As part of Canada's Express Entry system, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada offers the Federal Skilled Workers Program, an immigration program designed for skilled workers with foreign experience who want to move permanently to Canada. Here, our Ottawa and Orleans immigration physicians offer some insight into this program's requirements and process.
What is the Federal Skilled Worker Program?
The Federal Skilled Worker Program is one of three programs that make up Canada's Express Entry immigration system. It is meant to help skilled workers with foreign experience who are interested in permanently moving to Canada do so.
This program comes with a few basic requirements for eligibility. In order to apply for permanent residency through the Federal Skilled Worker program, the following must be true:
- You have either a valid job offer in Canada or enough funds to support yourself and your family after arriving in the country.
- You have at least 1560 cumulative hours of full or part-time work experience in a skilled job related to the work you will be doing in Canada.
- If you went to school in Canada, you must have either a secondary or post-secondary diploma or degree.
- If you did not go to school in Canada, you need a completed credential and to be able to provide an Education Credential Assessment to prove your education is equal to the above Canadian diplomas, certificates or degrees.
- You must score at least 67 out of a possible 100 selection-factor points based on criteria specific to the program.
- You must be admissible to Canada. An individual may be inadmissible to Canada for a number of reasons, including security, criminal, medical or economic.
What kind of work experience do I need?
In order to be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker program, you must have a cumulative 1560 hours of either part-time or full-time work related to the job you have been offered or the jobs to which you intended to apply.
But in order to be considered "skilled work" under the Federal Skilled Worker program, your work experience must fall within certain groups as defined by Canada's National Occupational Classification (NOC). These groups include managerial, professional and technical or skilled trades work.
In the NOC these three kinds of jobs are considered Groups 0, A and B. If you aren't sure whether your job falls under one of these job groups, look through the NOC's directory of jobs and their defined duties here.
If you aren't able to find a job listed in the directory matching the name of your position, don't worry. What you should really be looking for similarities in is the description of job duties. Search the directory for a lead statement and list of duties that aligns with your position's responsibilities rather than for a job with a matching title (although that can be a good place to start).
What kind of documents do I need to provide for the Federal Skilled Worker program?
For all 3 Express Entry Programs, including the Federal Skilled Worker Program, candidates must be intending to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec.
Additionally, every Express Entry application requires some of the same documentation, including:
- Medical Examination Confirmation (provided by an immigration doctor)
- Police Certificates certifying you and your family don't have a criminal record
- A copy of the biographical data page of your passport or other travel documentation to prove your identity
- Employment Reference Letter as proof of your work experience
- Language Test Results with a minimum score depending on your specific immigration program.
For the Federal Skilled Worker program, you must achieve a minimum CLB equivalent score of 7 on an approved language test. Additionally you not only need to provide proof of your work experience through a reference letter, but proof that you have had at least 1560 hours of work at that and other positions.
On top of the documentation you must provide, the Federal Skilled Worker program evaluates all candidates who meet the minimum requirements of the program using a points-based selection system.
How do I earn selection factor points in the Federal Skilled Worker program?
The Federal Skilled Worker program assigns points based on a number of factors separate from the Express Entry point system. The Federal Skilled Worker selection factor points are awarded based out of a possible 100 points. The current number of points required to "pass" the selection process is 67.
These points are assigned according to 6 categories, including:
- age (out of a possible 12 points)
- education (out of a possible 25 points)
- work experience (out of a possible 15 points)
- whether you have a valid job offer (out of a possible 10 points)
- English and/or French language skills (out of a possible 28 points)
- adaptability—how well you’re likely to settle in Canada (out of a possible 10 points)
In order to be selected for the Federal Skilled Worker program, you must score a minimum of 67 points in totally among these six categories.
If you meet both of the program's minimum requirements, you will be seriously considered for entry into Canada through this program for permanent residency.