Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)

Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)

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Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)

Canada is facing a skilled labour shortage as its economy continues to expand at the same time as growing numbers of Canadians are retiring from the workforce. Consequently, Canada's government and Canadian businesses have been increasingly seeking skilled foreign workers to help fill thousands of Canadian job openings across the country. In order to attract thousands of skilled foreign workers who can immediately integrate into Canada’s economy, the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) was established to offer a long-term Canadian work visa (i.e., Permanent Resident Visa to Canada) to foreign nationals in various high-demand managerial, professional and technical occupations that often require a college or university education or other advanced training.

The past immigration selection process for a work visa to Canada was not adequately responding to the evolving needs of Canada’s dynamic labour market. A number of skilled foreign workers were experiencing difficulty in finding jobs in their field and some employers were also facing challenges finding workers with the skills and qualifications they needed. Thus, Canada's government, in consultation with Canadian business leaders and various experts, revised the requirements for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) in order to offer a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada to skilled foreign workers who are in a strong position to meet the needs of businesses across the country and to find jobs in Canada in their particular field. Not only were the requirements to apply for the FSWP updated, but the Canadian immigration system was also improved to more quickly offer a PR Visa to Canada to the most qualified FSWP candidates through the new "Express Entry" Canadian immigration system which officially launched on January 1, 2015.

Who can apply for the FSWP?

The Canadian government has announced its goal to issue a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada to a record 160,600 "economic immigrants" in 2016 through various Canadian immigration programs, such as the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP). Skilled foreign workers and their eligible family members who are granted a PR Visa to Canada through the FSWP are authorized to live and work in Canada long-term, receive free basic healthcare (after a brief waiting period), get access to educational programs, and have the opportunity to enjoy the high standard of living that Canada is famous for. Another great benefit of being issued a PR Visa to Canada through the FSWP is the option to apply for Canadian citizenship after living in Canada as a permanent resident at least four years and meeting other criteria!

Recent changes made to this long-term Canadian work visa program will better select skilled foreign workers who meet Canada’s current and evolving economic needs. By placing more emphasis on the language, education, age and skill profile of skilled foreign workers, applicants selected under the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) will have the ability to seek jobs in Canada that more closely match their training with greater speed and efficiency. These new changes will also reduce the bureaucratic procedure for Canadian employers and fast-track the process for both employers and skilled foreign workers with regard to offers of arranged employment in Canada.
 
The Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) is a points-based Canadian immigration program designed to offer a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada to thousands of qualified skilled foreign workers (and their eligible family members) who meet certain criteria. Points are given for factors considered important to the success of skilled foreign workers who immigrate to Canada such as:

  • English/French language skills
  • Education Work experience
  • Age
  • Qualifying Canadian job offer
  • Adaptability

Please note that if you would like to live and work in Quebec, you cannot apply for immigration to Canada through the FSWP and must instead apply for Canadian immigration through the Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers Program (QSWP).

One of the key eligibility requirements for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) is to have at least one year of continuous full-time paid work experience during the past 10 years in a qualifying occupation listed by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) as being at Skill Type 0 (certain management occupations), Skill Level A (certain professions usually requiring a university education), or Skill Level B (certain technical jobs and skilled trades usually requiring a college education or apprenticeship training).

As of January 1, 2015, there are dozens of managerial, professional and other high-demand occupations that are eligible for the FSWP, such as the following examples:

  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Banking, Credit and Other Investment Managers
  • Chemical Engineers
  • Chemists
  • Civil Engineers
  • College and Other Vocational Instructors
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
  • Construction Managers
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Elementary and Kindergarten Teachers
  • Engineering Managers
  • Financial and Investment Analysts
  • Geoscientists and Oceanographers
  • Human Resources Managers
  • Land Surveyors
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Petroleum Engineers
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Professional Occupations in Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations
  • Purchasing Managers
  • Retail and Wholesale Trade Managers
  • School Principals and Administrators of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Secondary School (High School) Teachers
  • Senior Managers - Construction, Transportation, Production and Utilities
  • Senior Managers - Financial, Communications and Other Business Services
  • Software Engineers and Designers
  • Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters
  • University Professors and Lecturers

Please note that the above occupations are a limited sample of the many occupations that qualify for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) and that there are dozens of additional occupations that are also eligible for this popular Canadian immigration program.

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