Qualifying for FSW

In order to be eligibility to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Class, you must have:

  • at least 1 year of continuous full-time work experience, or the equivalent in continuous part-time employment, within the past 10 years
  • in one of the occupations listed in either:
    • Skill Type 0 (Management Occupations) or
    • Skill Level A (Management & Professional Occupations) or
    • Skill Level B (jobs usually requiring post-secondary education or apprenticeship training)
    • These are all classification levels or skills from the National Occupational Classification (NOC) matrix.
    • The NOC is the authoritative standard that classifies and describes the occupation in the Canadian labour market development by Employment and Social Development of Canada (ESDC).
  • The work must be paid work. (volunteer work or internships do not qualify)

In order to qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker program, you must meet the 6 selection factors listed below. You must attain a minimum score of 67 points overall in order to qualify to immigrate to Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker program.

Before your application is asses ed for Express Entry, you must make sure you meet the following section factors:

Selection factors for FSWPoints (Not CRS points)
Factor 1: Ability in English and or FrenchMaximum 28 points
Factor : EducationMaximum 25 points
Factor 3: ExperienceMaximum 15 points
Factor 4: AgeMaximum 12 points
Factor 5: Arranged employment in CanadaMaximum 10 points
Factor 6: AdaptabilityMaximum 10 points


Maximum 100 points
Pass Mark67 points

Think of this as the score you need to meet before you even bother to create an Express Entry profile.



You must meet the minimum level of:

  • Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in Englishor
  • Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 7 in French
  • for your first (or main) official language in all four language abilities:
  • listening,
  • reading,
  • writing and
  • For the CELPIP language test that translates to a minimum score of 7 in all 4 categories (listening, reading, writing, and speaking).
  • For the IELTS language test that means a minimum score of 6.0 in reading, writing, and speaking, and a minimum score of 6.0 – 7.0 in listening.
  • For the TEF French language test that means the following minimum scores:
  • Speaking: 310 – 348
  • Listening: 249 – 279
  • Reading: 207 – 232
  • Writing: 310 – 348

To get points for your second official language, you must meet the minimum level of CLB 5 in all four language abilities.

  • For the CELPIP language test that means a minimum score of 5 in all 4 categories.
  • For the IELTS language test that means a minimum score of 5 in speaking, listening, and writing, and minimum score of 4 in reading.

Your language test results must be less than 2 years old on the date your application is submitted to immigration. You should upload your language test results to your Express Entry profile.

For Express Entry, your language points are assessed as follows:

CLB LevelIELTS ReadingIELTS WritingIELTS ListeningIELTS Speaking
108.0-9.07.5 - 9.08.5 - 9.07.5 - 9.0
CLB LevelCELPIP ReadingCELPIP WritingCELPIP ListeningCELPIP Speaking
9 and above9+9+9+ 9+



You must either have:

  • a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, or
  • an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)report from an agency approved by CIC to show your foreign education is equal to Canadian education standards.

There are currently 5 approved ECA agencies in Canada, and they are:

  • Comparative Education Service
  • University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
  • World Education Services
  • Medical Council of Canada (professional body for Doctors)
  • Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (professional body for Pharmacists)

Express Entry awards the following points based on your educational level:

EducationPoints Awarded for FSW (Maximum of 25)
Doctoral/PhD 25
Masters/Professional Degree23
2 or more Canadian Post-secondary degrees or diplomas (1 of at least 3 years)22
Canadian Post-secondary degree or diploma (at least 3 years)21
Canadian Post-secondary degree of diploma (2 years)19
Canadian Post-secondary degree or diploma (1 year)15
Canadian high school diploma5


Work Experience

You are awarded points based on your work experience. You must first find your National Occupational Classification (NOC) code, or the one that best fits your job description including the list of duties you performed at work. Remember, your job must be a Skill type 0 or Skill level A or B in order for you to qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker stream. The points awarded are:

ExperiencePoints awarded
1 year9
2-3 years11
4-5 years13
6 or more years15



You will be awarded points based on your age on the date the Canadian immigration authorities receive your application:

AgePoints Awarded
Under 180
36-4611 for age 36 descending to 1 for age 46
47 and older0


Arranged Employment in Canada (Job Offer)

You are awarded 10 points for a valid, full-time job offer that fulfills the following conditions:

  • Continuous, paid, full-time work for at least 1 year in a job that is either NOC skill type 0 or skill level A or B, AND
  • You are working in Canada on Temporary Work Permit based on a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and your employer has offered to make your job permanent, conditional on your acceptance as a Federal Skilled Worker through Express Entry. OR
  • You are working in Canada in a job exempt from an LMIA due to an international or federal-provincial agreement and your employer has offered you a permanent job, conditional on your acceptance as a Federal Skilled Worker. OR
  • You don’t currently have a work permit and do NOT plan to work in Canada UNTIL you get a permanent resident visa. OR
  • You work in Canada, and a different employer has offered you a permanent full-time job.
  • You work in Canada at an LMIA-exempt job but not one that falls under a federal-provincial or international agreement and your employer has offered you permanent work and has obtained a positive LMIA for your job.


Proof of Funds

You are exempt from this requirement if you are currently working in Canada under a valid work permit or have a positive LMIA from an employer in Canada. Otherwise, you must show that you have enough money so support yourself and your family after your arrival in Canada. The amount of money you need is set by the size of your family. Immigration updates these amounts every year.

Number of Family MembersFunds Required (CAD)
1 (just you)$12,475
7 or more$33,014
Funds for each additional family member above 7$3,361

Struggling with your Express Entry application? Can’t figure out what is the difference between the FSW points system and the Express Entry points system?


Contact Maxcan Immigration in Markham, Ontario for assistance. Maxcan’s office is accessible from anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area.