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The FSW program is aimed at choosing those that have the highest likelihood of successfully settling economically in Canada and contributing to the country. Persons that meet the criteria for Canada's Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program will be able to qualify for permanent residence in the country. In order to properly enter the program, there are several key terms that all those applying to the program are required to meet.

- Applicants must be proficient at an intermediate level in either English or French, the country's official languages.

- Applicants must have at least one (1) year of job experience, throughout the duration of the past ten (10) years, or they must alternatively possess the equivalent in ongoing, part-time employment. The applicant's job experience must be within any of the professions defined as Fast Track High Demand Positions (See the 'Professions' section listed below).

- The relevant job experience must be defined as falling among one of the following skill types:
Managerial Vocations (0), Professional Vocations (Skill Level A) or Technical Vocations and Skilled Trades (Skill Level B).

- Applicants must score enough points under the skilled worker point grid. This grid consists of six separate selection parameters. The current passing mark for all applicants stands at 67 out of 100 total points that may be accrued, which are distributed among several factors as follows:

  • Age: 12 points at most.
  • Education: 25 points at most.
  • Employment experience: 15 points at most.
  • Linguistic skill (English/French): 28 points at most.
  • Pre-arranged work in the country: 10 points at most.
  • The applicant's adaptability: 10 points at most.

- Applicants must go through and pass a medical and security background check.

- Lastly, applicants must have sufficient funding for the purpose of settling in the country and for supporting themselves and their families.

In accordance with the established rules, qualified applicants are examined according to six (6) factors. It is these factors that define whether applicants are eligible to immigrate to Canada.

Over 100,000 students from around the world make their way to Canada each and every year. Those interested in attending studies at schools, universities, colleges or other educational institute in the country are required to apply for the appropriate study permits, which make it possible for persons from other countries to attend the approved institute of their choice in the country during the time of their educational programs.

In order to qualify for studying in Canada, applicants must meet the following conditions:

1) Any applicant must have been accepted by a Canadian educational institute (school, university, college, or any other educational institute).

2) Applicants must be able to prove that they have sufficient funds in order to pay for:

  • The tuition fees of the educational institution.
  • Transportation back to the country of origin for the applicant and any other family members arriving with him/her.
  • Living expenses for the duration of the study period for both the applicant and any other family members arriving with him/her.

3) Applicants must be in a good state of health, and willing to undergo a medical evaluation, if any such evaluation is deemed necessary.

4) Applicants must be law-abiding citizens without a criminal record, and must not constitute a risk of any sort to Canada's security (Applicants may be required to present a police certificate).

5) Applicants must satisfy an immigration officer that he/she intends to leave the borders of Canada upon the conclusion of the approved stay duration.

A study permit is not necessary in order to attend an educational institute in Canada in the following instances:

1) If the duration of the educational program the applicant intends to study is short (less than six months).

2) If the applicant is a member of a foreign military force.

3) If the applicant belongs to the staff or is a family member of a foreign representative in Canada.

Applicants may be required to possess a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) in order to enter the borders of Canada, in the event that they are citizens of a country from which such visas are required. TRVs may also be needed if the student is a citizen of a country from which such visas are required for entry into Canada (citizens of visa-exempt countries do not require it).

The spouses of foreign students studying in the country may also be eligible for obtaining a work permit throughout the duration of the study permit.

Students attending educational institutions in Canada who are under Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC) work programs may work throughout the duration of their studies in the country while: off-campus with a work permit, on-campus without a permit, and with a permit while participating in internships that involve job experience in the framework of the study program.

At the conclusion of their studies, non-Canadian students are able to apply for a work permit via the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, which allows for the issuing of permits for duration of up to three years.

Canada's French province maintains immigration programs that are separate from the country's federal program. As such, the programs offered in Québec differ from the federal programs when it comes to their selection criteria. The immigration procedure for people of foreign nationality interested in permanently settling in Québec is as follows:

1) Interested persons must apply to the province's Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities (Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés Culturelles) and must be selected by it. Once selected, they will be the recipients of a Québec selection certificate (Certificat de Sélection du Québec).

2) Upon receiving the Québec selection certificate, applications must be made for obtaining a Canadian Permanent Resident visa. It should be noted that the role of Citizenship and Immigration Canada in assessing permanent resident applications for Quebec is limited.

High Demand Occupations in Canada

The following table lists the occupations deemed as required according to Canadian authorities, along with their associated National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes:

NOC Code Occupation
0211 Engineering managers
1112 Financial and investment analysts
2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers
2131 Civil engineers
2132 Mechanical engineers
2134 Chemical engineers
2143 Mining engineers
2144 Geological engineers
2145 Petroleum engineers
2146 Aerospace engineers
2147 Computer engineers (excluding software designers/engineers)
2154 Land surveyors
2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
2263 Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
3142 Physiotherapists
3143 Occupational Therapists
3211 Medical laboratory technologists
3212 Medical laboratory technicians and pathologist assistants
3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
3215 Medical radiation technologists
3216 Medical sonographers
3217 Cardiology technicians and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists


Please note: only 5,000 applications are accepted each year, and only 300 applications are considered for each of the listed occupations.

Selection Criteria

In order to be chosen within the parameters of the FSW program, all applicants with the work experience and language proficiency deemed appropriate must reach at least 67 points out of a total of 100 points on the Skilled Worker Selection Grid. Points are assigned on this grid according to the categories of education, language, work experience, age adaptability and pre-arranged work in the country.

Category Points Details
Education 25 points

Up to 25 points are given at most in this category, and the max numbers of points are provided to applicants in possession of doctorate degrees. Any applicant's international academic credentials are examined in order to compare them to the relevant Canadian equivalent. This process is carried out by one of the following 3rd-party evaluation organizations: the Canadian International Credential Assessment Service, World Education Services, the Canadian Medical Council and the Comparative Education Service at the University of Toronto. The number of points given to an applicant in this category will be determined accordingly.

Language (English or French) 28 points

Applicants must be able to demonstrate a level of intermediate-high linguistic proficiency in either English or French. Those meeting the minimal level are required to score a minimum of 16 points in this selection category. A high level of proficiency in either language may result in scoring up to 24 of the 28 total points. Only 4 points will be given at most for proficiency in a second official language, since a command of both languages is not deemed essential with regards to becoming economically established in Canada.

Work Experience 15 points

A minimum period of one year of work experience is required in order to qualify under the FSW program, and the maximum consideration period stands at six years.

Age 12 points

12 points will be allotted to candidates in the 18-35 age group will be given up to 12 points. One point will be deducted for every year over the age of 35, and no points will be given as of the age of 47 and above.

Adaptability 10 points

Applicants who have at least one (1) year of full-time work experience in a professional, technical, managerial or skilled trade vocation will receive full points in this category. As mentioned above, a confirmed employment offer will give applicants 5 adaptability points. The following are additional factors that can influence how points are determined under this category:

  • An immediate adult relative of the applicant is residing in the country.
  • The applicant or his/her spouse previously studied within the country.
  • An applicant's spouse is in possession of previous work experience within the country.
  • An applicant's spouse is familiar with one of the country's officially recognized languages (English or French).

Pre-arranged Work 0 or 10 points

Points in this category are distributed to applicants in possession of a confirmed employment offer in Canada. An applicant's proposed employer has to be able to demonstrate to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (the Canadian government's department for the development and management of social programs and services) that hiring the foreign employee will have either a neutral or a beneficial economic effect on the local job market. Only then will the applicant be able to confirm a employment offer and obtain points for this category. Candidates with a confirmed employment offer will be entitled to 10 points in this category as well as 5 more points in the Adaptability category.