The Canadian Skilled Worker Programme: What to do to be offered a work visa



The Canadian Skilled Worker Programme: What to do to be offered a work visa

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is actually one of the most popular immigration programs in Canada, bringing tens of thousands of immigrants to the country each year. Here's how to apply for it.

You can find out more about working in Canada in the country card
You can find out more about working in Canada in the country card

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is an opportunity for workers in a variety of occupations to showcase their profiles and be invited to apply for a visa. It works similar to the lottery, but the chances of being selected are quite high as Canada is experiencing a labour shortage in a variety of occupations.

Read the top 15 myths about immigration to Canada here.

CRS system: how many points do you need to move to Canada under the Express Entry program read here.

A special feature of Canada's professions programme

Every year, the Canadian government publishes a list of skilled trades that are in short supply in the country.  This is a work permit where you can submit your profile and wait to see if it is selected. Skilled trades correspond to the National Occupational Classification of Canada (NOC) list. The best bonus of the program is that if you become a permanent resident under Canada's Federal Skilled Trades program, you can work and live in Canada. You will also have the chance to become a Canadian citizen after a few years. This program gives individuals and families the opportunity to immigrate to Canada if you qualify under the FSWP.

Federal Skilled Worker Program requirements

All occupations in Canada are classified in the National Occupational Classification and are given a code and a skill level. You must find the NOC code that best matches your work experience.

Your profession must have a NOC A or B skill level or skill type 0.

The work experience you claim on your application must be within the last 10 years and paid (voluntary work or unpaid internships do not count).

If you work full-time, you must have at least one year of uninterrupted work experience (at least 30 hours per week for 12 months). If you have worked part-time, you must have at least 15 hours of work experience per week for 24 months.

Language skills

Applications for the federal skilled worker programme are made through the Express Entry system. You must pass an approved test in English and/or French before you can make an Express Entry profile.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada accepts the results of two English language tests: IELTS (general education option only) and CELPIP (general test only); and one French language test, the TEF.

You must include the test results in your Express Entry profile. And you must be able to score at least a CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) level 7 in all four core competencies: speaking, reading, writing and listening.

Education for work in Canada

You can have a secondary school certificate, diploma or degree for FSWP purposes.

Before you create an Express Entry profile, you must have your educational credentials evaluated by an approved educational credential evaluation agency. Once your credentials have been assessed, you can add this information to your Express Entry profile. You will be asked to enter the results and reference number into your profile. 

Other selection factors

In addition to considering your education and language abilities, the programme will also consider your age and your job offer (this is not compulsory, but it can give you good points for selection). 

There are also additional adaptability factors that are not compulsory, but may give you more points in your profile:

- Your spouse/partner's language skills

- Learning experience in Canada (from you and/or your spouse/partner)

- Work experience in Canada (from you and/or your spouse/partner)

- Family in Canada.

Restrictions on entry 

You must be eligible to enter Canada if you want to apply through the FSTP. But there are reasons why you may not be allowed: 

- You pose a security risk;

- You have committed international violations or human rights abuses;

- You have been convicted of a crime in or outside Canada;

- You are tied to an organised criminal organisation;

- You have serious health problems;

- You have serious financial problems;

- You have given false information on your application or interview;

- One of your family members is not allowed to enter Canada.

How to apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program

To begin the application process, you must submit your profile. However, before you begin the profile, it is advisable to gather supporting documents so that you can fill in your information more quickly. Here are the documents you will need:

- A valid passport or travel document;

- Your language test results;

- Your educational credentials evaluation report so that you can get extra points;

- A written job offer from a Canadian employer (if you have one).

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