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Federal Skilled Worker Program Eligibility

Federal Skilled Worker Program Eligibility

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is one of Canada’s immigration programs under the economic class. What are the minimum requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program? To qualify under FSWP, an applicant must meet the following minimum requirements:


Skilled Work Experience is considered as having at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent part-time work within the past 10 years, in an occupation listed under the Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupational Classification or NOC. To determine the appropriate NOC occupation, the applicant must have performed the actions described in the lead statement and performed a substantial number of main duties listed in the NOC.

See: What is an NOC?


In order to meet the minimum language requirements, the applicant must first take a language test that is designated by the IRCC. As of writing, the following are the third-party language tests that are approved by the IRCC: IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) for English and TEF (Test d’évaluation de français) for French.

The official language test results must be valid and less than two years old at the time of the application. The applicant must indicate their first official language in their application. Their choice of first official language will be the basis for assigning points for language.

The official language test results do not automatically translate to points and must be “converted” into the Canadian Language Benchmark or CLB level in order to correctly determine equivalent points. Click here for the language conversion table.

As of writing, an applicant must meet the minimum language level of CLB 7 on all four language abilities (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking) in their first official language.


At the minimum, the applicant must have completed secondary education (high school). The applicant must have a Canadian secondary or post-secondary certificate/ diploma OR a completed foreign credential with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) issued by an approved IRCC agency such as WES and IQAS. Click here for the complete list of approved ECA agencies.


If an applicant meets the requirements under 1-3, he/she will be assessed based on six selection factors namely, work experience, language ability, education, age, whether the applicant has a valid job offer from a Canadian employer and adaptability.

If the applicant has a spouse or common-law partner, he/she may also earn points in adaptability for his/her partner’s language ability, previous work/study in Canada, or relatives in Canada.

The applicant will be assigned points under each factor based on the Federal Skilled Worker point grid. In order to qualify under the FSWP, the applicant must meet at least 67 points over 100 points.


Once the application is approved under the FSWP, the applicant must have enough money to support himself/herself and his/her family unless he/she is currently working in Canada/ authorized to work in Canada or has a valid job offer in Canada.

The amount of money needed is determined by the the number of persons in the applicant’s family, and is based on 50% of the low-income cut-offs. These amounts are estimated to cover for living expenses for the new immigrant and his/her family members whether accompanying or not.

The table below shows the 2016 required funds in Canadian dollars. Note that these figures are updated every year.

Number of
Family Members
Funds Required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $12,164.00
2 $15,143.00
3 $18,617.00
4 $22,603.00
5 $25,636.00
6 $28,913.00
7 or more $32,191.00


The settlement fund that you must possess by the time you land as a permanent resident must not be borrowed, and must be readily transferrable and available when you settle in Canada. Proof of funds may be in the form of cash, documents that show property such as stocks and bonds, and documents that guarantee payment of a set amount of payment such as traveler’s cheques, bank drafts, etc.


Lastly, in order to apply as a skilled worker, an applicant must first create an Express Entry profile online. If an applicant meets the minimum requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program, he/she will automatically be placed in the Express Entry Pool from which highest-scoring candidates may be issued an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.

See: Express Entry: The Basics

This Federal Skilled Worker Program is typically the best immigration option for people without family members to sponsor them to Canada, have Canadian or foreign skilled work experience who may or may not have a valid job offer. Over the years, it has encouraged immigration from highly qualified skilled workers who continue to significantly contribute to the Canadian economy.

For comments and questions, check out our forums and join the conversation.

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