Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Canadian Federal Skilled Worker Program allows skilled professionals with significant work experience, employability, and adaptability to gain legal permanent residence in Canada.

Since January 2015 all applications for the federal Skilled worker Program have been made through the new Express Entry system. Applicants must complete an online profile, and submit and expression of interest before applying for their visa.

Points system

The Canadian Federal Skilled Worker Program is points based, with applicants being assessed on criteria such as age, education, experience, language skills, adaptability, and whether they have an existing job offer in Canada.


Federal Skilled Worker Program applicants must meet several basic criteria before their visa will be granted, and must also score a minimum of 67 points on the Canadian Skilled Workers Points System.

Express Entry profile

All applicants must complete and Express Entry profile and submit an expression of interest before their visa will be granted. On their profile applicants must provide
details of their:

  • Age 
  • Skills and work experience 
  • French and English language proficiency 
  • Education

Contact us for help with your Express Entry profile and application. Our dedicated Canadian immigration lawyer specialises in visa applications, and is a member of The Law Society of Upper Canada.

Work experience

Federal Skilled Worker Program applicants must have significant work experience in a skilled role, which must meet the following conditions:

  • Must have totalled at least 1,560 hours; approximately one year of full time work. 
  • Must have been gained in a paid job, or multiple paid jobs 
  • Must have been gained within the last 10 years 
  • Must have been gained in a managerial, skilled professional, or skilled trade role; Skill Type 0, Skill Level A, or Skill Level B in Canada's National Occupational Classification system (NOC).

Language skills

Applicants must have reasonable proficiency in English, French, or both languages. To prove this applicants must provide test results from the following language test providers on their Express Entry profile BEFORE they can apply for a visa:.

  • The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), OR; 
  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), OR; 
  • The Test d’évaluation de français (TEF)


Applicants must have the following educational qualifications:

  • A Canadian secondary school certificate, or post secondary qualification, such as a college diploma or university degree, OR; 
  • A foreign qualification, and an Educational Credential assessment, stating that the qualification is equivalent to a Canadian secondary or post secondary qualification, from one of the following organisations:
    • Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies 
    • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
    • World Education Services
    • International Qualifications Assessment Service
    • International Credential Evaluation Service
    • Medical Council of Canada 
    • Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (professional body for Pharmacists)

Maintenance funds

Applicants must also have access to sufficient maintenance funds for themselves and their family members, and must be able to prove this with bank statements or other documents. The amount of funds applicants must have access to depends upon the number of family members included in the application. The following table gives a detailed breakdown of the funds required for this visa:

Number of family members  (including mainapplicant)                      Maintenance funds required
1                                                                                                                          $12,475 CAD
2                                                                                                                          $15,531 CAD
3                                                                                                                          $19,093 CAD
4                                                                                                                          $23,181 CAD
5                                                                                                                          $26,292 CAD
6                                                                                                                          $29,652 CAD
7                                                                                                                          + $33,014 CAD