Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) has been one of the most popular immigration programs. 

Skilled worker is a person who can compete and succeed in the country’s knowledge-based economy and has the ability to be self supporting upon the arrival in Canada. In order to qualify, the applicant must score a minimum of 67 points out of the possible 100 points.

As of January of 2015, since the introduction of the Express Entry system, the 2014 accepted occupation list no longer applies and there are no limits on how many applicants are accepted under each occupation.

All applicants must meet the following minimal requirements to apply as a skilled worker:

  • You must have at least one year of continuous full-time, paid work experience or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment
  • You must have had this experience within the last 10 years
  • Your work experience must be Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or Skill Level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) on the Canadian National Occupation Classification (NOC)

What are the selection factors?

Your application to come to Canada as a skilled worker will also be assessed against a point system consisting of six selection factors. The six selection factors are:

Factor 1 Education Maximum 25 points
Factor 2 Ability in English and or French Maximum 28 points
Factor 3 Experience Maximum 15 points
Factor 4 Age Maximum 12 points
Factor 5 Arranged employment Maximum 10 points
Factor 6 Adaptability Maximum 10 points
Total Maximum 100 points
Pass Mark 67 points

Below is a detailed description of all factors that are to be assessed.

Factor 1 – Education

(maximum of 25 points)

Points are awarded for earned educational credentials as well as the number of years of full‑time studies or full‑time equivalent studies. To be awarded points, you must meet both stated criteria.

Full‑time studies: At least 15 hours of instruction per week during the academic year. This includes any period of workplace training that forms part of the course.

Full‑time equivalent studies: If you completed a program of study on a part‑time or accelerated basis, count the length of time it would have taken to complete the program on a full‑time basis.

Use the chart below to determine your points. If you have not completed the number of years of study that correspond to your highest educational credential, award yourself points based on the number of years of study.

Doctoral level 25
Master’s level or professional degree 23
Two or more post-secondary credentials, one of which is a three-year or longer post-secondary credential 22
Three-year or longer post-secondary credential 21
Two-year post-secondary credential 19
One-year post-secondary credential 15
Secondary school (also called high school) 5

Factor 2 – Ability in English and/or French

(maximum of 28 points)

The ability to communicate and work in one or both of Canada’s official languages is very important to you as a skilled worker. Proficiency in English, French or both will help you in the Canadian labour market.

You will be awarded up to 28 points for your basic, moderate or high proficiency in English and French. You will be given points based on your ability to:

  • listen
  • speak
  • read
  • write

Proof of language proficiency

Use your language test results from a designated testing agency, to determine how many points you will be awarded for language proficiency.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Use the following table to determine how many points you will be awarded for your test scores with the International English Language Testing System (IELTS):

Level Points (per ability) Test results for each ability
Speaking Listening Reading (General Training) Writing (General Training)
CLB9  6 Over 6.5 Over 7.5 Over 6.5 Over 6.5
CLB8 5 6.5 7.5 6.5 6.5
CLB7 4 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
CLB6
and lower 
0
(not qualified)
Less than 6.0 Less than 6.0 Less than 6.0 Less than 6.0

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)

Use the following table to determine how many points you will be awarded for your test scores with the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP):

Level Points (per ability) Test results for each ability
Speaking Listening Reading Writing
CLB9 5-6 5-6 5-6 5-6
6
CLB8 5 4H 4H 4H 4H
CLB7 4 4L 4L 4L 4L
CLB6
or lower 
0
(Not qualified) 
3H or
lower
3H or
lower
3H or
lower
3H or
lower

Test d’évaluation de français (TEF)

Use the following table to determine how many points you will be awarded for your test scores with the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF):

Level Points (per ability) Test results for each ability
Speaking (expression orale) Listening (compré-hension orale) Reading (compré-hension écrite) Writing (expression écrite)
CLB9 372+ 298+ 248+ 372+
6
CLB8 5 349-371 280-297 233-247 349-371
CLB7 4 309 248 206 309
CLB6 or
lower
0 (Not qualified) 271 or lower 217 or lower 181 or lower 271 or lower

Second Official Language: Maximum 4 points – CLB 5 in all abilities

Factor 3 – Work experience

(maximum of 15 points)

You will earn points for the number of years you have spent in full-time (37.5 hours per week), paid work.

