Overview of Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program and Immigration Process
Introduction to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), initiated by Canada in 1967, has long been a primary avenue for skilled workers to immigrate to the country. This program offers a favorable immigration route as it does not require Canadian experience or a job offer. The FSWP is managed by the Express Entry system, which uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to score candidates.
Immigration Process: Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Ensure Eligibility for the FSWP
Applicants must meet the FSWP’s minimum eligibility requirements, including job experience, language proficiency, education, and a minimum score of 67 on the program’s 100-point grid. The basic requirements are:
- One year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid job experience in a specialty area (NOC skill level 0, A, or B) within the past ten years
- Language proficiency equivalent to CLB level 7 in English or French for all four language skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking)
- Canadian educational certification or foreign credential with ECA report
Step 2: Create and Submit Express Entry Profile
Applicants must create a secure IRCC account and complete an Express Entry profile on the government website. After submitting the profile, the IRCC will assess eligibility for the FSWP and, if eligible, add the applicant to the Express Entry pool.
Step 3: Await Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residence
Having an Express Entry profile does not guarantee an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Applicants must achieve a score that exceeds the minimum criteria for a specific Express Entry draw.
Step 4: Submit Immigration Application Upon Receiving ITA
After receiving an ITA, applicants must submit an immigration application under one of the Express Entry-managed programs: Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), or Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
Express Entry Draws and CRS Scores
Approximately every two weeks, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts Express Entry draws, inviting the highest-scoring applicants to apply for Canadian immigration. These draws determine which candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.
Improving CRS Scores and Increasing Chances of Receiving ITA
To enhance the likelihood of receiving an ITA, applicants can take various steps to improve their CRS scores:
- Improve language skills: Higher scores in language tests can significantly impact the CRS score.
- Gain additional work experience: More years of work experience may increase the applicant’s score.
- Pursue higher education: Earning an advanced degree can lead to a higher CRS score.
- Obtain a valid job offer: Securing a job offer from a Canadian employer can add points to the applicant’s CRS score.
- Apply for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): Receiving a provincial nomination can significantly increase the applicant’s CRS score.
Monitoring Express Entry Profile
It is crucial for applicants to keep their Express Entry profile up to date, as changes in personal circumstances, such as marital status, number of dependents, or job experience, may affect their CRS scores.
Potential Outcomes After ITA
If the applicant’s circumstances change after receiving an ITA and their recalculated score falls below the minimum CRS cut-off for their round of invitations, IRCC advises declining the invitation. Declining an invitation will place the applicant back into the Express Entry pool for potential future invitation rounds without affecting their chances of being invited again.
Applicants must provide evidence supporting their Express Entry profile information, and immigration officers will verify its accuracy. Inaccurate or missing information may result in application denial, inadmissibility, or a five-year ban on future immigration applications.
If personal circumstances change or program eligibility requirements are not met, IRCC recommends recalculating the applicant’s score before submission or declining the invitation, which will place the applicant back into the Express Entry pool for future consideration.
Failing to respond within 60 days will result in profile removal, and applicants must create a new Express Entry profile to be eligible for future draws.