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Federal Skilled Worker Program for Nigerians

You may be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program if you are a Nigerian with relevant language skills, work experience and education.

If you need more information about the Federal Skilled Worker Program, including details about eligibility and how to apply and calculate Federal Skilled Worker Program points, contact our Lagos office at +23413438882 . Call us on +44 (0) 3316300929 or message us online.

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    The Federal Skilled Worker Program is one of the three routes in the Express Entry Canada immigration pathway. The program is designed to attract foreign nationals, like Nigerians, to apply for permanent residence based on their work experience, language skills and education.

    The first step in applying for the federal skilled worker program is to create an online profile. You will be assigned a score based on the information you supply in this profile. Your score will determine if you will be invited to apply to the program.

    Unlike other express entry pathways, this program does not require applicants to have ties to or work experience in Canada.

    However, you must meet the minimum eligibility and financial requirement for a successful application.

    Eligibility Criteria


    To apply for the federal skilled worker program (FSWP), you have to meet the eligibility requirements set by the government of Canada.

    Language Proficiency

    Before applying for the FSW program, you must be proficient in English or French. Your proficiency is assessed by submitting a test score that meets the Canadian Language Benchmark of 7.

    IELTS-General and CELPIP-General are the two tests you should take for English proficiency. While the two categories of TEF Canada are the tests for French proficiency.

    Note that the validity of your test score is 2 years.

    Work Experience

    You have to prove to the IRCC that you have relevant work experience. Your work experience must be in a job under the National Occupation Classification (NOC) from TEER 0-3.

    Again, your work experience must be in the same field you hope to work in when you get to Canada.

    To be considered valid, your work experience must meet the following criteria:

    • it shouldn’t be too far in the past (not more than 10 years)
    • it was paid
    • it lasted at least one straight year

    If you did full-time work, you must have dedicated at least 30 hours every week for a year.

    If you did part-time work, you must have dedicated at least 15 hours every week for 2 years. Or 15 hours every week for a year in two jobs.

    Note that unpaid internships and volunteer work doesn’t count as work experience.


    To apply for the FSW program, you must show you have relevant education and one that has an equivalent in the Canadian educational system.

    If you studied in Canada, you have to show your certificate from a secondary or tertiary institution in Canada.

    If your studies were completed in Nigeria, you have to submit your educational credential for Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) by an approved body. The assessment checks if your certificates are equivalent to what is obtainable in a Canadian school.

    You generally have to show certificates from your secondary or tertiary education.

    Proof of Financial Means

    You must also show that you have enough money to live in Canada. The amount of money you need to show depends on your family size.

    See the table below for how much you need to show.

    Family Size Amount
    You alone $13,757
    You and your spouse or partner $17,127
    You, your partner and your child $21,005
    You, your partner and two children $25,564
    You, your partner and three children $28,994
    You, your partner and four children $32,700
    You, your partner and five children $36, 407
    For every extra family member $3,706

    You do not need proof of financial means if you have a work visa or an employment offer from a Canadian employer.

    Settlement in Canada

    You must have plans to live in any of the provinces in Canada except Quebec. If you want to live in Quebec, there is a different application pathway to follow.

    Note also that if a province nominates you, you must settle there.

    Admissible into Canada

    You must also have a clean criminal record. If you have been convicted of a criminal offence, you may not be eligible to immigrate to Canada, and as such, your application will be denied.

    Eligible Occupations

    To be a federal skilled worker, you should have worked in an occupation under the eligible occupation list for at least a year. Below are some of the occupations and their codes:


    Occupation NOC Code
    Law makers 0011
    Government officials 0012
    Managers in financial, business and communication services 0013
    Managers in education, community and social services 0014
    Managers in broadcasting and trade services 0015
    Managers in transportation, construction and production 0016
    Managers in telecoms 0131
    Managers in science and architecture 0212
    Managers in courier and postal services 0132
    Managers in health services 0311

    To see the complete list of occupations, visit NOC occupation codes

    Selection Criteria

    After meeting all the criteria above, your eligibility for the program will be assessed by the IRCC. They do the calculation using the federal skilled worker points calculator. The overall score is 100 points, and the pass mark is 67. The calculator assigns points to your profile based on the following criteria:

    • Education (25 points maximum)
    • Age (12 points maximum)
    • Employment offer (15 points maximum)
    • Adaptability (10 points maximum)
    • Language skills (28 points maximum)
    • Work experience (15 points maximum)

    Contact our team who is well-versed in the FSWP requirements for Nigerians. Contact Us

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      How to Apply

      The first step in applying for the federal skilled worker program is to use the free assessment tool to check your eligibility. This tool will assign points to you based on the information you supply to the questions it asks.

