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How To Apply For Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is part of the popular Express Entry immigration system that fast-track the immigration process. As part of the Express Entry system, you will be able to live as a permanent resident in Canada if your profile is selected from the pool of candidates. The Express Entry admission target is set at 108,500 new residents in 2021.

The Federal Skilled Worker Visa is designed for individuals who have the qualifications, skills, or work experiences to contribute to the Canadian economy.

Applicants of the Federal Skilled Worker Program must demonstrate that they meet the minimum visa requirements. These include working experience in a managerial, professional, or trade/technical occupation and meeting the pass mark on a points-based assessment. Successful applicants will obtain Canadian permanent residence, which allows them to live and work in Canada.    

Ready to see if you qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program? Let’s take a closer look at:

  • Employment Prospects
  • How to Qualify for the Program; and
  • How to Apply.

Permanent Residency for Skilled Workers

Worker explaining idea to coworkers from notes

It is easier for skilled workers and professionals to become permanent residents in the country because their education and work experience assist them in finding work. Large numbers of people retire in Canada every year, which means they need for skilled workers is growing tremendously. Canada’s immigration minister, Marco Mendicino, believes that skilled immigrants innovate, start companies and as a result, create jobs for Canadians.

Canada is the land of immense opportunities and shines as a beacon of political, economic, and social stability. International companies and investors consider Canada as the best environment to do business, expand, or relocate. Canada has one of the most vibrant economies globally with a growing employment sector. This makes the country the most sought-after destination for skilled workers and professionals.

Canada is looking for young, self-motivated, well-educated workers and professionals to contribute to its economic growth. Due to its knowledge-based economy, the country seeks job-ready professionals who can adapt to and fulfill the rapidly changing job market requirements. The Canadian skilled worker visa is a life-changing reward for all hardworking, skilled workers and professionals looking to make a living in the maple country.

Employment Prospects

The Canadian economy is fast recovering after the COVID-19 pandemic. Jobs are trickling back into the market as companies open, expecting the recovery to continue. Canada relies on immigration to boost the economy post-Covid and plans to welcome over 1.2 million newcomers by 2023 as part of an ambitious economic recovery plan.

Biggest Industries in Canada for Skilled Workers
Technology & IT
Engineering & Architecture
News & Publishing
Commercial Banking & Finance
Marketing & Sales

Having a job offer in Canada is not a requirement of the Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), but it can increase your chances of success. Skilled workers with specific work experience and skills, such as senior managers, executives, self-employed entrepreneurs, or business owner-operators, can earn 200 additional CRS points for having a job offer. Other skilled workers with job offers can earn 50 additional CRS points.

Professionals in High Demand

A skilled worker using a welding machine to weld metal structure

Engineers (Civil, Mechanical, Software & Petroleum), Technicians, Teachers, Professors and Lecturers, Nurses, Healthcare Practitioners, IT, Salespersons and Marketers, Bankers, Insurance Providers, Adjusters, Accountants, Trades Persons and many more are in high demand in the country. Visit our blog here to find out where your occupation is in demand in Canada.

Immigration to Canada is readily available to individuals who have the right skillset. In this progressive country, they can raise their standard of living.

How to Qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

To qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program under the Express Entry system, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • have one year of uninterrupted full time (or equivalent) work experience in the past ten years under a NOC skill type (O, A, B); or
  • have at least secondary education (high school); and
  • get a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all four abilities in one of Canada’s two official languages – English and French

To become eligible for a Canadian Skilled Worker Visa, under Express Entry, you will be assessed on the following factors which can increase your CRS points:

  • your level of English and/or French language proficiency;
  • your level of education;
  • your years of work experience;
  • your age;
  • whether you have a valid job offer;
  • provincial nomination achieved, and
  • your adaptability (how well you are likely to settle in Canada)

How to Apply for the FSWP

Federal Skilled Worker Program infographic | immigrate to Canada

1. Create an Express Entry Profile

If you fulfill the eligibility as mentioned earlier criteria under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must first create an Express Entry profile. You will be required to provide information about your age, work experience, skills, language ability, education, qualifications, and other personal information. Once your qualification is confirmed by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), you are placed in a pool of candidates and are ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System.

2. Improve Your Ranking Under the Comprehensive Ranking System

Candidates who are ranked highest are issued an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residency when the Government of Canada conducts regular draws from the pool. Therefore, it is best for you as a candidate to improve your score so that you are ranked higher, and your chances of receiving an invitation to apply the increase.

3. Invitation to Apply (ITA)

An Invitation to Apply (ITA) is issued to those candidates who have been selected to apply for immigration to Canada by IRCC through its Express Entry selection system.

As soon as you receive the invitation, you have 60 days to submit a complete and accurate application form and all the supporting documents. Once all the portions of the document checklist are completed and uploaded, you will receive an Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR) issued by IRCC, who will further review your application and determine your eligibility for the program. The submission of a complete application is considered as acceptance of the invitation sent by IRCC.

4. Medical Examination and Security Check

A medical examination is mandatory for all applicants. It includes a standard physical exam, blood tests, urine tests, and X-rays. These are conducted to check applicants for any kind of medical condition that may pose a risk to citizens of Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

FAQ 1: What is the processing time for the Federal Skilled Worker Program?

Over 80 percent of complete FSWP applications are processed within six months or even less. This is a fairly short amount of time compared to many other Canadian immigration programs.

FAQ 2: Can I count student work experience toward the Express Entry work requirement?

Student work experience gained while you were studying in Canada or abroad counts towards the minimum requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Program if the work:

  • was paid by wages or commissions;
  • was continuous (no gaps in employment), and;
  • meets all the other requirements of the program.

Please note that the above does include co-ops terms and apprenticeships.

FAQ 3: What factors are considered under the Federal Skilled Worker Program?

Six factors are considered under the Federal Skilled Worker Program points grid. They are:

  1. Language ability: up to 28 points
  2. Education: up to 25 points
  3. Work experience: up to 15 FSW points
  4. Age: up to 12 FSW points
  5. Arranged employment: up to FSW 10 points
  6. Adaptability: up to 10 points

FAQ 4: Does the FSWP have an eligible occupations list?

No, there is currently no separate eligible occupations list. As an applicant, you’ll need to have at least one year of work experience in the past ten years. The occupation needs to fall under Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) as skill level A or B or skill type 0.

Updated: November 28, 2022 — 2:30 am

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