Immigrate to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker

The most popular economic program to immigrate to Canada permanently.

Federal Skilled Worker

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is Canada’s most prominent immigration program for skilled workers. The FSWP allows the country to invite thousands of skilled foreign nationals every year to permanently establish themselves in Canada’s economy.

Skilled workers are selected on merit from amongst a pool of candidates with similar skills. The selected ones are then given the opportunity to prove their abilities before being invited to settle in Canada.

Glossary of terms used on this page.

Who can apply to move to Canada permanently as a Federal Skilled Worker?

Skilled workers with a minimum work experience of 1 year in specific categories who want to immigrate to Canada permanently can apply through the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Candidates who are foreign nationals can apply through this program whether they are already inside Canada or outside Canada.

Skilled foreign nationals who meet the minimum requirements of the program must submit an Express Entry profile to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Simply submitting an Express Entry profile does not guarantee that a foreign national will receive a Canadian permanent residence. Once you submit a profile you will be awarded a Comprehensive Ranking System - CRS score. Selected candidates who qualify will be send an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence for Canada.

What are the minimum requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)?

FSW Minimum Requirements


  • Pass a minimum threshold of language ability for one of Canada’s two official languages (English/French) - CLB 7 in all four skills(speaking, reading, writing and listening). 

  • Have completed Canadian Secondary or Post Secondary degree from a DLI, or have completed an equivalent foreign credential and an ECA.

  • A candidate must have at least 1 year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation (National Occupational Classification skill lever 0, A or B); or

  • Qualify for Arranged Employment with a Labour Market Impact Assessment(LMIA) and a full-time, permanent job offer from a Canadian employer; 

  • In addition, Federal Skilled Worker (Professional) applicants must attain at least 67 points based on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) immigration selection factors.

  • Proof of funds for applicant and accompanying family.

The IRCC holds periodic draws to choose eligible candidates from the express entry pool. Not all candidates get an invitation to apply (ITA). If you do not have the sufficient number of points at the time of the latest CRS Draw, you may have to wait for the next draw. The likely hood of you getting an ITA in the next draw would largely depend in any change in your circumstances as a skilled worker. If you are falling short on CRS points, check our video below on how to improve your CRS score for immigration to Canada.

What are the 6 selection factors for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)?

Federal Skilled Worker applicants must attain at least 67 points out of 100 based on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) immigration selection factors. If you do not have 67 points, you are may not be eligible to apply. These points are awarded as follows: 

FSW Selection Points - Immergity Immigra

What is the process of applying as a Federal Skilled Worker for permanent residence? 

Step 1: Meet the FSWP's eligibility criteria based on the 6 selection factors mentioned above.

Step 2: Once you meet the eligibility criteria, collect all the documents necessary: 

  •  Language test results - English and/or French language test report as designated by the Canadian government.

  •  Obtain an Educational Credential Assessment for all the points that you are claiming in your express entry profile. This    includes   the ECA credentials for the primary applicant as well as your partner/spouse. 

  •  Gather all documents related to your work experience - Offer letter, Employment Letter, Pay stubs, Roles & responsibilities    etc.

  • Identification - Your photographs, passport, birth Certificate, marriage certificate, divorce/separation documents etc. 


Step 3: Submit your Express Entry profile to the IRCC - Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and enter the pool of candidates.

Step 4: Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. IRCC holds Express Entry draws approximately every two weeks.

Step 5: Once you receive an ITA, you go ahead and submit your completed permanent residence application to IRCC within 60 days from receiving the invitation to apply (ITA).

Step 6: Complete a medical exam, provide security background checks, and submit an e-application

Step 7: Application review - an immigration officer will review your application and pronounce a final decision.

Step 8: Receive confirmation of permanent resident status and land in Canada to begin your next journey.

FSW step by step process - Immergity Immigration Consultant

What is the processing time for a federal skilled worker application for permanent immigration to Canada?

A majority of applications submitted under the Federal Skilled Worker Class are processed within 6 months. The duration depends on how complete your application is. If the immigration officer has doubts or needs more information, they will send your notifications asking for the same. 

