FSWP – Federal Skilled Worker Program

Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is for skilled foreign professionals with at least one year of full-time work experience in an eligible occupation during the last 10 years. The FSWP is based on a points system and a minimum of 67 points must be attained from English or French language skills, work experience, education, age, offer of employment in Canada, and adaptability. Skilled foreign workers and their family members who are approved for Express Entry immigration to Canada through the FSWP will be allowed to live, study and work in Canada for an unlimited length of time and receive many other incredible benefits like free healthcare.

General Requirements

In order to qualify for Express Entry immigration to Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), you must meet several requirements, including: work experience in an eligible occupation; receiving at least 67 points out of 100 possible for six factors (adaptability, age, arranged employment in Canada, education, language, and work experience); providing supporting documents to show that criteria have been satisfied for the FSWP and to demonstrate good health, good character, and financial ability to support oneself and accompanying family members; paying governmental and other fees (e.g., Canadian Visa Application Fee, Right of Permanent Residence Fee, Permanent Resident Card Fee, language evaluation exam fee, Educational Credential Assessment fee, medical exam fee, etc.); and other requirements. Application for immigration to Canada through the FSWP starts by completing an online Express Entry profile.

Work Experience

The FSWP is a points-based Canadian immigration program for skilled foreign professionals who have at least one year of full-time paid work experience in the past 10 years in a qualifying occupation categorized in Canada’s 2021 National Occupational Classification (NOC) at Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) Level 0, 1, 2 or 3:

Management Jobs – Various kinds of managerial jobs in Canada are classified as TEER Level 0 in the National Occupational Classification (NOC), such as construction managers, engineering managers, financial managers, human resource managers, manufacturing managers, marketing managers, telecommunications managers, transportation managers, and utilities managers – among many others.

Professional Jobs – Canadian jobs categorized in the NOC as TEER Level 1 usually require a university degree, including: accountants, aerospace engineers, architects, audiologists, computer programmers, dentists, electrical engineers, financial analysts, geoscientists, mathematicians, mechanical engineers, occupational therapists, oceanographers, optometrists, petroleum engineers, pharmacists, physicians, psychologists, registered nurses, secondary school teachers, software engineers, university professors, veterinarians – and more!

Skilled Trades & Technical Jobs – TEER Level 2 and TEER Level 3 jobs in Canada include many skilled trades or other technical occupations that require post-secondary education or training. Examples include: aircraft mechanics, bakers, butchers, carpenters, chefs, crane operators, electricians, glaziers, heavy-duty equipment mechanics, logging machinery operators, machinists, medical laboratory technicians, oil and gas well drillers, plumbers, power engineers and power systems operators, welders and many other technical occupations and skilled trades.

Minimum Points

A skilled foreign worker applying for the FSWP must receive a minimum of 67 points out of 100 points possible for six factors: English and/or French language skills (28 points possible); education (25 points possible); work experience in an eligible occupation (15 points possible); age (12 points possible); qualifying job offer from a Canadian employer for full-time work in Canada lasting at least one year in an occupation classified by the NOC as TEER Level 0, 1, 2 or 3 (10 points possible); and a maximum of 10 points for adaptability (points may be received for the English and/or French language skills of the applicant’s spouse/partner; for previous studies in Canada by the applicant or spouse/partner; for work in Canada previously performed by the applicant or spouse/partner; obtaining arranged employment in Canada; and if the applicant or spouse/partner has eligible family living in Canada).

Supporting Documents

Proper documentation will be required as proof that the applicant and/or spouse partner meet(s) the criteria for the FSWP. For example, acceptable language evaluation exam scores less than two years old from an authorized test (such as the IELTS or TEF) will be required to demonstrate the necessary skills for reading, writing, speaking and comprehension of English and/or French. The skilled foreign worker may also need to get a favorable Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to show that the education he/she received outside of Canada is similar to an education obtained inside Canada. The main applicant and all eligible family members must provide proof of good health (this requires a medical exam) and good character (police certificates may be requested). Furthermore, the skilled foreign worker may need to provide proof of funds to demonstrate the ability to support himself/herself and all accompanying family members while they are living in Canada.


There are governmental fees that must be paid by the applicant at various stages of the Canadian immigration process. For example, the Canadian Visa Application Fee is paid after the skilled foreign worker receives an Invitation to Apply (ITA). If approved for Express Entry immigration to Canada through the FSWP, then the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF) and Permanent Resident (PR) Card Fee will also need to be paid. The PR Card is carried as an official form of identification while living in Canada and proof of Canadian permanent resident status. In addition to paying governmental fees, the applicant may also need to pay to take an approved language evaluation exam (such as the IELTS for English or the TEF for French), Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), medical exam, police certificate, etc.

This is a summary of the general requirements for immigration to Canada through the FSWP. There may be additional criteria and the requirements may be updated at any time by the Canadian immigration authorities. To learn of you meet the requirements for immigration to Canada through the FSWP, click here!

Application Process

In order to apply for immigration to Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), a skilled foreign worker must file an online Express Entry profile with the Canadian immigration agency. This will usually require that the applicant already have satisfactory language evaluation exam scores that are less than two years old (for example, from the IELTS for English or TEF for French), as well as a favorable Education Credential Assessment (ECA), since this information will be requested when completing the online Express Entry profile.

After the Express Entry profile is filed online, a Canadian immigration official will review the information and applicants who seem to satisfy the eligibility requirements for the FSWP will be placed in the Express Entry pool of candidates. An applicant can be selected to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a Canadian visa if (1) he/she has one of the highest scores among the candidates in the Express Entry pool on the Comprehensive Ranking System; or (2) receives a qualifying Canadian job offer (often requiring a favorable Labor Market Impact Assessment); or (3) is nominated for immigration to Canada through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

When the ITA is issued, the applicant will have up to 60 days to send the Canadian visa application and fee with all of the supporting documents to Canada’s immigration agency. In most cases, the applicant will receive a decision about whether they were approved for Express Entry immigration to Canada in six months or less following the submission of a complete Canadian visa application. A Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) will be sent to applicants who are approved for Canadian immigration. Their valid passports will also get stamped with a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada. These documents will be requested at the port of entry when they immigrate to Canada to start new lives as Canadian permanent residents. The immigrant will also pay a fee to be issued the hard plastic Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) which will be carried as identification while living in Canada.

Permanent Resident Benefits

Canadian permanent residents have many benefits available to them, such as:

  • permission to live in Canada for an unlimited length of time;
  • having the legal right to work in Canada;
  • being able to attend Canadian educational programs;
  • receiving free public healthcare;
  • authorization to leave and return to Canada;
  • opening a Canadian bank account;
  • applying for a driver’s license;
  • the opportunity to establish a Canadian business;
  • the option to purchase a home in Canada;
  • Canada is one of the most peaceful countries in the world;
  • eligible family members can be sponsored for a visa to Canada;
  • there is easy access to Canada’s world-famous scenery;
  • Canada is a multicultural country that welcomes immigrants;
  • Canadian citizenship is available after living in Canada 3 years and satisfying other criteria.

These are some of the many advantages of living in Canada as a permanent resident. To find out if you and your family qualify for Canadian immigration through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, click here!

DISCLAIMER: This information is not and shall not be considered as expert or professional advice.