The Federal Skilled Worker Program is Canada's primary economic immigration pathway and gives skilled workers, and their loved ones, the opportunity to become permanent residents in Canada. 

The first step in pursuing permanent residence in Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker is to make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada by creating an online Express Entry profile.

Based on the information provided in their profile, Federal Skilled Worker candidates obtain a score under Express Entry's Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) that determines their ranking in the pool of eligible candidates.

Canada's Federal Skilled Worker Program is one of three Canadian permanent residence programs managed by the federal Express Entry system.

Periodically, the Government of Canada issues Invitations To Apply (ITAs) to the highest-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool and publishes the CRS cut-off score. CRS scores are not fixed and candidates may take steps to improve their ranking while in the pool.

Find out if you are eligible to enter the federal Express Entry pool


Minimum Eligibility Criteria 

Foreign nationals may begin the process of immigration under the Federal Skilled Worker Program by determining whether or not they meet the minimum requirements of the program. The minimum requirements are:

IRCC determines candidates' eligibility for the Federal Skilled Worker Program based on its unique points grid. However, only the highest-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool are issued invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence. 

Candidate profiles in the Express Entry pool, which also includes Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class candidates, are ranked based on the CRS. 

In order to be eligible to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, potential candidates must meet the minimum requirements for work, language ability, education and obtain at least 67 points under the program's 100-point grid. The program's selection factors grid assesses candidates based on factors that include age, education, work experience, arranged employment, language ability and adaptability.

Selection Factors 

The Federal Skilled Worker selection factors are listed below. Click on each factor to learn more: 

Factors Points
Education Up to 25 points
Language Skills Up to 28 points
Work Experience Up to 15 points
Age Up to 12 points
Arranged Employment Up to 10 points
Adaptability Up to 10 points


Settlement Funds

If invited to apply, Federal Skilled Workers will need to prove they can become economically established in Canada with their dependent family members. The settlement funds requirement is waived for foreign nationals who are currently authorized to work in Canada and/ or those who have arranged employment in Canada. 

Medical Examinations and Admissibility 

IRCC encourages Federal Skilled Worker candidates and their dependents to complete their medical examinations as soon as an ITA is issued. Medical exam results must be valid at the time of applying for permanent residence and when arriving in Canada. Applicants must also obtain security clearances as part of the Canadian immigration application process to prove that they are admissible to Canada. 

Processing Times

IRCC aims to process complete Federal Skilled Worker applications in six (6) months or less. Please consult the Canada Immigration Processing Times Tool to find out the processing times for immigration applications.

Processing Fees

The table below outlines the processing fees for the Federal Skilled Worker program:

Application CAD*
Principal applicant ($550 processing fee + $490 right of permanent residence fee) $1,040
Spouse or common-law partner ($550 processing fee + $490 right of permanent residence fee) $1,040

A dependant child of the principal applicant who is under 22 and is not a spouse or common-law partner, or is 22 or older who has been unable to be financially self-supporting since before the age of 22, due to a physical or mental condition

$150 per child 

* Fees listed in Canadian dollars. 

Quebec Skilled Worker Immigration

Foreign nationals interested in applying for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker Program must intend to live outside the province of Quebec.

The Government of Quebec runs its own immigration system outside the federal Express Entry system and requires skilled workers to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate, or Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ)under one of its immigration programs, such as the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration.

You can also learn more about the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) in our Federal Skilled Workers FAQ.

Tools and Resources

Latest News

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    The Nova Scotia Nominee Program's Labour Market Priorities Stream prioritized French-speaking Express Entry candidates in a new invitation round that took place March 20.

  • IRCC invites 3,350 Express Entry candidates in the latest federal draw

    The Government of Canada has issued 3,350 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence to candidates in the Express Entry pool in a draw held March 20.