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Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

Federal Skilled Worker Program FSWP

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) has been the predominant method for Canada to welcome talent from all around the world since 1967. The FSWP was the first program in the world to objectively examine immigration candidates and is one of Canada’s three skilled worker programs controlled through the Express Entry system.

How The FSWP Changed Canada’s Skilled Worker Immigration Process
The Federal Skilled Worker Program was established in 1967 to recruit immigrants from around the world. Prior to the FSWP, Canada chose skilled worker immigrants on a case-by-case basis, depending on the discretion of individual immigration officers who made a judgment call on whether an applicant could fit into the Canadian labor market.

The Canadian government concluded that the old method was ineffective, so it implemented the world’s first points-based immigration system. Canada would no longer use subjective criteria. Instead, it chose to analyze all candidates using objective criteria, considering their age, education, language abilities, work experience, and occupation, among other things.

FSWP Eligibility Criteria
The Federal Skilled Worker Program has minimum requirements for the following criteria that you need to meet before other criteria are even considered. These are your:

  • skilled work experience
  • education
  • language ability

Other factors will include your:

  • age
  • existence of a valid job offer
  • adaptability, or the likelihood of you staying in Canada.

Skilled Work Experience
Skilled work experience pertains to the amount of experience acquired through one of these National Occupational Classification (NOC) types:

  • Managerial jobs, or Skill Type 0
  • Professional jobs, or Skill Level A
  • Skilled trades and technical jobs, or Skill Level B

You must demonstrate that you performed the duties outlined in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC while working in your principal occupation. This comprises all the necessary responsibilities as well as most of the key responsibilities.

Your skilled work experience must be:

  • within the last 10 years in the same job type and the same NOC as the job you will use for your application (this will be considered your primary occupation)
  • paid work, either in wages or earned commission (this means that volunteer work and unpaid internships do not qualify)
  • at least 1 year of continuous work, or 1,560 hours total at 30 hours per week. This criteria can be met in multiple ways, such as:
    ○ full-time employment at a single job at 30 hours a week for 12 months
    ○ full-time employment at more than one job;
    ○ equal amount in part-time employment.

You can work as many part-time jobs as you need to meet the 1,560 hours of work experience required, as long as you are paid with wages or earned commission. Part-time work means that you can work more or less than 15 hours/week, but any hours above 30 hours per week will not be counted.

Student Work Experience
Any work experience acquired while studying may count towards the minimum requirements as long as the work was:

  • paid, either by wages or commissions
  • continuous
  • meets every requirement of the Program

If you studied in Canada, you must have a diploma, degree, or certificate from a Canadian secondary institution (high school) or post-secondary institution.

If you studied abroad, you must present:

  • completed credentials
  • an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) from a designated organization that shows your education is equal to a completed diploma, degree, or certificate from a Canadian secondary institution (high school) or post-secondary institution.

Language Ability
Applicants must:

  • take approved language tests in English or French that demonstrates skills in:
    ○ reading
    ○ writing
    ○ speaking
    ○ listening
  • get the minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all the abilities above; and
  • enter the test results in your Express Entry profile

It’s important to note that language tests have a 2 year validity after the date of the test result. Remember to check its validity before applying for the FSWP, or any other immigration application, for that matter.

What Is The Scoring Criteria?
Applicants will be scored based on the factors stated above, with each having their own maximum points which total to 100 points. The current minimum score to pass is 67.

CriteriaMaximum Attainable Points
Language Proficiency28
Work Experience15
Arranged Employment10
Total Points100
Minimum Points Required67

If an applicant fits these criteria, they will be qualified to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker program through Express Entry.

Candidates should be aware, however, that they must meet Canada’s minimum eligibility standards. A person may be inadmissible to Canada if they have committed certain criminal offenses or have certain health conditions.

Here are Related Topics You Can Read Now
Immigrate to Canada with Express Entry
Canadian Immigration Pathways: Explore Your Options
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

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