The Federal Skilled Worker program is an immigration program with the federal government of Canada to assist skilled workers from foreign countries to obtain permanent residence in Canada.

This program is a branch of the federal government’s Express Entry system for evaluating permanent residency applications. The federal government’s express entry program should not be confused with a provincial express entry program of the same name.

The FSW program is competitive. Even if you are fully qualified and satisfy all the requirements, your application for a permanent residence application might not be accepted.

Requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker:

Work Experience Within the last ten years, you must have a minimum of one year of full-time work experience in a skilled occupation listed in “Skill type 0” or “Skill Level A” or “Skill Level B”. These skill levels are defined in Canada’s National Occupational Classification but typically include managerial jobs, professional jobs, or technical jobs and skilled trades. [insert link to NOC types]
Language Proficiency The FSW requirement for language is at least a score of 7 in reading, writing, listening and speaking in English or French within the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) format. This is a strong understanding of the English or French language.
Education The FSW accepts education from Canadian schools or foreign schools. The minimum requirement is a high school diploma. However, if the school was foreign then you will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) showing that your education is equal to a completed program from a Canadian secondary school or post-secondary institution.
Finance/Income There is no minimum requirement of net worth or income. However, you must be able to show that you have sufficient funds to financially support your and your family to settle in Canada. This requirement is not applicable if you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.
Job Offer A job offer is not a requirement for this program. However, it can significantly increase your competitive advantage in the registration process. If a job offer is pursued, it may be required that your employer conduct a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for the offer to be considered valid.
Location of Residence The FSW program is not applicable for Quebec. As a result, the requirement is that your application must be for any province or territory in Canada outside of Quebec.

Competitive Factors in the FSW Program:

Once you have determined that you have met all of the above requirements, you can apply to the FSW program. However, there are other factors that contribute to the competitive success of your application.

The competitive factors in evaluating a Federal Skilled Worker application include: age, education, work experience, job offer, language skills, and cultural adaptability. The competitive evaluation favours higher education, more work experience, economic or family ties to Canada, strong language skills, a valid job offer, and a suitable age for starting a life here.

Process for Applying to the FSW Program:

Step 1 Registration: The first step to applying to the FSW program is to register an Express Entry profile online with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It should always be remembered that submitting a profile does not guarantee a successful application. Once you have submitted your profile, you will be given a competitive score which will be evaluated against other people’s registrations. If your registration score is sufficiently competitive, you will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

Step 2 – Invitation: The second step after registering a profile is to apply to the FSW program with the IRCC. However, you can only apply if you have been given an “Invitation to Apply” by the IRCC. An Invitation to Apply will only be sent to you if your profile is successfully competitive against other registrants. Once you have an Invitation to Apply, you have 60 days to prepare and submit the electronic application for permanent residence. The application will require additional documentation, often to evidence claims made in your profile registration. Submitting an application does not guarantee that you will successfully obtain permanent residence.

Step 3 – Permanent Residence: Once you have submitted your application, it will take approximately six months before a decision is made. If your application is approved, then you will be sent a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and be issued a permanent residence visa. Once you arrive in Canada, you will have an interview with an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) who will confirm everything is compliant with the documentation and travel requirements.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. The information and facts referred to herein may be amended, removed or otherwise changed by the applicable government authority. As such, the information contained herein is provided with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.

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