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Federal Skilled Workers program is the most popular immigration program for foreigners wishing to obtain the status of the Permanent Resident of Canada.


Since the beginning of its history, Canada was a land of immigrants. Generations of enterprising and skilled immigrants from all over the world established the success of Canada. Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has developed and constantly modifies the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) program, which the main immigration program for the economic category of immigrants.

Beginning January 1, 2015, Federal Skilled Workers program is processed via the online point-based selection system Express Entry, in which the candidates are invited based on an evaluation of their skills and other factors.

Selection factors for FSW

To be eligible for Federal Skilled Workers program, a candidate must meet the requirements of the points-based evaluation. First, a candidate must score 67 points or higher, while the maximum is 100 points. A candidate is evaluated against six factors:

  • Knowledge of the official language

  • Education

  • Work experience

  • Age of the candidate

  • Arranged employment in Canada

  • Adaptability factors


Knowledge of the official language

Every potential immigrant can score a maximum of 28 points for the knowledge of English and French. 24 points are given for the knowledge of the first language. Each language test assesses one’s listening, speaking, writing, and reading with a maximum of 6 points for each of four language skills. Another 4 points are given for the second official language.


The higher is candidate’s education, the more points one can receive for FSW program. If you have a high-school completion diploma, you will get 5 points. One-year degree, diploma or certificate from a program at a university, college, trade or technical school grants a candidate 15 points. Should you complete a two-year degree, diploma or certificate, you may receive 19 points. Bachelor’s degree at a university or college is assessed with 21 points. If you have two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees, you get 22 points. University degree at the master’s level or a professional degree that requires to practice in a licensed profession is assessed with 23 points. Finally, the maximum possible points are 25, which is given for a university degree at the Ph.D. level.

Work experience

Since Canada is looking for skilled professionals, work experience is a very important factor. Candidates can get points for the number of years they’ve spent working at a full-time paid work of at least 30 hours per week at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B according to the National Occupational Classification. If you have one year of skilled work experience, you can get 9 points. For two or three years of work experience, IRCC will give you 11 points. Four or five years of work experience will bring you 13 points, and finally, six and more years will count as 15 points.

Age of the candidate

For obvious reasons, Canada prefers young skilled immigrants aged 18-35. To such candidates, IRCC gives 12 points. Beginning with the age of 36, IRCC reduces 1 point for each year up until the age of 46. Candidates whose age is 47 and higher do not get any points for the age factor.

Arranged employment in Canada

The adaptation of the immigrant who already finds a job in Canada before arrival is going easier. That’s why a candidate is given 10 points if he or she has a job offer that is at least 1 year-long from a Canadian employer. The job offer must be obtained before the application for immigration. to come to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker.

Adaptability factors

Prospective immigrants can get additional ten points for the adaptability factors such as your spouse’s language level, your or your spouse’s education in Canada, your spouse’s work experience in Canada, and if you, or your spouse have a relative who is a permanent resident of Canada or Canadian citizen. Every adaptability factor is worth 5 points. If a primary applicant has Canadian work experience, this adaptability factor gives 10 points.

IRCC officers have discretionary powers to accommodate those applicants who receive scores only slightly below the pass mark only if they can demonstrate to the visa officer that they will successfully establish themselves economically in Canada and have sufficient funds, skill and experience.

Qualifying for the Federal Skilled Worker is only the first step in immigrating to Canada. After qualifying the applicant must create a candidate profile in Express Entry and should wait till an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence is received and then finally submitting their application for Permanent Residency.

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