Federal Skilled Worker Plan

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    Federal Skilled Worker Plan (FSWP)

    Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is the immigration program run by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

    When you plan to immigrate to Canada under the FSWP but have your academic credentials somewhere else, you’ll need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

    Principal applicants got ECAs from some organizations. For eligible occupations, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada has designated the following academic credential assessment services and regulatory authorities.

    A brief overview

    The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) started back in 1967 to select immigrants worldwide. Canada used to select skilled worker immigrants subjectively, based on each immigration officer’s capacity to accept a candidate.

    The Canadian government developed a points system because this old approach wasn’t working. Subjective criteria won’t be used by Canada anymore. In contrast to subjective criteria, the board used objective criteria to evaluate all candidates equally based on their age, education, language skills, work experience, and occupation, among other things.

    What does the FSWP have to offer?

    At the moment, the FSWP is managed by Express Entry. Through Express Entry, Canada hopes to welcome more than 110,000 immigrants by 2024.

    Most successful Express Entry candidates come to Canada through the FSWP. According to Canadian government research, immigrants from FSWP fields have successful and fulfilling careers.

    The FSWP also allows you to gain permanent residence within six months, compared to longer processing times for other skilled worker programs.

    How did the immigration process work with the FSWP?

    Express Entry is the application management system for the FSWP, one of Canada’s three skilled worker programs. You might be eligible for Express Entry if you’ve never lived in Canada and are not a skilled trades professional.

    The first thing you need to do is find out if you qualify for the FSWP. Once that’s done, you submit an Express Entry profile. Your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score will be influenced by age, education, and language proficiency.

    Every two weeks, the Canadian government holds an Express Entry draw to invite the highest-scoring candidates for permanent residency. After submitting your complete application, you’ll get permanent residency status and can move to Canada after six months.

    The following is a step-by-step guide to pursuing immigration to Canada through the FSWP:

    Step 1: Find out if you qualify for the FSWP.

    Step 2: Register for Express Entry on the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

    Step 3: Check to see if you have received an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Express Entry draws are held approximately every two weeks by the IRCC.

    Step 4: Your permanent residency application must be submitted to IRCC after getting an ITA. If IRCC approves your application, you can move to Canada.

    Criteria for eligibility

    To qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, a candidate must meet the program’s minimum requirements for work, language proficiency, education, and at least 67 points out of 100.

    Here are the minimum requirements:

    • An experience of at least one year in a skilled occupation classified under TEER levels 0, 1, 2, or 3 of the National Occupational Classification (NOC);
    • An English or French level of proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 at all levels (reading, writing, listening, and speaking);
    • Make a copy of your Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or the ECA report if you have a foreign credential.
    • To get 67 points on the FSWP grid, you need to get 67 out of 100. The program’s grid looks at age, education, work experience, arranged employment, language ability, and adaptability.
    • Meet the settlement funds criteria (if applicable). Candidates need to show they have enough money to support themselves financially after moving here.
    • Once you’re eligible, you can join Express Entry. CRS ranks candidate profiles in Express Entry, including Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class applicants.
    • Your category may also make you eligible for Express Entry draws if you qualify for FSWP. You have a better chance of getting an invitation if you meet the eligibility criteria for category-based draws.

    What is the step-by-step process for applying for FSW?

    Starting with checking your eligibility, here is how to get your Permanent Resident (PR) card.

    1. Find out if you qualify.

    Please ensure you meet the above eligibility criteria regarding your work experience, language skills, and educational background. Be sure to review your FSW as well.

    2. Obtain the documents you need to set up a profile.

    The documentation you need to create your Express Entry profile is in three parts:

    • Identification: You must have a passport to enter the country.
    • Language proficiency: There’s a language test you have to take within the past two years before creating your profile. Candidates can take the IELTS, PTE core or CELPIP test in English. There are two options available for French, TEF and TCF. Candidates proficient in English and French may be awarded additional points.
    • Education: If you received your education outside of Canada, you must obtain an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA).

    3. Set up your Express Entry profile.

    To complete this step, you must go to the IRCC website. During this process, you will be asked to provide some personal information. Some of this information is self-declared (such as your employment history), and the previous documentation must accompany some.

