Federal Skilled Worker (Professional) Immigration

The Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) is one of Canada’s most famous and fast-tracked economic immigration programs managed through the Express Entry selection system.


Candidates who wish to immigrate to Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) must have a minimum of 1 year of work experience in the last 10 years in any one (or more) of Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC) categories. On 1 January 2017, the government of Canada migrated the selection process for this skilled worker migration to the Express Entry selection system.

Note: On 1 November 2017, the government of Canada announced multi-year immigration targets spanning from 2018 to 2020. An estimated 9,80,000 immigrant will be welcomed by Canada from 2018 to 2020. For complete projected statistics and other valuable information, click here.


Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible to apply under the FSWC for a permanent Resident visa, the applicants must have:

  • At least one year of full-time (or equivalent part-time) paid work experience in any one or more of Canada’s defined skilled occupations (National Occupation Classification – skill levels 0, A, or B); AND
  • Have a minimum language score in any one (or more) of Canada’s official languages – English & French; AND
  • Have at least high school graduation.


Stage 1: Federal Six Factors Eligibility check

In this stage, the applicant must score a minimum of 67 points out of the total 100 to be eligible to apply. IRCC’s 6 Selection Factors and the criteria for awarding points under each of the factors are elucidated in brief below. For a detailed understanding of these selection factors visit the Express Entry Selection Grid.


Age: Candidates can secure a maximum of 12 points based on their age at the time of applying.


Education: Candidates can secure a maximum of 25 points based on their formal education in their home country as well as elsewhere in the world. Note that for all non-Canadian education, an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is mandatory.


Work Experience: Candidates can secure a maximum of 15 points for paid work experience in any one or more of Canada’s defined skilled occupations (National Occupation Classification – skill levels 0, A, or B). Points can be claimed only for those work experience(s) that fall within the last 10 years from the date of applying. Language Skills: Candidates can secure a maximum of 24 points for their first official language proficiency (English or French), and a maximum of 4 points for their second official language proficiency (English or French).


Arranged Employment: Candidates can secure a maximum of 10 points if they have an arranged employment in Canada that meets ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada) requirements. Whilst some candidates might not require an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment), others would. Explore our Work in Canada section to see what you need to obtain in order to qualify for an arranged employment in Canada. Another point to note is that if a candidate secures a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, the he or she can also claim 5 points under the adaptability factor below.


Adaptability: Candidates can secure a maximum of 10 points for the candidate’s ability to integrate himself or herself into the Canadian economy and systems. To see the complete table of points awarded for each selection factor, you may visit the Express Entry Selection Grid.


Stage 2: Comprehensive Ranking based on CRS

Once the applicant is found eligible, he or she may enter the Express Entry pool in order to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from the government. The ranking of each candidate in the Express Entry system is based on the Comprehensive Ranking System. That is, each candidate in the pool will have a score which is his or her Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. To learn more about the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), click here.


Draws happen usually once in every 2 weeks, but it need not necessarily be so. Should you wish to know more about the logic behind the Express Entry draws, you may visit our corresponding page by clicking here.


Once a candidate receives an ITA, he or she has 90 days’ time to submit a complete and accurate application for permanent residency (APR). No extensions will be allowed on the application deadline. At this stage, it is very crucial that the application is submitted in the-most accurate way IRCC has stipulated under its regulations. Incomplete applications may be rejected, and applications where claims and documentation doesn’t match will get rejected under the clause, ‘Misrepresentation’. Misrepresentations, once substantiated, will lead to the applicant getting banned from making another application for a period of 5 years.


Authorized representation for your immigration application not only mitigates chances of human errors, but also adds value to your immigration goals. At Owlspriority Immigration, our team of Canadian immigration experts make sure that each application is complete and accurate.


If you wish to know more

The whole concept of the Express Entry selection system – the same system under which the Federal Skilled Worker Category (FSWC) economic immigration program is managed – has been covered in detail in the Express Entry articles in our website. You can learn more by visiting the article by clicking here.


Processing Timelines

The processing time for Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) applications are 6 months or less.


Fee Details

Program Name: Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC)
Description Application Processing Fee (C$) Permanent Residence Fee (C$)
Primary applicant 550 490
If adding spouse or common-law partner 550 490
If adding a dependent child (22 years or less) 150 NA


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