What are the eligible occupations or job categories to apply under the Federal skilled worker program (FSWP)?

There is no specific list of occupations. Applicants need to have at least one year of work experience in the past 10 years in an occupation classified under Canada's National Occupational Classification (NOC) as skill level A or B or skill type 0.

You can check your NOC code here:

What if I do not have a valid job offer to apply under the FSWP program? 

It is not mandatory to have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. but one could get you up to 15 points and thereby improve your chances of being eligible. Furthermore, a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, you can earn between 50 (NOC A or B) and 200 (NOC C) points under Express Entry's Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), depending on the type of job.

It is worthy to note that the job needs to be approved by the ESDC. And as such it needs to be applied for on your behalf by the employer.

What are the skilled worker NOC categories for Canadian immigration purposes?

There are numerous occupations that are considered skilled. For a brief overview consider the following:

  • Skill Type 0 (zero): management jobs, such as CEO, COO and other management level jobs.

  • Skill Level A: professional jobs that usually call for a degree from a university, including a range of Information Technology (IT) occupations, engineering and construction occupations, legal occupations, and more.

  • Skill Level B: technical jobs and skilled trades that usually call for a college diploma or training as an apprentice, such as chefs, plumbers, general office workers, retail salespersons, and more.

  • Skill Level C: Occupations that usually require a secondary school and/or occupation-specific training

  • Skill Level D: Occupations that usually require on-the-job training

NOC Skill Types

The NOC Skill Type identifies the industry of the occupation. There are ten Skill Types in the NOC matrix:

0 – Management occupations

1 – Business, finance, and administration occupations

2 – Natural and applied sciences and related occupations

3 – Health occupations

4 – Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services

5 – Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport

6 – Sales and service occupations

7 – Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations

8 – Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations

9 – Occupations in manufacturing and utilities


The first digit of most NOC codes identifies the Skill Type of the occupation.

What are the minimum funds required to qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Program for Express Entry to Canada?

Funds required for FSWP Canada - Immergi

How can I increase my CRS points for my Express Entry application to Canada?

If you do not have enough points to make the cut-off there are factors that award you more points to improve your ranking. These are (but not limited to):

  • Previous education in Canada - Canadian degrees, diplomas or certificates 

  • Prior work experience in Canada or a future (valid) job offer from a Canadian employer.

  • Relatives in Canada who are citizens or permanent residents.

  • a nomination from a province or territory, etc..

Check the video below to gain more clarity on how to increase your CRS score.

On what grounds can my express entry application be refused or rejected?

All applications are based on the information you provided to the IRCC. The onus of proof of authenticity always lies on the applicant. If the immigration officer believes that you have provided incorrect information or have not submitted enough proof to verify your claims, they may ask for addition clarification or reject your application.

Here are some of the common reasons that your application might be rejected for:


If you do not meet the basic requirements of the program or category you applied for, your application may be denied.



This is considered a very serious offence with the IRCC. If an applicant is found misrepresenting on their application to immigrate to Canada, they can be deemed inadmissible to Canada. Common examples of misrepresentation are: 

  • Fake documentation - Education, work experience or any other illegitimate documents.

  • Inadmissibility of family members - If 1 or more of your family members are inadmissible to Canada, then you may be charged with misrepresentation and inadmissible.

  •  Marriage of Convenience - Fake marriages just to for Canadian immigration or failure to declare information about your spouse - like divorce, separation or custody of children etc.



Canada's health care system is considered one of the best in the world. And it is paid for by the government. Therefore, if during your medical exams, it is ascertained that your medical condition:

  • is going to affect the overall health of the Canadian citizens OR 

  • result in an excessive demand on the Canadian health care and social services.



This is self-explanatory. If you or any other member of your application or family has a criminal background for  which you have not already finished rehabilitation, your application will be denied. Every applicant has to submit a clean criminal record certificate for every country they have lived in for over 6 months since the day they turned 18. 



