Federal Skilled Worker Program: A Pathway to Skilled Immigration in Canada


The Federal Skilled Worker program (FSW) is a Canadian immigration program that is designed to attract highly skilled workers from around the world to come and work in Canada. The Federal Skilled Worker program is a part of Canada’s Express Entry system which is an online system used to manage the applications of skilled workers who want to immigrate to Canada.


Eligibility Requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Program


You need to score at least 67 points to be eligible for Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). The 67 point system is a way to evaluate the eligibility of applicants based on factors such as education, language proficiency, work experience, age, arranged employment and adaptability. Each factor is assigned a certain number of points and an applicant must score at least 67 points out of a possible 100 to be eligible for the program.


The reason for the 67 point threshold is that it ensures that applicants have the necessary skills, education, and language proficiency to succeed in the Canadian labor market and integrate into Canadian society. It’s also a way to ensure that Canada is able to attract the most qualified and skilled workers from around the world who will contribute to the country’s economic growth.


Meeting the 67 point threshold does not guarantee that you will be selected for the FSWP. The program also has a yearly quota and is subject to change based on the labor market needs in Canada. However, scoring at least 67 points is a good starting point to determine your eligibility for the FSWP.


To be successful in a Federal Skilled Worker Program these are the hurdles you need to jump


  1. Have an occupation on the NOC List
  2. Score 67 Points to be able to lodge an Express Entry Aplication
  3. Score high enough on the CRS score to receive an Invitation to Apply


The breakdown of the 67 points for Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is as follows:


Education: Maximum 25 points


  • PhD: 25 points
  • Master’s degree: 23 points
  • Two or more post-secondary credentials: 22 points
  • Three-year or longer post-secondary credential: 21 points
  • Two-year post-secondary credential: 19 points
  • One-year post-secondary credential: 15 points


Language proficiency: Maximum 28 points


First official language (maximum of 24 points)


  • Speaking: Up to 6 points
  • Listening: Up to 6 points
  • Reading: Up to 6 points
  • Writing: Up to 6 points


Second official language (maximum of 4 points)


  • CLB 4 or lower: 0 points
  • CLB 5 or 6: 1 point
  • CLB 7 or 8: 2 points
  • CLB 9 or higher: 4 points


Work experience: Maximum 15 points


  • 1 year: 9 points
  • 2-3 years: 11 points
  • 4-5 years: 13 points
  • 6 or more years: 15 points


Age: Maximum 12 points


  • 18-35 years: 12 points
  • 36 years: 11 points
  • 37 years: 10 points
  • 38 years: 9 points
  • 39 years: 8 points
  • 40 years: 7 points
  • 41 years: 6 points
  • 42 years: 5 points
  • 43 years: 4 points
  • 44 years: 3 points
  • 45 years: 2 points
  • 46 years: 1 point
  • 47 years or older: 0 points


Arranged employment: Maximum 10 points


  • If you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer you may be eligible for 10 points.


Adaptability: Maximum 10 points


  • Spouse or common-law partner’s language proficiency: Maximum 5 points
  • Spouse or common-law partner’s education: Maximum 5 points
  • Previous work or study in Canada: Maximum 5 points
  • Relatives in Canada: Maximum 5 points
  • Job offer in Canada: Maximum 5 points
  • Regional immigration: Maximum 5 points


To calculate your points you will need to assess yourself based on the above criteria and assign yourself points accordingly. The higher the score the better your chances of being eligible for the FSWP.


Application Process for the Federal Skilled Worker program


The application process for the Federal Skilled Worker program consists of these steps:


Determine Eligibility


The first step is to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for the program. You can take a Free Visa Assessment to find out whether you are wanted in Canada.


Create an Express Entry Profile


If you are eligible, the next step is to create an Express Entry profile. This involves providing information about your education, work experience, qualifications and language ability. Once your profile is complete then you will be assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score which is used to rank you against other applicants in the Express Entry pool.


Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)


If your CRS score is high enough, you may receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. You will have 60 days to submit your application for permanent residence.


Submit Application


To submit your application, you will need to provide all the required documents, including language examination  results, educational credentials, and work experience documents.


Medical and Security Checks


Once your application is received you will be required to undergo a medical exam and a security check.


Receive Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)


If your application is approved, you will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) document. This document will allow you to enter Canada as a permanent resident.

How to Calculate a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score for the Federal Skilled Worker Program


The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a points based system used by the Government of Canada to rank Express Entry profiles and determine which candidates will be invited to apply for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker Program.


Here are the steps to calculate a CRS score


Step 1: Determine Basic Eligibility


Before calculating your CRS score, you should determine if you are eligible to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. The eligibility requirements include having at least one year of skilled work experience, meeting the minimum language proficiency level, and having enough funds to support yourself and any accompanying family members. You should also have your foreign education assessed to ensure that it is equivalent to Canadian education standards.


