FSW Program: Express Entry Foreign Workers & Students in Canada

FSW Program: Express Entry Foreign Workers & Students in Canada

We will be talking about one of the main options for workers to migrate to Canada with their family members and their loved ones. This is one of the economic immigration programs of Express Entry. 

This is what you call the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the FSW. It is a pathway for aspiring International students in Canada to be a permanent resident, especially with work experience.

Requirements of Federal Skilled Worker Program

You know the government of Canada chooses skilled workers based on their skills and abilities to contribute to Canada’s economy. 

There are minimum requirements for federal skilled workers which are as follows:

  • work experience
  • language ability and
  • education
  • Proof of funds

Selection factors

Let us talk about selection factors. For the selection factors, there is what you call the FSW points grid. 

  • You must obtain at least 67 points under the program of 100 point grid.

The program selection factors grid assesses candidates based on their factors shown in the table. As you can see in the table, this is the maximum point that you can get with each factor.

Selection FactorsFSW Points
Language Skills28
Work Experience15
Arranged Employment10

FSW process

  • If you get the minimum of 67 points it means that you are eligible for the federal skilled worker’s program. And you can apply for express entry.
  • Make an express entry profile once you know that you are eligible.
  • You can now proceed to the next steps until your permanent residence approval.
  • But don’t forget that for the federal skilled worker’s program there is proof of funds. 

Language Test

You can get a maximum of 28 points for language skills.

The language test evaluates the abilities in writing, reading, listening, and speaking. You must prove your language skills by taking an approved language test.

Accepted English Test

  • CELPIP or Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program
  • IELTS or International English Language Testing System.

Accepted French Test

  • Test d’évaluation de français (TEF)
  • Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF)

First Official Language (Maximum 24 points)

The first official language is IELTS that you can get a maximum of 24 points.

There is the CLB level of the Canadian language benchmark. And

  • for the FSW you should have at least CLB 7

For CLB 7,

  • your speaking should be 6,
  • your listening should be 6-7,
  • your reading should be 6,
  • your writing should be 6 as well.

You can get four points for each ability so that you will be eligible for this program.

I would just like to reiterate that for the FSW program you should have at least CLB 7 that is for the first official language.

Second official language (Maximum 4 points)

For the second official language, you can get a maximum of 4 points.

  • You need to meet the minimum threshold in all four language abilities.
  • You should have CLB 5 and above.
  • For speaking listening and writing you must have at least 5 points for each ability.
  • You also need to get 4 points in reading so that you can get a total of 4 points for the second official language.


All right so the second selection factor is education. 

  • For education, you can get a maximum of 25 points. 

With a foreign education, you must have an educational credential assessment or ECA. 

Educational credential assessment or ECA

An ECA report is for immigration purposes from a designated organization. Your education is equal to a completed certificate diploma or degree from a Canadian one. This can be a secondary institution or a high school or also a post-secondary education.

Aside from the foreign education credential, you must also include your Canadian study credential when you apply for your permanent residence.

Here is the points system for the education selection factor.

  • Canadian high school diploma, or equal: 5 points
  • Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a program of one year or equal: 15 points
  • Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a program of two years or equal: 19 points
  • Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a program of three years or longer or equal: 21 points
  • Two or more Canadian post-secondary degrees or diplomas or equal (at least one must be 3 years program): 22 points
  • Professional degree needed to practice in a licensed profession: 23 points
  • Bachelors degree three or more years: 21 points
  • University degree at the Master’s level or equal: 25 points
  • University Degree at the Doctoral (Ph.D.) or equal: 25

We’re done with the language skills and education. The third selection factor is the skilled work experience.

Skilled work experience

  • For skilled work experience, you can get a maximum of 15 points. 

It means that you’ve worked in one of the National Occupational Classification or NOC job groups. We have three job groups. These are as follows:

  • skill type zero or the managerial jobs
  • skill level A or professional jobs
  • skill level B or the technical jobs and skilled trades

I just wanted to reiterate that you should only have these three job groups for you to be eligible for the FSW program.

  • If you want to know the NOC code for your job check the link: Find your NOC

Other things that you need to know about the skilled work experience are as follows:

  • The same type of job as the NOC group is used in your immigration application. This will be the primary occupation that you will be applying for.
  • Your work experience should be within the last 10 years.
  • Your work experience must be paid for work. It means that you’ve been paid wages or earned commission.
  • But take note if your job or your experience is volunteer work or unpaid internship. This doesn’t count as skilled work experience in applying for permanent residence.
  • Your work experience must be one year of continuous work or 1560 total hours. That is equal to 30 hours per week.

Here is the point table for work experience:

ExperienceFSW points
1 year9
2-3 years11
4-5 years13
6 or more15


Yes, age is also a factor in this program and you can get a maximum of 12 points. You’ll get points based on your age on the day that IRCC get or received your application.

As you can see in the table 

  • if you are between 18 to 35 that is the time that you can get the maximum of 12 points.
  • if you are applying for PR through this program you will not get points if you are 47 years old.
Under 180

Arranged employment

The fifth selection factor is the arranged employment in Canada.

  • You can get points if you have a valid job offer in at least one year from a Canadian employer.
  • You must get a job offer before applying as a federal skilled worker.

But what is a valid job offer?

The valid job offer is identified with the following features

  • It should be paid and also full-time work. In short, it should be not less than 30 hours per week
  • Your valid job offer should not be seasonal. It means the job should be continuous
  • Your job offer should be at least one year
  • Your valid job offer should be an occupation listed as a skill type 0, skill level A, and B in the NOC category.


  • For the adaptability, you will get a maximum of 10.

As I have mentioned earlier when you apply for the federal skilled worker’s program you can come to Canada with your family members and your loved ones. So, for adaptability, you and your spouse or common-law partner have to immigrate with you. You can earn points for this adaptability.

You need to combine any of the adaptability elements. These elements assess how well you and your spouse are likely to be settled in Canada. With the adaptability selection factor, you just can get a maximum of 10 points.

Alright, so those are the six selection factors.

Proof of funds

Proof of funds shows that you have enough money to settle in Canada. When IRCC invited you to apply, you must give written proof that you have enough money.

Please be reminded

  • You can’t use the equity on real property as proof of settlement funds.
  • You also can’t borrow this money from another person.
  • You must be able to use this money to pay for the cost of your family.
  • If your spouse is coming with you, you can count the money you have together in the joint account.
  • You may be able to count the money in an account under their name only but you must prove that you also have access to that money.
  • The funds must be available both when you apply and when or if IRCC issues you a permanent president visa.
    It means you must prove to an immigration officer that you can legally access the money to use in Canada.
  • You must get official letters from any banks or financial institutions where you’re keeping your money.

You can see in the table on the left column. These are the numbers of family members and on the right column, these are the funds required in Canadian dollars. These are the things that you need to know about the proof of funds.

No. of family membersFunds required (CA$)
For each additional family member3,492

Processing time and Fee

  • Processing time can take six months processing. 

Yes, it will be six months but as you know due to the coved 19,  your application processing so you have six months to expect or even longer to process your permanent residence application.

let’s now talk about the processing fees. For the processing fees, you can also look at the table below. You can find how much you will spend on the application fee as well it it also includes

  • the processing fee and
  • the right of permanent residence
  • also includes the dependent child if you will be applying for a dependent in this application
fsw fee

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