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Federal Skilled Worker Program

If you’re a skilled worker and want to immigrate to Canada permanently, you can do so under the Federal Skilled Worker Program. This Canada’s flagship worker’s program allows the country to receive foreigners annually to become part of its workforce.

Contact us on 0333 305 9375 or online to learn more about the program and any help you may need. Our professional lawyers will attend to you in person or virtually.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS Canada Immigration Lawyers

    When it comes to obtaining a Canada visa or permit, IAS Canada immigration lawyers are well-equipped to help you.

    With IAS’ track record of successfully helping clients visit or immigrate to Canada successfully, we can help you achieve your goal.

    Our dedicated immigration lawyers provide our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach. With IAS, you enjoy:

    Compassionate support from an experienced immigration lawyer dedicated to your success

    Support in gathering supporting documents and completing a high-quality application.

    Confidence that your case is being handled by an experienced team.

    In-house document checks done by lawyers who are well-versed in  immigration matters.

    Regardless of what your Canadian immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    What Is The Federal Skilled Worker Program?

    The Federal Skilled Worker program is among the three of Canada’s Express Entry System programs responsible for immigration application processing. FSWP uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank Federal Skilled Workers who have no connection to Canada and wish to immigrate to the country. Top-ranked candidates receive an invitation to apply for permanent settlement in Canada.

    Moreover, Canadian work experience isn’t a requirement to fit in the Express Entry pool. Instead, there are minimum points you must meet based on your work experience, education, and language ability, among other factors. The maximum number of points you can get is 100.

    The 100 Federal Skilled Worker points spread across the various eligibility factors are as follows:

    • Language ability: 28 points
    • Education: 25 points
    • Work experience: 15 points
    • Age: 12 points
    • Arranged employment: 10 points
    • Adaptability: 10 points
    Man working at construction site

    Who Is Eligible For The Federal Skilled Worker Program Application?

    As a candidate, you must meet the minimum requirements to qualify for FSWP. Hence, you must obtain 67 points and above out of 100 to qualify for the program. Below is an explanation of how eligibility factors influence your score.

    Language Ability

    Your language proficiency earns you the highest number of points in the entry system, which is 28. Therefore, you must be conversant in English, French, or both to apply for Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker visa.

    Also, you must prove your language skills by taking an approved language test.  The test examines your ability to read, write, speak, and listen to one or both languages.

    The immigration office uses the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) and Niveaux de compétence Linguistique Canadiens to measure your English and French, respectively.

    The Express Entry System tests all four language areas and awards you  NCLC 7 or CLB 7 as the minimum level for the first official language. If you have a second language, the minimum level you must get is NCLC 5 or CLB 5.

    Here is the language test points distribution.

    First Official language (24 points)

    • CLB 9 and above: 6 points
    • CLB 8: 5 points
    • CLB 7: 4 points
    • Below CLB 7: N/A

    Second official language (4 points)

    • CLB 5 and above: 4 points
    • CLB 4 and below: N/A

    It’s worth noting that points are equal for all the language areas for the first official language. For instance, if you get CLB 8, you obtain 5 points in each of the four areas. Meaning you earn 20 points in that category. Also, your language test must be valid on the application day, and the validity expires after two years.


    You must have minimum education equivalent to a Canadian certificate, diploma, or degree from a secondary or post-secondary institution. Additionally, you must prove your education meets Canadian standards. You do so by obtaining a Canadian Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from a recognized organization.

    The education factor earns you a maximum of 25 points. Here is the breakdown.

    • University degree or equivalent to Ph.D.: 25 points
    • Holding a Masters Degree: 23 points
    • Holding a Double-Bachelor Degree: 22 points
    • Bachelor’s Degree: 21 points
    • 3 Years Diploma Course after Higher Secondary: 19 points
    • 3 Years Diploma Course after High School: 15 points
    • High School: 5 points

    Work Experience

    Professional work experience is another factor that can earn you up to 15 points. You require 1 year minimum of full-time work experience or a part-time equivalent amount. Furthermore, the experience has to be:

    • Constant in one occupation within the last 10 years.
    • Paid job
    • A minimum of one year of continuous work

    Your recognition as a ‘skilled’ worker demands you to have experience in a National Occupation Classification (NOC) profession and obtained Skill Level O, A, or B. Also, your work experience is acceptable if you worked while studying, as self-employed, or in Canada or abroad.

    How Do You Find Your Noc?

    You find your NOC by checking the list of all the occupations in Canada’s labour market to classify your job. The list provides information about different jobs’ talents, skills, duties, and work settings. Hence, you can identify the NOC that matches your experience for inclusion in the Express Entry Profile.

    Below is the work experience  points distribution.

    • 1 year: 9 points
    • 2-3 years: 11 points
    • 4-5 years: 13 points
    • 6 years and above: 15 points

    What Defines A Part-Time Work Experience?

    Work experience from a part-time job is valid if paid, including wages and commission. Unpaid internships and volunteer work do not count.

