Canada Federal Skilled Worker Explained

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is one among the three programs contained within Canada’s Express Entry system for processing permanent residency applications. All programs within Express Entry are highly competitive, and uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank candidates.

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Eligibility Requirements Federal Skilled worker (FSW) Program

Skilled Work Experience

Skilled work experience means that you need to have worked in one of these National Occupational classifications (NOC) job groups:

  • Managerial jobs (skill type 0)
  • Professional jobs (skill level A)
  • Skilled trades and Technical jobs (skill level B)

You must prove and show that while working in your first occupation, you performed the duties laid out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC. This incorporates all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.

Your skilled work experience must be:

  • in the same sort of job (have the same NOC) as the job you wish to use for your immigration application (called your primary occupation)
  • within the last ten years
  • paid work (must have been paid wages or earned commission—volunteer work or unpaid internships don’t count)
  • at least 1 year of continued work or 1,560 hours total (30 hours each week)—you can meet this in a few different ways:
    • full-time at 1 job: 30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full-time (1,560 hours)
    • equivalent amount in part-time work: for instance, 15 hours/week for 24 months = 1-year full time (1,560 hours)
      • You can work numerous part-time jobs as you need to meet this requirement
    • full-time at over 1 job: 30 hours/week for 12 months at over 1 job = 1-year full time (1,560 hours)

Part-time Work Experience

Your experience gained from skilled work must be a paid work including paid wages or earned commission. Volunteer work or unpaid internships are not valid and are therefore not counted.

For part-time work, you can choose to work more or less than 15 hours/week as far as it adds up to 1,560 hours. You can work more than 1 part-time job to obtain the hours you need in order for you to be eligible to apply.

Extra hours you work above 30 hours/week are not counted.

Student Work Experience

Work experience gained while you were studying may be count towards your least requirements if the work:

  • was paid by wages or commissions
  • was a continuous work (no gaps in employment), and
  • meets all the other requirements of the Program

Language Ability

You must:

  • participate in an approved language test in English or French for:
    • writing
    • reading
    • listening
    • speaking
  • get the minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all 4 abilities
  • insert the results of the test in your Express Entry profile

Your language tests are only valid for a period of 2 years after the date of the test result. They must be valid on the day you submit an application for permanent residence.

Education

If you schooled in Canada, you must have a certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian:

  • secondary institution (high school) or
  • post-secondary institution

If you obtained foreign education, you must have:

  • a completed credential, and
  • an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes from a designated organization showing that your education is equivalent to a completed certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian:
  • secondary institution (high school) or
  • post-secondary institution

In order to qualify for FSW, a candidate must meet certain minimum requirements regarding your years of experience, level of education, age, and English or French language proficiency:

Work Experience

  • a minimum of 12-months of continued, full-time, skilled work experience completed within the previous 10 years (or an equal amount in part-time experience).

If a candidate meets the wants listed above, they also must demonstrate that they score a minimum of 67 out of 100 points on the FSW eligibility points grid:

FactorPoints
Education25
Language Proficiency28
Age12
Work Experience15
Arranged Employment10
Adaptability10
Minimum Pass Score67

Factor 1: Education

Level of EducationPoints
Doctoral (PhD) level25
Master’s level23
Two or more post-secondary degrees – at least one for a program of at least 3 years22
Post-secondary degree – 3 years or longer21
Post-secondary degree – 2 years19
Post-secondary degree – 1 year15
Secondary school5
Maximum25

Factor 2: Language Proficiency

Language Proficiency
EnglishIELTS ScorePoints
First Official LanguageSpeakingListeningReadingWriting
CLB 966666 pts/ability
CLB 855555 pts/ability
CLB 744444 pts/ability
Second Official Language (OPTIONAL)
*Score must be met in all four abilities44444 points
EnglishCELPIP ScorePoints
CLB 999996 pts/ability
CLB 888885 pts/ability
CLB 777774 pts/ability
Second Official Language (OPTIONAL)
*Score must be met in all four abilities55554 points
FrançaisMarque TEFPoints
Première langue officielleExpression oraleCompréhension de l’oraleCompréhension de l’écritExpression écrite
NCLC 9371+298+248+371+6 pts/compétence
NCLC 8349-370280-297233-247349-3705 pts/compétence
NCLC 7310-348249-279207-232310-3484 pts/compétence
Seconde langue officielle (OPTIONELLE)
*vous devez atteindre le seuil minimal dans chacune des quatre compétences linguistiques226-371+181-298+151-248+226-371+4 points
FrançaisMarque TCFPoints
Première langue officielleExpression oraleCompréhension de l’oraleCompréhension de l’écritExpression écrite
NCLC 914+523+524+14+6 pts/compétence
NCLC 812-13503-522499-52312-135 pts/compétence
NCLC 710-11458-502453-49810-114 pts/compétence
Seconde langue officielle (OPTIONELLE)
*vous devez atteindre le seuil minimal dans chacune des quatre compétences linguistiques6+369-397+375-405+6+4 points
Maximum

Factor 3: Age

AgePoints
Under 180
18-3512
3611
3710
389
398
407
416
425
434
443
452
461
47 and older0
Maximum12

Factor 4: Work Experience

Work ExperiencePoints
1 year9
2-3 years11
4-5 years13
6 or more years15
Maximum15

Factor 5: Arranged Employment

Arranged EmploymentPoints
IfAnd
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

IRCC 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 IRCC

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 work 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

and

You have been working for that employer for at least 1 continuous year, full-time or part-time equivalent.

10
You currently do not have a work permit, or do not 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 Impact Assessment from ESDC

10
Maximum10

Factor 6: Adaptability

AdaptabilityPoints
Your past work in Canada

You did at least one year of full-time work in Canada (NOC Skill Type 0, A or B) with a valid work permit or while authorized to work in Canada.

10
Your spouse or partner’s full-time work in Canada

Your spouse or common-law 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
Your past study in Canada

You finished at least two academic years of full-time (15 hrs/week) study in a program at least two years long at a secondary or post-secondary school in Canada and stayed in good academic standing 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 (15 hrs/week) study in a program at least two years long at a secondary or post-secondary school in Canada, and stayed in good academic standing during that time.

5
Arranged Employment in Canada

You earned points under Factor 5: Arranged Employment

5
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 (IELTS Listening 4.0, Reading 4.5, Writing 3.5, Speaking 4.0)

5
Relatives in Canada

You, or your spouse or common-law partner, have a relative who is living in Canada AND 18 years or older AND a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, either a:

 

  • parent,

 

  • grandparent,

 

  • child,

 

  • grandchild,

 

  • child of a parent (sibling),

 

  • child of a grandparent (aunt or uncle),

 

  • or grandchild of a parent (niece or nephew)
5
Maximum10

 

 

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