Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is one of the three programs offered by the Canadian government within the Express Entry system for processing applications related to permanent residency.

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program utilizes the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) for ranking candidates planning to settle permanently in Canada. Federal Skilled Workers need not have any previous work experience to make it to the Express Entry pool. They qualify based on factors such as work experience, language ability, and qualifications. The applicants in the pool with the highest CRS scores are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence.


To qualify for the FSW program, a candidate must meet some minimum requirements in years of experience, level of education, age, and language proficiency in English and French:

Work Experience

You must have completed at least 12 months of full-time skilled work within the past ten years.

Language Proficiency

You must have a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 on an approved English or French language test


You must have at least a Canadian high school diploma (or equivalent in foreign education)


You must be financially stable to support your spouse and/or children and dependents when they settle in Canada

If you meet the qualifying requirements listed above, you must also demonstrate that you score a minimum of 67 out of 100 points on the FSW eligibility grid.

How To Apply

You must submit an Express Entry profile to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Mere submission of the profile will guarantee you a Canadian permanent residence. You will be assigned a CRS score based on your profile. You will be in contention for the next Express Entry draws for Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence.

Your Express Entry application must contain the following documents

Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA)

You must provide a valid ECA report confirming the value of your education by Canadian standards to be able to get points under this category.

Language Proficiency Test Results

You must provide the results of the approved language test. The test must have been taken within the previous two years.

Identification Documents

You must provide information from identification documents. You and accompanying family members must have valid and active passports

If you get an ITA for Canadian permanent residence, you can move on to the second stage of the application process. You have 60 days to prepare and submit an eAPR or electronic Application for Permanent Residence in this second stage. There is more documentation involved in this stage.

Foreign Work Experience

To be eligible to submit an Express Entry profile, you must have a minimum of one year of full-time foreign work experience. It must be a paid work experience gained outside Canada within the past ten years.

Age Limit

While there is no age limit for applying under the FSW program, at the age of 35, you will begin to lose points on eligibility requirements. After the age of 29, you will also lose points on the age factor. Candidates with lower age points may have to find ways of increasing their CRS scores through other factors.

Inclusion of Spouse/Children

You may include your spouse and children on their application for permanent residence under the FSW program. However, it is important to understand how your CRS score will be affected when applying with a spouse.

Inclusion of a Parent

The FSW program does not allow the inclusion of parents in an application for permanent residence. You may be able to sponsor your parents after becoming a permanent resident if you fulfill the eligibility conditions to sponsor them.

Is A Job Offer Needed For FSW Program

A job offer is not required for the FSW program. However, having a valid job offer can help increase your CRS score by around 50 to 200 points. The offer must come with a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to qualify for the points.

Candidates with a serious medical condition or a criminal record may not be eligible for the FSW program. However, it does not mean a permanent ban from entering Canada.

SunnySpire is one of the leading immigration services and consultancy in Canada. We have one of the brightest teams of immigration experts who can find solutions to help applicants make a successful entry into Canada even when they face multiple challenges. Call us now to know how we can help you succeed in the Federal Skilled Worker program.

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