Minimum work experience requirements

You must meet the following minimum work experience requirements to be eligible to apply as a skilled worker:

  • You must have at least one year of full-time, paid work experience or the equivalent in part-time employment.
  • Your work experience must be in an occupation of Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B of the Canadian National Occupation Classification (NOC).
  • You must have had this experience within the last 10 years.
Experience Maximum 15 points
1 year 9
2-3 years 11
4-5 years 13
6 or more years 15

Factor 4 – Age

(maximum of 12 points)

Points are given for your age on the date that your complete application is received.

Age Points
18 to 35 12
36 11
37 10
38 9
Less one point per year -
46 1
47 and over 0

Factor 5 – Arranged employment

(maximum of 10 points)

In some cases, you can get points if you have a permanent, full-time job offer from a Canadian employer. The job must be arranged before you apply to come to Canada as a federal skilled worker.

A valid job offer has to be:

  • for full-time, permanent and not seasonal work, and
  • in an occupation listed as Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Find your points based on the chart below.

If And Points
You currently work in Canada on a temporary work permit. Your work permit is valid both when you apply and when the visa is issued (or you are authorized to work in Canada without a work permit when your visa is issued).andCIC issued your work permit based on a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Your employer would have applied for the LMIA, which you then had to attach to your application to CIC.

and

You are working for an employer named on your work permit who has made a permanent job offer based on you being accepted as a skilled worker.

10
You currently work in Canada in a job that is exempt from the LMIA requirement under:

  • an international agreement (such as, the North America Free Trade Agreement) or
  • a federal-provincial agreement.
Your work permit is valid both when you apply and when the visa is issued (or you are authorized to work in Canada without a permit when your visa is issued).
andYour current employer has made a permanent job offer based on you being accepted as a skilled worker.
10
You currently do not:

  • have a work permit, or
  • plan to work in Canada before you get a permanent resident visa.

OR

You are currently working in Canada and a different employer has offered to give you a permanent full-time job.

OR

You are currently working in Canada in a job that is exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment, but notunder an international or federal-provincial agreement.

An employer has made you a permanent job offer based on you being accepted as a skilled worker.andThe employer has a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment from ESDC.

Factor 6 – Adaptability

(maximum of 10 points)

Adaptability Maximum 10 points
Your spouse or partner’s language level
Your spouse or common-law partner has a language level in either English or French at CLB 4 level or higher in all four language abilities (speaking, listening, reading and writing).To get these points, you must submit test results from an approved agency when you apply. Results can not be more than two years old on the day you apply.
5
Your past study in Canada
You finished at least two academic years of full-time study (in a program at least two years long) at a secondary or post-secondary school in Canada.Full-time study means at least 15 hours of classes per week, and you must have stayed in good academic standing (as set out by the school) during that time.
5
Your spouse or partner’s past study in Canada
Your spouse or common-law partner finished at least two academic years of full-time study (in a program at least two years long) at a secondary or post-secondary school in Canada.Full-time study means at least 15 hours of classes per week, and your spouse or partner must have stayed in good academic standing (as set out by the school) during that time.
5
Your past work in Canada
You did at least one year of full-time work in Canada:

  1. in a occupation listed in Skill Type O or Skill Levels A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC), and
  2. with a valid work permit or while authorized to work in Canada.
10
Your spouse or common-law partner’s past work in Canada
Your spouse / partner did at least one year of full-time work in Canada on a valid work permit or while authorized to work in Canada.
5
Arranged Employment in Canada
You earned points under Factor 5: Arranged Employment.
5
Relatives in Canada
You, or, if it applies, your spouse or common-law partner, have a relative, either a

  • parent,
  • grandparent,
  • child,
  • grandchild,
  • child of a parent (sibling),
  • child of a grandparent (aunt or uncle), or
  • grandchild of a parent (niece or nephew), who is
    • living in Canada
    • 18 years or older and
    • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

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One of our licensed immigration consultants can speak with you in person, online or on the phone about your unique immigration situation and give you a breakdown of your options.
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76 Responses to Federal Skilled Worker Program

  1. Deep Chaklashiya says:

    Hello,
    Under Federal Skilled Workers Program in the education criteria Master’s gets 23 points and Bachelor’s gets 21 points.If i do master’s and bachelor’s both from Canadian institution will i be getting 44 points or will i be getting points for the the highest qualification i.e for master’s only ?
    Thanks.

  2. Robyn thomas says:

    Apologies but the points that you receive for having a pre-arranged job don’t seem to be appearing. Can you tell me what they are?

  3. kwaku boateng says:

    1.Please do i need both Canadian official language for eligibility for the skilled worker express entry or only English especially for Federal section?

  4. mohammad samai says:

    I want to know what kind if English language test must be taken by my spouse? Is the academic IETS test approved?
    thanks.

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