Understanding the Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program


Canada is very much open for immigration, albeit the ‘right’ type of Migration. As one of the World’s most progressive growth economies Canada relies heavily on bringing the right skills into the Country. From Toronto to Vancouver there is a critical demand for skills that will build and further contribute to the economic development of Canadian society.


For most of its history, Canada selected immigrants based on a host of subjective factors such as country of origin. But in 1967, things changed – the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) was launched, shifting the recruitment focus to factors like education, language skills, and work experience.


Since then, this program has continued to be a success – it has even been adopted by countries like New Zealand and Australia. And since it started being managed by the Express Entry application management system, things have gotten even better.


Benefits of the Federal Skilled Worker Program


The Federal Skilled Worker Program is responsible for most of the immigrants that come to Canada through the Express Entry system. What’s more? Research by the Canadian government shows that FSWP immigrants go on to be highly successful in their careers.


It also helps that through the FSWP, you can gain permanent residence within a mere 6 months. This is a noticeably shorter processing time than that provided by other skilled worker programs.


Eligibility for the Federal Skilled Worker Program


To be eligible for the FSWP, you will have to:


  • Have at least one year of work experience


The work experience needs to be in an occupation categorized under National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A, or B and has to be gained within the last 10 years. Moreover, it has to be continuous, full-time paid work (30 hours a week for 12 months – 1,560 hours in total) or an equivalent.


For instance, if you work a part-time job, you need to find a way to hit the required 1,560 hours. This could either mean taking on several part-time jobs or sticking with one for longer than a year. If you want, you could even work full-time at more than one job to meet this requirement. Any hours you work over 30 hours per week doesn’t count though.


Unpaid internships and volunteer work don’t count either. As for work experience gained while studying, it only counts if it was paid, continuous, and meets the other requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Whatever kind of skilled work experience you have though, ensure it has the same NOC as the job you want to use as the primary occupation.


  • Be proficient in English or French


To be eligible for the FSWP, you need to take an approved language test to prove that you are proficient in English or French to a level equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7. You need to achieve this score across all the tested abilities – reading, writing, listening, and speaking. These test scores are usually valid for 2 years after they are released and have to still be valid when you apply for permanent residence.


  • Have an educational credential


If you studied in Canada, you need to have a degree, diploma, or certificate from a Canadian secondary or post-secondary institution. But if you studied in a foreign country, you’ll need to have a completed credential and get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from a designated organization.


This is supposed to show that your credential is equivalent to a certificate, diploma, and degree from a Canadian educational institution.


  • Have proof of settlement funds


As part of your application for the FSWP, you have to prove that you have enough funds to comfortably settle you and your family in Canada. You can only be exempt from providing proof of funds if you have a job offer from a Canadian employer or can legally work in the country.


  • Be admissible to Canada


For you to be eligible for the FSWP, you need to be admissible to Canada. This means you shouldn’t have a criminal record or at least be considered to be rehabilitated. As such, you will be subjected to a security background check.


  • Have at least 67 out of 100 points on the FSWP grid


The FSWP grid assesses candidates based on age, education, language proficiency, adaptability, work experience, and arranged employment.

How to move to Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)


Step by step guide through the FSWP:


  1. Confirm that you meet the FSWP’s eligibility criteria
  2. Go to the IRCC website and create an Express Entry profile. Once you fill it, you will get a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on work experience, age, education, and language skills
  3. Wait and see if you get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Since IRCC usually holds draws regularly to issue these invitations, it’s a good idea to keep track of them
  4. If you receive an invitation, apply for permanent residence


What documentation do you need to include in your Federal Skilled Worker Program application?

When applying for FSWP, there are some documents you have to include. These are:


  • Filled and signed application forms
  • Identity documents
  • Passports and travel documents
  • Professional qualifications and training
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Proof of settlement funds
  • Proof of work experience
  • Proof of arranged employment where applicable
  • Proof of any point you’ve claimed under the adaptability factor
  • Canadian educational credential assessment


If you’re invited to apply for permanent residence, you will also be required to provide:


  • Photographs of you and your family members
  • Medical information tracking sheets

Who can you include in your FSWP application?


