The Federal Skilled Worker Program
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) selects immigrants based on their ability
to succeed economically in Canada. After meeting eligibility requirements, applicants
are assessed against selection criteria, also known as the “points grid.” There
are 100 points available to applicants, with points awarded for official language
abilities, age, education, work experience, employment already arranged in Canada,
and adaptability. The current pass mark is 67.
As of May 4, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will only consider federal
skilled worker (FSW) applications from people who have:
All applicants must also:
- 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 who are:
- in one of the 50 eligible occupations, and whose application is received under the
occupation’s sub-cap and overall FSW cap, or
- with a valid offer of arranged employment, or
- who are applying under the PhD stream (see below) until the PhD cap of 1,000 applications
Eligible Occupations List
- meet the minimum language threshold (and submit approved language test results),
- submit a Canadian educational credential or foreign credential and an assessment
of their foreign education from an approved agency, and
- meet all requirements of the FSW Program.
Effective May 1, 2014, the FSW will be accepting an overall total of 25,000 new
applications. Applicants must have at least one year of work experience in one of
50 eligible occupations. A maximum of 1,000 applications will be accepted per eligible
occupation. The eligible occupations include many widely practiced professions.
They are as follows:
1. Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services (NOC
2. Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c. (0015)
3. Financial managers (0111)
4. Human resources managers (0112)
5. Purchasing managers (0113)
6. Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers (0121)
7. Managers in health care (0311)
8. Construction managers (0711)
9. Home building and renovation managers (0712)
10. Managers in natural resources production and fishing (0811)
11. Manufacturing managers (0911)
12. Financial auditors and accountants (1111)
13. Financial and investment analysts (1112)
14. Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers (1113)
15. Other financial officers (1114)
16. Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations (1123)
17. Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers (1212)
18. Property administrators (1224)
19. Geoscientists and oceanographers (2113)
20. Civil engineers (2131)
21. Mechanical engineers (2132)
22. Electrical and electronics engineers (2133)
23. Petroleum engineers (2145)
24. Information systems analysts and consultants (2171)
25. Database analysts and data administrators (2172)
26. Software engineers and designers (2173)
27. Computer programmers and interactive media developers (2174)
28. Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians (2232)
29. Construction estimators (2234)
30. Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians (2241)
31. Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics (2243)
32. Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
33. Computer network technicians (2281)
34. Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors (3011)
35. Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (3012)
36. Specialist physicians (3111)
37. General practitioners and family physicians (3112)
38. Dietitians and nutritionists (3132)
39. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists (3141)
40. Physiotherapists (3142)
41. Occupational therapists (3143)
42. Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
43. Medical radiation technologists (3215)
44. Medical sonographers (3216)
45. Licensed practical nurses (3233)
46. Paramedical occupations (3234)
47. University professors and lecturers (4011)
48. Psychologists (4151)
49. Early childhood educators and assistants (4214)
50. Translators, terminologists and interpreters (5125)
Applicants under the FSW program will be assessed according to the same criteria
as 2013. Applicants are assessed on a points grid that takes into account important
factors such as education, language skills, work experience, age, and adaptability
to Canada. All applicants must meet minimum language requirements in either English
or French. In addition to skilled workers, the FSW program includes streams for
PhD holders and individuals who have received eligible job offers from Canadian
employers. A maximum of 500 PhD applicants will be accepted under the upcoming program.
Applicants who hold valid job offers are not subject to any intake caps.
Minimum Language Threshold
All prospective applicants to the FSWP should first determine whether they meet
the new minimum language threshold: Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or Niveaux
de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 7 in all four skills (listening, speaking,
reading, and writing). To prove language proficiency, a prospective applicant must
take a third-party language test from an organization designated by the Minister
and submit their test report along with their application to CIC.
Language test results will be accepted by CIC for two years from the date that they
were issued by the designated organization.
CIC-designated language testing organizations include: Canadian English Language
Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP, International English Language Testing System
(IELTS) , and Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) .
Third-party language tests are scored differently by each of the three organizations.
Here are the scores on each of the tests that correspond to Canadian Language Benchmark
(CLB) 7 or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 7 or higher:
Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
An FSWP applicant must score at least 4L on the CELPIP-General test in each of the
four skills to meet the minimum language threshold. A score of 4L on the CELPIP-General
test corresponds to CLB 7.
A score of 4H corresponds to CLB 8, and a score of 5 or higher corresponds to CLB
9 or higher.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
An FSWP applicant must score at least 6.0 on the IELTS General Training test in
each of the four skills to meet the minimum language threshold of CLB 7.
Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) An FSWP applicant must score at least 206 in
reading, 248 in listening, and 309 in both speaking and writing on the TEF to meet
the minimum language threshold of NCLC 7.
Previously, employers have applied for an Arranged Employment Opinion (AEO) from
Human Resources Skills Development Canada when they wished to hire a foreign national
on a permanent, full-time basis and support their employee’s application for permanent
residence through the FSWP.
Starting on May 4, 2013, CIC will no longer accept AEOs in support of an FSWP application.
Instead, most offers of arranged employment will require a Labour Market Opinion.
Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
Another important change that takes effect on May 4, 2013, is the introduction of
the educational credential assessment (ECA). Prospective applicants may start the
process of getting an ECA before May 4 if they are planning to submit a foreign
educational credential. However, applicants should keep in mind the other program
eligibility requirements listed above, i.e. whether they have a qualifying offer
of arranged employment or are applying under the PhD stream or eligible occupations
stream; and if they meet the minimum language threshold through a designated third-party
test. Applicants who have Canadian educational credentials do not need to get an
ECA, unless they are also submitting a foreign educational credential in support
of their application.
The ECA process will help determine if the foreign educational credential is authentic
and equivalent to a completed credential in Canada. For prospective applicants,
the ECA can provide a realistic understanding of how their foreign educational credentials
are likely to be recognized in Canada.
As of April 17, 2013, four organizations have been designated by the Minister to
provide ECA reports for purposes of immigrating to Canada under the FSWP. Additional
organizations may be designated by CIC in the future. The designated organizations
• Comparative Education Service ;
• International Credential Assessment Service of Canada ;
• World Education Services ; and,
• Medical Council of Canada .
The Medical Council of Canada has been designated only for those principal applicants
who intend to apply with specialist physician (2011 National Occupation Classification
[NOC] code 3111) or general practitioner/family physician (2011 NOC code 3112) as
their primary occupation in their FSWP application. Neither NOC code 3111 nor 3112
is on the eligible occupations list that takes effect on May 4, so this will only
affect those applying under the PhD stream or with a qualifying job offer based
on those NOC codes.
Applicants should contact the designated organizations directly for further information
on their documentation requirements, processing times and fees.
CIC will only accept ECA reports issued after the date the organization was designated
by CIC to provide ECA reports for immigration purposes (i.e. April 17, 2013). An
ECA report will be valid for immigration purposes for 5 years from the date that
it was issued by the designated organization.