The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is one of the three programs under which you may qualify for permanent residence through the Express Entry (EE) system. To assess eligibility, you are assigned a score out of 100 based on six criteria:

1. Language
2. Education
3. Work
4. Age
5. Arranged employment
6. Adaptability

To qualify, the minimum score is 67 points. Each of the following basic requirements must also be met:

    • In the past 10 years, have completed 1 year of paid continuous work (part-time, or full-time, for a total of 1,560 hours) in a managerial, professional, or technical job, or skilled trade (National Occupation Classification skill type 0, or skill levels A or B). This must be in the same type of job as your primary occupation, not unrelated experience.
    • Take a language test to show proficiency in either English (with the CELPIP or IELTS test) or French (with TEF or TCF). The scores are standardized according to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), where the minimum score is CLB 7.
    • Submit proof of any degrees or diplomas completed in Canada, or for foreign education, obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes from a designated organization.
    • Show proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and each dependent family member (spouse or partner and children, whether accompanying or not), unless you are authorized to work in Canada and have a valid job offer.

Once you have established that you are eligible as a FSW, you may submit your profile, or “expression of interest” via Express Entry (or “EE”), a platform used to competitively rank candidates against each other. To this end, a different score based on EE’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is assigned to each profile. A detailed explanation of the selection process is covered in the EE section. There are different ways to increase your CRS score and improve your chances of being invited to apply for permanent residence, such as retaking your language test, obtaining further education or work experience, or obtaining a qualifying job offer in Canada, among others. One important note is that as your age increases past the age of 35 (or age 30 under EE), your score decreases, so it is essential to identify the most efficient route to obtaining an ITA. Once you are invited and your application is submitted, an application under this category can lead to Canadian permanent residence in approximately 6 months.

There are many complexities that can affect an application under the Federal Skilled Worker category, including self-employment, multiple jobs, issues with education credentials, proving past employment, complicated family or marital status, previous applications and many others. As lawyers with over 25 years of experience in immigration law, we can provide you with legal advice on the viability of your application, identify legal and practical issues, create a detailed strategy, and assist you with your application from start to finish.