The Federal Skilled Worker Program is Canada's primary economic immigration pathway and gives skilled workers, and their loved ones, the opportunity to become permanent residents in Canada.
The first step in pursuing permanent residence in Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker is to make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada by creating an online Express Entry profile.
Based on the information provided in their profile, Federal Skilled Worker candidates obtain a score under Express Entry's Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) that determines their ranking in the pool of eligible candidates.
Periodically, the Government of Canada issues Invitations To Apply (ITAs) to the highest-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool and publishes the CRS cut-off score. CRS scores are not fixed and candidates may take steps to improve their ranking while in the pool.
Minimum Eligibility Criteria
Foreign nationals may begin the process of immigration under the Federal Skilled Worker Program by determining whether or not they meet the minimum requirements of the program. The minimum requirements are:
- One year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A or B;
- Validated language ability equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or French across all abilities (reading, writing, listening, and speaking); and
- Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or foreign credential and Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.
IRCC determines candidates' eligibility for the Federal Skilled Worker Program based on its unique points grid. However, only the highest-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool are issued invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
In order to be eligible to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, potential candidates must meet the minimum requirements for work, language ability, education and obtain at least 67 points under the program's 100-point grid. The program's selection factors grid assesses candidates based on factors that include age, education, work experience, arranged employment, language ability and adaptability.
The Federal Skilled Worker selection factors are listed below. Click on each factor to learn more:
|Education||Up to 25 points|
|Language Skills||Up to 28 points|
|Work Experience||Up to 15 points|
|Age||Up to 12 points|
|Arranged Employment||Up to 10 points|
|Adaptability||Up to 10 points|
If invited to apply, Federal Skilled Workers will need to prove they can become economically established in Canada with their dependent family members. The settlement funds requirement is waived for foreign nationals who are currently authorized to work in Canada and/ or those who have arranged employment in Canada.
Medical Examinations and Admissibility
IRCC encourages Federal Skilled Worker candidates and their dependents to complete their medical examinations as soon as an ITA is issued. Medical exam results must be valid at the time of applying for permanent residence and when arriving in Canada. Applicants must also obtain security clearances as part of the Canadian immigration application process to prove that they are admissible to Canada.
IRCC aims to process complete Federal Skilled Worker applications in six (6) months or less. Please consult the Canada Immigration Processing Times Tool to find out the processing times for immigration applications.
The table below outlines the processing fees for the different types of Federal Skilled Worker applications:
|Principal applicant ($550 processing fee + $490 right of permanent residence fee)||$1,040|
|Spouse or common-law partner ($550 processing fee + $490 right of permanent residence fee)||$1,040|
A dependant child of the principal applicant who is under 22 and is not a spouse or common-law partner, or is 22 or older who has been unable to be financially self-supporting since before the age of 22, due to a physical or mental condition
|$150 per child|
* Fees listed in Canadian dollars.
Quebec Skilled Worker Immigration
Foreign nationals interested in applying for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker Program must intend to live outside the province of Quebec.
The Government of Quebec runs its own immigration system outside the federal Express Entry system and requires skilled workers to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate, or Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ), under one of its many immigration programs, such as the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP).
You can also learn more about the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) in our Federal Skilled Workers FAQ.