What Is the Canadian Federal Skilled Worker Program?

federal skilled worker program canada

To understand what the Canadian Federal Skilled Worker program is, one must first understand the Canadian Express Entry. The Canadian Express Entry is an online system through which applications for permanent residence in Canada are made by individuals who are looking to migrate. It consists of three different migrating programs which the Federal Skilled Worker program is one. However, a lot of people consider them both immigration programs, which is wrong, and that is the reason for this article. It explains what a Canadian Federal Skilled Worker program is, how to qualify for it and the differences between the Express Entry and the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program.

What is the Canadian Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program?

Canadian Federal Skilled Worker program is one of the three programs in the Canadian’s Express Entry system mainly for facilitating continual residency applications. It is specifically designed for workers who have gained foreign work experiences and want to migrate to Canada permanently. The program uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank candidates as it is highly competitive. This is the same for all other programs within Express Entry.

To apply for a federal skilled worker program, you must have had a paid skilled work experience. This can either be in salaries or earned commissions. However, volunteer works or unpaid internship work experiences do not qualify you to apply. If you worked part-time, you must have worked a paid part-time job for up to 15 hours/week. You can do as many part-time jobs enough to help you attain the compulsory number of work hours to qualify. 

Also read: How To Relocate to Canada Without IELTS : A Guide

How Do I Become a Federal Skilled Worker in Canada?

To qualify for the FSW program, you are expected to meet specific requirements on your level of education, year’s of experience, your English or French language proficiency and your age. These requirements, all of which, if you meet, increases your chance to score higher in the FSW point system. That is, there’s a minimum score you will be required to attain to qualify to apply.

Below are the requirements you must meet to qualify:

1. Education

If you studied in Canada, you must have obtained a certificate, a diploma or degree from either or all of the following in Canada:

  • Secondary institution or high school
  • Post-secondary institution

On the other hand, if you had foreign education, you will be required to have the following:

  • A completed credential
  • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) mainly for immigration purposes. 

You must have earned a minimum of a Canadian high diploma or equivalent in foreign education. The intent is to show that your educational qualification is equivalent to a certificate, diploma or degree from either a Canadian high school or a post-secondary institution. 

2. Work Experience

You must be legally working or have worked for at least 12 months. It must be a continuous, full-time work where you gained skilled word experiences within the last ten years.

Your skilled work experiences will be evaluated under the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Levels:

  • Skill level 0 – managerial job
  • Skill level A – professional job
  • Skill level B – technical jobs and skilled trades.

Your application must show that you performed your duties as is in the NOC lead statement while you worked or are working in your primary occupation.

And you must have worked or be working at least 30 hours per week full-time during the last ten years.

requirements for the federal skilled worker program Canada

3. Language Proficiency

You must have attained level 7 in a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) on a recognised English or French language test in these abilities:

  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking

Generally, language tests are only valid for two years. Your test must be valid at the time of your application. 

4. Financial Support

You must prove that you can cater for yourself as well as your accompanying house or children in the settlement in Canada.

5. Residence in Canada

It would be best if you accepted to live anywhere else outside the Province of Quebec. This is mainly because the province of Quebec chooses their own skilled workers. Failure to adhere to this rule in your application will result in disqualification.

Also, if you are a provincial nominee, you are required to settle in the exact territory or province that nominated you. 

First, you will begin with creating an Express Entry profile. This is where the FSW point system comes in.

This is not the same as the Express Entry points. It is the 100-point grid used to evaluate an applicant’s eligibility for the FSW program. It refers to the scores you accumulate from meeting all the minimum requirements above. You will be required to score at least a minimum of 67 out of 100 points to be eligible to apply.  The next steps to follow will be to get your documents ready and submit your profile.

After you have gotten in the Express Entry pool, your profile will be ranked amongst other appplicants, and the applicants with the highest-ranked profiles are invited to apply for permanent residency.

What is the Difference Between Express Entry and Federal Skilled Worker?

One distinct difference between the Canadian Express Entry and the FSW is that the Canadian Express Express is an online system through which individuals who are looking to move to Canada permanently and have met all the necessary requirements apply for permanent residence under one of these three federal programs:

  • Federal skilled worker (FSW)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC) 
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)

The Federal skilled worker is only a program for permanent residence, as stated above as one of the immigration programs under the Canadian Express Entry. To qualify for the FSW program, you will need to prove you have the financial capability to settle in Canada.  This is not the same for all the other programs.

Also, when applying for the FSW, you must have attained a minimum of 67 out of 100 points in the point system to be eligible. However, Express Entry does not have a minimum point for qualification.

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