Many studies have ranked Canada for its top-tier global immigration system, which presents excellent job prospects for those with specific skill sets. According to recent reports, Canada has some of the lowest unemployment numbers and more job vacancies than other comparable countries. Furthermore, political stability and safety, a diverse population, free healthcare, and superb education opportunities make Canada an ideal destination for immigrants seeking settlement services.

Do you want to immigrate to Canada?

The Federal Skilled Worker Program may be the perfect option for you! This program is designed for people with skills and experience that will benefit the Canadian economy. This guide will discuss who is eligible for the program, how to apply, and what steps you need to take to prepare. We will also provide a list of frequently asked questions about the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

What is Federal Skilled Worker Program?

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) is one of Canada's Express Entry immigration programs. The Express entry FSW program began on Jan 01, 2015. It is designed for skilled workers who have experience in an occupation that is in dem

The FSW program is part of Express Entry. Express Entry is an online system that is used to manage applications for permanent residence from skilled workers. You must first meet the eligibility requirements of one of the programs managed by Express Entry before entering the Express Entry pool. You will get a score based on your human capital factors if you are eligible. Your score will be based on:

  • Your age;
  • Your level of education;
  • Your work experience;
  • Your English language proficiency and,
  • If you have a spouse or common-law partner, their human capital factors.

You will also get points for certain additional factors, such as having a sibling in Canada who is a PR holder or citizen, a valid job offer or having studied in Canada. After you enter the Express Entry pool, you will be ranked against all other candidates in the pool. The highest-ranked candidates will then be invited to apply for permanent residence.

You need to get a minimum of 67 out of 100 points on the FSWP grid to file the express entry application.

FSW is the first program for skilled immigrants managed by Express Entry. The FSW program is for skilled workers who want to live in any province or territory in Canada except Quebec.

Benefits of the Federal Skilled Worker Program

The FSW program is designed to fast-track the permanent residence applications of skilled workers. The FSW program has a number of benefits, including:

  • A streamlined application process;
  • The ability to live and work anywhere in Canada (except for Quebec);
  • Faster processing times
According to IRCC, it takes 28 months for a base PNP application to be processed. In the past, a direct Express Entry application took six months to process. However, that may take longer in recent years due to an increase in processing applications.

Eligibility for FSW Canada

Eligibility for FSW Canada- infographic
Eligibility for Federal Skilled Worker Program Canada

You must adhere to the following basic requirements to be qualified for the Federal Skilled Worker Program:

  • Age
  • Work experience
  • Language proficiency
  • Education and
  • Proof of funds


Be at least 18 years old.

Work experience

You must have at least one year of continuous, full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) paid work experience in the last ten years. Your work experience must be in a skilled occupation.

To meet the requirements, your paid work experience must:

  • Be Skill Type 0 or A or B under the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC);
  • Have been gained while you were employed in Canada or overseas and,
  • Have been gained within the last ten years.
  • Part-time work experience will be converted to an equivalent amount of full-time work experience. For example, two years of part-time work experience is equal to one year of full-time work experience.

Language Proficiency

You must meet the minimum language requirements to be eligible for the FSW program.

You will need to get a language test report from an approved testing agency before submitting your Express Entry profile.

The minimum language requirements for the FSW program are:

  • CLB 7, i.e., 6 in each section (Listening, Reading, Writing & Speaking).
  • You must include your language test results when completing your Express Entry profile.


You must have your foreign education credentials assessed by an authorized organization during your Express Entry profile assessment.

You must include the results of your ECA in your Express Entry profile. If you are invited to apply for permanent residence, your education will be assessed again.

You may need an ECA for:

Any post-secondary school diplomas, degrees or certificates that you have.

Proof of Funds (Settlement Funds)

You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family when you come to Canada. The amount of money you will need is called "settlement funds." You must provide proof of these settlement funds when you submit your Express Entry profile. You do not need to show settlement funds if:

  • are currently authorized to work in Canada, and
  • have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.

How to Apply For Federal Skilled Worker Program

How to Apply For Federal Skilled Worker Program - infographic
Application Process of Federal Skilled Worker Program

To be considered for the FSW program, you must create an online Express Entry profile.

You will need to meet the criteria for one of the programs that are part of Express Entry. The FSW program is just one of these programs.

Creating an online profile does not guarantee that you will be invited to apply for permanent residence.