      After this, you will be assigned a comprehensive ranking system (CRS) score. If you have up to 67 points, you will receive a link to create a profile in the express entry pool.

      Once your express entry profile is up, you will be ranked against others in the pool. If you rank high enough compared to other candidates in the pool, you will receive an invitation to apply during the draws.

      If you are applying as a family, the person with the best chance to score the highest should be the principal applicant.

      After getting the invitation to apply, you must finish your application in 60 days. This means you must have your supporting documents handy. This second stage of application is an invitation to apply electronically for permanent residence.

      Age Limit for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

      Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada does not place any age limit on the federal skilled worker program. But, candidates who are above 35 years will start losing points due to their age. This will lead to a low CRS score in the age category.

      The optimal age range for FSWP application is 18 to 35.

      If you are above 35, you should not be deterred from applying since you can make up for your CRS score in other categories.

      Federal Skilled Worker Program Processing Time

      When you create a profile on the express entry pool, it will be valid for 12 months. It may take the IRCC at least 4 to 6 months to assess your eligibility.

      Should you get an invitation to apply for permanent residence, you will have a window of 60 days to do so. After the application, it can take 12 to 18 months for your application to be approved.


      You must also pay processing fees when applying for the FSW program. Do note that this is not the same as the proof of funds you need to show. Below are the fees to pay for the application.

      • $1365 for the right of permanent residence and processing fees. This must be paid by the principal applicant and partner separately if applying with a family.
      • $230 for every dependent child younger than 22. If you have a dependent above 22, you must prove they have a mental or physical condition that prevents them from catering for themselves.

      Note that all federal skilled workers program fees must be paid online. You have to attach evidence of these payments to your online application.

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        Documents Needed to Apply

        You must present the following documents when applying for permanent residence under the federal skilled worker program.

        • Duly signed application forms.
        • Valid ECOWAS passport.
        • Identity documents like voter’s card or National ID Card.
        • Certificate of all educational and professional qualifications.
        • Evidence of residence status if you are in Canada.
        • Curriculum vitae outlining your work experience.
        • NPC-issued birth certificate.
        • Language proficiency test results.
        • Bank statements showing the required funds for your family size.
        • Photos of you and your family members.
        • Police character certificate from every country you have lived in for at least 6 months. You can get this from the criminal investigation department (CID) at any state police headquarters in Nigeria.
        • Evidence of payment of processing fees.

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          How Can IAS Help?

          If you want to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, IAS can assist. We can help you through the long process of applying for the program. Our expert immigration lawyers can assess your eligibility and give you ideas on what to do to increase your CRS score.

          We can guide you on the application process and prepare your documents.

          IAS has a team of immigration lawyers with experience in handling FSWP applications. We have helped many Nigerians immigrate to Canada and we can handle your application too.

          Whether you’re looking for assistance with the eligibility requirements, want to apply for a different express entry pathway or are interested in speaking with an immigration expert, we can help. Our Lagos team comprises expert immigration lawyers who can guide you through the application process.

          For more information about the services we provide and how we can assist you, reach out to a member of our team today. Call us at +23413438882 , +44 (0) 3316300929 or contact us online today.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    The only family members you can include in your federal skilled worker application are your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, and dependent children. You cannot add your parents to the application. But you can sponsor them to come to Canada after you have gotten your permanent residence.

                    The federal skilled worker program is an immigration pathway under express entry. Whereas express entry is the umbrella program that houses the federal skilled worker program, the federal skilled trade program and the Canada experience class.

                    If you apply for the FSWP, you must be medically admissible to Canada. If you do not meet this requirement, your application may be denied. You can be denied entry into Canada if your medical exam shows you are a danger to public health or safety by virtue of your illness. Medical inadmissibility can also apply if the medical exam proves that your condition will place too much demand on the health services of Canada.