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Call center: Mon-Fri 8:00AM - 5:00PM EST
Office: Mon-Fri 9:00AM - 5:00PM EST

Are you looking to immigrate to Canada based on your work and education credentials?

Do you need someone to help you through the process?

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Federal Skilled Worker

Work in Canada

Part of Express Entry

A federal skilled worker is a person who has a certain degree of education, work experience, and knowledge of at least one of Canada’s official languages (English or French). A skilled worker is assessed against a points system. Points are awarded for the listed factors, plus other factors such as

  • age,
  • authorized employment experience in Canada,
  • authorized post-secondary studies in Canada,
  • spouse or common-law partner’s education,
  • having a spouse or common-law partner or blood relative (not a cousin) who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.

Applicants for this immigration category must have sufficient funds to support themselves and their family members for at least six months after arriving in Canada.

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Becoming a Canadian Permanent Resident under the Federal Skilled Worker Class

Canada encourages immigration by people with education and work experience that will both benefit the Canadian economy and allow you to succeed in their new home. Applicants are chosen based on a points scale that determines the likelihood that you will be able to adapt to Canadian life. The scale takes into account factors including your work experience, knowledge of the English or French languages, your education, as well as other criteria. The points scale has been incorporated into Canada's Express Entry system.

Entering Canada as a Skilled Worker is different than getting a Canadian work permit. When you successfully apply for the Federal Skilled Worker program you are granted permanent residence, meaning that you can live in Canada indefinitely and eventually apply for Canadian citizenship, if you choose to do so. A work permit is only valid for a limited period of time, after which you must apply to stay in Canada under a different program or leave the country.


How we can help you immigrate to Canada

To discuss your options for Canadian permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker program, contact us for a consultation. We can determine your eligibility to apply for the visa as well as advise you how you can prove you meet the requirements. There are several categories you may be eligible to apply under.

Immigroup will assist you throughout the entire application process from start to finish, including:

  • Determining your eligibility to apply;
  • Determining the likelihood of success for your particular case;
  • Ensuring your forms are complete and accurately reflect the details of your case for maximum chance of success;
  • Ensuring you have the necessary and appropriate documents to support your application;
  • Providing guidance on the best method to submit your application to the government for your circumstances;
  • Advising the privileges a permanent residence affords you;
  • Offering Top Priority service for extremely urgent cases;
  • Determining the best way to proceed once the outcome of your case is reached (bringing family members to Canada, re-application if necessary, etc.)

Contact us for a consultation to assist you with a Federal Skilled Worker application.


Processing Time

The processing time for your Federal Skilled Worker application is targeted at 6 months, however this is just an average and incomplete applications can take longer.


Costs of this Process


Legal Fees

Our fees are on a case-by-case basis, but Immigroup service fees usually range from around $1500 for the most basic application to around $3000 for more complicated matters. Top Priority service for clients who need to submit their application urgently carries additional costs.

If you do not know where you stand, whether you are eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada, or how to proceed contact us for assistance.


Government Fees

In addition to the legal fees paid to a consultant or lawyer to assist you with this process, the applicant must also pay a fee to the Canadian government for filing their application. Please refer to the fee schedule below.

Processing Fee Number of Persons Amount Per Person Amount Due
Principal Applicant 1 x $550 $550
Each family member age 22 or older   x $550 $
Each family member under age 22 who is married or in a common-law relationship   x $550 $
Each family member under age 22 who is unmarried and not in a common-law relationship   x $150 $
Total = $


The Right of Permanent Residence Fee, which will be requested by the Visa Office at a later stage if your application is approved.

Right of Permanent Residence Fee Number of Persons Amount Per Person Amount Due
Principal Applicant 1 x $490 $490
Spouse or common-law partner   x $490  
Total= $

Please note you do not have to pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee for your dependent children. Government application fees are subject to change at any time without notice and are not refundable from IRCC regardless of whether the application is approved.


Federal Skilled Worker Basic Requirements

To apply for the Federal Skilled Worker program, there are minimum requirements for work experience, education, financial ability, and language. You must

  • Have at least 1 year of continuous work experience in your field which you are using to apply for permanent residence and this work experience must have been within the last 10 years.
  • Have work experience in a managerial, professional, or technical occupation. (If you are not sure if your work experience meets the requirement, contact us or post a question below.)
  • Meet the minimum language requirement in either French or English.
  • Have completed secondary (high school) or post-secondary (college or university) in Canada, OR
  • Have completed a comparable degree program outside Canada with a valid Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
  • Be able to show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family once you get to Canada.

