Canada Work Permit: All About Federal Skilled Worker Visa

Canada Work Permit: All About Federal Skilled Worker Visa

Canada Work Permit: All About Federal Skilled Worker Visa

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is tailored for foreign workers possessing relevant work experience, education, language proficiency, and other attributes conducive to success in Canada. A points-based assessment system evaluates your eligibility based on six selection factors.

Operated under the Express Entry system, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) stands as one of three immigration pathways. Express Entry, an online platform, enables Canada to identify and extend invitations to the most qualified candidates for permanent residency. It expedites application processing, streamlining the transition to your new life in Canada.


Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just embarking on your career journey, grasping the intricacies of this process can significantly enhance your prospects of success.

Understanding the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

Integrated into the Express Entry framework, the FSWP is a points-based online system designed for skilled workers aspiring to establish permanent residency in Canada. This program values your skills, experience, and potential contributions to the Canadian economy. To qualify, applicants must meet specific criteria related to skilled work experience, language proficiency, and education. These prerequisites are pivotal for eligibility and serve as the foundation for a successful application.

Federal Skilled Worker Program Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Visa, applicants must satisfy the following key prerequisites:

  • Skilled Work Experience: Relevant experience must align with the National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 0, 1, 2, or 3. It is imperative that this experience, totaling at least one year (or 1,560 hours), constitutes continuous, paid work within the past decade.
  • Language Proficiency: Proficiency in either English or French is mandatory, assessed through recognized language tests such as CELPIP and IELTS for English, and TEF Canada or TCF Canada for French.
  • Education: Applicants must possess a certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian educational institution or its equivalent from a foreign institution, accompanied by an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes.

Meeting these minimum requirements enables you to create an Express Entry profile and join the pool of candidates. However, merely meeting these thresholds does not guarantee an invitation to apply. Candidates must also attain a sufficiently high score across the six selection factors to qualify for the FSWP.

Six Selection Factors for the FSWP

The six selection factors are:

  • Language skills
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Age
  • Arranged employment in Canada
  • Adaptability

Each factor has a maximum number of points you can earn, for 100 points. You need to score at least 67 points to qualify for the FSWP.


The points allocated for each factor in your application depend on various personal factors such as your level of education, age, work experience, and more. You can utilize the online tool to calculate your points based on the information you provide.

A higher score increases the likelihood of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. ITAs are issued to candidates with the highest scores in the Express Entry pool, determined by their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The CRS score considers additional factors beyond the FSWP score, such as the skills of your spouse or partner, provincial nomination, and Canadian education or work experience.

To enhance your FSWP and CRS scores, consider taking the following steps:

  • Improving your language proficiency
  • Obtaining additional degrees, diplomas, or certificates
  • Acquiring more work experience
  • Securing a valid job offer from a Canadian employer
  • Applying for a provincial nomination program (PNP)

Application Process for the FSWP

The application process for the FSWP involves several steps:

  1. Provide information about your skills, education, work experience, language ability, and other details. You will be assigned a CRS score and placed in the pool of candidates.
  2. If you meet the minimum requirements for the FSWP and obtain a high enough CRS score, you may receive an ITA from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You will have 60 days to submit your online application for permanent residence.
  3. Complete the online application form and upload the required documents, including your passport, language test results, Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report, police certificates, and proof of funds. Pay the application and biometrics fees.
  4. Provide your fingerprints and photo at a designated biometrics collection service point within 30 days of submitting your application.
  5. IRCC will review your application, check your eligibility and admissibility, and may request additional information or documents. The processing time for FSWP applications is typically six months or less, but it may vary depending on your circumstances and application volume.
  6. If your application is approved, you will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a visa (if required) to travel to Canada. You must arrive in Canada before your COPR and visa expire, bringing your COPR, passport, proof of funds, and any other documents advised by IRCC. You will become a permanent resident of Canada after completing the landing process at the port of entry.

Benefits of Becoming a Permanent Resident of Canada

Becoming a permanent resident of Canada through the FSWP offers numerous benefits, including:

  • The ability to live, work, and study anywhere in Canada
  • Access to social benefits such as healthcare, education, and pensions
  • Eligibility to apply for Canadian citizenship after meeting residency requirements
  • The opportunity to sponsor eligible family members to join you in Canada
  • Enjoying the rights and freedoms of a democratic society

Canada is a diverse, multicultural, and inclusive country that provides abundant opportunities for skilled workers. If you’re interested in immigrating to Canada through the FSWP, it’s advisable to start preparing your Express Entry profile and gathering necessary documents promptly. Seeking guidance from a licensed immigration consultant or lawyer can also be beneficial in navigating the application process.

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