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Federal Skilled Worker Immigration Overview

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada manage skilled worker immigration under the Canada Express Entry system.  The highest-scoring candidates in the Express Entry pool are issued with Invitations to Apply to one of the following programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker

  • Canada Experience Class

  • Provincial Express Entry Categories


Once an ITA has been issued, the candidate must complete a full application to the relevant program.

The Federal Skilled Worker program uses its own points system according to various factors. It is designed to show if the applicant and dependents will successfully establish in Canada. Ideal applicants will possess skills and experience compatible with in-demand occupations. The selection rules favour applicants with government-approved job offers.


For more details regarding the federal skilled worker class, find out Who Qualifies for Canadian Permanent Residence/Skilled Worker Immigration?

Quebec and the other Canadian provinces also run their own economic immigration programs.

Under the Quebec skilled worker class and the provincial nominee class, applicants may become permanent residents based on their proven ability to become economically established in Canada, in accordance with immigration programs and selection criteria administered by Quebec or the provinces.

Canada also admits immigrants under business programs including the Start-Up Visa Program and the Self-Employed Class. Quebec, meanwhile, operates the highly-popular Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP).

The Start-Up Visa Program was introduced by ministerial instruction in April 2013 as a five-year pilot project. It was made permanent on March 31, 2018. The Start-Up Visa program grants Canadian permanent residence to qualified immigrant entrepreneurs. The program aims to recruit innovative entrepreneurs to Canada and link them with the Canadian private sector businesses, (angel investor groups, venture capital funds or business incubators) and facilitate the establishment of their start-up business in Canada.


The Self-Employed Class is geared towards applicants who have relevant self-employment experience as well as the intention and the ability to create their own employment and make a significant contribution to the cultural, artistic or athletic life of Canada, or to create their own employment by purchasing and managing a farm in Canada. The Quebec government manages its own immigration programs providing for skilled worker and business class selection rules.


The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) is the only option for business immigrants with a high net worth wishing to secure permanent residence based on a passive investment. The primary requirements to qualify under the Quebec Investor program are

  • Have a legally acquired personal net worth of $2 million;

  • Possess two years of suitable management or business experience within the five years preceding the application;

  • Commit to making an investment of $1.2 million into a passive government guaranteed investment for a period of five years bearing no interest;

  • Intend to settle in the province of Quebec.

Who Qualifies for Canada Immigration Through The Federal Skilled Worker Program?

The Federal Skilled Worker Program, which comes under the Express Entry system, allows qualified foreign nationals from all over the world to immigrate to Canada.

The program seeks to select candidates with the highest probability of successfully settling in Canada.

It is one of two main federal programs for skilled workers under Express Entry, alongside the Canadian Experience Class. Under Express Entry, candidates across 370 eligible occupations who meet minimum entry criteria can submit a profile to the Express Entry Pool.

The profiles of candidates in the pool are ranked under a Comprehensive Ranking System. The highest-ranked candidates receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence. 

Candidates receiving an invitation must submit a full application within 60 days.

Candidates who qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program meet education, work experience, age and official language requirements. 

To qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, applicants must meet the following conditions:

  1. Possess one-year of continuous full-time paid work experience or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment within the previous 10 years in one of 370 eligible occupations listed under the applicable National Occupational Classification system; AND

  2. The work experience must be classified within TEER categories 0 (management occupations), 1 (occupations that usually require a university degree), 2 (occupations that require a college diploma, apprenticeship training of 2 or more years, or are supervisory) or 3 (occupations that require a college diploma, apprenticeship training of less than 2 years, or more than 6 months of on-the-job training) of the National Occupational Classification; AND

  3. Score sufficient points under the skilled worker point grid comprising six selection factors;

  4. Undergo language testing from a recognized third party and demonstrate intermediate level language skills in English or French corresponding to the Canadian Language Benchmark of 7)

  5. Possess suitable settlement funding;

  6. Undergo a successful security background and medical examination.

Qualified applicants are evaluated against six factors to determine their eligibility for immigration to Canada. Applicants must obtain a total of 67 points out of a possible 100 in order to qualify. The selection factors are:

  • Education;

  • Language;

  • Employment experience;

  • Age;

  • Arranged employment;

  • Adaptability.


Selection Factors

To be selected under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, applicants with sufficient work experience and language proficiency must score a minimum of 67 points on the skilled worker selection grid.

Points are allocated for education, language, employment experience, age, arranged Canadian employment and adaptability.

Education – Maximum of 25 points

The maximum number of points awarded for education is 25, with maximum points awarded to applicants with doctoral degrees. Foreign credentials will be evaluated by a designated third party to determine their Canadian equivalent.

Language – Minimum threshold of 16 points, Maximum of 28 points

Only applicants capable of demonstrating an intermediate to high level proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages, English or French, will be considered. Applicants who meet the minimum threshold must score at least 16 points under this selection factor. Higher language proficiency can lead to a score of up to 24 points.

A further 4 points are available for a second official language.


Employment Experience – Minimum of 9 points, Maximum of 15 points

The program requires a minimum of one year of work experience in an eligible occupation to qualify and the maximum consideration is six years.

Age – Maximum of 12 points

Up to 12 points will be allotted to candidates between the ages of 18 and 35 years. Each year above the age of 35 will reduce the allocation by one, with no points being awarded as of age 47.

Arranged Employment – 0 or 10 points

Points are allotted to individuals with a validated offer of employment in Canada. Candidates require a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment for their job offer to qualify.

A candidate’s proposed employer must demonstrate that the hiring of a foreign worker will have a neutral or positive effect on the local labour market.

Candidates with a validated employment offer will gain 10 points under this factor, and an additional 5 points in the Adaptability selection factor for a total of 15 points.

Adaptability – Maximum of 10 points

Applicants who have at least one year of full time Canadian work experience in a managerial, professional, technical or skilled trade occupation will be awarded maximum points. As mentioned above, a validated offer of employment will provide five adaptability points. Other considerations awarding points under this selection factor include: A close adult relative living in Canada; Applicant or spouse has studied in Canada; Spouse has previous Canadian work experience; Spouse has knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages.

Candidates whose occupations are not included under the 370 that qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program should consider the Federal Skilled Trades Program.


Federal Skilled Worker Program Eligible Occupations


Below are the jobs that have high demand in Canada are:

  • IT professionals

  • Doctors

  • Nurses

  • Chartered accountants

  • Engineers

  • Managers and other corporate professionals.

  • Trade Senior managers

  • Construction senior managers

  • Employment in Broadcasting

  • Government officials in a senior position

  • Health senior managers

  • Education senior managers

  • Financial managers

  • Transportation managers

  • Human resources managers

  • Courier and postal service managers

  • Vocation training administrations

  • School principals

  • Employment in Fire department

  • Community managers

  • Recreational program directors

  • Retail managers

  • Commissioned officers

  • Horticulture managers

  • Museum directors

  • Foodservice managers

  • Corporate sales managers

  • Architecture employment

  • Mining engineers

  • Aerospace engineers

There are a lot more occupations as stated under NOC that you can apply for FSWP immigration. A Canadian federal skilled worker would use their skill to improve society.

Worldway Migration Services

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