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1. What is Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)?

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is Canada’s primary economic immigration pathway and gives skilled workers, and their loved ones, the opportunity to become permanent residents in Canada. 

The first step in pursuing permanent residence in Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker is to make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada by creating an online Express Entry profile.

Based on the information provided in their profile, Federal Skilled Worker candidates obtain a score under Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) that determines their ranking in the pool of eligible candidates.

Periodically, the Government of Canada issues Invitations To Apply (ITAs) to the highest-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool and publishes the CRS cut-off score. CRS scores are not fixed and candidates may take steps to improve their ranking while in the pool.


2. What is the relation between Express Entry and Federal Skilled Worker Stream?

There are three Canadian immigration programs through which you may become a candidate for Express Entry immigration to Canada: the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSW), the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FST), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

The FST is for qualified tradespersons with recent experience in a listed occupation, and CEC is for people with recent skilled Canadian work experience. Neither the FST nor the CEC require candidates to satisfy a points requirement to be eligible to submit a profile.

The FSW, on the other hand, is open to people around the world who satisfy a minimum points requirement for eligibility.

Note: this is a completely separate points system from the CRS score. Under the FSW points-grid, you need to be awarded at least 67 points out of 100 in order to enter the Express Entry pool. 

3. What are the minimum eligibility criteria?

Foreign nationals may begin the process of immigration under the Federal Skilled Worker Program by determining whether or not they meet the minimum requirements of the program.

The minimum requirements are:

One year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A or B;
Canadian secondary or post-secondary educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or foreign credential equivalent and Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.
Validated language ability equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or French across all abilities
Obtain at least 67 points under the program’s 100-point grid
Proof of funds for applicant and accompanying family

100 points grid selection factors

The Federal Skilled Worker selection factors are listed below.

EducationUp to 25 points
Language SkillsUp to 28 points
Work ExperienceUp to 15 points
AgeUp to 12 points
Arranged EmploymentUp to 10 points
AdaptabilityUp to 10 points

3.1 Education: up to 25 points

Level of educationPoints
Doctoral Level25
Master’s level or professional degree23
Two or more post-secondary credentials, one of which was for three years or longer in duration22
Three-year or longer post-secondary credential (e.g. Bachelor’s degree)21
Two-year post-secondary credential19
One-year post-secondary credential15
Secondary school


3.2 Language: up to 28 points

First language ability

Ability TypeAbility LevelIELTS equivalentCLB equivalentPoints
Speaking / Listening / Reading / WritingIntermediate6.074 pts/ability
Speaking / Listening / Reading / WritingHigh intermediate6.5 / 7.5 / 6.5 / 6.585 pts/ability
Speaking / Listening / Reading / WritingAdvanced7.0 / 8.0 / 7.0 / 7.096 pts/ability

Second language ability

Ability TypeAbility LevelIELTS equivalentCLB equivalentPoints
Speaking / Listening / Reading / WritingInitial intermediate5.0 / 5.0 / 4.0 / 5.054 pts in total

Spouse / common-law partner’s language ability (first language only)

Ability typeAbility levelIELTS equivalentCLB equivalentPoints
Speaking / listening / reading / writingFluent basic4.0 / 4.5 / 3.5 / 4.045 pts in total

3.3 Work Experience: up to 15 points

  • Only skilled work experience is counted. Skilled work experience for federal skilled workers is work experience in an occupation that falls under a National Occupational Classification (NOC) code at 0, A or B level.
  • A minimum of nine points must be obtained under the work experience in order for a candidates to be eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Class.
Work experiencePoints
1 year (minimum required under the program)9
2-3 years11
4-5 years13
6 years or more15

3.4 Age

18 to 35 (inclusive)12
47 and over0

3.5 Arrange Employment: up to 10 points

The candidate is currently working in Canada on a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)-based work permit in a skilled occupation.
  • The work permit must be valid when the application is made.
  • The employer has made a full-time job offer in a skilled occupation to the candidate.
The candidate is currently working in Canada on a LMIA-exempt work permit or a work permit issued under a provincial/territorial agreement.
The candidate holds a valid Canadian work permit or is otherwise authorized to work in Canada, but does not fall into either of the above scenarios.
  • A prospective employer has offered a permanent, full-time job to the candidate.
  • This job offer is supported by a positive LMIA.
The candidate does not hold a valid Canadian work permit.

In any of the above scenarios, 10 FSW points may be awarded under the arranged employment factor.

3.6 Adaptability: up to 10 points

Please note that you ‘max out’ once you receive 10 points for adaptability.

Adaptability factorPoints (10 max)
Previous work in Canada in a skilled occupation (one year or more)10
Previous study in Canada5
Arranged employment in Canada5
Relative in Canada*5
Spouse/partner’s previous work in Canada5
Spouse/partner’s previous study in Canada5
Spouse/partner’s language ability (CLB 4 or higher)5

*The relative must be at least 18 years of age and may be the relative of the candidate or his or her spouse/common-law partner. The relative may be a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew, and the relative must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

4. Processing Times

IRCC aims to process complete Federal Skilled Worker applications in six (6) months or less.


No, these two are two separate scoring grid. But you can apply for FSW under EE system. If you want to be qualified for FSW, you have to go through the 100 point grid first.

Once you submit the supporting documents and create your EE profile, you can wait for the draw every once in a while. If your score is above the cut-off score, then you will receive an Invitation to Apply, which allows you to submit your application for permanent residence in Canada.