    4. Enhance your CRS profile and ranking.

    You can improve your CRS score if you are below the cut-off required to receive an invitation to apply.

    Retaking your language tests is a popular method of increasing your CRS score. Taking the test again may be worthwhile if your scores could be improved.

    You can also boost your ranking by completing more work experience or applying to one of the Provincial Nominee Program streams aligned with Express Entry, especially those in the province where you work(ed). A 600-point bonus may be waiting for you if your experience and skills are in demand in the province.

    5. Obtain an application invitation.

    There is no doubt that this is the most exciting step since it allows you to apply for permanent residence on behalf of yourself and your family, if applicable. It will be necessary to submit a complete application within 60 days of this point. The IRCC issues ITAs when it conducts a draw from the Express Entry pool.

    6. An e-application, a medical exam, and a background check

    Applicants for Federal Skilled Workers are screened for medical and criminal inadmissibility. Your application must include a medical exam with an IRCC-recognized panel doctor.

    Also, you must provide a police background check (also known as a clearance certificate) for each country where you have lived for at least six months since age 18. Applicants must submit an e-application within 60 days of receiving an invitation to apply and a detailed work reference letter from a previous employer.

    If you get an invitation to apply, getting your background checks and work references together is a great idea.

    7. E-applications are reviewed

    Canadian immigration officers will review your e-application and let you know if additional information is needed.

    • Complete your landing and confirm your permanent residency
    • Over 80% of Federal Skilled Worker Program applications are processed in six months. A confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) document is given to an approved applicant. Once permanent residence is granted, an officer from the Canadian port of entry or the IRCC signs and dates this document.

    8. Obtain a PR card.

    Your PR card can be applied once you get your status confirmation. If you travel outside Canada, you can use this card as proof of citizenship.

    How long does it take for FSW applications to process?

    You can keep an Express Entry profile for a Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) for 12 months.

    You’ll have 60 days to submit a complete application and documentation to the Government of Canada if you get an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

    A permanent residence visa is typically issued six months after the Canadian authorities receive the Express Entry application.

    The following factors may also affect your processing time:

    • Completion and complexity of your application
    • The officer confirmed your application
    • There’s an additional family member on your application

    What is the formula for calculating FSW points for part-time work experience?

    There are two ways to calculate part-time work for Federal Skilled Workers:

    A total of 30 hours per week is calculated by combining the hours worked in two or more part-time, skilled jobs (e.g., 15 hours in job A + 15 hours in job B = 30 hours)

    Over two or more years, add up all the hours they worked in one part-time job (e.g., 15 hours per week for two years = one year of full-time employment), 15 hours per week in one part-time job over two years, etc.

    The Federal Skilled Worker program only considers part-time jobs that meet NOC skill types A, B, or 0.

    Federal Skilled Worker Program

    Under Express Entry, Federal Skilled Worker Program candidates have two distinct advantages and one potential disadvantage.


    • Only a limited number of places are available in the Federal Skilled Worker Class for people without any Canadian connections. This program is ideal for those outside of Canada because it allows them to meet the minimum requirements for work experience, language proficiency, and education outside the country.
    • Most invitations to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program in 2018 were sent to FSWC candidates.


    • It’s not a guarantee that you’ll get an invite to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program even if you’re eligible. If you’re below the cut-off for receiving an invitation, check out our guide on increasing your score.
    • The Federal Skilled Worker Program requires more than just skilled work experience, so let’s examine its eligibility requirements.

    Occupational Profiles for Canadian Federal Skilled Workers

    Hundreds of different occupations fall under skilled occupations.

    TEER 0 (zero): Foodservice and accommodation managers, restaurant managers, retail and wholesale trade managers, and wholesale managers are all available.

    TEER 1: Apart from Information Technology (IT) jobs, engineering and construction jobs, and legal jobs, plenty of professional occupations require a university degree.

    Teer 2: Most jobs require a college diploma, apprenticeship training of two years, or supervisory experience. Technicians in the web and medical labs are two examples.

    TEER 3: College diplomas, apprenticeships lasting less than two years, or apprenticeship training lasting at least six months are required to enter these occupations.

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