    You can work approximately 15 hours daily or do more than one job until you achieve the Federal Skilled Worker program minimum requirement of 1560 hours.  However, any hour exceeding 30 hours/week doesn’t count.

    What Defines A Student Work Experience?

    You can earn work experience points by working while studying if the work is continuous, paid, and complies with all other program requirements.


    A maximum of 12 points depends solely on the age factor. See the allocation of these points according to the specific age/age bracket.

    • Under 18 years: 0 points
    • 18-35 years: 12 points
    • 36 years: 11 points
    • 37 years: 10 points
    • 38 years: 9 points
    • 39 years: 8 points
    • 40 years: 7 points
    • 41 years: 6 years
    • 42 years: 5 points
    • 43 years: 4 points
    • 44 years: 3 points
    • 45 years: 2 Points
    • 46 years: 1 point
    • 47 and above: 0 points

    Arranged Employment

    If a Canadian organization offers you a job, you get up to 10 points boost in your overall eligibility points. The offer must be continuous, full-time, and listed in the NOC’s Skilled Type 0, A, or B.  Also, it should generate income in form of wages or commission.

    Additionally, you must convince the immigration officer that you’re fit for the job and eligible for the certification or licensing once you get to Canada.

    Furthermore, one of the four situations must be evident for you to earn 10 points.

    1. Currently working on a permit as a Canadian employee and meet the requirements below:

    • Have a valid work permit until you obtain a visa.
    • Your work permit must be on the basis of a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA); in a skilled work type 0, A, or B of NOC.
    • Your employer is in your work permit.
    • The employer base the job offer on your acceptance as a skilled worker.

    2. Working in Canada in an occupation exempted from LMIA requirements due to any of the following.

    • A federal-provincial agreement
    • Canada’s interests substantial benefits
    • International agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement

    Additionally, these conditions must be in place.

    • A valid work permit during the application and issuing of the permanent resident visa.
    • The basis of your job offer is your acceptance as a skilled worker.
    • Your work permit specifies your current employer.
    • Your work duration in the current job must be 1-year minimum, full-time, and continuous or part-time equivalent.

    3. Meet all the conditions below.

    • Currently do not own a work permit and do not intend to work in Canada without a permanent resident visa.
    • Obtained a valid job offer under the LMIA upon a skilled worker acceptance
    • Your employer is LMIA compliant

    4. Comply with the following prerequisites.

    • Currently working in Canada’s non-LMIA job group, not because of the country’s interests, significant benefits, international or federal-provincial agreement.
    • Your job offer employer must be an LMIA holder on which they base the offer in addition to the skilled worker acceptance.
    • Own a work permit or permission to work without one.

    Can You Improve Your Eligibility Score?

    Yes, you can boost your eligibility score by:

    • Improving your English or French proficiency
    • Undertaking another certificate, diploma, or degree program.

    Since the minimum score for the Federal Skilled Worker program is 67, falling short of this mark leads to disqualification by the Express Entry System.

    If you have any eligibility challenges, we’re here to clarify any uncertainty you may have. Reach out to our experienced personnel for advice.


    How well you and your common-law partner or spouse are likely to settle in Canada earns you up to 10 points. You obtain the adaptability points by combining any of the seven components below.

    • The language level of your spouse or partner: 5 points
    • Past studies in Canada: 5 points
    • Spouse or common-law partner’s studies in Canada: 5 points
    • Previous work experience in Canada: 10 points
    • Spouse or common-law partner’s Canadian work experience: 5 points
    • Canadian arranged employment: 5 points
    • Relatives residing in Canada: 5 points

    The Language Level Of Your Spouse Or Partner (5 Points)

    The English or French proficiency must be at CLB 4 level or beyond in all the language assessment areas. That is, reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

    For that reason, your spouse or partner must undertake a test language ability test from an approved agency. The results must be valid when applying for permanent residence and expire after two years.

    Past Studies In Canada (5 Points)

    You’re a secondary or post-secondary school graduate in Canada in a program of not less than two academic years.  As a full-time student, you must spend at least 15 hours in class every week. Also, you must meet the academic standing of the school.

    Spouse Or Common-Law Partner’s Studies In Canada (5 Points)

    Your spouse or partner must be holders of Canada’s secondary or post-secondary credentials of at least two years of full-time study. That means they must have spent a minimum of 15 hours in class weekly and maintained an excellent academic standing.

    Previous Work Experience In Canada (10 Points)

    You worked for a Canadian employer for a period not less than 1 year:

    • In a Skill Type 0 or Skill Levels A or B job as listed in the National Occupational Classification
    • While authorized to work in Canada or with a valid work permit

    Spouse Or Common-Law Partner’s Canadian Work Experience (5 Points)

    Your spouse or partner’s experience at a Canadian employer also adds to your eligibility points with up to 5 points. The work duration must be 1 year or more in a full-time job. Additionally, the individual must own a valid work permit or be authorized to work in the country.

    Canadian Arranged Employment (5 Points)

    Getting a NOC 0, A, or B job offer from a Canadian employer boosts your score by up to 5 points. Even so, the job must be continuous for not less than 1 year.  Also, it must have the Employment and Social Development Canada or Service Canada approval.