If there’s one thing you should know about your FSWP application, it’s that it can help your loved ones as well. In it, you can include people like:


  • Your spouse or common-law partner
  • Your dependent children or those of your accompanying spouse/common-law partner
  • The dependent children of your dependent children or those of your spouse/common-law partner


Federal Skilled Worker Program Vs Express Entry


Nothing! They are one and the same thing. Express Entry is the name given to the process of candidate selection in terms of calling forward the right individuals for Permanent Residency. You must first satisfy all the requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Visa before submitting an Express Entry profile. Important note: please do not feel tempted to submit an express entry profile before having all the elements of your Federal Skilled Worker application complete.

Are you ‘in demand’ for a Federal Skilled Worker Program


Take our Free & Confidential Online Visa Assessment to Check If You Are Wanted in Canada


Broadly speaking there are some 347 eligible and ‘in demand’ occupations and Skills sets. Sometimes the published occupations might sound a little different to what your role is technically called so leave this work to our online visa checker.


Where in Canada do FSWP immigrants live?


If you move to Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you can’t live in Quebec. This is because Quebec chooses its own skilled workers through the Quebec-selected skilled worker program. However, you can live anywhere else. In fact, while filling your application you’ll be asked to indicate your preferred location. If you’re a provincial nominee though, you can only live in the province that nominated you.


Apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)


Truth be told, the sooner you apply for the FSWP, the better. For one, you will get more immigration points for your age the younger you are. Also, the sooner you’re in the Express Entry pool, the sooner you can figure out what you need to improve on to increase your chances of being invited to apply for permanent residence.


FSWP application summary


  1. Confirm that you meet the FSWP’s eligibility criteria
  2. Go to the IRCC website and create an Express Entry profile. Once you fill it, you will get a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on work experience, age, education, and language skills
  3. Wait and see if you get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Since IRCC usually holds draws regularly to issue these invitations, it’s a good idea to keep track of them
  4. If you receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence


The 2023 ‘in demand’ list for the Canada Federal Skilled Work Visa:


This list is often called the National Occupations List or NOC for short.


