Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

Federal Skilled Worker Program, one of the most popular programs in the Express Entry, is designed for those with specific skill sets.

You need skilled work experience, language skills, and education, but in order to succeed in your application, you need to qualify for the Express Entry parameters too. The ranking system is based on a 100-point grid, and you need 67 to qualify.

Here are the minimum requirements for candidates seeking to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program:

Skilled Work Experience

You must have at least 1 year of full-time paid work experience or 1,560 hours in total. These hours can also be fulfilled over a longer period of time, for instance, 15 hours a week for 24 months at a part-time job, or the same full-time work-load at more than one job in 12 months.

You will receive a minimum of 9 points for 1 year of experience, 2-5 years will get you 11-13 points, and having more than 6 years of experience, you can get a maximum of 15 points.

You can apply for FSWP if you are working in one of the following National Occupation Classification job groups:

  • Managerial job (restaurant managers, mine managers, shore captains). In this type of job, lengthy job experience is usually prevalent.
  • Professional job (doctors, dentists, architects). This group is typically workers with a degree from a university in a specific field.
  • Technical job (chefs, plumbers, electricians). For this kind of job, you should be specifically trained, or have a college diploma or a certificate.

General requirements for skilled work experience are:

  • It must have occurred in the last 10 years before your application
  • It must be in the same field as the job you want to use for your application
  • It must be paid for work. Volunteer work or unpaid internships do not count.

Portrait of smiling doctors standing together in corridor at hospital

Language Ability

You can get a maximum of 28 points for your language skills. You will have to work on speaking, listening, reading, and writing. You can either sit for CELPIP, IELTS, or TEF Canada.


In the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you can get a maximum of 25 points for your education. If you went to school in Canada you will need to present your secondary, high-school, post-secondary or higher education certificate or diploma. If you have a foreign education you must have a completed educational credential and obtain a report from an approved agency in Canada showing that your education is equal to a Canadian degree.

You get more points if you fulfill any of the following requirements to at least some extent:

  • Younger than 36 years old. Applicants over this age get fewer points. Being older than 47, you get 0 points in this category.
  • For Federal Skilled Worker Program a job-offer from a Canadian employer can get you brownie points. If you have a valid job offer for at least 1 year you get 10 points.
  • Adaptability, or how well you are likely to settle. Previous study or work experience in Canada, certain types of relatives, or spouse’s language proficiency can grant you points under this factor (maximum 10 points).
  • Proof of funds.  You will need money to move, and the amount depends on the number of family members you are moving with. Quebec has its own set of rules though, and it’s something you should remember.