Federal Skilled Worker (Express Entry): Eligibility to Apply

Hey there! If you’re dreaming of living and working in Canada, the Federal Skilled Worker Program might be your ticket to making it happen. This program is designed for people with job skills who want to become permanent residents in Canada. It’s a great way to enjoy Canada’s beautiful landscapes, lively cities, and diverse culture.

Let’s dive into the details of what you need to know to see if you’re eligible for this exciting immigration opportunity.

What is the Federal Skilled Worker Program?

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is a special way for skilled workers like you to become permanent residents in Canada. If you have work experience and valuable skills, this program could be your path to a new life in Canada.

Eligibility to apply as a Federal Skilled Worker (Express Entry)

1. Minimum Requirements

A. Skilled Work Experience

To be eligible, you need to have worked in a specific type of job that falls under one of these categories:

  • TEER 0
  • TEER 1
  • TEER 2
  • TEER 3

Here’s what you must show regarding your work experience:

  • You performed the main duties outlined in the job description for your occupation category in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
  • Your work experience must match the job you want to use for your immigration application (your primary occupation).
  • You should have gained this experience within the last 10 years, whether in Canada or abroad.
  • It must have been a paid job, meaning you received wages or earned commission. Unfortunately, volunteer work or unpaid internships won’t count.
  • Your work experience should add up to at least one year of continuous work, or a total of 1,560 hours, which is roughly equivalent to working 30 hours a week for 12 months. You can meet this requirement in a few ways:
  • Working full time at one job for 12 months.
  • Working part-time, like 15 hours a week for 24 months.
  • Combining multiple part-time jobs to reach the 1,560-hour mark.

Remember, if you work more than 30 hours a week at one job, the extra hours won’t be counted.

B. Part-Time Work Experience

Even part-time work can count toward your requirements as long as it’s paid work, including wages or commission. You can work more or fewer than 15 hours a week, as long as it adds up to 1,560 hours. You can also hold more than one part-time job to meet this requirement.

C. Student Work Experience

Work experience gained while you were studying may count if:

  • It was paid with wages or commissions.
  • There were no gaps in your employment history.
  • It meets all the other requirements of the program.

D. Language Ability

You must prove your language proficiency in English or French by taking approved language tests for writing, reading, listening, and speaking. You need to meet the minimum score required in all four of these abilities. Don’t forget to enter your test results in your Express Entry profile.

These language test results are valid for two years from the date of the test. Make sure they remain valid when you apply for permanent residence.

E. Education

Your educational background is also crucial. If you studied in Canada, you’ll need a certificate, diploma, or degree from either a Canadian high school (secondary institution) or a post-secondary institution.

For foreign education, you must have:

  • A completed educational credential.
  • An Educational Credential Assessment for immigration purposes from a designated organization.

This assessment should confirm that your education is equivalent to what you’d get from a Canadian high school or post-secondary institution.

This might sound like a lot, but it’s all about making sure you have the right qualifications to succeed in Canada.

If you have any more questions or need further guidance, don’t hesitate to ask. Your Canadian dream is within reach, and I’m here to help you every step of the way. Good luck!

2. Selection factors

Sure, let’s break down the selection factors for the Federal Skilled Worker Program in simple terms:

Selection Factors for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

If you want to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you need to meet some basic requirements. Once you’ve met those requirements, we’ll look at six main factors to see if you’re eligible:

Age: Your age matters. The younger you are, the better it is for your application. You can score more points if you’re younger.

Education: We’ll check your education level. If you’ve completed more years of education and have qualifications similar to Canadian standards, it’s a plus.

Work Experience: Your past work experience is important. If you’ve worked in a skilled job for at least a year in the last ten years, that’s a good sign.

Job Offer: Having a valid job offer in Canada can boost your chances. It’s not mandatory, but it can give you extra points.

Language Skills: Your ability to speak English or French is crucial. You’ll need to take a language test to show how well you can communicate.

