The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program has helped countless newcomers and their families make Canada their home. Until recently, the FSW program only accepted applicants that have specific types of employment backgrounds. It is then difficult for many prospective applicants to apply for FSW because their occupations did not fall under the category of the prioritized applications. Meanwhile, we are happy to inform you that as of January 1, 2015, the prerequisite of specific prioritized work experience is no longer required.
Important Note: As of January 1, 2015, the Federal Skilled Worker program is now under the Express Entry system. Applicants who wish to apply for this program will firstly have to submit an expression of interest profile that puts them in a pool of prospective applicants.
Although there is no prioritized occupation list anymore, some of the requirements for the FSW program are still mandatory and must be met for application.
MANDATORY ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS OF FSW
- Pass a minimum language requirement in English or French. You will need to provide approved language test results at the visa office.
- You must have a minimum of one year, in the last 10 years, of skilled work experience (Skill level O, A or B). This experience must be full-time (30hrs/week) and continuous.
- You must meet the 67-point pass mark which is determined by the six selection factors
SIX SELECTION FACTORS
- 1. Education: Applicants must obtain a maximum of 25 points for their education, depending on their academic qualifications.
- 2. Language Proficiency: A maximum of 28 points is required under the language proficiency selection factor. Since Canada has two official languages, French and English, you can choose which will be your own first official language (24 points), and which will be your second (4 points). Proficiency in BOTH English and French is however NOT a requirement for FSW.
- 3. Age: A maximum of 12 points is awarded under this category. Under this selection factor, applicants older than 36 years begin to lose points.
- 4. Work Experience: Applicants can obtain a maximum of 15 points under this selection factor. For candidates with 6 or more years of full-time, skilled work experience in the last 10 years, they will get the full 15 points. It is therefore critical that you select your NOC code carefully for your listed work experience.
- 5. Arranged Employment: A maximum of 10 points is available under this category. However, only applicants with a skilled, full-time job offer from a Canadian employer are eligible for these points. In addition, these points can only be awarded until the Canadian employer applies for and is granted a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment.
- 6. Adaptability: Points for adaptability are awarded for aspects of your background which Immigration Canada feels will be an asset to your integration into the Canadian society. Factors like previous work or study experience and types of relatives can give more points under this category. Additionally, if you are married and your spouse has a basic language proficiency in English or French, you can get more points for the application.
- The Educational Credential Assessment
- Approved Language tests
- Reference Letters
- Identity and civil status documents
Other documents like medical examinations and police clearance certificates should only be applied for AFTER submission of your application. These documents can expire quickly or may require you to provide a letter from the visa office to obtain them. It is therefore in your best interest to apply for these documents ONLY when you are requested to do so.