1.0011 Legislators
2.0012 Senior government managers and officials
3.0013 Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services
4.0014 Senior managers – health, education, social and community services and membership organizations
5.0015 Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c.
6.0016 Senior managers – construction, transportation, production and utilities
7.0111 Financial managers
8.0112 Human resources managers
9.0113 Purchasing managers
10.0114 Other administrative services managers
11.0121 Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers
12.0122 Banking, credit and other investment managers
13.0124 Advertising, marketing and public relations managers
14.0125 Other business services managers
15.0131 Telecommunication carriers managers
16.0132 Postal and courier services managers
17.0211 Engineering managers
18.0212 Architecture and science managers
19.0213 Computer and information systems managers
20.0311 Managers in health care
21.0411 Government managers – health and social policy development and program administration
22.0412 Government managers – economic analysis, policy development and program administration
23.0413 Government managers – education policy development and program administration
24.0414 Other managers in public administration
25.0421 Administrators – post-secondary education and vocational training
26.0422 School principals and administrators of elementary and secondary education
27.0423 Managers in social, community and correctional services
28.0431 Commissioned police officers
29.0432 Fire chiefs and senior firefighting officers
30.0433 Commissioned officers of the Canadian Forces
31.0511 Library, archive, museum and art gallery managers
32.0512 Managers – publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts
33.0513 Recreation, sports and fitness program and service directors
34.0601 Corporate sales managers
35.0621 Retail and wholesale trade managers
36.0631 Restaurant and food service managers
37.0632 Accommodation service managers
38.0651 Managers in customer and personal services, n.e.c.
39.0711 Construction managers
40.0712 Home building and renovation managers
41.0714 Facility operation and maintenance managers
42.0731 Managers in transportation
43.0811 Managers in natural resources production and fishing
44.0821 Managers in agriculture
45.0822 Managers in horticulture
46.0823 Managers in aquaculture
47.0911 Manufacturing managers
48.0912 Utilities managers
49.1111 Financial auditors and accountants
50.1112 Financial and investment analysts
51.1113 Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers
52.1114 Other financial officers
53.1121 Human resources professionals
54.1122 Professional occupations in business management consulting
55.1123 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations
56.1211 Supervisors, general office and administrative support workers
57.1212 Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers
58.1213 Supervisors, library, correspondence and related information workers
59.1214 Supervisors, mail and message distribution occupations
60.1215 Supervisors, supply chain, tracking and scheduling co-ordination occupations
61.1221 Administrative officers
62.1222 Executive assistants
63.1223 Human resources and recruitment officers
64.1224 Property administrators
65.1225 Purchasing agents and officers
66.1226 Conference and event planners
67.1227 Court officers and justices of the peace
68.1228 Employment insurance, immigration, border services and revenue officers
69.1241 Administrative assistants
70.1242 Legal administrative assistants
71.1243 Medical administrative assistants
72.1251 Court reporters, medical transcriptionists and related occupations
73.1252 Health information management occupations
74.1253 Records management technicians
75.1254 Statistical officers and related research support occupations
76.1311 Accounting technicians and bookkeepers
77.1312 Insurance adjusters and claims examiners
78.1313 Insurance underwriters
79.1314 Assessors, valuators and appraisers
80.1315 Customs, ship and other brokers
81.2111 Physicists and astronomers
82.2112 Chemists
83.2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers
84.2114 Meteorologists and climatologists
85.2115 Other professional occupations in physical sciences
86.2121 Biologists and related scientists
87.2122 Forestry professionals
88.2123 Agricultural representatives, consultants and specialists
89.2131 Civil engineers
90.2132 Mechanical engineers
91.2133 Electrical and electronics engineers
92.2134 Chemical engineers
93.2141 Industrial and manufacturing engineers
94.2142 Metallurgical and materials engineers
95.2143 Mining engineers
96.2144 Geological engineers
97.2145 Petroleum engineers
98.2146 Aerospace engineers
99.2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
100.2148 Other professional engineers, n.e.c.
101.2151 Architects
102.2152 Landscape architects
103.2153 Urban and land use planners
104.2154 Land surveyors
105.2161 Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries
106.2171 Information systems analysts and consultants
107.2172 Database analysts and data administrators
108.2173 Software engineers and designers
109.2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
110.2175 Web designers and developers
111.2211 Chemical technologists and technicians
112.2212 Geological and mineral technologists and technicians
113.2221 Biological technologists and technicians
114.2222 Agricultural and fish products inspectors
115.2223 Forestry technologists and technicians
