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Express Entry (EE)

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) has been a pivotal element of the nation’s immigration framework since its establishment in 1967. Renowned as a vital pathway for global talent, the FSWP has been at the forefront of Canada’s effort to invigorate its workforce and drive economic growth. Originally tailored to meet the specific demands of the labor market at the time, the FSWP has undergone substantial evolution. It has adapted to shifting economic landscape and job market needs. A landmark transformation occurred in January 2015 with the integration into the Express Entry system. This revolutionized the immigration process by ensuring expedited and efficient processing for eligible skilled professionals. 

In response to urgent calls from businesses and employers facing difficulties in completing projects on time due to a shortage of skilled workers, the FSTP streamlines the process of bringing essential skills into the country. The program is specifically designed for skilled trade workers aspiring to obtain permanent residency based on their qualifications in a skilled trade. The initiative highlights Canada’s commitment to fortifying its labor force, as well as its recognition of the profound impact skilled trade professionals have on economic development and infrastructure.

Minimum Program requirements

The core purpose of the LMIA process is to ensure that the employment of foreign workers does not adversely affect Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are qualified for the job. A positive LMIA indicates that the employment of foreign nationals in the specified role and location is likely to have a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labour market. Engaging in this program can be a strategic move for businesses seeking specific skills or expertise not readily available in the local labour market. It opens a global pool of talent, enabling employers to maintain competitive and efficient operations while also adhering to regulatory requirements and supporting the integrity of the Canadian labour market.


  • Candidates must have at least one year of continuous, full-time, or equivalent part-time paid work experience over the past 10 years. 
  • The skilled work experience must be in TEER categories 0, 1, 2, or 3 of the NOC.
  • Experience gained while studying may qualify if it was paid, commission-based, and continuous.


First Official Language: Applicants must demonstrate a minimum language proficiency of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 7 in all four language abilities: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening, in either English or French.

Second Official Language: For additional points, candidates should meet a minimum level of CLB 5 or NCLC 5 in all four language abilities in their second official language (English or French).


Candidates must either have a Canadian secondary or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, or a completed foreign credential and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an approved agency showing that the foreign education is equal to Canadian education standards.

Settlement Funds

Applicants must prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their family members after arriving in Canada, unless they are currently working in Canada under a valid work permit or have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.

Where you can live in Canada

The applicants must plan to reside outside the province of Quebec. The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers through a unique immigration system.

Selection factors for Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program under Express Entry evaluates candidates based on 6 selection factors. Each factor carries a different weight, contributing to a total score out of 100. Candidates must score at least 67 points to qualify. This is a separate points system from the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) used to ranking all Express Entry profiles.

  1. Language Skills (up to 28 points): Proficiency in Canada’s official languages (English and French) is crucial. Points are awarded for writing, reading, listening, and speaking. A minimum of CLB 7 or NCLC 7 for the first official language in all four language areas is required. For the second official language, a minimum of CLB 5 or NCLC 5 in all areas is needed.
    First Official Language: Up to 24 points (6 points each for CLB level 9 or higher in Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing)
    Second Official Language: Up to 4 points (for at least CLB 5 in all four abilities)

  2. Education (up to 25 points): Points are awarded for Canadian education or equivalent foreign education as assessed by an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

  3. Work Experience (up to 15 points): Points are given for full-time or equivalent part-time paid work in skilled occupations (TEER categories 0, 1, 2, or 3 of the NOC). The longer the work experience, the higher the points.

  4. Age (up to 12 points): Points are awarded based on age at the time of application, with maximum points for ages 18-35.

  5. Arranged Employment in Canada (up to 10 points): Points are given for having a valid job offer from a Canadian employer for continuous, paid, full-time work for at least one year in a skilled occupation (TEER categories 0, 1, 2, or 3 of the NOC).

  6. Adaptability (up to 10 points): Points can be earned for adaptability factors such as your or your spouse’s past education or work in Canada, language skills, arranged employment, or having relatives in Canada.

