FSW simply means Federal Skilled Worker and it’s a program meant for persons who have been selected to migrate to Canada because of their work experience and skills. This program allows the country to welcome thousands of skilled workers who will become established in Canada’s workforce.
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The question now is who is the FSW program for?
There are professionals around the world who’d want to migrate to Canada. These persons migrate to be based in Canada permanently, through the Federal Skilled Worker Program. They are also allowed to come along with their family members, spouse and children.
The Federal Skilled Workers program is managed by the Express Entry System. The use of the Comprehensive Ranking System is applied to check and rank candidates who want to live permanently in Canada.
For this program, candidates are not required to have Canadian work experience, unlike the Canadian Experience Class where one is required to have Canadian work experience.
Instead of work experience, candidates can be required to meet some requirements in order to enter the Express Entry pool. This requirement includes factors such as work experience, language ability and education.
This pool is likened to an exam being written by the applicants. Once in the pool, the applicants with the highest CRS scores will be invited to apply for the Canadian permanent residence visa.
How can one Apply for the FSW?
Candidates who are interested in applying for the FSW must submit an Express Entry System profile to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Afterwards, the candidate will be given a CRS score which will allow the candidate to be considered in an Express Entry draws for an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
Note that submission of an Express Entry System profile does not guarantee permanent residence.
After the submission of the Express Entry Profile, the Federal Skilled Worker candidate will be required to provide some documents. They include;
Educational Credentials Assessment
This is also known as ECA, it is required by the Federal Skilled Worker to provide a valid ECA in order to gain points for education.
This ECA report will deduce that the candidate is educated and will attest to the value of the candidate’s education by Canadian standard. There are however five organizations that have been authorised to issue an ECA report in Canada.
Language Proficiency Test Results
Every candidate who is under the Express Entry System must have had a language test. They are therefore required to provide the results gotten from this test taken, this test should be within the previous two years.
There are several types of language tests for both English and French, but the accepted ones include the IELTS exams and the CELPIP exams which is only available in Canada. For the French, they are; Test ď Évaluation de Français (TEF) and Test de Connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF).
Documents for Identification
In applying for Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program, candidates will be required to provide documents of identification. They are required to provide information on how to be identified. A candidate and their family members should have valid passports required for travel.
Once a candidate has successfully received an invitation to Apply for permanent residence in Canada, the candidate can proceed to the next stage of the application.
At this next stage, the applicant will submit the Electronic application for Permanent Residence which is also known as the eAPR. This is done after the candidate must have been given 60 days to prepare for the eAPR. This eAPR requires further documentation.
If a candidate is successful in receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence, they will move onto the second stage of the application process. In this second stage, the applicant will have 60 days to prepare and submit an electronic Application for Permanent Residence (eAPR). This application requires further documentation.
However, since the inception of the Express Entry System in 2015, the lowest score an FSW candidate who received an ITA has held is 413 points. An applicant is required to not go below this point, otherwise, they’d need to pursue other options for improving their score.
Steps on how to apply
Below outlined are the steps to apply for the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) program
The eligibility requirements state that the candidate must possess some level of experience in language, Canadian standards education and some level of work experience before proceeding to apply.
Documents for profile update
As stated above earlier, a candidate has to create an Express Entry System profile. However, there are three important documents needed to create the profile. They are:
- Valid Passport or Identification
- Language test results from certified bodies like IELTS or CELPIP which is for English, French from TEF and TCF. These language test results have to be at most two years prior to the time you are applying for Express Entry System.
- If you had your educational qualifications outside Canada, you need an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA).
Express Entry Profile
This is the third step, and at this step, you’d need to create an Express Entry System profile. This profile is created by providing some personal details or information about yourself, background and work history.
It is to be completed on the IRCC website. You’ll also need to submit every document filed by you from the previous step.
Once your CRS score is below the approved cut off mark, you’ll be required to upgrade your profile, otherwise, you won’t stand a chance to receive an invitation to apply. To improve the profile when such occurs, you can retake the language tests or rewrite the exam again.
You can also improve your profile by completing or having additional work experience especially skill in high demand in a province, which is under the Empress Entry System aligned with Provincial Nominee Program streams. If your experience is in high demand, it can earn you a 600 point bonus.
Invitation to Apply
The next step is to receive an invitation to apply. This step allows you and your family to apply for permanent residence. At this point, you’ll have 60 days of preparation to apply and submit your application.
This is the 6th step where you’d be required to do a medical check-up. All Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) applicants are required to go through this screening for proper medical records and to ascertain any criminal background.
You should also submit an e-application within 60 days of getting an ITA. Also, you’d need to include detailed work reference letters from previous employers.
After submitting the e-application, it will be reviewed by a Canadian immigration officer.
This is the 8th step where you receive confirmation of your permanent resident status. Applications are normally processed within six months or less.
When an application is approved, the applicant receives a confirmation of permanent residence documents (COPR), then an official at the IRCC will sign on any documents, with dates attached when a permanent residence is granted.
Permanent Residence Card
Once your permanent resident status has been approved, it is advisable to get your PR card. This is to show proof of your Canadian status especially when you travel outside Canada.
How long does it take to Process the FSW VISA?
The processing time for the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) visa is usually 6months or less. Usually, 80 percent of these applications are processed within this said time frame.