Federal Skilled Worker (Express Entry) Eligibility Criteria

Federal Skilled Worker (Express Entry) Eligibility Criteria

Skilled workers are people who are chosen as permanent residents based on their ability to prosper in Canada. The Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC) assesses federal skilled worker (FSW) applications based on the factors set out below.

CIC will only process your FSW application if you have:

  • at least one year of continuous and paid (full-time or an equal amount in part-time) work experience 1) in a single occupation, 2) within the last 10 years, 3) at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the 2011 edition of the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC)


  • You have this work experience in one of the eligible occupations,


  • You have a valid offer of arranged employment,


  • You are an international student who is enrolled in a PhD program in Canada (or who graduated from a Canadian PhD program within the past 12 months) and meet these criteria.

No matter what category above you apply to, you must meet ALL the minimum requirements below.

A)Minimum requirements

Work experience

If your application is eligible to be processed, we will then assess it to see if your work experience, as described above, is valid.

Your work experience must be:

  • at least one year (1560 hours), full-time or an equal amount in part-time,
  • paid work (volunteer work, unpaid internships, etc. do not count),
  • in the same occupation, and
  • within the last 10 years,
  • at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the 2011 edition of the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC)

You must show that you did the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC, including all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed. If you do not show that your experience meets the description in the NOC, we will refuse your application.

Language ability

You must meet minimum language levels and include the results of a language test from an agency approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) when you apply that shows you meet the minimum language requirement of Canadian Language Benchmark.


You must have:

  • a Canadian diploma, certificate, or credential
  • OR
  • a foreign educational credential, and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) by an agency approved by CIC to show it is equal to a completed Canadian secondary or post-secondary educational credential.

About the application cap

Due to the large number of applications we get, we can only consider a limited number of applications per year. As of May 1, 2014, there is an overall cap of 25,500 for new federal skilled worker applications. This includes a cap of 500 applications from PhD students. There are also sub-caps of 1,000 for each of the 50 eligible occupations. The caps do not affect people with a valid job offer. These are the last applications we will accept under the current system before Express Entry launches in January 2015.

B) Six selection factors

If you meet all the conditions set out in sections A and B above, we will process your application based on the six selection factors in the skilled worker points grid. They are:

  1. your skills in English and/or French, Canada’s two official languages,
  2. your education,
  3. your work experience,
  4. your age,
  5. whether you have arranged employment in Canada, and
  6. your adaptability (how well you are likely to settle here).

To see how many points you might get, read about the selection factors

If you are not sure if you should apply as a skilled worker, try the Come to Canada Wizard to get an idea if your application would be eligible to be processed.

C) Proof of funds

You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada.

D) Inadmissibility

Some people are inadmissible—they are not allowed to come to Canada. Several things can make you inadmissible, including being involved in:

  • crime, or
  • human rights violations.

You can also be inadmissible for:

  • security,
  • health,
  • financial reasons, or
  • other reasons.

Date Modified: 2014-07-02

Source: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/apply-who.asp

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Author: AllOntario Team

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