116.2224 Conservation and fishery officers
117.2225 Landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists
118.2231 Civil engineering technologists and technicians
119.2232 Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians
120.2233 Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians
121.2234 Construction estimators
122.2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
123.2242 Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment)
124.2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
125.2244 Aircraft instrument, electrical and avionics mechanics, technicians and inspectors
126.2251 Architectural technologists and technicians
127.2252 Industrial designers
128.2253 Drafting technologists and technicians
129.2254 Land survey technologists and technicians
130.2255 Technical occupations in geomatics and meteorology
131.2261 Non-destructive testers and inspection technicians
132.2262 Engineering inspectors and regulatory officers
133.2263 Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
134.2264 Construction inspectors
135.2271 Air pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors
136.2272 Air traffic controllers and related occupations
137.2273 Deck officers, water transport
138.2274 Engineer officers, water transport
139.2275 Railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators
140.2281 Computer network technicians
141.2282 User support technicians
142.2283 Information systems testing technicians
143.3011 Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors
144.3012 Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
145.3111 Specialist physicians
146.3112 General practitioners and family physicians
147.3113 Dentists
148.3114 Veterinarians
149.3121 Optometrists
150.3122 Chiropractors
151.3124 Allied primary health practitioners
152.3125 Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating
153.3131 Pharmacists
154.3132 Dietitians and nutritionists
155.3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
156.3142 Physiotherapists
157.3143 Occupational therapists
158.3144 Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment
159.3211 Medical laboratory technologists
160.3212 Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants
161.3213 Animal health technologists and veterinary technicians
162.3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
163.3215 Medical radiation technologists
164.3216 Medical sonographers
165.3217 Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c.
166.3219 Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)
167.3221 Denturists
168.3222 Dental hygienists and dental therapists
169.3223 Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants
170.3231 Opticians
171.3232 Practitioners of natural healing
172.3233 Licensed practical nurses
173.3234 Paramedical occupations
174.3236 Massage therapists
175.3237 Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
176.4011 University professors and lecturers
177.4012 Post-secondary teaching and research assistants
178.4021 College and other vocational instructors
179.4031 Secondary school teachers
180.4032 Elementary school and kindergarten teachers
181.4033 Educational counsellors
182.4111 Judges
183.4112 Lawyers and Quebec notaries
184.4151 Psychologists
185.4152 Social workers
186.4153 Family, marriage and other related counsellors
187.4154 Professional occupations in religion
188.4155 Probation and parole officers and related occupations
189.4156 Employment counsellors
190.4161 Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers
191.4162 Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts
192.4163 Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants
193.4164 Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers
194.4165 Health policy researchers, consultants and program officers
195.4166 Education policy researchers, consultants and program officers
196.4167 Recreation, sports and fitness policy researchers, consultants and program officers
197.4168 Program officers unique to government
198.4169 Other professional occupations in social science, n.e.c.
199.4211 Paralegal and related occupations
200.4212 Social and community service workers
201.4214 Early childhood educators and assistants
202.4215 Instructors of persons with disabilities
203.4216 Other instructors
204.4217 Other religious occupations
205.4311 Police officers (except commissioned)
206.4312 Firefighters Federal Skilled Worker Visa
207.4313 Non-commissioned ranks of the Canadian Forces
208.5111 Librarians
209.5112 Conservators and curators
210.5113 Archivists
211.5121 Authors and writers
212.5122 Editors
213.5123 Journalists
214.5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters
215.5131 Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations
216.5132 Conductors, composers and arrangers
217.5133 Musicians and singers
218.5134 Dancers
219.5135 Actors and comedians
220.5136 Painters, sculptors and other visual artists
221.5211 Library and public archive technicians
222.5212 Technical occupations related to museums and art galleries
223.5221 Photographers
224.5222 Film and video camera operators
225.5223 Graphic arts technicians
226.5224 Broadcast technicians
227.5225 Audio and video recording technicians
228.5226 Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts
229.5227 Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts
230.5231 Announcers and other broadcasters
231.5232 Other performers, n.e.c.
232.5241 Graphic designers and illustrators
233.5242 Interior designers and interior decorators
