immigrate to Canada using the Federal Skilled Worker Program?
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How to immigrate to Canada using the Federal Skilled Worker Program?

FSWP has been a supreme immigration pathway for overseas skilled workers since its launch in 1967.

Skilled immigrants who plan to immigrate to Canada have over 100 economic class programs through which they can also earn the status of permanent residents. The FSWP (Federal Skilled Worker Program) was established in 1967 and has proven to be one of the most renowned immigration pathways for skilled workers under the Express Entry Program. They are planning to call Canada their second home.

What is FSWP?

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is an immigration pathway developed for skilled work experience candidates who wish to migrate to Canada permanently. It was one of the first unique programs to use a point-based system to assess the candidate objectively and has also influenced other international countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, etc., to embrace the same system.

Who is eligible for the FSWP?

Immigrating to Canada using the FSWP is a multistep process. To begin the process, the candidate must meet the following eligibility for PR in Canada:

  • Minimum one year of skilled work experience.
  • Language proficiency reports (candidate should achieve a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark of 7 on their English or French test).
  • At least one educational credential
  • Proof of Funds (if applicable)
  • Achieve at least 67 points out of 100 points on the FSWP points grid

Work Experience

To get eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, a candidate will need a minimum of one year of skilled work experience mentioned under Canada’s occupation list of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system.

In brief, NOC is a system used by Canada to define the skill and education level compulsory for an occupation in the same industry. For FSWP or any program under the Express Entry program, there are three qualified NOC categories:

  • NOC 0: Management positions
  • NOC A: Careers that generally need a university degree
  • NOC B: Skilled trades professions


A candidate must have finished at least secondary school education either inside Canada or outside Canada to fulfil the education criteria. If completed outside, the candidate must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment to prove that their education is equivalent to a Canadian diploma, degree, or certification.


The candidate must prove their proficiency in any one of Canada’s official languages (English or French). A minimum score of 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) must get achieved by an FSWP candidate. The candidate will get the points for their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

Proof of Funds

Candidates should also verify that they have enough proof of funds to support themselves and their families if required. It does not apply to the candidate who already works in Canada or has a valid job offer. The minimum funds depend on the number of people aiming to migrate. Proof of funds gets verified through a letter from the bank or any financial institution where the candidate keeps the money. The letter should provide information on outstanding debts, account numbers, loans and the average bank balance for the last six months.

Number of Family Members Funds required in CAD
1 $13,310
2 $16,570
3 $20,371
4 $24,733
5 $28,052
6 $31,638
7 $35,224
Each additional family member $3,586

FSWP points grid

In addition to the criteria mentioned above, the candidate must obtain a minimum of 67 points out of 100 on the FSWP scoring grid. The scoring system evaluates the following six factors:

Factors Points
Education Up to 25
Language skills Up to 28
Work experience Up to 15
Age Up to 12
Arranged Employment Up to 10
Adaptability Up to 10

I am eligible for the FSWP: Now what?

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is one of three economic programs managed by the Express Entry System. The other two programs are the Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

If a candidate gets eligible for any of the three programs, they can create a profile on the official website of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The candidate will receive points through the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) based on age, language skills, education, work experience, etc. Based on the CRS score, the candidate’s profile gets ranked against each other, and the highest-scoring candidates receive an ITA (Invitation to Apply) for Canada Permanent Residence. Invitation to Apply (ITAs) gets issued every two weeks. If a candidate receives an ITA, they have 60 days to submit their Canada Permanent Residence application to the IRCC.

FSWP invitations to resume in early July 2022

Because of the pandemic, the Federal Skilled Worker Program was temporarily on hold in 2021 since the Canadian Government aspired to prioritize in-Canada applications to acquire its goal of welcoming over 400,000 permanent residents in 2021.

Recently, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that they would start inviting new candidates through the three immigration pathways managed under the Express Entry Program, including FSWP.

Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has announced that IRCC will attempt to process all the new Express Entry applications within six months timeline. Express Entry will go in dominant in the coming years as Canada strives to welcome more skilled workers to support the economy of Canada. By 2024, Canada plans to accept over 110,000 new immigrants through the Express Entry Program.

Can I immigrate to Canada if I have a low CRS score?

Yes, candidates with low CRS scores can immigrate to Canada. Canada has developed over 80 immigration pathways for welcoming immigrants, and the Express Entry Program is the fastest immigration pathway to immigrate to Canada. Provincial Nominee Program is the second-fastest immigration pathway to Canada through which candidates can immigrate to their desired Canadian Province.

Candidates with low CRS scores can apply for a particular province of their choice, and if nominated by the Province, they will receive an additional 600 points, which will increase the CRS score for Express Entry.

What is Canada PR processing time?

Processing time for Canada PR depends on the type of program, some program takes six months, and other programs can take 12 months. IRCC recently announced that they would try to process the Express Entry applications within six months.