Get Our Canada Immigration Newsletter

Federal Skilled Worker Program

How to apply for Canada PR under Federal Skilled Worker program

Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker program (FSWP) is a pathway to get permanent resident (PR) status. Established in 1967, FSWP is one of the most popular options for skilled workers to obtain Canadian PR.

FSWP is a program under Canada’s Express Entry immigration pool draw system 

What is Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker program? 

The Federal Skilled Worker program is the pathway for foreigners with skilled work experience to Canada permanently. It was the first such program in the world. It also inspired other countries such as Australia and New Zealand to adopt similar programs approach.

Benefits of Federal Skilled Worker program

Canada’s Immigration Levels 2022-2024 plan targets 1.3 million new permanent residents. Each year, Canada releases a new Immigration Levels Plan which it uses to guide its immigration levels. Most successful candidates immigrate to Canada through the FSWP. Research by the Canadian government shows that FSWP immigrants go on to have successful personal and job settlement in Canada.

Applying for PR through FSWP is very popular because you can get PR within six months. Other Canada immigration programs take longer.

Eligibility for the Federal Skilled Worker program

Coming to Canada through the FSWP requires a multistep process. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • At least one year of skilled work experience
  • A minimum Canadian Language Benchmark of 7 on their English or French language test
  • At least one educational credential
  • Demonstrate proof of funds (if applicable)
  • Get at least 67 out of 100 points on the FSWP scoring grid

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) then reviews applicants against the following six selection factors:

  • i) work experience;
  • ii) education;
  • iii) language;
  • iv) age;
  • v) arranged employment; and also
  • vi) adaptability elements that involve factors such as:
    • a positive arranged employment opinion
    • spousal partner’s education
    • family relations in Canada
    • post-secondary study and also
    • work experience in Canada

As well, applicants must meet the minimum number of points set by IRCC. The pass mark was last set on September 18, 2003 at 67 points.

FSWP points grid 

The grid assesses the following six factors.

EducationUp to 25
Language SkillsUp to 28
Work ExperienceUp to 15
AgeUp to 12
Arranged employmentUp to 10
AdaptabilityUp to 10

Proof of funds 

Applicants must also demonstrate they have enough money to support themselves and their families if necessary. This does not apply if a candidate is already working in Canada or has a valid job offer.

The minimum funds will vary depending on the number of people seeking to immigrate.

You can show proof of funds with letter from your bank or financial institution. However, the letter must show account numbers, debts, loans and average balance for past 6 months.

The following table shows the minimum amount you need to immigrate to Canada (latest IRCC as of June 9, 2022). If you have more money, you should list the full amount in your profile or application.

Number of family membersFunds required in CAD
Each additional family member$3,586

How to apply for Federal Skilled Worker program

There are 2 ways to find out if you’re eligible for a program that is part of Express Entry:

Step 1: Check your score

If you’re eligible for one or more of the Express Entry programs and submit your profile, you’ll be ranked in the Express Entry pool using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

The CRS is a points-based system we use to

  • assess and score your profile and
  • rank it in the Express Entry pool

To be invited, you need to have a score above the minimum points score for your round of invitations.

Step 2: Get your documents ready

If you decide to fill out a profile, you’ll need documents, such as language test results, to show you’re eligible for Express Entry.

Some documents take a long time to get, so you should get them ready early.

Step 3: Fill out your profile

Your Express Entry profile is where you give us information about yourself.

If you’re eligible, we’ll accept you into our pool of candidates and give you a CRS score.

Step 4: Get an invitation and apply

We send invitations to apply to the candidates with the highest scores in the pool. If we invite you to apply, you’ll have 60 days to submit your application.

We’ll process most complete applications that have all supporting documents in 6 months or less.

See also Work in Canada.