234.5243 Theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers
235.5244 Artisans and craftspersons
236.5245 Patternmakers – textile, leather and fur products
237.5251 Athletes
238.5252 Coaches
239.5253 Sports officials and referees
240.5254 Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness
241.6211 Retail sales supervisors
242.6221 Technical sales specialists – wholesale trade
243.6222 Retail and wholesale buyers
244.6231 Insurance agents and brokers
245.6232 Real estate agents and salespersons
246.6235 Financial sales representatives
247.6311 Food service supervisors
248.6312 Executive housekeepers
249.6313 Accommodation, travel, tourism and related services supervisors
250.6314 Customer and information services supervisors
251.6315 Cleaning supervisors
252.6316 Other services supervisors
253.6321 Chefs Federal Skilled Worker Visa
254.6322 Cooks
255.6331 Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers – retail and wholesale
256.6332 Bakers
257.6341 Hairstylists and barbers
258.6342 Tailors, dressmakers, furriers and milliners
259.6343 Shoe repairers and shoemakers
260.6344 Jewellers, jewellery and watch repairers and related occupations
261.6345 Upholsterers
262.6346 Funeral directors and embalmers
263.7201 Contractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations
264.7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
265.7203 Contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades
266.7204 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
267.7205 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
268.7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
269.7232 Tool and die makers
270.7233 Sheet metal workers Federal Skilled Worker Visa
271.7234 Boilermakers
272.7235 Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters
273.7236 Ironworkers
274.7237 Welders and related machine operators
275.7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)
276.7242 Industrial electricians
277.7243 Power system electricians
278.7244 Electrical power line and cable workers
279.7245 Telecommunications line and cable workers
280.7246 Telecommunications installation and repair workers
281.7247 Cable television service and maintenance technicians
282.7251 Plumbers
283.7252 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
284.7253 Gas fitters
285.7271 Carpenters
286.7272 Cabinetmakers
287.7281 Bricklayers
288.7282 Concrete finishers
289.7283 Tile setters
290.7284 Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers
291.7291 Roofers and shinglers Federal Skilled Worker Visa
292.7292 Glaziers
293.7293 Insulators
294.7294 Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)
295.7295 Floor covering installers
296.7301 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
297.7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
298.7303 Supervisors, printing and related occupations
299.7304 Supervisors, railway transport operations
300.7305 Supervisors, motor transport and other ground transit operators
301.7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
302.7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
303.7313 Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
304.7314 Railway Carmen/women
305.7315 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
306.7316 Machine fitters
307.7318 Elevator constructors and mechanics
308.7321 Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers
309.7322 Motor vehicle body repairers
310.7331 Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics
311.7332 Appliance servicers and repairers
312.7333 Electrical mechanics
313.7334 Motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and other related mechanics
314.7335 Other small engine and small equipment repairers
315.7361 Railway and yard locomotive engineers
316.7362 Railway conductors and brakemen/women
317.7371 Crane operators
318.7372 Drillers and blasters – surface mining, quarrying and construction
319.7373 Water well drillers
320.7381 Printing press operators
321.7384 Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.
322.8211 Supervisors, logging and forestry
323.8221 Supervisors, mining and quarrying
324.8222 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services
325.8231 Underground production and development miners
326.8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
327.8241 Logging machinery operators
328.8252 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers8255 Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services
329.8261 Fishing masters and officers
330.8262 Fishermen/women
331.9211 Supervisors, mineral and metal processing
332.9212 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
333.9213 Supervisors, food, beverage and associated products processing
334.9214 Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing
335.9215 Supervisors, forest products processing
336.9217 Supervisors, textile, fabric, fur and leather products processing and manufacturing
337.9221 Supervisors, motor vehicle assembling
338.9222 Supervisors, electronics manufacturing
339.9223 Supervisors, electrical products manufacturing
340.9224 Supervisors, furniture and fixtures manufacturing
341.9226 Supervisors, other mechanical and metal products manufacturing
342.9227 Supervisors, other products manufacturing and assembly
343.9231 Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing
344.9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators
345.9235 Pulping, papermaking and coating control operators
346.9241 Power engineers and power systems operators
347.9243 Water and waste treatment plant operators





Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) Application


The sooner you apply for the FSWP, the better. For one, you will get more immigration points for your age the younger you are. Also, the sooner you’re in the Express Entry pool, the sooner you can figure out what you need to improve on to increase your chances of being invited to apply for permanent residence.


Federal Skilled Worker Program Points Grid


To apply for Canadian Permanent Residency under the Federal Skilled Worker Express Entry program you must achieve a score of 67 or higher using this points scheme.


The maximum points available for each section of the Federal Skilled Worker Program Express Entry program are:


  • Age: Maximum 12 points
  • Education: Maximum 25 points
  • Language Proficiency: Maximum 28 points (English and/or French)
  • Work Experience: Maximum 15 points
  • Adaptability: Maximum of 10 points
  • Arranged employment: Additional 10 points (not mandatory).


It is important that after you have determined your occupation is in demand for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and that you determine you have 67 points to submit an Express Entry Application.

Ok, let’s work through the 6 sections above.


1 – Age


You will be given points for your age. You only get points for your own age, not the age of any spouse or partner or any children who might be traveling with you.


Here is the age points chart for the Federal Skilled Worker Program:


Age (In Years): Points Awarded

  • Under 18: 0
  • 18-35: 12
  • 36: 11
  • 37: 10
  • 38: 9
  • 39: 8
  • 40: 7
  • 41: 6
  • 42: 5
  • 43: 4
  • 44: 3
  • 45: 2
  • 46: 1
  • 47 or older: 0




2 – Education


You will be given points for the Educational Level you have attained.


Here it is not essential that your Education be in your current professional field, we are looking for your highest level of education attained.

Here is the Education Points Chart. Education Qualifications can give a maximum of 25 points:


Education Level: Points

  • Doctoral level: 25
  • Professional Degree or Master’s degree: 23
  • 2 or more Postgraduate credentials or certificate courses: 22
  • 3 years or longer post-secondary educational credential assessment (undergraduate degree): 21
  • 2-year post-secondary qualifications or courses: 19
  • 1 year post-secondary program qualifications or credentials: 15
  • Secondary School Education: 5


3 – Language points


You will be granted points for how well you speak either one or both of Canada’s Official Languages, English and French.


Choose the language you are better at (either English or French).


Then estimate your ability in each of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.


Estimate yourself as either weak, moderate, or strong in each. A native speaker can expect to be moderate or strong in each category.


Then give yourself a score for each of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening from the table below.


First Official Language – maximum of 24 points:


CLB Level   Speaking   Listening   Reading   Writing   Scores given per ability

7                    6                  6                  6                6              4

8                   6.5                7.5               6.5             6.5           5

9                   7                   8                   7                7               6

*the numbers under Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing are the grades that IELTS will place on their results certificates. If you already have your IELTS exam done for English – you can use your actual results to calculate. We will assume most people have not yet done their IELTS English Language exam which will be covered in detail in the next part of the guide.


Don’t worry about the CLB column for now, just give yourself 4 points for an estimate of weak, a 5 if you are moderate and a 6 if you are strong.


Now add them up. This is your estimated First Language Score.


Now if you speak the other official Language you can gain another 4 points at this stage


If you have moderate skill in ALL 4 areas (Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking) you will be eligible for the maximum 4 points. If you are lower in any 1 of the areas – you don’t gain any points for the language. The points for Second Official Language proficiency increases in other stages of the permanent residency process.


Second Official Language – maximum of 4 points:


CLB Level   Speaking   Listening   Reading   Writing   Points

4                   4                  4.5               3.5             4              4


4 – Work Experience

Candidates who have full-time employment experience for a year or more can claim Work Experience points. This work experience must be in your NOC code profession.


Work Experience   Maximum points

1 year                         9 Points

2-3 years                   11 Points

4-5 years                    13 Points

Above 6 years            15 Points


5 – Adaptability Points (Maximum 10 points)


This is a broad section of possible points that can be awarded to either yourself or your partner if they are moving to Canada with you. You can only claim a total maximum of 10 points in this section.


