Federal Skilled Worker Class

Canadian Skilled Worker Immigration

Canadian Permanent Residence in the Federal Skilled Worker Class

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) selects immigrants based on their ability to succeed economically in Canada. After meeting eligibility requirements, applicants are assessed against selection criteria, also known as the “points grid.”

Minimum requirements

Skilled work experience

Your work experience must be:

  • At least one year (1,560 hours total / 30 hours per week), continuous full-time or an equal amount in part-time,
  • Paid work (volunteer work, unpaid internships do not count),
  • In the same job,
  • Within the last 10 years, and
  • At skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Full Time

30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)

Part time

  • 15 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)

  • 30 hours/week for 12 months at more than one job = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)

You must show that you did the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC, including all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.

If you cannot show that your work experience meets the description in the NOC, you are not eligible under this program.

Canadian Immigration

Language ability

You must:

  • meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7, and
    take a language test approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that shows you meet the level for speaking, listening, reading and writing.

  • You must show that you meet the requirements in English or French by including the test results when you complete your Express Entry profile.

  • Your test results must not be more than two years old on the day you apply for permanent residence.

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)

An FSWP applicant must score at least 4L on the CELPIP-General test in each of the four skills to meet the minimum language threshold.

A score of 4L on the CELPIP-General test corresponds to CLB 7. A score of 4H corresponds to CLB 8, and a score of 5 or higher corresponds to CLB 9 or higher.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

An FSWP applicant must score at least 6.0 on the IELTS General Training test in each of the four skills to meet the minimum language threshold of CLB 7.

Test d’évaluation de français (TEF)

An FSWP applicant must score at least 206 in reading, 248 in listening, and 309 in both speaking and writing on the TEF to meet the minimum language threshold of NCLC 7.



You must have:

  • a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree,


  • a completed foreign credential


Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

Another important change that takes effect on May 4, 2013, is the introduction of the educational credential assessment (ECA). Prospective applicants may start the process of getting an ECA before May 4 if they are planning to submit a foreign educational credential. However, applicants should keep in mind the other program eligibility requirements listed above, i.e. whether they have a qualifying offer of arranged employment or are applying under the PhD stream or eligible occupations stream; and if they meet the minimum language threshold through a designated third-party test. Applicants who have Canadian educational credentials do not need to get an ECA, unless they are also submitting a foreign educational credential in support of their application.

The ECA process will help determine if the foreign educational credential is authentic and equivalent to a completed credential in Canada. For prospective applicants, the ECA can provide a realistic understanding of how their foreign educational credentials are likely to be recognized in Canada.

As of April 17, 2013, four organizations have been designated by the Minister to provide ECA reports for purposes of immigrating to Canada under the FSWP. Additional organizations may be designated by CIC in the future. The designated organizations are:

  • Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies;
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada;
  • World Education Services; and,
  • Medical Council of Canada.

Arranged Employment

Previously, employers have applied for an Arranged Employment Opinion (AEO) from Human Resources Skills Development Canada when they wished to hire a foreign national on a permanent, full-time basis and support their employee’s application for permanent residence through the FSWP.

Starting on May 4, 2013, CIC will no longer accept AEOs in support of an FSWP application. Instead, most offers of arranged employment will require a Labour Market Opinion.

Accompanying Dependents

Accompanying family members include the applicant’s spouse, common-law partner and dependent children. They can receive a visa at the same time as the principal applicant or follow later. Non-accompanying children should be medically examined or that child cannot later be sponsored.

“Dependent child”

  • is less than 22 years of age (and not a spouse or common-law partner) and has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent up until the age of 22 — or if the child became a spouse or common-law partner before the age of 22, since becoming a spouse or common-law partner — and, up until the age of 22 or since becoming a spouse or common-law partner, has been a student continuously enrolled full-time at an accredited post-secondary institution, and actively pursuing a course of academic, professional or vocational training; or
  • is 22 years of age or older and has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent up until the age of 22 and is unable to be financially self-supporting due to a physical or mental condition.

Qualifying Work Experience

The applicant must have performed the actions described in the lead statement for the occupation (or occupations) as set out in the occupational description of the NOC. Also, the application must have performed a substantial number of the main duties (including all the essential ones) of the occupation as detailed in the occupational description of the NOC.

The National Occupation Classification List (NOC)

The NOC is the official government classification system of occupations in the Canadian economy and describes duties, skills, aptitudes, and work settings. For the purposes of skilled worker applications, the Employment Requirements listed in the description of each occupation are not applicable.

Required Settlement Funds

The government wants to make sure you and your family have enough funds to support yourselves for at least the first six (6) months in Canada. (This does not apply if you have approved Arranged Employment.) The funds must be available and transferable as well as unencumbered by debts or other obligations.

# of Family Members 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 or more
Funds Required (CDN) $11,115 $13,837 $17,011 $20,654 $23,425 $26,419 $29,414


Medical Requirements for Canada

Applicants and their family members, whether accompanying you or not, must undergo and pass a medical examinations. They must not have a condition that endangers public health or safety or would cause excessive demands on Canada’s health or social services. Applicants must see a physician on Canada’s list of Designated Medical Practitioners. The medical examination results are valid for 12 months from the date of the first medical exam.

Police Clearances

All applicants must submit police certificates/clearances as part of the application process. Applicants and family members who are 18 years of age and older and are not permanent residents or Canadian citizens have to provide a valid police certificate, police clearance, or record of no information for each country other than Canada, in which applicants have lived for at least six consecutive months since reaching the age of 18. Clearances should no be more than three (3) months old prior to submitting. Originals (and translations if not in English or French) are normally required. Immigration may also do other background checks.

Translation of Documents

Document not in English or French must normally be accompanied by an English or French translation plus an “affidavit” (or sworn statement) from the translator. Certified copies of the document are recommended.