How can I come to Canada as a skilled worker?

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is for people who are selected to immigrate to Canada because of their work experience and skills.

Important Note: As of January, 1, 2015 candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker Program will be selected to apply through the Express Entry System. If you have applied before January 1, 2015, your application will be considered according to the former system.

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Have a job offer; or
  • Be eligible to work in Canada; or
  • Be able to prove that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada;
and Have at least 1 year of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience; Meet minimum language levels in English or French; Have a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree; Plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

What kind of work experience do I need?

Your work experience must be either Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or Skill Level B on the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Your work experience must be paid, full-time or the equivalent hours part-time. Full-time means at least 30 hours per week. You must have had that work experience during the last 10 years.

These limits do not apply if you have a permanent job offer.

The FSW Point System

You need at least 67 points to be eligible to apply as a FSW. You get different points based on:

  • Your education;
  • Your abilities in English and/or French (Canada's 2 official languages);
  • Your work experience;
  • Your age;
  • If you have arranged employment in Canada; and
  • Your adaptability.

Please note that the FSW point system is different from Express Entry points.

How do I apply as a FSW?

If you are eligible to apply under the FSW category, you may submit your profile to Express Entry. Express Entry is a new online application system for economic immigration categories, such as the FSW.

For More Information

  • Federal Skilled Workers - Information on selection criteria and how to apply. From Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
  • Come to Canada - A tool that can help you figure out what your options are if you want to come to Canada as an immigrant, student, worker or visitor. From Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) - The federal department responsible for Canadian immigration and citizenship. Its website has information on immigration policy, programs and services, application kits, and more.
  • IRCC Help Centre - A tool that helps answer frequently asked questions on immigration matters. It offers several ways of searching through the information available, including search by keyword. From Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. 
Last updated: July 11, 2016 4000176