Adaptability Factors                                                                                                                            Maximum Points

Previous work experience in a skilled occupation in Canada for at least one year                10 Points

Any kind of arranged employment in Canada                                                                                5 Points

Having any relatives in Canada                                                                                                          5 Points

Having done any previous research or study in Canada                                                               5 Points

If your partner or spouse has previous work experience in Canada                                           5 Points

If your partner or spouse has done any post-secondary course or has studied in Canada     5 Points

If your partner or spouse’s CLB Level is four or higher                                                                  5 Points


6 – Arranged Employment (Maximum 10 points)


If you are currently in Canada and officially working legally and full time or you have been approved for a work permit with an approved employer in Canada, you can add 10 points.

Calculating your Federal Skilled Worker Program Express Entry Total


Add together the six areas to get your total points.


Is the total 67 or above? Congratulations – you appear eligible to submit an application for Permanent Residency within the Express Entry Program.

What if I have not reached the 67 base points to enter the express entry program?


Many people have found themselves in this situation and have moved past it, increased their score, and then qualified or immigrated to Canada through an associated program.

Here are the first things to do if you have not scored 67 points


  1. Go through and calculate again to make sure you have your numbers correct.
  2. If you have a spouse who also has a profession on the Canada NOC list – go through and do the application points process with them as the applicant and you as the spouse. (often, a younger partner can earn more points and qualify. The good news is you both get the same visa so it does not matter who is the “applicant” and who is the “spouse”).
  3. Can you gain a higher Language Score? There is no problem with sitting the Language tests again – would a higher score solve your points problem?
  4. Are you close to moving to a higher points category soon – e.g. soon to graduate from a higher degree, or soon to be in a higher bracket for Work Experience? Sometimes waiting ten months makes all the difference – in the meantime, you can get everything else ready for your application and submit when the needed event happens – such as a work anniversary.
  5. Having a qualifying Job offer is a very powerful point addition. We will go through this in-depth later in the guide. This is the most common way people move quickly to qualify and immigrate to Canada.
  6. Considering another of Canada’s programs. Canada has many programs and they have different criteria. Your profession might have more options.
  7. Obtaining a Study visa to Canada and taking a course. This will increase your Canada points, and you can also work up to 20 hours per week while you are in Canada Studying. If you have a partner, they can come with you, and gain an open work permit which means they can work unrestricted in Canada. They can gain Canadian work experience while you study – this usually pushes people over the qualifying points and very often leads to qualifying Job offers that also help secure permanent residency offers.


There are many ways to move your points up for Express Entry applications. Many people start out a bit short but they are now living in Canada as permanent residents. Take some time to go through the details again and read on ways to improve your application and get you to Canada.


It is essential that you carry on with getting your documentation ready for submission for Express Entry – even if you don’t currently have enough points.


Most importantly, you should do your language tests and get your education credential assessment done.


These documents will be necessary to submit your express entry when the time comes.


Far too many people miss their opportunity to move to Canada due to not having these documents completed and at hand when they receive a job offer.


If you have your documents ready you can submit immediately and this is a much more attractive situation for a potential employer compared to someone who they then have to wait months for to gain the correct documents. In these situations employers simply remove their job offer and give it to someone who has all the documents in place rather than someone who they are not even certain will satisfy the paperwork requirements.


Be ready to act and be prepared to take your opportunity when it arises


Best practice guidance is to keep going with your application documentation – get your language tests done and have your education credentials assessed – start looking for jobs and look at provincial nomination options.

Editor in Chief - EmigrateCanada.com at EmigrateCanada.com | Website | + posts

Editor in Chief - EmigrateCanada.com

Dr. Montague John (PhD), is one of the World’s leading Canadian Immigration experts. Affectionately known as “Monty” he established EmigrateCanada.com more than 25 years ago and it has grown to be one of the most reliable sources of Canada Immigration information.

In 2022 Dr. Montague John (PhD) published his book, “How to Immigrate to Canada” as EmigrateCanada.com, which featured as Bestseller in its Category for several weeks. Montague co-ordinates all the qualified contributors at EmigrateCanada.com and serves as Editor-in-Chief.