 67 points (minimum eligibility points to qualify).

Eligibility criteria to apply for the FSWP (Express Entry)

Potential applicants must fulfill the basic requirements and minimal standards for employment, language proficiency, education, and at least 67 points on the program's 100-point grid in order to be qualified to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, such as:

  • Must have minimum one year of continuous full-time or equivalent relevant paid experience in a skilled occupation classified under a NOC skill type (O, A, B) in the last ten years.
  • Having completed Minimum Canadian high school diploma, university or college diploma, or international equivalent.
  • Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or foreign credential and Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report;
  • Have obtained at least a seven (7) on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in all four modules (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) in one of Canada's two official languages, English or French.
  • Meet the settlement funds requirement (if applicable) by providing that they have enough money saved to maintain themselves financially after they arrive in Canada.

Apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

  • Complete your ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) and get your Canadian Education Equivalency Summary Report.
  • Prepare and appear for the English Language Test to get the required scores to be eligible to apply for FSW – Express Entry Program.
  • If you meet the above-mentioned qualifying conditions for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must first create an Express Entry profile.
  • Fill up and provide all the information about your age, work experience, skills, language ability, education, qualifications, and other personal information as required.
  • Post submitting the application, IRCC - Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada will confirm your eligibility. Subsequently, you will be positioned in the pool of candidates and ranked according to the CRS - Comprehensive Ranking System.
  • The Government of Canada performs regular draws (rounds of invitations) from the Express Entry pool and the top-ranked candidates receive an Invitation to Apply for Canadian Permanent Residency from IRCC.
  • After receiving the invitation, you will have 60 days to submit a completed and correct online application form along with all supporting documentation as proof of evidence by uploading it on the online portal.
  • Once you submit all the required documents, you will get an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) from IRCC, who will then assess your application and decide your eligibility for the program.

There are six basic factors and selection criteria used to evaluate applicants’ points:

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
Factor 1: Language proficiency in English and/or French

Applicants need to have reasonable proficiency in English, French, or both languages and claim a maximum of 28 points. To prove it, these applicants must provide test results from the following language test providers on their Express Entry profile BEFORE they can apply for a visa:

  • The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) for the English Language, OR
  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), for the English Language OR
  • The Test d'évaluation de français (TEF) for the French language OR
  • Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada) for the French language.

The minimum criteria are based on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), which is Canada’s government/official criteria/benchmark for testing an individual’s language ability. The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) has a minimum requirement of CLB level 7, which is considered "adequate intermediate proficiency." While applying for Canadian permanent residency, language examinations must be no more than twenty-four months old.

Applicants are tested on four language components: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Applicants must meet at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7 in all 4 components of the language test for their "first official language" (either English or French) for a maximum of 24 points. Applicants can then be awarded an additional 4 points if they achieve CLB level 5 in their "second official language".

CLB level in 'first offical language' Speaking Listening Reading Writing
CLB Level 9.0+ 6 6 6 6
CLB Level 8 5 5 5 5
CLB Level 7 4 4 4 4
CLB level in "second offical language" Points
CLB level 5 in all 4 components+ 4
CLB level 4 or less in any components+ 0

It is worth noting that CELPIP scores resemble CLB levels (e.g., a CELPIP level 12 corresponds with a CLB level 12, a CELPIP level 11 is a CLB level 11, etc.). CLB levels must be translated from IELTS levels.

Factor 2: Educational qualification

Education points are given based on an evaluation of the applicant's academic credentials. This evaluation will include an assessment of the comparable credential if achieved in Canada for any foreign-obtained credential.

Applicants must have the following educational qualifications:

A Canadian secondary school cetificate or post-secondary qualification, such as a college diploma or university degree, OR

A foreign qualification, and an educational credential assessment, stating that the qualification is equivalent to a Canadian secondary or post secondary qualification, from one of the following organisations:

  • CES (Comparative Education Service)- University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
  • ICAS (International Credential Assessment Service of Canada)
  • WES (World Education Services)
  • IQAS (International Qualification Assessment Service)
  • ICES (International credentials Evaluation Service)
  • MCS (Medical Council of Canada)
  • PEB (Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (Professional body for pharmacists)

It is necessary to demonstrate that your foreign credential is equivalent to a certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian educational institution in order to acquire education factor points for any foreign credential, i.e., FSWP applicants with a foreign education must produce an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report for their overseas education.

Under the Education Factior, the candidate will be granted up to 25 points based on the following criteria:
Qualification Points
University Degree at PhD level or equivalent 25
University Degree at Master's level or equivalent 23
University entry-to-practice degree or equivalent. This degree must be related to a profession at NOC Skill Level A, must be licensed by a provincial regulatory body, and must be in one of the following fields:
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Podiatry
  • Optometry
  • Law
  • Chiropratic Medicine
  • Pharmacy
Two or more Canadian post-secondary degree/diplomas or equivalent, one of which must be for a program lasting 3 years or more. 22
A Canadian post-secondary degree/diploma or equivalent, for a program lasting 3 years or more. 21
A Canadian post-secondary degree/diploma or equivalent, for a program lasting 2 years or more. 19
A Canadian post-secondary degree/diploma or equivalent, for a program lasting 1 year or more. 15
A Canadian high school diploma or equivalent. 5
Factor 3: Work Experience in Skilled Job

Work exprerience is one of six characteristics considered by Canadian Immigration Officers to determine whether a Federal Skilled Worker application will be approved or denied under the Federal Skilled Worker Class.

Federal Skilled WOrker Program applicants must have significant work experience in a skilled role, which must meet the following conditions:

  • Must have worked at least 1,560 hours, approximately one year of continuous full time work.
  • Must have been gained in a paid job, or multiple paid jobs
  • Must have been gained within the last 10 years
  • Must have been gained in a managerial, skilled progessional, or skilled trade role; Skill Type O, Skill Level A, or Skill Level B in Canada's National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. A full list of FSWP eligible occupations can be found on our Canada National Occupation Classification List.

