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    Federal Skilled Worker Program

    Express Entry to Canada for Skilled Workers

    Canada offers permanent residence to skilled workers who are likely to find work and support themselves in Canada. The IRCC asks skilled workers to provide details of their education, professional experience, and official language proficiency (amongst other things) to see if they meet certain eligibility requirements. Eligible skilled workers are then given a ranking and may receive an invitation to apply for PR based on the ranking.

    What is the Skilled Worker Express Entry Program for Canada?

    The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is designed to allow skilled workers with foreign work experience to live and work in Canada, permanently. It is one of the three Express Entry programs, which means that a skilled worker application will likely be processed within 6 months or less. Frequently called Skilled Worker Visa Program, the FSWP does not technically grant a visa. It is a permanent residence application, which offers skilled workers more certainty about living and working in Canada as permanent residents than shorter term visas.

    The FSWP is available to skilled workers based on them meeting minimum requirements for education, professional work experience, and language proficiency in English and/or French. There are other selection factors considered to calculate applicants score.

    Come to Canada as a Skilled Worker

    There are five main steps in the application process for the Federal Skilled Worker Express Entry program:

    Step 1: Work out if the applicant is eligible.
    Step 2: Get the documents ready.
    Step 3: Submit the applicant’s profile to the pool of candidates.
    Step 4: Receive an invitation.
    Step 5: Apply for permanent residence as a skilled worker.

    Step 1: Eligibility for Canada’s Skilled Worker Express Entry Program

    To be eligible for Canada’s skilled worker program, the applicant needs to score at least 67 points based on the 6 selection factors for the program. These include minimum education, work experience, and language ability requirements. These requirements are designed to attract highly skilled, educated professionals to live and work in Canada, permanently.

    The points for the FSWP are calculated based on:

    • Education (up to 25 points).

    Education Requirements for Skilled Worker Express Entry in Canada

    The number of points received varies based on the applicant’s education. An applicant with a high school education, for instance, will receive fewer points than an applicant with an Applied Bachelor’s Degree, and both of these applicants would receive fewer points than an applicant with a Doctorate (Ph.D.).

    If the applicant completed their education in a foreign country, they must have the education assessed by an authorized provider:

    Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.

    International Credential Assessment Service of Canada.

    World Education Services (WES).

    International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS).

    International Credential Evaluation Service.

    • Work experience (up to 15 points).

    Skilled Worker Express Entry Professional Experience Requirements

    To be eligible for Express Entry as a Federal Skilled Worker, the applicant must have worked for a minimum of one year (full time/1560 hours in one year (capped at 30 hours per week), or part time equivalent) in a job classified as a skill level A or B, or skill type 0. The more professional work experience the applicant has, the more points they are eligible to receive.

    Skill type 0 jobs are management jobs.

    Skill level A jobs are professional jobs that usually call for a degree from a university.

    Skill level B jobs are technical jobs and skilled trades that usually call for a college diploma or training as an apprentice.

    These occupations usually call for tertiary education. This is why workers applying for the skilled worker express entry program will usually have tertiary education of some description.

    • Official language skills (up to 28 points).

    Language Requirements for Federal Skilled Worker Immigration

    To be eligible for the federal skilled worker program, the applicant must take an approved test in English or French (or both) and receive a minimum score of 7 in writing, reading, listening, and speaking.

    If the applicant speaks French as a second official language, they can earn additional points for scoring 5 or above on all four skills.

    • Age (up to 12 points).

    The applicant receives points based on their age on the day the application is submitted to the IRCC. Applicants between the ages 18-35 receive 12 points. The points available then decrease by 1 each year after the applicant turns 36.

    Age Points
    Under 18 0
    18-35 12
    36 11
    37 10
    38 9
    39 8
    40 7
    41 6
    42 5
    43 4
    44 3
    45 2
    46 1
    47 or older 0
    • Valid job offer (up to 10 points).

    The applicant may receive points if they have a valid job offer. To be considered ‘valid,’ the job offer must be for continuous, full-time employment for at least 30 hours per week. The job offer must be for a period of at least one year.

    • Adaptability (up to 10 points).

    The applicant may receive additional points for certain factors that may make the applicant more likely to adapt well to life in Canada. These factors include the applicant having worked or studied in Canada or having arranged employment in Canada. The applicant may also receive points for their spouse having official language proficiency and/or having worked or studied in Canada.


    Step 2: Documents Required for Federal Skilled Worker Applications in Canada.

    Since applicants only have 60 days to submit the application once they’re invited, the documents should be in order before the applicant submits their profile to the IRCC pool. The documents required will vary, but applicants may need some or all of these documents:

    • Passport.
    • Language test results.
    • Educational credential assessment report or proof of education in Canada.
    • Provincial nomination (if the applicant has one).
    • Written job offer from a Canadian employer (if any).
    • Proof of work experience.
    • Proof of funds.
    • Police certificates.
    • Medical exam.
    • Birth certificate (if the applicant is declaring dependent children).
    • Proof of relationship (if any).
    • Recent digital photos.
    • Proof of name change (if any).
    • Use of representative form.

    Step 3: Submit the Applicant’s Profile to the Skilled Worker Pool of Candidates.

    Once the applicant has these documents, they will complete an online form to confirm their eligibility for Express Entry. This takes about 15 minutes.

    If the applicant is deemed eligible, they will receive a prompt to create an online account and fill out a profile. After this, the applicant will be given their points score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). This score is calculated in a different way to the selection factors outlined above.

    The CRS score is calculated out of 1,200. The number of points the applicant needs to be invited changes regularly, but it’s not uncommon for applicants with scores of 450 or higher to receive an invitation under this program.

    The CRS score is calculated by adding the applicant’s core points and their additional points.

    • Core points: Up to 600 points

    An applicant’s core points are based on their education, work experience, age, and language proficiency. Their partner’s factors, including the partner’s language skills and education, are also considered here.

    • Additional points: Up to 600 points

    An applicant may receive additional points if they have a valid job offer, a provincial nomination, a brother or sister living in Canada who is a citizen or permanent resident, strong French skills, and/or a Canadian degree, diploma or certificate.

    Step 4: Wait for an Invitation to Apply as a Skilled Worker.

    While the applicant waits in the skilled worker pool, they can work on improving their score. Seek a job offer, retake a language test, gain more work experience, and/or seek a nomination from the relevant province.

    The applicant must keep their profile up to date during this time, too.

    Step 5: Submit the Application for Permanent Residence.

    Once the applicant receives an invitation to apply, they will have 60 days to submit the complete application to the IRCC.

    If the applicant hasn’t already sought guidance from a registered immigration consultant, they should reach out as early as possible after receiving the invitation.