Federal Skilled Worker

Professional & Skilled Worker

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program has helped countless newcomers and their families call Canada their new home. Until recently, the FSW program only accepted applicants with specific types of employment backgrounds. Many prospective applicants found it difficult to apply for FSW because their occupations did not fall under one of the prioritized applications. We are happy to inform you that as of January 1, 2015, the prerequisite of a year of specific prioritized work experience is no longer a requirement.

Important Note: As of January 1, 2015, the Federal Skilled Worker program is now under the Express Entry system. Applicants wishing to apply to this program will first have to submit an expression of interest profile that enters you into a pool of prospective applicants.

Although there is no prioritized occupation list anymore, there are still some mandatory requirements of the FSW program that must be met in order to apply.

Mandatory Eligibility Requirements of FSW

  • Pass a minimum language requirement in either English or French. Approved language test results will need to be provided to the visa office.
  • You must have at least one year, in the last 10 years, of skilled work experience (skill level O, A or B). This experience must be full‐time (30hrs/week) and continuous.
  • You must meet the 67 point pass mark which is determined by the six selection factors

Six Selection Factors

  • 1. Education: Applicants can receive a maximum of 25 points for their education, depending on their academic qualifications.
  • 2. Language Proficiency: A maximum of 28 points are available under the language proficiency selection factor. Since Canada has two official languages (French & English), you can choose which one will be your first official language (24 points) and which one will be your second (4 points). Proficiency in both English and French is NOT a requirement for FSW.
  • 3. Age: A maximum of 12 points are awarded under this category. Applicants 36 or older begin to lose points under this selection factor.
  • 4. Work Experience: Applicants can receive a maximum of 15 points under this selection factor. Candidates with 6 years or more of full‐time, skilled work experience, in the last 10 years, will receive the full 15 points. Carefully selecting your NOC code for your listed work experience is critically important to the success of your application.
  • 5. Arranged Employment: A maximum of 10 points are available under the arranged employment factor. ONLY applicants with a skilled, full‐time job offer from a Canadian employer are eligible for these points. Furthermore, the Canadian employer would need to apply for, and be granted a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment before these points can be awarded.
  • 6. Adaptability: Points for adaptability are awarded for aspects of your background that Immigration Canada feels will be an asset to your integration into Canadian society. Things like previous work or study experience as well as certain types of relatives can award additional points under this factor. In addition, if you are married and your spouse has a basic language proficiency in English or French, this can also add points to the application.

Document Requirements

  • The Educational Credential Assessment
  • Approved Language tests
  • Reference Letters
  • Identity and civil status documents

Other requirements like medical examinations and police clearance certificates should only be applied for AFTER your application is submitted. These types of documents can expire quickly or you may be required to provide a letter from the visa office to obtain them. It is in your best interest to only apply for these documents when requested to do so.


You may contact our immigration advisors and learn how we can help you.


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