Federal Skilled Worker

Table of Contents

Apply for FSW through Express Entry

A federal skilled worker is a person with a post-secondary level of education (or in some cases only secondary 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 minimum required factors (see below), plus other factors which we call selection factors (see below) 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 also have sufficient funds to support themselves and their family members for at least six months after arriving in Canada.


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 your 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 system 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, after a period of about 5 years. A work permit, on the other hand, is only valid for a limited period of time, after which you must apply to remain in Canada under a different program, or leave the country if you are unable to apply under a different program.


How Immigroup 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.)


Processing Time for Federal Skilled Worker Applications through Express Entry

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 Immigration to Canada


Federal Skilled Worker 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.


Federal Skilled Worker 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




Spouse or common-law partner



Other family members (children or grandchildren) who are under 22 and do have a spouse/partner



Right of permanent residence fee All family members except dependent children


Dependent children (must be under 22 years old and NOT have a spouse/partner)


$225 per child


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

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 in the following 3 areas:

  • work experience,
  • language, and
  • education

In the case of work experience you must have at least 1 year of continuous work experience in your field which you are using to apply for permanent residence. (1,560 hours total which can be obtained through 1 full-time job, several concurrent part-time jobs, or different full-time jobs.)

  • Any hours over 30 hours a week are not counted towards your total required hours
  • Here is how total required hours are calculated: 52 x 30 = 1560 total hours. This means you must work for at least 52 weeks at a full-time job to qualify or accumulate the same total hours working at more than 1 part-time job which are defined as 15 hours of work a week.
  • It must be paid work – volunteer work and/or unpaid internships don’t count.
  • This work experience must have been within the last 10 years.
  • You must have work experience in
  • a managerial job, (NOC skill type 0), or
  • a professional job, (NOC skill level A), or
  • a technical occupation (NOC skill level B).
  • (If you are not sure if your work experience meets the requirement, contact us or post a question below.)
  • Go here to find examples of managerial, professional, or technical occupations as classified by the NOC

The minimum necessary score 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:


Language Points for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

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 Points for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

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 Points for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

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


Age Points for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

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 You Can Be Awarded for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

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.


Accompanying Family Members through the Federal Skilled Worker Program

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.


Express Entry Points Cut Offs by Draw


Express Entry Invitations to Apply (ITAs) by Draw

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