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The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is one of the three programs contained within Canada’s Express Entry system for processing permanent residency applications. Federal Skilled Workers are candidates with suitable education, work experience, age and language abilities under one of Canada’s official languages and who are selected under the Express Entry Immigration system to apply for permanent residence. The candidates are allowed to apply with their spouse/partner and their dependent children. 


All programs within Express Entry are highly competitive, utilizing Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank candidates.


According to the eligibility criteria of Federal Skilled Worker Program (under Express Entry), you will need a minimum of 67 points out of 100. These points are calculated on various factors, which include your age, work experience, education, language skills, adaptability, etc. The minimum requirements are:

Skilled work experience:
You must have at least one year, in the last ten years before you submit your electronic application for permanent residence, of continuous full-time work experience (or the equivalent in continuous part-time work) in a skilled occupation listed in Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B of the 2016 version of Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Part-time work experience:

Your skilled work experience must be paid work including paid wages or earned commission. We don’t count volunteer work or unpaid internships. For part-time work, you can work more or less than 15 hours/week as long as it adds up to 1,560 hours. You can work more than 1 part-time job to get the hours you need to apply. We don’t count any hours you work above 30 hours/week.

Student work experience:

Work experience gained while you were studying may count towards your minimum requirements if the work:

  • was paid by wages or commissions

  • was continuous (no gaps in employment), and

  • meets all the other requirements of the Program

Language ability:


You must show that you meet or exceed the language threshold of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 with test results from a IRCC-designated language testing organization.


You must also:

  • take approved language tests in English or French for:

    • writing

    • reading

    • listening

    • speaking

  • get a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all 4 abilities

  • enter the test results in your Express Entry profile


Your language tests are valid for 2 years after the date of the test result. They must be valid on the day you apply for permanent residence.

You must provide either a Canadian educational credential or a foreign educational credential with an Educational Credential Assessment report for immigration purposes from a designated organization to prove that your overseas diploma, degree, or certificate is equivalent to a completed Canadian educational credential. (Points will be awarded based on the completed Canadian educational credential or the value of the foreign educational credential in Canadian standards.)


For the application procedure for a permanent visa under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the candidate will need to provide the following documents:

1. Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA)
In order to claim points for education, an FSW candidate must provide a valid ECA report attesting to the value of foreign education by Canadian standards. There are five organizations in Canada authorized to issue ECA reports. This is not required for educational credentials obtained from a Canadian educational institution.

2. Language Proficiency Test Results
All candidates under the Express Entry programs must must provide results from an approved language test taken within the previous two years. Accepted tests for English include the IELTS exam, and the CELPIP exam (only available in Canada). Accepted tests for French include the Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEF) and the Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada).

3. Identification Documents
Candidates will be required to provide information from identification documents. Ideally, a candidate and all accompanying family members should possess passports valid for travel.

Interested candidates must submit an Express Entry profile to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This does not necessarily guarantee a candidate will receive Canadian permanent residence. Only after submitting an Express Entry profile will a candidate be assigned a CRS score and be considered in future Express Entry draws for Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence.

If a candidate is successful in receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian for 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.

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