Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is one of the three economic streams available under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (Immigration Canada) Express Entry program. The Federal Skilled Worker Program is the main program where foreign nationals, currently residing outside Canada, and who have no Canadian work experience, will normally qualify.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is a point-based system. In order for a foreign national to qualify, they must score at minimum 67 points on a matrix which awards points for:

  • Age
  • Education 
  • Language abilities in English and French
  • Work experience in the last 10 years, including any Canadian work experience
  • Employment offer with a Canadian employer
  • Previous studies in Canada
  • The language abilities in English or French of their spouse or common-law partner
  • Relatives in Canada, which includes close family members such as parents, grand-parents, brothers, sisters, aunts or uncles (but not cousins), whom are 18 years or older

In order to qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, a foreign national must score at minimum 67 points, and must also meet certain minimum requirements, including: 

  1. Minimum of one year of full-time work experience, or the equivalent in part-time work experience, in an occupation that is at the management, professional or technical level (National Occupational Classification (NOC) levels O, A or B), obtained within the last 10 years; 
  2. Minimum CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) 7 in English or French in each of the four language abilities;
  3. Must be able to evidence completion of a secondary or post-secondary diploma; and
  4. Evidence of ability to support themselves (and their family members) financially once in Canada by meeting income threshold or settlement fund requirements.

If a foreign national meets the minimum criteria and scores at minimum 67 points, their Express Entry profile will be placed in the pool of applicants. Once in the pool of applicants, a foreign national’s profile will be awarded points based on the information contained in their Express Entry profile, and then they will be ranked against all other candidates in the Express Entry pool. They will be awarded a different set of points based on the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) matrix.