The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is one of the three programs contained within Canada’s Express Entry system for processing permanent residency applications. All programs within Express Entry are highly competitive, utilizing Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank candidates.

Provided a candidate meets these requirements, they will be eligible to submit an Express Entry profile for the Federal Skilled Worker program. However, candidates should note that they must meet Canada’s basic admissibility requirements. Certain criminal offences and medical conditions may make a person inadmissible to Canada.

FSW Application Procedure

Interested candidates must submit an Express Entry profile to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Submitting an Express Entry profile does not guarantee a candidate will receive Canadian permanent residence. Only after submitting an Express Entry profile will a candidate be assigned a CRS score and be considered in future Express Entry draws for Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence.

When submitting your Express Entry profile, an FSW candidate will need to provide the following documents:

  • Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA)
    In order to claim points for education, an FSW candidate must provide a valid ECA report attesting to the value of foreign education by Canadian standards. There are five organizations in Canada authorized to issue ECA reports. This is not required for educational credentials obtained from a Canadian educational institution.
  • Language Proficiency Test Results
    All candidates under the Express Entry programs must must provide results from an approved language test taken within the previous two years. Accepted tests for English include the IELTS exam, and the CELPIP exam (only available in Canada). Accepted tests for French include the Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEF) and the Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada).
  • Identification Documents
    Candidates will be required to provide information from identification documents. Ideally, a candidate and all accompanying family members should possess passports valid for travel.

If a candidate is successful in receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian for permanent residence, they will move onto the second stage of the application process. In this second stage, the applicant will have 60 days to prepare and submit an electronic Application for Permanent Residence (eAPR). This application requires further documentation.

Since the Express Entry system launched in 2015, the lowest ranking FSW candidate to receive an ITA held a CRS score of 413 points. If an applicant’s CRS score is below this score they should actively pursue options for improving their score.

The eligibility requirement for the Express Entry is 67 points out of 100. You will need to score at least 67 points under various eligibility criteria to apply for your PR visa. 

The Express Entry eligibility point’s calculator is based on the following criteria:

  • Age: You can score the maximum points if you are between 18-35 years. Those above this age will gain lesser points.
  • Education: Your minimum educational qualification must be equal to the higher secondary education level in Canada. A higher level of educational qualification means more points.
  • Work experience: To score the minimum points you should have at least one year of work experience. If you have more years of work experience you will gain more points.
  • Language ability: You must have at least 6 bands in your IELTS equivalent to CLB 7 to be eligible to apply and score the minimum points. Higher scores mean more points.
  • Adaptability: You can score ten points on the adaptability factor if your family members or close relatives are living in Canada and will be able to support you when you move in there. You can also gain points if your spouse or legal partner is ready to migrate with you to Canada.
  • Arranged employment:  A valid job offer from a Canadian employer entitles you for ten points.

Applicants of Canada Express Entry under FSW must score at least 67 points out of 100. This is based on their Language Proficiency, Work Experience, Education, Age, etc. Only then they can qualify for the FSWP – Federal Skilled Worker Program under Express Entry. The requirement of 67 points remains unchanged in 2021.

These are the criteria and the maximum points you can score under each of them:

CriteriaMaximum points
Age12
Language proficiency25
Education25
Work experience15
Adaptability10
Arranged employment10
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