Federal Skilled Worker Program

Canada is facing a skilled labor shortage as its economy continues to expand at the same time as growing numbers of Canadians are retiring from the workforce.

Consequently, Canada’s government and Canadian businesses have been increasingly seeking skilled foreign workers to help fill thousands of Canadian job openings across the country.

In order to attract thousands of skilled foreign workers who can immediately integrate into Canada’s economy, the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) was established to offer a long-term Canadian work visa (i.e., Permanent Resident Visa to Canada) to foreign nationals in various high-demand managerial, professional and technical occupations that often require a college or university education or other advanced post-secondary training. 

To register for your Canadian visa eligibility assessment

Who Can Apply for the FSWP?

The Canadian government has announced its goal to issue a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada to 232,000 “economic immigrants” in 2021 through various Canadian immigration programs, such as the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP).

The Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) is a points-based Canadian immigration program designed to offer a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada to thousands of qualified skilled foreign workers (and their eligible family members) who meet certain criteria.

Points are given for factors considered important to the success of skilled foreign workers who immigrate to Canada such as:

  • English/French language skills (28 points possible)
  • Education (25 points possible)
  • Work experience (15 points possible)
  • Age (12 points possible)
  • Qualifying Canadian job offer (10 points possible)
  • Adaptability (10 points possible)

A minimum of 67 points out of a maximum of 100 points is needed to qualify for the FSWP, along with meeting other eligibility criteria.

Applicants must also have their English and/or French language abilities evaluated by taking the IELTS and/or TEF exams and obtain an acceptable score; receive a favorable Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from one of the agencies authorized by the Canadian government; plus meet the health and character standards and other criteria.

Please note that if you would like to live and work in Quebec, you cannot apply for immigration to Canada through the FSWP and must instead apply for Canadian immigration through the Quebec Regular Skilled Workers Program (QSWP).

One of the key eligibility requirements for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) is to have at least one year of continuous full-time paid work experience during the past 10 years in a qualifying occupation listed by the 2021 National Occupational Classification (NOC) as being at Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) Category 0 (certain management occupations), TEER Category 1 (certain professions usually requiring a university degree), TEER Category 2 (certain occupations usually requiring a college diploma, or apprenticeship training of at least 2 years, or supervisory occupations), or TEER Category 3 (certain occupations usually requiring a college diploma, apprenticeship training lasting under 2 years, or over 6 months of on-the-job training).

There are dozens of managerial, professional and other high-demand occupations that are eligible for the FSWP.

For example, some of the TEER Category 0 jobs in Canada that qualify for the FSWP include: Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Managers; Banking, Credit and Other Investment Managers; Computer and Information Systems Managers; Construction Managers; Engineering Managers; Financial Managers; Managers in Health Care; Human Resources Managers; Manufacturing Managers; Purchasing Managers; Restaurant and Food Service Managers; Retail and Wholesale Trade Managers; and Utilities Managers.

Examples of TEER Category 1 jobs in Canada that are eligible for the FSWP include: Accountants; Architects; Audiologists and Speech Pathologists; Chemical Engineers; Civil Engineers; Database Analysts and Data Administrators; Dentists; Dietitians and Nutritionists; Electrical and Electronics Engineers; Elementary and Kindergarten Teachers; Financial and Investment Analysts; General Practitioners and Family Physicians; Geoscientists and Oceanographers; Land Surveyors; Mechanical Engineers; Occupational Therapists; Optometrists; Petroleum Engineers; Pharmacists; Physicists and Astronomers; Physiotherapists; Professional Occupations in Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations; Psychologists; Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses; Secondary School (High School) Teachers; Software Engineers and Designers; Specialist Physicians; Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters; and University Professors and Lecturers.

Examples of TEER Category 2 jobs in Canada that qualify for the FSWP include: Accounting Technicians and Bookkeepers; Air Traffic Controllers; Aircraft Mechanics and Aircraft Inspectors; Appliance Servicers and Repairers; Audio and Video Recording Technicians; Automotive Service Technicians; Bricklayers; Carpenters; Chefs; Cleaning Supervisors; Computer Network and Web Technicians; Conference and Event Planners; Crane Operators; Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists; Dental Technologists and Dental Technicians; Drafting Technologists and Technicians; Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers; Electronic Service Technicians; Executive Assistants; Firefighters; Food Service Supervisors; Graphic Designers and Illustrators; Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics; Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics; Industrial Designers; Interior Designers and Interior Decorators; Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs); Machinists; Massage Therapists; Medical Sonographers; Opticians; Paralegals; Paramedics; Plumbers; Power Engineers and Power System Operators; Retail Sales Supervisors; Sheet Metal Workers; Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers; and Welders.

Examples of TEER Category 3 jobs in Canada that are eligible for the FSWP include: Administrative Assistants; Aircraft Assemblers; Bakers; Butchers; Concrete Finishers; Cooks; Dental Assistants; Glaziers; Hairstylists and Barbers; Heavy Equipment Operators; Logging Machinery Operators; Medical Laboratory Assistants; Nurse Aides; Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers and Testers; Painters and Decorators; Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists; Payroll Administrators; Photographers; Plasterers, Drywall Installers and Finishers; Printing Press Operators; Roofers and Shinglers; and Tilesetters.


Please note that the above occupations are a limited sample of the many occupations that qualify for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) and that there are dozens of additional occupations that are also eligible for this popular Canadian immigration program.

The authorized immigration consultants who collaborate with Canadian Visa Expert can evaluate your CV and other relevant details and inform you as to whether your occupation, work experience, job skills and other factors are likely to qualify for the FSWP. 

FSWP Benefits

Skilled foreign workers and their eligible family members who are granted a PR Visa to Canada through the FSWP are authorized to live and work in Canada long-term, receive free basic healthcare (after a brief waiting period), get access to educational programs, sponsor family members for a Canadian visa, have the option to start a business, and can enjoy the high standard of living that Canada is famous for.

Another great benefit of being issued a PR Visa to Canada through the FSWP is the option to apply for Canadian citizenship after living in Canada as a permanent resident at least three years and meeting other criteria.

To register for your Canadian visa eligibility assessment, click here!

Application Procedure

Application for the FSWP begins by filing an online Express Entry profile with the Canadian immigration agency.

Before the Express Entry profile is filed, however, the applicant should have a passing score on an approved English or French language evaluate exam that is less than two years old, and receive a favorable Education Credential Assessment (ECA).

Further details regarding language tests and the ECA can be provided to clients of Canadian Visa Expert who are assessed as eligible to start the process for the FSWP.

When the Express Entry profile is filed, details about the applicant’s family, education, work experience, language tests scores, and other information will be entered.

A Canadian immigration official will then review the profile and if the applicant seems to meet the criteria for the FSWP, his or her profile will be placed in the Express Entry pool of candidates.

If the Express Entry candidate has one of the highest scores on the Comprehensive Ranking System OR receives a qualifying offer of Canadian employment OR is nominated for the Provincial Nominees Program (PNP), he or she could be issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

After the ITA is received, the skilled foreign worker will have up to 60 days to file the Application for a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada, including the documents and governmental fees.

Canada’s immigration authorities normally make a decision regarding Express Entry in six months or less after a complete Canadian Visa Application is filed.

If the skilled immigrant and his or family members are approved for Express Entry immigration to Canada, they will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a Canadian Permanent Resident Visa may also be placed in their passport (if someone from their country is required to have a visa to Canada).

To learn if you are likely to meet the criteria for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)

DISCLAIMER: This guide is not and shall not be considered as professional or expert advice.
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