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How to Immigrate to Canada using the Federal Skilled Worker Program

Every year, thousands upon thousands of hopefuls try their luck at gaining immigration to the Great White North. These include both skilled and unskilled applicants.

Canada’s leading immigration program for immigrants, especially workers, is known as the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or the Federal Skilled Worker Class.

Each year, thousands of professional skilled workers utilize this program to permanently immigrate to Canada and join its workforce. These workers often apply for this residency along with their spouse or partner and dependent children, if any.

What it is

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s Express Entry system manages the FSWP. It uses a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to assess applicants. The CRS is points-based in which candidates are scored against certain set requirements such as language proficiency, work experience, education, etc. Those that meet or exceed the set high score receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency in Canada.

Eligibility Criteria

To be able to apply for FSWP, you must meet the set criteria mentioned before. Do note that you should be able to get at least 67 points in the 100-point grid set by the system.

  1. Work:

In the last 10 years, you must have at least one year of continuous, full-time paid work experience or equivalent in a skilled occupation that falls under the National Occupational Classification level O, A, or B.

  1. Language Proficiency: 

Your language skills must be at least Canadian Language Benchmark or CLB 7 in either English or French. Do note that this score should be valid for all abilities, like reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

  1. Education:

You must hold an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report and Canadian Educational Credential (certificate, degree, or diploma) OR a valid foreign credential.

  1. Funds:

You should be able to show proof of having enough funds to be able to support yourself financially once you arrive in Canada.

  1. Intention to Reside:

The province of Quebec has its own immigration system, and if you are applying via FSWP, you have to show your intention of residing anywhere but Quebec in Canada.

The Application Process

To apply for FSWP, you must first create and submit your Express Entry profile at the IRCC website. Be careful and fill out all the pertinent information carefully. 

Along with your profile, you must attach the requisite documents. These are as follows:

  1. ECA report 

This report is matched against the points set for educational assessment. Five Canadian authorities have been authorized to issue reports which attest to the value of foreign education. If yours is from some other organization, it shall be deemed invalid. However, if you hold credentials from a Canadian educational institution, you do not need to submit this report.

  1. Language proficiency results

Under the Express Entry system, all applicants should provide test scores of an approved language test taken within the last two years. For English, these tests are IELTS and CELPIP, and for French, they are TEF and TCF Canada.

  1. Identification Proofs

You have to submit information regarding the required identification proofs, such as a valid passport. If your family members are accompanying you, details of their valid passports have to be added too.

In case everything is cleared, and you receive an ITA, you automatically move to the second stage of the process. In this, you have to submit an eAPR or electronic Application for Permanent Residence within 60 days of the receipt of the ITA. Do note that you may have to submit further documents with this application.

Almost 80 percent of all FSWP applications are processed within a time frame of six months. Also, an FSWP Express Entry profile is valid for a year in the candidate pool. 

Age Limit

While there is no age limit per se when it comes to applying under the FSWP, once you cross 35 years of age, you stand to lose points. In fact, after you reach 29 years of age, you lose points against the set age factor in CRS. 

Many applicants on the other side of these ages put in efforts to increase their eligibility points in other factors to meet the set score.

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