The category of Skilled workers has been a fixture of Canadian immigration for decades.  Recently the government has completely retooled this category to reflect the government’s new emphasis on Canadian education and work experience.  The following factors are used to assess Federal Skilled workers.


FSW applications have certain requirements or pre-requisites that must be met before the application can be processed.

      • at least one year of continuous and paid (full-time or an equal amount in part-time) work experience in a single occupation,
        • within the last 10 years,
        • at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the 2011 edition of the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC), and have this work experience in one of the eligible occupations, OR
        • have a valid offer of arranged employment, OR
        • are an international student who is enrolled in a PhD program in Canada (or who graduated from a Canadian PhD program within the past 12 months) and meet these criteria.

In summary, everyone within the FSW category is required to have one year of work experience.  The work experience must be in an eligible occupation.  The only exceptions to the eligible occupation requirement are if a person has arranged employment or is enrolled or recently enrolled in a PhD program in Canada.

If the applicant meets the work experience and employment requirements then the applicant is eligible to move on to the next step wherein Immigration will determine whether you meet the remainder of the FDW requirements.

Language ability

Canada Immigration now has a standardized method of determining language ability by requiring that applicant submit to standardized tests at approved testing facilities of the IELTS or the CELPIP.  In order to be eligible for the FSW program applicants must demonstrate they meet the Minimum Language Threshold with a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark of 7.


Applicants  must have:


One of the major changes in the way the Immigration processes FSW is the government now accepts only a limited number of applications every year.  In this way the government hopes to only accept the number of applications it believes it is capable of processing in any given year.  This cap applies generally as well as specifically to all the approved occupations.  Presently the overall cap has been set at 5000.  There are however exceptions to the cap limit.


a)      a valid offer of arranged employment, or

b)      applying under the PhD stream (1000 cap)

Six selection factors

If an applicant meets all the conditions set out above, the application will be processed based on the six factors set out in the skilled worker points grid

  • English and/or French,
  • education,
  • work experience,
  • age,
  • arranged employment in Canada, and
  • adaptability (how well you are likely to integrate).

A person who is able to accumulate 67 points will be accepted as a FSW so long as there are no admissibility issues.

Proof of funds

An applicant must have enough  money to support himself after arrival in Canada.  The amount required is approximately 11,000 for a single person up to 30,000 for a family of 7 or more.


Applicants who are determined to be inadmissible are not allowed to come to Canada.  Several things can make a person inadmissible, including but  not limited to:

  • crime, or
  • human rights violations,
  • security,
  • health risks,
  • financial reasons