The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) is part of the most popular Canadian immigration system Express Entry, which fast-tracks the immigration process. FSW is nominated to workers with foreign experience who are willing to immigrate to Canada.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) was released for applicants who want to support the Economic Class on January 1, 2015. The FSW applicant is able to live in Canada as Permanent Resident, whenever him/her profile is selected from the candidate’s pool. Applicants can apply with their spouse/partner and dependent children.

What’s Express Entry System and How It Works?

A quick answer: 

The Express Entry immigration system allows IRCC to issue invitations to apply (ITA) for eligible applicants to apply for a permanent residence.

Eligible applicants who have their profile accepted through the Express Entry pool, where they are given a score and ranked under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) based on the personal information they provided. 

Express Entry Programs:

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To pass and apply for admittance to Express Entry Pool as Federal Skilled Worker, candidates must meet the following criteria discussed below:

How Is The Federal Skilled Worker Program Work?

A Federal Skilled Worker applicant does not have to be residing in Canada in order to be eligible for the program. To be eligible for FSWP, you should meet the Minimum requirements:

  • Education. 
  • Language Ability.
  • Skilled Work Experience.

can all be completed outside of Canada, so a program is an excellent option for those who are living outside of Canada.

However, the Federal Skilled Worker Program candidates receive the highest percentage of invitations to apply, with FSW candidates receiving more than half of all invitations issued in 2018.

There is no guarantee that the applicants will receive an invitation to apply (ITA), alike if they are eligible to apply under the FSW program. If their CRS score is below the minimum requirement.

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. For example WES.

If you moved to a school in Canada, you must have a certification or degree from:

  • Canadian high school 
  • Post-secondary organization of Canada.

If you have foreign education, you must have:

  • An achieved credential.
  • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for migration plans from a nominated organization shows that your education is equal to the Canadian high school or post-high school requirements.

Language Ability

You must have an approved language test showing you are proficient in either English or French. The minimum score for FSW is equal to the Canadian Language Benchmark of Level 7 (CLB 7), however the higher you score you got, the better your chances of success.

For the language ability, you must have

  • Approved language tests for English and French.
  • You should have the four abilities in English and French.
  1. Writing.
  2. Reading.
  3. Speaking.
  4. Listening.
  • According to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), gain a minimum score for all these abilities as shown above.
  • After the result, enter that result in the profile if Express Entry.

Skilled Work Experience

You must have a minimum of 12-months of full-time, skilled work experience, or an equivalent amount of 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).

According to NOC job groups, you should work on one of the below jobs for professional work experience.

  • Technical Jobs (B-level skill).
  • Professional Job (A-level skill).
  • Managerial Jobs (0-level skill).

Your professional work knowledge will include the following duties according to the description in the NOC.

  • You are doing the same job as your primary job.
  • NOC describes all essential duties in the last ten years.
  • Paid work means you have spent the job hours and earned commissions.
  • One year of continuous work at the related company.

Settlement Funds

The FSW Program candidates without a solid employment proposal must declare adequate settlement funds while joining the Express Entry pool. This report must then be confirmed when an appeal for permanent residence is given.

The necessary fund for one person in Canadian dollars is $13213, and for the addition of each family member, it will cost another 3560$.

Points Grid

For eligibility for the FSW program, the applicant must score 67 scores out of 100 on the grid of points. This point system is entirely different from the CRS system and ranks all the express entry profiles.

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

Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Selection Factors (Points Grid)

IRCC uses selection factor points to assess your eligibility for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, by assigning an overall score out of 100. If you score 67 points or higher, you may qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. When you meet the other requirements too, you can submit a profile to the Express Entry pool. Once you’re in the Express Entry pool, IRCC uses a different points system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)  system to rank your profile.

FSW program has six factors under its points grid, as is shown below :

  • Language Skills (maximum 28 points)
    You must show that you are able to communicate in one or both of Canada’s Official Languages, English, and French. Up to 24 FSW points, you may get it for your first language skills, with more than 4 FSW points, when you prove your skills for the second language. An additional 5 FSW points may be obtained if your spouse/common-law partner, if applicable, also proves language ability.

All candidates, regardless of background, are required to prove language ability in English and/or French. There are four tests recognized for the purpose of assessing language ability:

1. IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

Only the IELTS General edition is recognized for immigration purposes (the Academic version is not).

This test is available at test centres internationally.

2. CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program)

This test is available within Canada and has a small selection of international test centres only.

3. TEF (Test d’Évaluation de Français)

This French test is available internationally.

4. TCF Canada (Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada)

This French test is available internationally.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • FSW program applicants do not require any attachment to Canada to be eligible for the program. Minimum specifications can all be performed outside Canada, so this program is an excellent option for people living outside Canada.
  • Yet if you are qualified to apply under the FSW program, there is no guarantee that you will obtain an invitation to join.

After that, you are admissible to Canada and now gather your documents and submit your profile.

What’s the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) processing time?

According to IRCC, most FSW complete applications are processed within six months.

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