Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is Canada’s primary economic immigration pathway for professionals and skilled workers around the world who want to immigrate to Canada permanently with their loved ones.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (also known as the Federal Skilled Worker Class) is the primary pathway of three Federal Economic Immigration Pathways. To pursue the permanent residency process, a candidate needs to make a formal “Express of Interest” to settle in Canada by creating an online Express Entry profile. Based on the information provided by the candidate in their profile, Federal Skilled Workers candidates obtain a score under Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) that determines their ranking in the pool for eligible candidates.

In addition to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the pool contains candidates under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC). IRCC then invites candidates to apply during its Express Entry draws from the pool.


Am I Eligible For Federal Express Entry Pool? | Canadian Visa News

Eligibility Requirements For Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

Foreign national candidates start their process of immigration under the Federal Skilled Workers program by determining where they meet the minimum requirements of the program or not. The minimum requirements of FSWP are as follows:

  • Skilled Work Experience: Candidate must have work in one of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) job groups of skill level 0, A, or B. The skilled work experience must be:
    • in the same type of job  (have the same NOC code) as the job you want to use for your immigration application
    • must be within the last 10 years and a paid work (means you must have been paid wages or earned a commission.)
    • at least 1 year of continuous work or 1,560 hours total (30 hours per week). This can be completed in a few different ways:
      • Full Time At 1 Job: 30 hours / week for 12 months = 1-year full time (1,560 hours)
      • Equal Amount In Part-Time Job: 15 hours/week for 24 months = 1-year full time (1,560 hours)
      • Full Time At More Than 1 Job = 30 hours/week for 12 months at more than 1 job = 1-year full time (1,560 hours)
  • Language Ability: Candidate must take an approved language test in English or French for writing, reading, listening, and speaking and get a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all 4 abilities (which is equivalent to 6 scores each in IELTS or 7 scores each in CELPIP). The language test must not be more than 2 years old.
  • Education: You must have completed a minimum education which is equal to the completion of a Canadian High School Diploma. If you completed your education outside of Canada, you will need an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) from an approved agency showing that your education is equal to a completed certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian secondary or post-secondary school.

If you complete these requriements you may able to proceed for the further FSW process. IRCC determines FSW candidates on its unique points grid. In order to be eligible to apply under the FSW program, the candidate needs to obtain at least 67 points under the program’s 100-point grid. The program’s selection factors grid assesses candidates based on factors that include age, education, work experience, arranged employment, language ability and adaptability. The Federal Skilled Worker Selection Factor Listed Below.

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


Calculate FSW Points For Express Entry | Canadian Visa News

EDUCATION (Up to 25 Points)

Up to 25 points will be awarded to the applicant under the Education Factor on the following basis:

Level of Education Points (25 max)
Doctoral (PhD) level 25 points
Master’s level or professional degree 23 points
Two or more post-secondary credentials, one of which was for three years or longer in duration 22 points
Three-year or longer post-secondary credential (e.g. Bachelor’s degree) 21 points
Two-year post-secondary credential 19 points
One-year post-secondary credential 15 points
Secondary school 5 points


LANGUAGE SKILLS (Up to 28 Points)

Up to 24 points may be awarded for your first language ability, with a further four points on offer if you can prove ability in a second language. An additional five points may be obtained if your spouse/common-law partner, if applicable, also proves language ability; these points are available under the ‘adaptability’ factor, outlined below.

All candidates, regardless of background, are required to prove language ability in English and/or French. There are four tests recognized for the purpose of assessing language ability:

  1. IELTS (International English Language Testing System): Only the IELTS General edition is recognized for immigration purposes (the Academic version is not).
  2. CELPIP (Candian English Language Proficiency Index Program): This test is available within Canada and small sections of international test centres only.
  3. TEF (Test d’Évaluation de Français): This is a French test that is available internationally.
  4. TCF CANADA (Test de Connaissance du français pour le Canada): This is a French test that is available internationally.

