Federal Skilled Worker Visa
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) was created for well-educated foreign professionals who can move to Canada and use their knowledge and skills to contribute to the Canadian economy. This Canadian immigration program was designed for people from around the world who have at least one year of full-time paid work experience during the past 10 years in one of dozens of occupations that normally require a university education. Many of these high-demand professions are in the business, education, financial, healthcare, management and technology fields.
Examples of high-demand jobs in Canada that are eligible for the FSWP include: accountants; architects; audiologists and speech pathologists; chemical engineers; civil engineers; computer programmers; construction managers; dentists; electrical engineers; elementary school teachers; financial analysts; human resources managers; land surveyors; managers in healthcare; mechanical engineers; occupational therapists; petroleum engineers; pharmacists; physicians; physiotherapists; professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations; psychologists; registered nurses and psychiatric nurses; school principals and administrators; secondary/high school teachers; software engineers and designers; and university professors. These and several other jobs in Canada that are categorized by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes at Skill Level 0, A or B, can qualify for the FSWP.
There are two key reasons why the Canadian government wants thousands of highly-educated professionals to move to Canada. First, many people who work in Canada in these occupations are retiring and leaving the Canadian labor force and this trend is expected to continue over the next several years. Second, although Canadian residents tend to be well-educated, not enough people who live in Canada are studying for these high-demand careers. Therefore, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) offers Canadian permanent residency to foreign professionals who can fill these vacant jobs in Canada to help keep the economy growing.
Key Criteria For the FSWP
The Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) is a points-based Canadian immigration program in which points are given for various factors considered important for a skilled foreign worker to possess in order to succeed after they move to Canada. You must receive a minimum of 67 points out of 100 points possible, and meet other criteria, to qualify for the FSWP. Points are issued for your English and/or French language skills, education level, work experience in an eligible occupation (i.e., NOC Skill Level 0, A or B), age, qualifying offer of Canadian employment, and adaptabiity. In order to evaluate your English or French language abilities, you will need to prepare for and take an approved standardized assessment test, such as the IELTS (for English) or TEF (for French). You must also get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to determine to what extent the education you received is similar to an education obtained in Canada. As with all Canadian immigration programs, you need to pass the health and character criteria, plus there may be other eligibility requirements.
If you meet the eligibility requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), you may be able to apply for the Express Entry Canadian immigration system. Express Entry was launched on January 1, 2015, as a faster and more efficient way to select the most qualified candidates who are in the best position to work in Canada in their high-demand occupation soon after arriving in the country. The majority of Canadian immigration candidates in the Express Entry “pool” who are issued an official Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a permanent resident visa to Canada will receive a decision within only six months after they submit their complete visa application to the Canadian government. To learn if you are likely to qualify for Express Entry to Canada through the FSWP, click here!