How Can X Can Help?

Documentation Mastery: At Can X, we skillfully handle the documentation of your work experience, ensuring it is presented comprehensively and compliantly to meet FSW Program standards. Our team understands the requirements and assist in showcasing your professional history accurately.

Selecting the Right TEER/NOC Code: Selecting the appropriate TEER/NOC code is crucial for your FSW application. Our team at Can X provides expert guidance in choosing the right code that aligns perfectly with your work experience. This enhances your application’s relevance and strength.

Handling Employment Verification Challenges: Securing a detailed experience letter from employers can be a challenge, especially overseas. Can X recognize this hurdle and offers strategic advice on effectively requesting the necessary documentation. 

Customized Application Strategy: Leveraging our vast knowledge of FSW requirements, Can X crafts a tailored application strategy. We align your overseas work experience and qualifications with the FSW criteria to maximize your chances of success.

Proven Expertise: Can X have a proven track record of successfully assisting clients with FSW applications. This has established a reputation for reliability and deep expertise in managing Canadian immigration programs.

End-to-End Support: From the initial consultation to your successful integration into Canada, Can X provide comprehensive support. We understand the complexities of applying from overseas and are dedicated to facilitating a seamless transition.

Overseas Application Challenges: Applying from overseas has unique challenges, such as proving your qualifying experience in a way that meets program requirements. Can X is adept at navigating these complexities and ensuring your application meets all the necessary criteria.

With Can X as your partner, you gain dedicated support that recognizes the significance of your trade experience and its crucial role in your future in Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)about the Federal Skilled Worker Program

The FSWP is a Canadian immigration program designed to select skilled workers based on their ability to contribute to Canada’s economy. It’s part of Express Entry.

Candidates must have at least one year of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience, meet minimum language proficiency (CLB 7 for the first official language), have a valid educational credential, and prove financial stability to support themselves and their family in Canada.

The FSWP uses a 100-point grid to assess eligibility, considering factors like language skills, education, work experience, age, arranged employment in Canada, and adaptability. A score of 67 or more qualifies an applicant for the program.

Yes, part-time work experience counts towards the FSWP, provided it amounts to the equivalent of one year of full-time work (1,560 hours).

Yes, applicants must take approved language tests (like IELTS, CELPIP or PTE for English or TEF for French) to prove their proficiency in English or French.

The ECA is a report by an approved agency confirming that your foreign education is equivalent to Canadian standards. It’s mandatory for applicants with foreign education credentials.

Age is a factor in the FSWP points system, with more points awarded to younger applicants. The maximum points are given to those between 18 and 35 years.

Arranged employment refers to having a valid job offer from a Canadian employer for at least one year. It can earn you additional points in the FSWP assessment.

Yes, your spouse’s language skills, Canadian work experience, and education can earn you adaptability points, improving your overall score.

You must show proof of funds to support yourself and your family unless you are currently working in Canada or have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.

The TEER categorizes jobs based on duties and skills. TEERs refer to Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities required for an occupation needed to enter and fulfill its duties.

Processing times can vary, but Express Entry aims to process most applications within six months from submission.

Yes, you can include dependent children in your application. Ensure you meet the necessary financial requirements to support them.

Yes, improving your language skills, gaining additional relevant work experience, completing higher education, or obtaining a valid job offer in Canada can increase your score.

If you score below 67 points, you may not qualify for the FSWP. 

There is no list of eligible occupations under the Federal Skilled Worker Class. Candidates need to have at least one year of work experience in the past 10 years. This must be in an occupation classified in TEER categories 0, 1, 2, or 3 of the NOC.

Yes, applicants must show that they have sufficient settlement funds to support themselves and their dependents after arrival in Canada. The settlement funds requirement is waived for foreign nationals who are currently working in Canada and/or have arranged employment in Canada. This table shows the minimum amount you need to immigrate to Canada. If you have more money, you should list the full amount in your profile or application.