As part of the Visa application process for Canada, every applicant needs to submit proof of financial capability. Failure to do so will result in your application being refused. You need to show that you will be able to support all accompanying or non-accompanying family members as part of your immigration application.



Most applications for Canadian immigration are electronic, yet there are some that are paper based as well. If you are unable to provide the correct documents, complete documents or provide all documents in the time-frame specified, your application may be refused. It is advisable to include all documents provided in the document checklist for every application.



The Canadian immigration department receives thousands of applications for every program. In order to maintain efficiency in evaluation and outcome, it is important that applicants abide by the time lines provided in the application package. Failure to do so will result in delays of refusal. The best practice is to keep all your documents ready before you apply and submit your application for immigration to Canada.

How Can I Avoid a Canadian Immigration Refusal?

Refusal or denial can be painful and stressful. Most people think that they know what they're doing and will do it right. Not all of them can actually claim that they will not make a mistake. Immigration applications to Canada are a 1-time opportunity. A mistake can lead to irreparable damage to your profile. Therefore, you may want to consider hiring a professional immigration consultant who has the knowledge and expertise in matters of Canadian immigration laws. 

Contact us now to connect with our Regulated Canadian  Immigration Consultant (RCIC) now.

Frequently asked questions

What are the Language Requirements for Express Entry to Canada?

To be eligible for Express Entry, you must prove your English or French language ability:

  • take an approved language test ( IELTS - G or CELPIP-G)
  • get the minimum results required by your program
  • include the results when you complete your Express Entry profile
First official language Minimum level for all four (Listening, Writing, Speaking, Reading) abilities
  • English - CLB 7
  • French - NCLC7
Second official language: Minimum level of CLB or NCLC 5.

What is a Valid Job offer for Immigration to Canada?

A valid job offer for Express Entry is one which is:

  • full-time and non-seasonal,
  • for at least one year,
  • in a skilled job listed as Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B in the 2016 National Occupational Classification.
  • is supported by a positive LMIA from the ESDC.
A job offer must be in writing, and must set out details of the job they are offering you, such as:
  • your pay and deductions
  • your job duties
  • conditions of employment, like your hours of work.

If i have a valid job offer, how many additional points do i get?

The points can range from an additional 50–200 points, depending on the type of job offer you receive.

Can i make changes to my Express Entry Profile?

If your profile was found eligible for the pool, you can still update it after you’ve submitted it. On the other hand, if your profile is found ineligible, you won’t be able to make changes to your profile. You’ll have to create a new profile. Be sure to do so if your circumstances have changed and you now have enough points to qualify.

How many points do I need to apply as a federal skilled worker?

If you score 67 points or higher, you may qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

What is the difference between Federal Skilled Worker eligibility points and CRS points?

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) calculates the scores of applicants who enter the Express Entry pool. But before you can enter the EE pool, you first need to score atleast 67 points in the selection factors table to qualify for applying to the IRCC for a Canadian PR under the FSW program.

What are the documents required as proof for my NOC code?

To prove that you've claimed the right NOC code, you have to provide some supporting documentation in your application. These documents include but are not limited to - Employment letter, pay stubs, reference letters etc..

Can I apply under the FSW program with NOC C job?

The federal skilled program is for applicants who have jobs and work experience in skill level 0,A or B. If your job experience falls under NOC C, try the Federal skilled trades program (FST) or one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

How many years of work experience is required for Canada PR?

You need to have a minimum of 1 year of full time work experience in a NOC 0, A or B job if you are applying under the FSWP. This experience needs to be in the last 10 years at the time of submitting your application. You can score additional points as your years or work experience goes up. Even when applying under the CEC program, you will need to show a minimum of 1 year of work experience.

Can my spouse and I apply seperately for permanent residence to Canada under the FSW program through Express Entry?

Yes, both spouses can apply for Permanent Residency. As long as each of you qualify and meet the eligibility requirements, each spouse can create their own Express Entry profile and include their spouse/partner in the profile.

Can I get PR without work experience under the FSW program?

No, you need to have a minimum of 1 year of full-time work experience to be considered eligible to apply for permanent residence for Canada under the FSW program.