You can check that you meet the Canada visa requirements by following the relevant links on our NOC list, or by taking note of the 4-digit code next to your profession and entering it on the NOC website.

You must make sure that your work experience matches that stated in the NOC. You do not have to meet the "employment requirements" section of the particular job listed on NOC.

You may need to look at a number of different occupations to find one that matches your work experience. If your occupation does not come under skill level O, A, or B or your experience has not occurred in the last ten years, your application will be refused.

For Part-time work experience, applicants’ skilled work experience must be paid, including paid wages or earned commission, and volunteer work or unpaid internships are not calculated. You need to have work experience of more or less than 15 hours/week as long as it adds up to 1,560 hours. In addition, working more than 1 part-time job to get the hours added accordingly to apply. Moreover, working hours above 30 hours/week additionally are not counted.

Work experience gained while you were studying may count towards your minimum requirements if the work was paid by wages or commissions and was continuous with no gaps in employment along with meeting all the other requirements of this program.

Once you have confirmed that you meet the above requirements, you can now calculate your scores in points. You are granted 15 points for one year of work experience and two points for each further year, up to a maximum of 21 points.

Points will be granted based on the following criteria:
Experience Points
1 year 9
2-3 years 11
4-5 years 13
6 years+ 15
Factor 4: Age

The age factor is one of six variables considered by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) officers to determine whether a skilled worker candidate would be approved or denied.

Your points score is calculated based on your age on the date your application is received.

Up to 12 points will be granted under the age factor based on the following criteria:
Age Points
Under 17 Years 0
18-35 12
36 11
37 10
38 09
39 08
40 07
41 06
42 05
43 04
44 03
45 02
46 01
47 0
Factor 5: Arranged employment in Canada

Arranged employment increases your chances of qualifying for Canadian immigration under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).

You will gain 10 points in the Canada immigration points system if you already have a job offer in Canada or are already working in the country. The job must be full time and permanent—meaning seasonal work is excluded—and must be listed as Skill Type 0, Skill Level A, or Skill Level B on Canada's National Occupation Classification list.

Applicants are awarded 10 points in any of the following situations:

You are currently working in Canada on a temporary work permit, and:

  • The work permit is based on a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada in an occupation listed under skill type 0 or skill level A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
  • The work permit is valid both throughout the application process and once the permanent residence visa is approved (or the applicant is allowed to work in Canada without a work permit when his or her visa is issued).
  • The company listed on his or her work visa employs the applicant.
  • Based on the applicant's acceptance as a skilled worker, the employer has issued a genuine employment offer.


You are currently working in Canada on a temporary work permit, and:

  • The job for which the work permit was issued is not subject to the Labour Market Impact Assessment under an agreement such as the NAFTA agreement or a federal-provincial agreement;
  • Your work permit is valid and will still be valid when the FSWP visa is granted;
  • The employer named on your work permit has made you a permanent, full time job offer.


If you do not have a Canadian work permit and do not plan to work in Canada before your FSWP visa is granted, and:

  • A Canadian employer has offered you a full time and permanent job
  • The employer has received a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment for the job


You are currently working in Canada and have been offered a full time and permanent job with a different Canadian employer, and the employer has received a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment for the job.


If the applicant is currently employed in Canada in an LMIA-exempt position because of the following:

  • An international agreement (such as, the North American Free Trade Agreement) OR;
  • Considerable advantage for Canadian interests OR;
  • A federal-provincial agreement


  • The work permit is valid when both the permanent residence visa is applied for and when it is approved (or the applicant is allowed to work in Canada without a permit when the permanent resident visa is issued);
  • Based on the applicant's acceptance as a skilled worker, the applicant's existing employer has issued a valid employment offer;
  • The employer listed on the work permit actively employs the applicant;
  • The candidate has worked for that employer for at least one year, either full-time or part-time.


If the applicant has a valid work permit or is otherwise permitted to work in Canada without a work permit, and

  • The candidate is currently employed in Canada in an LMIA-exempt position which is not supported by an international, federal-provincial agreement, or a major benefit to Canadian interests; and
  • A potential employer other than the applicant's present employer has a positive LMIA and has made the applicant a legitimate employment offer based on that LMIA and the applicant's acceptance as a skilled worker.

Individuals in Canada whose applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program are approved for evaluation and whose short term work permits are about to end could be entitled to apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit.

Factor 6: Adaptability

One of the six factors for which points are granted under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is adaptability.

Adaptability points are assigned based on the following criteria that are anticipated to boost an applicant's chances of becoming permanently settled in Canada:

You and your accompanying spouse/partner can receive a maximum of 10 points based on any combination of the elements listed below:

Adaptability Factor Points
Your spouse/partner has achieved CLB 4 on all 4 components in an approved English or French language test. 5
You have completed a minimum of 2 years of full time study (more than 15 hours per week) at a Canadian secondary school or post secondary education institution. 5
Your spouse/partner has completed a minimum of 2 years of full time study (more than 15 hours per week) at a Canadian secondary school or post-secondary education. 5
You have previously worked for at least 1 year in Canada on a valid work permit in a job listed as Skill Type 0, Skill Level A, or Skill Level B on Canada's National Occupation Classification list. 10
Your spouse/partner has previously worked for at least 1 year in Canada on a valid work permit. 5
You earned any points under Factor 5: Arranged Employment (above) 5
You or your spouse/partner have one of the following family members, aged 18 or over, living in Canada as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident:
  • parent
  • grandparent
  • aunt/uncle
  • niece/nephew
  • sibling
  • child
  • grandchild