The Federal Skilled Workers Program (the “FSWP“) has traditionally been one of Canada’s most popular immigration programs. It is currently one of the three programs that is managed through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (“IRCC“) Express Entry program.

To be eligible for the FSWP, applicants must meet minimum eligibility criteria, and also get a minimum of 67 out of 100 points in a selection grid.

Minimum Eligibility Criteria

The minimum eligibility criteria to the FSWP are that applicants must:

  • Within the 10 years preceding the date of the application for a permanent resident visa, have at least one year of continuous full-time employment experience or the equivalent in continuous part-time employment in one or more occupations that are listed in National Occupational Classification (“NOC“) 0, A or B;
  • During that period of employment performed the actions described in the lead statement for the occupation as set out in the occupational descriptions of the NOC;
  • During that period of employment performed a substantial number of the main duties of the occupation as set out in the occupational descriptions of the National Occupational Classification, including all of the essential duties.
  • have completed a language test from a designated testing agency and obtained a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark 7 in all abilities;
  • if they do not have Canadian education credentials, have submitted an “equivalency assessment” relevant to their occupation establishing that they have the equivalent of the minimum education credential required to practice this occupation in Canada.

Definition of “Continuous” 

Many people have questions regarding what constitutes “continuous” full-time experience for the purpose of the FSWP. Essentially, the work experience must be:

  • at least one year (1,560 hours total / 30 hours per week), continuous full-time or an equal amount in part time;
  • paid work (volunteer work, unpaid internships do not count);
  • in the same NOC code;
  • be within the last ten years; and
  • at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the NOC.

A question that is often asked is whether the work experience can be obtained at more than one job. The answer is that it can.





The Points Grid

Applicants who meet the minimum criteria must then obtain a minimum of 67 points out of 100 points based on the following factors: