What is the Federal Skilled Worker path to immigrating to Canada?

Frequently Asked Questions

Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) are selected as permanent residents based on their ability to become economically established in Canada. FSW applications are processed through the Express Entry (EE) immigration selection system. The first step in the process is to complete the online EE profile and meet the criteria to enter the pool of candidates.

To qualify for the FSW program, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Have at least one year of qualifying skilled work experience in the last 10 years
  • Have valid third-party language test results (that show you meet the minimum language threshold)
  • Have a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree or an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report showing your foreign education is equal to a Canadian one

If you meet all the conditions set out in the minimum requirements, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will then assess your application and assign points based on the following selection factors:

  • Your skills in English and/or French (Canada’s two official languages),
  • Your education,
  • Your work experience,
  • Your age,
  • Whether you have a valid job offer, and
  • Your adaptability (how well you are likely to settle here)

You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada, unless you are currently able to legally work in Canada, and have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. The amount of funds that you need to demonstrate depends on the size of your family. For example, a family of 4 would need to provide proof that they will be bringing $22,603 (Canadian) with them when they settle in Canada. The settlement funds cannot be borrowed from a third party.

A factor to consider if you are married or live with a common-law partner: does that person also meet the above conditions? You can decide which one of you will apply under Express Entry as a principal applicant. Look at each selection factor and see which one of you is most likely to meet the eligibility requirements and earn the most points. That person should apply as the principal applicant.

We can help you decide what path is best for you. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact our Immigration Lawyers for Canada for a consultation by emailing us or by calling 416-847-3347.