Federal Skilled Worker Class

One of the categories under the Express Entry program is the Federal Skilled Worker Class – FSWC (formerly known as the Federal Skilled Worker Program – FSWP). If you are a skilled worker with foreign work experience and are looking to immigrate permanently to Canada, you can apply via this Class.

What is the Federal Skilled Worker Class?

Every year, Canada welcomes thousands of immigrants who are looking to settle in the country permanently.  One of the top programs through which you can do so is the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) which allows you to enter Canada’s workforce.

Who can apply for PR through the Federal Skilled Worker Class?

For you to be eligible, you must meet the minimum requirements under this Class:

  1. Skilled work experience
  2. Language ability
  3. Education

Skilled Work Experience

This requirement entails that you have worked in (1) of these National Occupational Classification (NOC) job groups:

  • Managerial jobs (skill type 0)
  • Professional jobs (skill level A)
  • Technical jobs and skilled trades (skill level B)

For any of these NOC job groups there would be an occupational description with a lead statement.  You must prove that through your work experience that you have performed all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed in the lead statement.

Your skilled work experience must be:

  • in the same type of job (have the same NOC) as the job you want to use for your immigration application (primary occupation).
  • within the last consecutive 10 years.
  • Paid work (Volunteer work or unpaid internships do not count).
  • at least 1 year of continuous work or 1,560 hours total (30 hours per week).
    • full-time at 1 or more jobs: 30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours).
    • equal amount in part-time: 15-29 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours).

Language Ability

  • You must complete language tests in English or French for:
    • writing, reading, listening, speaking
  • You must earn a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all 4 abilities

It is important for you to ensure that your score is valid on the day you apply for permanent residence.  Your Language tests are valid for (2) years after the date of the test result.


Whether you studied in Canada or abroad, there are certain criteria to be met.

  • If you went to school in Canada, you must have a certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian: secondary (high school) or post-secondary school (college, university, trade school)
  • If you completed your education abroad, you must have:
    • a completed credential
    • an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an approved agency that shows that your education is equivalent to a completed certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary school.