In order to gauge a common equivalence of ability among Express Entry candidates who take different tests, test scores are converted into what is known as Canadian Language Benchmarks, or CLBs, which range from 1 to 10. Federal skilled worker candidates who obtain a test score equivalent to 9 or higher in any single language ability in their first language are awarded the full number of points available for that ability.CELPIP test results align with CLBs perfectly, whereas IELTS, TEF, and TCF results do not.

Points are assigned on the following basis:

First language ability


Second language ability


Spouse / common-law partner’s language ability (first language only)


WORK EXPERIENCE (Up to 15 Points)

Candidate can get points for the number of years spent doing full-time paid work at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the 2016 National Occupational Classification. Only skilled work experience is counted. Candidate needs a minimum of nine points under the work experience in order to be eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Class.

To get selection factor points, your work experience will count if it was:

  • in Canada or abroad
  • while you were studying
  • while being self-employed

Federal skilled worker points work experience is available on the following basis.

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


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AGE (Up to 12 Points)

You’ll get points based on your age on the day we get your application

Age Points
Under 18 0
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



Candidate can get 10 points if he/she is having a job offer of at least 1 year from a Canadian employer. You must get the job offer before you apply to come to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker.

A valid job offer has to be:

  • for continuous, paid, full-time work (minimum of 30 hours/week) that is:
    • not seasonal
    • for at least 1 year
  • in an occupation listed as Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the NOC.

To get 10 points for a valid job offer, 1 of these situations must also apply.

The candidate is currently working in Canada on a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)-based work permit in a skilled occupation.

  • The work permit must be valid when the application is made.
  • The employer has made a full-time job offer in a skilled occupation to the candidate.


The candidate is currently working in Canada on an LMIA-exempt work permit or a work permit issued under a provincial/territorial agreement.

  • The work permit must be valid when the application is made.
  • The employer has made a full-time job offer in a skilled occupation to the candidate.


The candidate holds a valid Canadian work permit or is otherwise authorized to work in Canada, but does not fall into either of the above scenarios.

  • The work permit authorization is valid when the application is made.
  • A prospective employer has offered a permanent, full-time job to the candidate.
  • This job offer is supported by a positive LMIA.


The candidate does not hold a valid Canadian work permit.

  • A prospective employer has offered a permanent, full-time job to the candidate.
  • This job offer is supported by a positive LMIA

If candidate fall under any of the above scenarios, 10 points may be awarded under the arranged employment factor. Also further five points may be awarded for arranged employment under the adaptability factor.

ADAPTABILITY (Up to 10 Points)

Candidate of Federal Skilled Worker Class can earn a maximum of 10 points under the adaptability factor which assesses individuals’ and families’ ability to become established in Canada from an economic and social point of view.



Under the Federal Skilled Worker Program if a candidate is without an arranged employment must declare sufficient settlement funds upon entering the Express Entry pool. This must be proven while making an application for permanent residence. The requirement increases depending on family size.


These funds must be available, transferable and unencumbered by debts or other obligations. The settlement funds requirement must be met at the time the application is made, as well as when the permanent resident visa is issued.

Medical Examinations And Admissibility

IRCC encourages Federal Skilled Worker candidates and their dependents to complete their medical examinations as soon as an ITA is issued. Medical exam results must be valid at the time of applying for permanent residence and when arriving in Canada. Applicants must also obtain security clearances as part of the Canadian immigration application process to prove that they are admissible to Canada. Some people aren’t allowed to come to Canada as they’re “inadmissible” under Canada’s immigration law.

Processing Fees

The table below outlines the processing fees for the Federal Skilled Worker Program:

Application CAD*
Principal applicant ($550 processing fee + $490 right of permanent residence fee) $1,040
Spouse or common-law partner ($550 processing fee + $490 right of permanent residence fee) $1,040
A dependant child of the principal applicant who is under 22 and is not a spouse or common-law partner, or is 22 or older who has been unable to be financially self-supporting since before the age of 22, due to a physical or mental condition $150 per child


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