Determine your eligibility – Federal skilled workers

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has been returning fees paid to the Department for Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applications affected by the backlog elimination announced in 2012.

If you applied to the FSW program before February 27, 2008, and have not heard from CIC about whether a decision has been made based on the assessment of your application, you may be affected by this law. Please see how you can get your fee returned.

As of January 2015, we have a new system to manage how people apply to this program. It is called Express Entry.

You can use our online tool, Come to Canada, to see if you meet the criteria to get into the Express Entry pool.

Minimum requirements

Skilled work experience

Your 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 skill type (0, A or B) ,
  • within the last 10 years, and
  • at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Full Time

30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)

Part time

15 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
OR
30 hours/week for 12 months at more than one job = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)

You must show that you did the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC, including all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.

If you cannot show that your work experience meets the description in the NOC, you are not eligible under this program.

Find out the NOC code, title and skill type or level for your job.

Language ability

You must:

  • meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7, and
  • take a language test approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that shows you meet the level for speaking, listening, reading and writing.

You must show that you meet the requirements in English or French by including the test results when you complete your Express Entry profile. Your test results must not be more than two years old on the day you apply for permanent residence.

Education

You must have:

Six selection factors

If you meet all the conditions set out in the minimum requirements, we will assess your application based on the selection factors in the federal skilled worker points grid.Footnote 1

The selection factors are:

  • your skills in English and/or French (Canada's two official languages),
  • your education,
  • your work experience,
  • your age,
  • whether you have a valid job offer, and
  • your adaptability (how well you are likely to settle here).

To see how many points you might get, read about the selection factors.

If you have skilled work experience and want to live in Canada permanently, use our Come to Canada tool to see if you are eligible for the Express Entry pool.

Proof of funds

You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada, unless you:

  • are currently able to legally work in Canada, and
  • have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.

Principal applicant

If you are married or live with a common-law foreign national partner in Canada, and that person also meets the above conditions, you can decide which one of you will apply under Express Entry as a principal applicant.

A common-law partner is a person who has lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. Common-law partner refers to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Look at each selection factor and see which one of you is most likely to meet the eligibility requirements and earn the most points. That person should apply as the principal applicant.

Other requirements

  1. You must be admissible to Canada. Find out more about inadmissibility.
  2. You must plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

If you have skilled work experience and want to live in Canada permanently, use our Come to Canada tool to see if you are eligible for the Express Entry pool.

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