Step 2: Complete the Express Entry Profile


To be considered for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must create an Express Entry profile and provide information about your work experience, education, language proficiency, and other personal details. You will also need to provide your National Occupational Classification (NOC)


Calculate Comprehensive Ranking System points


Here is a breakdown of the different factors and how many CRS points they are worth:


Core/human capital factors


These factors are based on the candidate’s age, education level, language proficiency, and work experience. The maximum number of points that can be awarded for these factors is 500, and the breakdown is as follows:




  • Up to 110 points are awarded for age, with younger candidates receiving more points.


  • Level of education: Up to 150 points are awarded for education, with more points being awarded for higher levels of education.


  • Language proficiency: Up to 136 points are awarded for language proficiency, with more points being awarded for higher language scores.


  • Work experience: Up to 200 points are awarded for work experience, with more points being awarded for longer and more relevant work experience.


Spouse or common-law partner factors


Candidates may also receive additional points if their spouse or common-law partner meets certain criteria related to language proficiency, education, and work experience. The maximum number of points that can be awarded for these factors is 40.


Skill transferability factors


Candidates may receive additional points if their skills and experience are deemed transferable to the Canadian labor market. This category includes combinations of factors such as education and work experience, language proficiency and work experience, and Canadian work experience and language proficiency. The maximum number of points that can be awarded for these factors is 100.


Additional factors


Candidates may also receive additional points for factors such as a job offer in Canada, a provincial nomination, or previous study in Canada. The maximum number of points that can be awarded for these factors is 600.


The total number of points that a candidate can receive under the CRS is 1,200. Candidates are then ranked based on their total CRS score, and those with the highest scores are invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Federal Skilled Worker Visa Processing Times


The processing time for the Federal Skilled Worker Program can vary depending on a number of factors, including the completeness of the application, the volume of applications being processed and any additional security or background checks that may be required.


The Government of Canada provides estimated processing times on its website, which are regularly updated based on current processing volumes. As of February 2023, the estimated processing time for a complete Federal Skilled Worker application is approximately 6-9 months from the date of submission.


It is important to note that these processing times are only estimates, and that individual cases may take longer or shorter periods of time to process depending on individual circumstances. Additionally, it is important to ensure that all required documentation and information is included in the application because incomplete or inaccurate applications may be delayed or even refused.

Historic monthly CRS scores to receive an ITA for Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program


  • January 2015: 886
  • February 2015: 818
  • March 2015: 481
  • April 2015: 453
  • May 2015: 755
  • June 2015: 482
  • July 2015: 451
  • August 2015: 456
  • September 2015: 450
  • October 2015: 489
  • November 2015: 472
  • December 2015: 460
  • January 2016: 453
  • February 2016: 459
  • March 2016: 470
  • April 2016: 468
  • May 2016: 484
  • June 2016: 488
  • July 2016: 482
  • August 2016: 538
  • September 2016: 534
  • October 2016: 484
  • November 2016: 470
  • December 2016: 468
  • January 2017: 453
  • February 2017: 441
  • March 2017: 434
  • April 2017: 415
  • May 2017: 413
  • June 2017: 449
  • July 2017: 440
  • August 2017: 433
  • September 2017: 433
  • October 2017: 436
  • November 2017: 439
  • December 2017: 446
  • January 2018: 444
  • February 2018: 442
  • March 2018: 446
  • April 2018: 441
  • May 2018: 440
  • June 2018: 442
  • July 2018: 441
  • August 2018: 440
  • September 2018: 445
  • October 2018: 442
  • November 2018: 449
  • December 2018: 439
  • January 2019: 438
  • February 2019: 457
  • March 2019: 452
  • April 2019: 451
  • May 2019: 470
  • June 2019: 462
  • July 2019: 459
  • August 2019: 457
  • September 2019: 464
  • October 2019: 475
  • November 2019: 471
  • December 2019: 469
  • January 2020: 471
  • February 2020: 470
  • March 2020: 471
  • April 2020: 455
  • May 2020: 440
  • June 2020: 437
  • July 2020: 431
  • August 2020: 415
  • September 2020: 471
  • October 2020: 471
  • November 2020: 469
  • December 2020: 468
  • January 2021: 454
  • February 2021: 75 (CEC-only draw)
  • March 2021: 449
  • April 2021: 417
  • May 2021: 397
  • June 2021: 357
  • July 2021: 404
  • August 2021: 401
  • September 2021: 462
  • October 2021: 441
  • November 2021: 450
  • December 2021: 453
  • January 2022: 454
  • February 2022: 454
  • March 2022: 463
  • April 2022: 461
  • May 2022: 469
  • June 2022: 472
  • July 2022: 466
  • August 2022: 463
  • September 2022: 462
  • October 2022: 468
  • November 2022: 470
  • December 2022: 468
  • January 2023: 469
  • February 2023: 489


Next: Express Entry

Subject Matter Expert at Migration Made Simple | Website | + posts

Jacqueline Chow is an international immigration and visa expert with over 15 years of experience in the field. With a background in law and a passion for helping people, Jacqueline has built a reputation as a trusted and reliable source of information and advice on all aspects of immigration and visas. She has worked with clients from all over the world, including high-net-worth individuals, professionals, skilled workers and families. As a sought-after speaker and commentator Jacqueline has been featured in various media outlets and has given talks on immigration and visas at conferences and events around the world.

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