Once you have met the minimum cut-off for your draw (for example, 450 CRS points out of a possible 1,200), if you are applying as a Federal Skilled Worker, you are then assessed according to your Selection Factors which are graded on a scale of 100. The minimum necessary is 67 points out of 100. However, getting 67/100 points, in addition to meeting the minimum CRS cut-off, does not necessarily guarantee you an Invitation to Apply (ITA). The higher above 67 that you can score on your selection factors, the more likely you are to get an ITA.

The Selection Factors for the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) stream are graded as follows:



First Official Language Level Speaking Points Listening Points Reading Points Writing Points
CLB 9 or Higher 6 6 6 6
CLB 8 5 5 5 5
CLB 7 4 4 4 4
Below CLB 7 Not eligible to apply for Federal Skilled Worker
Second Official Language Points (Minimum points in all four skills)
NCLC (CLB) 5 4
NCLC (CLB) 4 0
MAximum Points 24



Education Level Points
PhD Degree 25
Master’s or Professional Degree 23
2 or more Canadian Post-secondary Degrees (at least one of which is at least 3 years in length) or equivalent 22
Canadian Post-secondary Degree of at least 3 years or equivalent 21
Canadian Post-secondary Degree or Diploma of 2 years or equivalent 19
Canadian Post-secondary Degree or Diploma of 1 year 15
Canadian Secondary School Diploma 5
Maximum points 25


Work Experience

Work Experience Points
1 year 9
2-3 years 11
4-5 years 13
6 or more years 15
Maximum points 15



Age Points
Under 18 0
18-35 years of age 12
36 11
37 10
38 9
39 8
40 7
41 6
42 5
43 4
44 3
45 2
46 1
47 years of age and older 0
Maximum points 12


Additional Points

Additional Points Awarded for Points
Valid, full-time job offer from Canadian employer (before you apply for FSW) 10
Spouse/Partner CLB 4 or NCLC 4 5
2 or more years of study at secondary or post-secondary school in Canada 5
Spouse/Partner 2 or more years of study at secondary or post-secondary school in Canada 5
1 year valid full-time work in Canada at NOC Skill type 0 or NOC Skill level A or B 10
Spouse/Partner 1 year full-time work in Canada 5
Relatives over 18 years old living in Canada as citizen or PR 5
Maximum points for these additional factors 20 (maximum 10 points for all factors other than a job offer)

If you aren’t sure whether you meet the requirements, or if you would like more information on the requirements themselves, contact us or post a comment below.

The Provinces and Territories of Canada offer Skilled Worker programs as well. Learn about those programs here.

Confused about the difference between FSW and Express Entry requirements?


IRCC Selection Process for Federal Skilled Worker Program

FSW applicants are selected through Canada's Express Entry system. This is how you apply:

  1. Create a profile at IRCC's website
  2. If your score is high enough, receive your Invitation to Apply through one of the bimonthly draws.
  3. Apply for the Federal Skilled Worker program.
  4. Receive a decision on your FSW application.

We provide a detailed breakdown of the Comprehensive Rating System (CRS) here. Please note that the standards for each of three economic immigration programs are different, so it is possible that candidates in the pool with lower scores will receive invitations if they qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades program instead.

Learn more about the language requirements

Lear more about the Educational Assessment Process


Do you have sufficient funds to apply for permanent residence in Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker Program?

You have to show that you have enough money in your possession to support all of your family members, even if they will not come with you to Canada. This money cannot be borrowed from another person. The amount of money you need is based on the number of family members you have.

Number of family members 2019 amount
1 $12,669
2 $15,772
3 $19,390
4 $23,542
5 $26,701
6 $30,114
7 $33,528
Each additional family member $3,414

The cost of living is very different in different places within Canada. IRCC recommends that you bring as much money as you can.


Family Members

For the purpose of a Federal Skilled Worker application, ‘family members’ means the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner, your dependent children, and their dependent children (your grandchildren).

  • Spouse means either of the two people (opposite or same sex) who entered into a legal marriage either inside or outside of Canada.
  • Common-law Partner means either of the two people (opposite or same sex) living in the same house in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.
  • Dependent Children means the children of the applicant or their spouse or common-law partner who are
    • 22 years old or younger and single, or
    • Financially dependent on the parent since before 22 years old and still in school, or
    • Financially dependent since before 22 years old due to a medical condition


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