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Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program

Unlock your potential in Canada with your working skills and pave the way to Permanent Residency

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Federal Skilled Worker for Skilled and Experienced Professionals

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program is a Canadian immigration program designed for skilled workers who want to immigrate to Canada permanently. It is one of the three main economic class immigration programs in Canada, along with the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The FSW program does not require candidates to provide any connection to Canada. As Canadian work experience is not mandatory applicants can apply with foreign work experience.

Minimum Requirements

Skilled work experience

Work experience must be:

  • in TEER 0, TEER 1, TEER 2, or TEER 3
  • within the last 10 years
  • in the same type of job (same NOC) as your primary occupation
  • paid work (wages or commission)
  • at least 1 year of continuous work
Language ability



A minimum of a Canadian high school diploma or the equivalent foreign education.


Must be admissible to Canada

Proof of funds

Must show that you have enough financial support to settle in Canada unless you:

  • are currently able to legally work in Canada
  • have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada

How to calculate work experience?

  • Full-time at one job – 1 year full-time work experience is 30 hours per week for 12 months or 1,560 hours at one job.
  • Equalling part-time – 1 year full-time is 15 hours per week for 24 months or 1,560 hours. This may be in more than one job.
  • Full-time work at more than one job – 1 year full-time work experience is 30 hours per week for 12 months or 1,560 hours at more than one job.
  • Work hours that exceed the 30-hour cap per week are not counted.
  • Can Student work experience be calculated?
  • Work experience gained under a study permit may be calculated if the work:
    • was paid by wages or commissions,
    • was continuous (no gaps in employment), and
    • meets all the other requirements of the Program.

Language requirements

English or French levels are measured by:

Currently, the following language tests are admissible by IRCC.


  • CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program – General test
  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System – General Training option


  • TEF Canada: Test devaluation de francais
  • TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du francais

Note: The Pearson Test of English Essential (PTE Essential) is anticipated to be accepted by IRCC as of late 2023.

If your application is successful, where can you live in Canada?

  • You can live in any province except Quebec.
  • If you are accepted under a Provincial Nominee Program, you must live in the relevant province.

The application process for the FSW program includes the following steps

  1. Create an Express Entry profile and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).
  2. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) if you meet the eligibility requirements and have a high enough CRS score.
  3. Submit a complete application with all required documents and pay the application fee.
  4. Undergo medical exams, security, and criminal background checks.
  5. Receive a final decision on your application.

The FSW program has several benefits for skilled workers who want to immigrate to Canada, including

  1. No job offer required: Unlike the FSTP, the FSW program does not require a job offer from a Canadian employer.
  2. Broad range of eligible occupations: The FSW program has a list of eligible occupations that covers a wide range of professions and industries.
  3. Points-based system: The FSW program uses a points-based system to assess candidates based on factors such as age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and adaptability, which can increase the chances of success in the application process.

Overall, the Federal Skilled Worker Program is a great option for skilled workers who want to immigrate to Canada permanently and have the required work experience, education, language proficiency, and other qualifications.