Adaptability: This is about how well you can settle in Canada. Factors like having a Canadian relative or having studied in Canada can help.

Based on how you do in these six factors, we’ll give you a score out of 100. Right now, you need at least 67 points to pass.

It’s important to note that these points are different from the ones used to rank profiles in the Express Entry pool. These points are just for checking your eligibility for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. If you want to know how these points are calculated in detail, you can review the guidelines provided by the immigration authorities.

Remember, meeting these requirements and scoring well in these factors can improve your chances of becoming a permanent resident of Canada. If you have more questions or need assistance, feel free to ask.

3. Proof of Funds:

To start, it’s crucial that you have enough money to support yourself and your family when you come to Canada. However, there are exceptions. You may not need to show proof of funds if:

  • You can legally work in Canada right now.
  • You have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.
  • Having sufficient funds ensures you can comfortably settle in Canada while you search for employment.


Next, you must be admissible to Canada. This means you need to meet the country’s requirements for entry. Canada has certain rules regarding criminal records, health conditions, and other factors. It’s essential to make sure you meet these criteria before applying.

Where You Can Live in Canada:

Now, when it comes to where you can live in Canada, there are some specifics to consider:

You should plan to live outside the province of Quebec. Quebec has its own selection process for skilled workers. If you intend to settle in Quebec, you should explore the Quebec-selected skilled worker program for more details.

When you complete your profile, you’ll be asked where you plan to live in Canada. However, this doesn’t mean you are obligated to settle in that province or territory. It’s just for information purposes.

If you’ve been nominated by a province or territory as a Provincial Nominee, you must settle in the province or territory that nominated you. This is an important commitment when you have provincial nomination.

In summary, make sure you have the necessary funds to support yourself and your family, ensure you meet Canada’s admissibility requirements, and consider where you want to live in Canada based on your plans and any provincial nomination you might have received. If you have more questions or need assistance, feel free to ask. Good luck with your Canadian immigration journey!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can I apply if I don’t have a job offer in Canada?

Yes, you can apply without a job offer, but having one can boost your chances.

Q2. What’s the minimum score needed to get an ITA?

It changes with each Express Entry draw, so stay updated.

Q3. Can I bring my family with me to Canada?

Absolutely! You can include your spouse and kids in your application.

Q4. Do I need to take a language test if I’m fluent in English?

Yes, everyone needs to take an approved language test, even if it’s your first language.

Q5. How long does the application process take?

It varies, but expect several months for processing.

Q6. Can I apply if I have a criminal record?

It’s tricky, but not impossible. Consult an immigration expert for advice.

Q7. Is there an age limit for the Federal Skilled Worker Program?

No official age limit, but remember, younger applicants score higher in the CRS.

Q8. Can I apply if I don’t have a degree but have years of experience?

Yes, you can still apply with work experience even if you don’t have a degree.

Q9. Do I need a lawyer to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program?

It’s not mandatory, but it can be helpful, especially if you’re unsure about the process.

Q10. What if I can’t prove I have enough money to settle in Canada?

Consider other immigration programs or consult an expert for alternative options.

Remember, moving to a new country is a big step, but with the right information and guidance, you can make your Canadian dream come true. If you have more questions or need assistance, feel free to ask or consult with an immigration professional. Good luck on your journey to becoming a Canadian resident!

In conclusion, the Federal Skilled Worker Program via Express Entry offers a pathway to a promising future in Canada for skilled individuals like you. By meeting the eligibility criteria and maximizing your Comprehensive Ranking System score, you’ve laid a strong foundation for your Canadian dream. Remember, Canada welcomes diversity and talent, and your skills can contribute to its thriving economy. With careful preparation, honesty in your application, and dedication, you’re on the right track to becoming a proud permanent resident of this beautiful and opportunity-rich country. Embrace the journey, and may your new life in Canada be filled with success and fulfillment.

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