FSW is one of the programs under Express Entry allowing skilled professionals with foreign work experience to settle permanently in Canada.

Eligibility for Federal Skilled Worker Program

The FSW program maintains a 100-point grid to assess applicants. As shown below, there are six selection factors with specific maximum points assigned to each.

  • Age Maximum 12 points
  • Professional experience Maximum 15 points
  • Academic Qualifications Maximum 25 points
  • Possession of a valid Job Offer Maximum 10 points
  • Proficiency in English and French Maximum 28 points
  • Adaptability in Canada (Having relatives in Canada, or, Canadian education/work experience, or, the language proficiency of spouse): Maximum 10 points
Total maximum points for all six factors is 100. And currently, an applicant has to achieve 67 or more points under this grid to qualify for the FSW program.

Factor-wise minimum eligibility:

Apart from the minimum score requirement of 67, IRCC has also set some minimum eligibility criteria for a few factors mentioned above.
  • Professional Experience: The applicant must fulfill the following: 
    • At least one year (at least 1,560 hours in total) of full time (at least 30 hours per week), or equivalent part-time, within the last ten years. 
    • Paid (excluding internships and voluntary works), and at least 12 months of continuous work experience (in one primary NOC). As per the 2011 National Occupational Classifications (NOC), only the experiences relevant to NOC 0, A, and B are considered for FSWP. 
  • Education: Canadian equivalent of secondary or post-secondary education is required. Your non-Canadian academic credentials have to be evaluated by a specific assessment authority assigned by IRCC. This process is known as Education Credential Assessment (ECA).
  • Language: To qualify under FSW, the minimum language requirement is as follows:
    • For English as the first language: CLB 7 (6.0 bands each in IELTS GT)
    • For French as the first language: NCLC 7. 
  • Proof of fun for maintenance: You need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependent family members during your settlement in Canada. The proof of fund documents, however, are not required for applicants with a valid job offer
  • Miscellaneous factors: 
    • The applicant must not be inadmissible to Canada for any other reasons. 
    • The applicant must agree to settle outside the province of Quebec.

What is Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), and how can I get the ECA reports?

The purpose of an ECA report is to assess your international educational credentials for Canadian equivalency and also to validate its authenticity. You will need to get an ECA report for your highest qualification only for most cases. However, individual provinces and programs may ask you to assess all of your post-secondary academic credentials.

IRCC has authorized certain assessment authorities to conduct the ECA for immigration purposes and issue a report based on the assessment. Each has its own cost and processing time structure.

The following authorities conduct ECA for general immigration purposes for almost all professionals:

  • World Education Services (WES)
  • Comparative Education Service (CES)
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS)
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
  • International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)


If you want to apply a Physician (General or Specialist), or as a Pharmacist, you will need to get your ECA done from one of the following professional entities:
  • For Pharmacists (NOC 3131): Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada
  • For General or Specialist Physicians (NOC 3111 or NOC 3112): Medical Council of Canada

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