The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is one of Canada’s most popular options for permanent residency. It offers a straightforward process, relatively quick processing times and a high acceptance rate—just three reasons the FSWP can be an excellent choice. However, like any immigration program, it’s not suitable for everyone. So whether you are considering applying to this program or not yet sure it’s right for you, we have written this guide to help you understand what the Federal Skilled Worker Program is all about! Federal Skilled Worker Application

What is the Federal Skilled Worker Program?

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is a Canadian immigration program that allows people with a certain level of education to apply for permanent residence. It’s one of the most popular Canadian immigration programs and has a points-based system, which means you can get points for having certain things in your background or qualifications.

Some people call this “the Federal Skilled Worker V.” Still, it doesn’t have anything to do with visas–it’s just another name for an application you fill out when you’re immigrating to Canada through this particular route.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Federal Skilled Worker Program?

To be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, potential candidates must score at least 67 points on a 100-point grid based on their work experience, level of English proficiency and other factors such as education.

 The minimum requirements are:

  • One year of continuous full-time paid work experience in a skilled occupation classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0,  A or B;
  • Validated language ability equivalent 7+ on the Canadian Language Benchmark in English or French across all abilities—reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • A Canadian credential (e.g., certificate, diploma, or degree) or a foreign one and an Educational Credential Assessment report.
  • Score at least 67 points out of a possible 100 on the FSWP grid. The program’s assessment grid considers factors such as age, education, work experience, language ability, and an applicant’s willingness to settle in one area or another.
  • Meet the settlement funds criteria. Prior immigrants were required to demonstrate they had enough money to support themselves upon arriving in Canada.

To be eligible to apply for permanent residency under Express Entry, you must first have a valid job offer or other invitation from a Canadian employer. Candidates in the Express Entry pool—including those with Federal Skilled Trades and Experience Class nominations—are ranked based on their CRS scores.

How to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Canada uses the Express Entry application management system for three skilled worker programs, including the FSWP. If you have not lived in Canada before and are not skilled trades professionals, this is your best option under Express Entry. First, you must see if you qualify under the FSWP’s criteria. Then, submit an Express Entry profile form.

You will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on factors such as your age, education level and language skills—as well as how many other candidates are applying for positions in the same occupation that require similar qualifications).

The Canadian government holds Express Entry draws twice a month, inviting candidates with the highest CRS scores to apply for permanent residence. After you submit your completed application, you can expect to receive permanent resident status within six months and then move to Canada.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for the FSWP:

Step 1: Find out if you qualify for the FSWP with CanadaVisa’s eligibility tool.

Step 2: Submit your application to IRCC by entering it onto the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Step 3: Check your email for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from IRCC. Express Entry draws are held approximately every two weeks.

Step 4: If you receive an ITA, you can submit your permanent residence application to IRCC. After the Department completes the application processing, then immigrate to Canada.

Application Process

To apply for permanent residency, you must create an Express Entry profile. To do so, you’ll have to fill out an online form and pay a fee. Forms are available in English and French.

The application can be submitted online or by mail; however, all applicants must print out the forms and sign them by hand before sending them off.

The application fee for a permanent resident visa is (5). 1,365. If you are eligible for the reduced application fee, you can submit your form with a payment of CAD 50. The Express Entry profile will be reviewed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), determining if you meet the eligibility requirements for permanent residence status in Canada.


The Points System

The points system is based on several factors, including age, education and work experience. Applicants who meet the minimum requirements will be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

To qualify for this program, your application must include the following:

Selection factors

If you meet all the minimum requirements, we’ll then assess your application based on the following:

The FSWP’s selection factors are listed below. Click on each element to learn more:

                    Up to 25 points
Language Skills
                    Up to 28 points
Work Experience
                    Up to 15 points
                    Up to 12 points
Arranged Employment
                    Up to 10 points
                    Up to 10 points

These factors are part of a 100-point grid to assess Federal Skilled Worker Program eligibility. You earn points for how well you do in the six elements.

The current pass mark is 67 points.

After Applying

Once you’ve submitted your application, the next step is to wait. The government isn’t exactly famous for its speediness in processing applications, so don’t expect a decision on your application for at least six months after submission.

However! There’s more than one way to get an answer from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) about whether or not they want you as a permanent resident in Canada. If all goes well and no issues arise during this period of waiting, then CIC will send out a letter informing you that they are ready for their next step: medical examinations and police clearance checks. This can take another month or two, depending on how quickly local authorities can do these checks in your home country (and sometimes even longer).

The benefits of the FSWP

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is managed through the Express Entry application management system, which was launched in January 2015. Under Express Entry, Canada aims to welcome over 110,000 immigrants by 2024.

The FSWP is the most common way for people to become permanent residents through Express Entry. A recent study by the Canadian government shows that a high percentage of immigrants who have entered Canada under this program have gone on to succeed professionally in their new country.

In addition, with the FSWP, you can apply for permanent residence in six months—rather than longer waits for other skilled worker programs.

The skilled worker program is an excellent way to apply for a Canadian immigration visa.

The skilled worker program is an excellent way to apply for a Canadian immigration visa. The skilled worker program is open to many people, not just people with specific skill sets. It’s also not the only way to immigrate to Canada!

If you want more information on other options, check out our guide on how to immigrate through family sponsorship or explore our tips on becoming eligible through Express Entry–the new system that replaced the Federal Skilled Worker Program in January 2015


The skilled worker program is a great way to get into Canada and start your new life. It’s not the only option, but it is an excellent one. If you qualify for this program, we highly recommend applying as soon as possible to become a Canadian citizen!

Federal Skilled Worker Program