Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

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The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is for immigrants to Canada who are selected as permanent residents based on their ability to become economically established in Canada. FSW applications are assessed for eligibility according to the criteria set out below. For your application to be eligible for processing, you must:

  • include the results of your official language proficiency test, AND
  • have a valid offer of arranged employment, OR
  • have one year of continuous full-time paid work experience in at least one of the occupations listed hereOR
  • be an international student enrolled in a PhD program in Canada (or have graduated from a PhD program in Canada within the past 12 months) and meet certain criteria.

The focus is on attracting young skilled workers to work in Canada who are likely to have a lengthy contribution to economic growth in the country.


Important Update regarding re-opening of Federal Skilled Worker Program in May 2014:

Read about the new Federal Skilled Worker Program criteria for 2014.

The key changes to the skilled worker program are as follows:

  • There are 25,000 places available, a five-fold increase on 2013;
  • The list of occupations has expanded to include 50 occupations;

This adds to changes that were brought in for 2013:

  • Language is the most important selection factor;
  • Increasing points for younger immigrants. This is particularly positive for those already in Canada on an IEC working holiday visa;
  • Increasing points for Canadian work experience and reducing points for foreign work experience;
  • Awarding points for spousal language ability and Canadian experience;
  • Education credential assessment will be introduced.


Work experience minimum requirements

If your application is eligible for processing it will then be assessed for minimum requirements.

Your work experience must be:

  • for at least one year, continuous, and paid (full-time or the equivalent in part-time), AND
  • Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or Skill Level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) on the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) list, AND
  • within the last 10 years.


If you meet the above minimum requirements, your application will be processed according to the six selection factors in the Federal Skilled Worker points grid, which are:

  • your education
  • your abilities in English and/or French, Canada’s two official languages
  • your work experience
  • your age
  • whether you have arranged employment in Canada, and
  • your adaptability.

You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada.

If you are not sure if you should apply as a skilled worker, you can:


Disclaimer: The Moving2Canada Team are not registered immigration professionals. We always recommend verifying information provided with an immigration expert. Immigration rules are constantly evolving and we do our best to keep your informed. See Immigration Advice for a list of recommended experts.

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