Federal Skilled Worker Settlement Funds
Federal Skilled Worker Program candidates without a valid offer of arranged employment must declare sufficient settlement funds upon entering the Express Entry pool. This declaration must then be proven when an application for permanent residence is made.
The requirement increases depending on family size.
|Number of family members||Required funds (in CAD)
|1 (single applicant)||$13,213
|For each additional family member, add||$3,560
These funds must be available and transferable, and unencumbered by debts or other obligations. The settlement funds requirement must be met at the time the application is made, as well as when the permanent resident visa is issued.
Which skilled workers does Canada need?
Canada has opened up the Federal Skilled Worker Program to a diverse range of workers, including workers with experience in any skilled occupation (NOC 0, A or B). If you are unsure whether or not your work experience is considered skilled, use this tool to learn more.
Canadian Federal Skilled Worker Occupations
There are hundreds of occupations that are considered skilled.
- Skill Type 0 (zero): management jobs, such as restaurant managers, retail and wholesale trade managers, managers in food service and accommodation, and more.
- Skill Level A: professional jobs that usually call for a degree from a university, including a range of Information Technology (IT) occupations, engineering and construction occupations, legal occupations, and more.
- Skill Level B: technical jobs and skilled trades that usually call for a college diploma or training as an apprentice, such as chefs, plumbers, general office workers, retail salespersons, and more.
How to apply for FSW – Step-by-step instructions
Let’s look at the process — from checking your eligibility, to getting your Permanent Resident (PR) card.
Step 1: Check your eligibility.
Using the eligibility criteria outlined above, ensure that you meet the minimum requirements for the program for work experience, language proficiency, and education. Plus, make sure you check your score on the FSW points grid.
Step 2: Obtain the documents your need to create a profile.
In order to create your Express Entry profile, you’ll need three types of documents:
- Identification: Make sure you have a valid passport.
- Language Proficiency: You need test results from an approved language test that you took within the two years prior to creating your profile. For English, candidates may take the IELTS or CELPIP test. For French, the TEF and TCF are the two available options. Candidates with some ability in both English and French can be awarded additional points for ability in their second language.
- Education: For education completed outside of Canada, you need an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA).
Step 3: Create an Express Entry profile
This step is completed on the IRCC website. You will be asked to provide some personal information, some of which is self-declared (such as your work history), and some of which must be accompanied with the documents from the previous step.
Step 4: Improve your profile and ranking under the CRS
If your CRS score is below the cut-off required to receive an invitation to apply, consult our guide on how to improve your CRS score.
One popular method of increasing your CRS score is to re-take your language tests. If your scores could be improved, it may be worthwhile to take some time to study and then sit the exam again.
There are other potential ways to improve your ranking, such as completing additional work experience or seeing if you are eligible under one of the Express Entry-aligned Provincial Nominee Program streams, particularly those in the province in which you work(ed). Your experience and skills may be in demand in the province, and so there could be a 600-point bonus waiting for you.
Step 5: Receive an invitation to apply
This is arguably the step that brings the most joy, as it allows you and your family, if applicable, to submit an application for permanent residence. From this point, you will have 60 days to submit a complete application. ITAs are issued when IRCC conducts one of its draws from the Express Entry pool.
Step 6: Complete a medical exam, provide security background checks, and submit an e-application
All Federal Skilled Worker applicants are screened for potential medical and criminal inadmissibility. With your application, you will need to show that you have completed a medical exam with an IRCC-recognized panel physician.
In addition, you have to provide a police background check (also known as a clearance certificate) from each country you have lived in for at least six months since the age of 18. The e-application, which must be submitted within 60 days of receiving an ITA, must also include detailed work reference letters from previous employers.
Given the tight time frame, it is a good idea to gather the background checks and work reference letters before you receive an ITA.
Step 7: Your e-application is reviewed
A Canadian immigration officer will review the submitted e-application and let you know if anything else is required.
Step 8: Receive confirmation of permanent resident status and complete your landing
80 percent of applications submitted under the Federal Skilled Worker Program are processed within less than six months. When a person is approved, he or she receives a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) document. An officer at a Canadian port of entry or at a IRCC office signs and dates this document when permanent residence is granted.
Step 9: Get your PR card
Once you have your confirmation of status, you may then apply for your PR card. If you travel outside Canada, you may use this card as proof of your status in Canada.
Get help with your application
We have designed the Express Entry Roadmap: a free service designed to inform you about the Express Entry process so that you can be empowered to make the best decisions when it comes to your immigration. Sign up for the Express Entry Roadmap here.
Do you need assistance in preparing an application for Canadian permanent residence? If so, view our Book an Immigration Consultant page to see Moving2Canada’s list of recommended, accredited representatives who can assist you in your goals.