Get the required documents & Create an online Express Entry profile:

Before you begin your Express Entry profile, make sure you have all the required documents, as you have to mention these details while filing.

You will need:

  • A valid passport;
  • Language test results and
  • ECA results

You may also need other documents, depending on your situation. For example, if you are claiming points for a valid job offer, you will need to provide a copy of the job offer.

Check CRS cut off and Wait for ITA

After you have submitted your profile, you will be given a score based on the information in your profile. This score is called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The score is meant to show how well you match the criteria for being a successful immigrant to Canada. The CRS score is used to rank all Express Entry candidates in the pool. The cut-off CRS score changes often, and it is different for each draw.

You can also check the CRS cut-off score for the most recent Express Entry draw on the Government of Canada's website.

Express Entry candidates who are not invited to apply can stay in the pool for up to 12 months. If you are still interested in immigrating to Canada after 12 months, you will need to submit a new profile.

The Government of Canada invites Express Entry candidates with the highest CRS scores to apply for permanent residence.

ITA means Invitation To Apply. If you are invited, you will receive an email from the Government of Canada with instructions on how to apply for permanent residence. You will have 60 days to submit your complete application.

You will need to submit your complete application online. You will also need to send supporting documents to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) by mail.

Your application will be assessed on all the factors of eligibility criteria.

Get Police Clearance & Medical Checks

You will also need to have a medical exam and provide police certificates.

If your application is approved, you will be granted permanent residence. You will then receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence document. You must show this document when you travel to Canada.

Processing Time & Fees for FSW Applications

The current processing time for FSW applications is approximately six months.

  • The processing fee for the principal applicant is 850 CAD.
  • The processing fee for a spouse or common-law partner is 850 CAD.
  • The processing fee for each dependent child is 230 CAD.

Apart from the processing fee, primary & secondary applicants also have to pay the right to permanent residency (RPRF).

The RPRF for primary & secondary applicants is 515 CAD each.

Fees are subject to change without notice.

You will need to pay your fees online when you submit your application.

Before You Apply - Important Things to Consider

As you prepare your application, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Express Entry is not an immigration program. It is a system used by the Government of Canada to select candidates for immigration.

You must meet the criteria for one of the programs that use Express Entry in order to be invited to apply for permanent residence.

You can only submit one profile at a time. You cannot submit a new profile until you receive a decision on your previous profile or it expires.

If you are found to be ineligible for the program you applied for; your profile will be removed from the Express Entry pool.

You cannot appeal a decision not to invite you to apply for permanent residence.

It is important that you understand the requirements of the programs before you apply. You should also make sure you meet all the criteria before you submit your profile.

How Can ISA Global Help You Get PR via the Federal Skilled Workers Program

ISA Global is India's leading immigration and visa consultancy with a decade of experience in handling immigration applications.

Our team of qualified consultants can help you with your FSW application from start to finish, including:

  • Assessing your eligibility for the program;
  • Guiding you through the online application process;
  • Preparing and submitting supporting documents; and,
  • Providing updates on your application status.
  • Register with us today to learn more about how we can help you immigrate to Canada through the Federal Skilled Workers Program!

You can register for our free webinar at:

Free Webinar


Why do I need immigration consultants for FSW?

It is not mandatory to use the services of an immigration consultant for FSW. However, the process is quite complicated and many people choose to hire a consultant to help them with their application.

What is foreign work experience?

Foreign work experience is work experience that you have gained outside of Canada.

What is the difference between my FSW eligibility points and CRS score?

FSW eligibility points are used to assess your eligibility for Express Entry. CRS is a points-based system that is used to evaluate and score your profile and rank it in the Express Entry pool.

Can I work in Quebec under FSW?

Yes, you can work in Quebec under FSW. However, you will need to apply for a separate Quebec Selection Certificate.

Can I take my Spouse and dependent children under FSW?

Yes, you can take your Spouse and dependent children under FSW.

What happens after receiving ITA?

After receiving ITA, your application will be assessed by the immigration officer. If your details & documents are fine, you will get a PR visa.

How can I improve my CRS score?

There are several ways you can improve your CRS score, including: -Taking a language test and getting a higher score; Having your Spouse or common-law partner take a language test; Completing post-secondary education in Canada; or gaining Work experience gained in a highly skilled occupation in Canada.


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