    Relatives Residing In Canada

    Your points increase if you, your spouse or your partner have a relative in Canada who must be a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen. Additionally, they must be a grandparent, parent, child, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, or sibling.

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist with your FSWP application.

    Is Proof Of Funds Required For A Canadian Skilled Worker Visa Eligibility?

    Yes, proof of funds is necessary to prove that you can comfortably support your family after settling in Canada. It’s worth noting that this requirement applies whether or not your dependents are coming with you to the country.

    Here are the different categories of funds depending on the number of family members.

    • 1 member: $13,757
    • 2 members: $17,127
    • 3 members: $21,055
    • 4 members: $25,564
    • 5 members: $28,994
    • 6 members: $32,700
    • 7 members: $36,407
    • Each additional member: $3,706

    If you can’t provide enough proof of funds, work towards securing a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. If successful, you can apply for the Federal Skilled Worker visa.

    Documents and funds

    How Do You Apply For The Federal Skilled Worker Visa?

    You can apply for a Federal Skilled Worker permanent residency by following the steps below.

    Step 1: Eligibility Check Up

    The primary step is to examine your eligibility for a skilled occupation. Use the CanadaVisa free eligibility tool to see if you meet the above factors. Check the eligibility score on the points grid.

    Step 2: Essential Documents Gathering

    You need three documents to create an Express Entry profile, including the following.

    • Identification: Own a valid passport.
    • Education: Take an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) for any studies completed outside Canada.
    • Language ability: Have approved language proficiency test results conducted within two years before creating the profile. You can take the IELTS or CELPIP test or the TEF and TCF for English and French, respectively. If you have both, you get additional points for the second language.

    Step 3: Express Entry Profile Submission

    Provide all the necessary personal details on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. Add the relevant supporting documents as indicated in ‘step 2’ above.

    Step 4: Profile And Ranking Improvement

    This step is applicable where your CRS score falls below the minimum requirement for the Federal Skilled Worker program. You can improve your score by:

    • Studying more and retaking your language tests.
    • Completing additional jobs for more work experience
    • Increasing your education credentials

    Step 5: Application Invitation

    Once the score exceeds the minimum requirement, you’ll receive an invitation to apply for a permanent worker visa. The IRCC conducts an Express Entry pool draw, and you have 60 days to make the application.

    Step 6: Additional Submissions

    Medical and criminal inadmissibility screening is necessary for all Federal Skilled Worker applicants. Therefore, you must prove your medical exam with an IRCC-approved panel physician.

    Additionally, you need to show your clearance certificate for the police background check. The clearance must be from all your countries of visit in the past 6 months after attaining 18 years. Also, you must provide work reference letters for your previous employers.

    It’s advisable to gather these documents before receiving the ITAs due to the tight time frame.

    Step 7: E-Application Review

    The immigration officer examines your e-application, and if you miss out on some details, they’ll inform you. The review involves cross-checking all the necessary information and any needed supporting document.

    Step 8: Permanent Residency Confirmation

    The Skilled Worker application processing takes 7-27 months. Once approved, you get a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) document.

    Additionally, the IRCC or Canadian port of entry officer signs and dates the document after the permanent residency processing is complete.

    Step 9: Permanent Residency Granting

    After receiving your PR confirmation, apply for a PR card. This card is acceptable outside Canada as status proof in Canada.

    For any queries or assistance on the application process, call us at 0333 305 9375.

    Call us for further assistance with your Canadian immigration matter.

    How Can IAS Help?

    Canada has many opportunities for business people and investors under their immigration programs. Nonetheless, you can only realize your dream of settling in the country under the Federal Skilled Worker program if you pick the ideal one and make a presentable application.

    For that reason, you need to walk this journey with a professional. Our able lawyers can assist in drafting a detailed, compelling, and faultless visa application. Additionally, they’ll provide relevant advice and enlightenment throughout the process.

    If you need assistance with applying for a permanent residency in Canada, we’re here for you. Contact us at 0333 305 9375 or online to see how we can help in your case.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    The difference between Express Entry and Federal Skilled Worker is their functionality. Express Entry is a system for a permanent residency visa, while FSW is an immigration category for Canadian permanent residence.

    Persons with relevant work experience, education, age, and language proficiency (in one of Canada’s official languages) are eligible for Federal Skilled Worker. Also, applicants must undergo the Express Entry Immigration system assessment to qualify for permanent residence application

    The Federal Skilled Worker application currently takes 7- 27 months. That‘s a significant increase from the pre-pandemic Express Entry processing time of at most 6 months. Before the epidemic, about 80% of applications’ processing could take less than a year.

    Yes, an individual can apply directly for permanent residence under FSWP. However, that’s only possible after receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA). The FSWP is under the system, which regularly conducts Express Entry pool draws to issue invitations for the candidates.

    No, there’s no eligible occupations list. Instead, you should have at least one year of work experience in the previous 10 years. Your job must be under Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) as skill type 0 or level A or B

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