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Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (also known as the Federal Skilled Worker Class) is Canada’s flagship immigration program for workers, allowing the country to welcome tens of thousands of newcomers every year based on their ability to become established in Canada’s workforce.


Federal Skilled Worker Program advantages

For Federal Skilled Worker Program candidates there are two distinct advantages, and one possible disadvantage, under Express Entry.


  • Federal Skilled Worker Class candidates do not require any connection to Canada in order to be eligible for the program. Minimum requirements for work experience, language proficiency, and education can all be completed outside of Canada, so the program is an excellent option for those living outside of Canada.
  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program candidates receive the highest percentage of invitations to apply, with FSWC candidates receiving more than half of all invitations issued in 2018.
Potential disadvantage:
  • Even if you are eligible to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Class, there is no guarantee that you will receive an invitation to apply. If your CRS score is below the cut-off required to receive an invitation, consult our guide on how to increase your CRS score.

Let’s go over the eligibility requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Class, as it is not enough just to have skilled work experience.


Eligibility Requirements - Federal Skilled Worker Class

In order to be eligible to submit an Express Entry profile under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Class, you must meet several minimum eligibility criteria:

  • Work Experience: You must have a minimum of 12-months of full-time, skilled work experience, or an equivalent amount in part-time experience. This experience must be continuous and in a single occupation. To be considered “skilled” experience, you must have been working in an occupation at National Occupation Classification (NOC) Skill Level 0, A, or B.
  • You must take an approved language test showing you are proficient in either English or French. The minimum score for FSWC is equal to the Canadian Language Benchmark of Level 7 (CLB 7), although the higher you score, the better your chances of success.
  • Education: You must have completed a minimum education equal to the completion of a Canadian high school diploma. If your education was completed outside of Canada, you will need an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) attesting to the value of your education by Canadian standards.
  • Federal Skilled Worker Points Grid: All FSWC candidates must score a minimum of 67 out of 100 points on the FSWP points grid. Details are below.
  • Settlement Funds: You must have enough funds to support your settlement in Canada.

If you meet these minimum requirements, you may be eligible to submit an Express Entry profile. However, please note that being eligible does not guarantee that you’ll be invited to submit an official application for Canadian permanent residence. Express Entry is a competitive immigration selection system, so only the highest ranking FSWC candidates will be invited to apply.

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