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Federal Skilled Worker Program for Express Entry to Canada

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) is one of three options available to foreign workers that wish to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry System.

The program is open to individuals that wish to live in Canada as a permanent resident and is based on their ability to succeed economically within the country. To be considered for Express Entry through the FSW program, an individual must demonstrate that they have skilled work experience in one of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) job groups including management, professional jobs, or technology and skilled trades.

Who is Eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program?

To be considered for the FSW Program, you must meet specific eligibility requirements. The requirements that the Canadian government mandates that you meet include the following:

  • Show that you have work experience in the same type of job you are applying for. You must have at least 1,560 hours worked at the same job. The work experience must have been within the previous 10-year period, and you must have been paid for the work you performed.
  • You must take an English and French language test. You must pass with a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark of 7.  Your score will be valid for 2 years after the date the test was scored.
  • Have met the educational requirements that support your abilities to perform the job you are applying for. This can be demonstrated by possessing a certificate, diploma or degree awarded from a secondary (high school) or post-secondary school in Canada. If you received your credentials from a foreign educational facility, you are required to provide a complete record of your credentials as well as an Educational Credential Assessment report from an approved agency that provides proof of your certificate, diploma or degree that is equivalent to those awarded in Canada.
  • Provide proof of your financial means to support you and your dependents once you are settled in Canada. This requirement can be waived if you are currently able to work legally within one of Canada’s provinces or territories or have a valid job offer from an acceptable employer in Canada.
  • Be admissible to Canada. Should you wish to work or study in Canada, you will need to have the proper visas and permits in addition to your Express Entry acceptance.

FSW Program Process

If you are an individual that is seeking entry to Canada for living, working, or studying within the country, you can choose to submit an electronic application. This will create a profile within the Express Entry system. Your application will go through a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) where points will be awarded based on certain factors. These factors include:

  • Age
  • Education
  • Previous work experience
  • A valid job offer to work in Canada
  • English and French language skills
  • Adaptability

To be considered for entry to Canada through the FSW program, you must have a score of 67 points or higher. The highest-ranking applicants that are in the Express Entry pool are given preferential consideration.

If you have intentions to study in Canada, you need to ensure that your student permits and visas are also granted per IRCC requirements. This is a separate application process that is required.

Role of the National Occupational Classification System

The National Occupational Classification System (NOC) is a system used by the Canadian government to classify jobs. This system is used to determine areas within the Canadian workforce which need skilled labour workers as well as pairing foreign workers with employment opportunities that meet their skillsets. The jobs are categories into different groups. The NOC job groups that are considered acceptable for the Federal Skilled Worker Program include:

Skill Level 0 (zero)

These are management level jobs and require the applicant to have education and experience in jobs such as:

  • Shore captains (fishing)
  • Restaurant management
  • Business manager or supervisor

Skill Level A

These types of job positions require a degree or certification from an accredited university or educational institution. Common types of job positions that fall under this category include:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Teachers
  • Architects

Skill Level B

These jobs are classified as technical positions and skilled trades. Most of these jobs require a college diploma or some secondary training as an apprentice. Jobs which fall under this category include:

  • Plumbers
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Chefs

If you receive an Invitation to Apply for the FSW Program, you will be given a specific time frame to respond. It is important to accept this invitation and have all of your documents in order by the date provided to avoid losing your position. We encourage you to contact Canadian Immigration Group as soon as possible. Our team will help you file out any necessary applications and gather the documents requested of you. Our immigration specialists on staff will ensure you are provided with the information and guidance that can lead to a positive outcome for your goal to immigrate to Canada.


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