Federal Skilled Worker Program for US Citizens
If you are a US citizen with skilled work experience then you could be eligible to immigrate to Canada permanently using the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program. Find out more about the program and how you could be eligible.
For assistance with your Federal Skilled Worker Program application get in touch with our immigration lawyers today at +1 844 290 6312.
- What is the Federal Skilled Worker Program?
- How can US citizens be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program?
- Minimum work experience requirements
- Minimum language ability requirements
- Minimum education requirements
- How to apply for Canadian permanent residence as a skilled worker?
- Required documents
- How can Total Law help?
- Frequently asked questions
What is the Federal Skilled Worker Program?
The Federal Skilled Worker Program is one of three programs that is part of the Express Entry system which manages applications for permanent residency from skilled immigrants.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program is one of the most popular routes used by skilled workers to obtain permanent residency in Canada because it is one of the quickest routes available with most applications being processed within just 6 months. The Federal Skilled Worker Program is for foreign nationals who have skilled work experience outside of Canada. Applicants are selected based on their experience and skills.
Applicants who are eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program are entered into the Express Entry pool where they are ranked alongside other Express Entry candidates by a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranking candidates are then selected from the pool and are invited to apply for permanent residency. Federal Skilled Workers can also bring their partner and children with them to Canada.
How can US citizens be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program?
The Federal Skilled Worker Program is very competitive, to be eligible there are a number of minimum requirements that American citizens must meet in relation to work experience, language ability, and education. You must also prove that you have enough funds available to support yourself whilst living in Canada.
Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee your selection. As well as meeting all the minimum requirements applicants must also score the current pass mark of at least 67 points on the Federal Skilled Worker points grid. You can earn up to 100 points on the points grid and will be scored for how well you do in each of 6 factors below:
- Age – up to 12 points
- Education – up to 25 points
- Work experience -up to 15 points
- Arranged employment (whether you have a valid job offer in Canada) – up to 10 points
- Language ability – up to 28 points
- Adaptability (how well you’re likely to settle in Canada) – up to 10 points
You should note that this point scoring system is separate from the Comprehensive Ranking System that you will be scored on when entered into the Express Entry pool.
Minimum work experience requirements
To meet the work experience requirement you must have had at least 1 year of skilled work experience in the last 10 years. Skilled work includes a role in one of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) job groups which include:
- Managerial jobs (skill type 0)
- Professional jobs (skill level A)
- Technical jobs and skilled trades (skill level B)
Your experience must have been paid and in the same type of job as your primary occupation, you are using for your immigration application. Part-time work can count towards your work experience but it must be the equivalent hours of a full-time job so you will need to have worked for longer than 1 year.
Minimum language ability requirements
To be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program you must have knowledge of either English, French, or both languages.
To meet the minimum language ability requirement you must take an approved language test in English or French that covers reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Applicants must get a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all 4 abilities. You will need to enter your test results in your Express Entry profile as part of your Federal Skilled Worker application.
It’s worth noting that your language test results are only valid for two years after the date of your result and must be valid when you apply for permanent residence, if you took a language test over two years ago you will need to re-sit before applying.
Minimum education requirements
The minimum education requirement for the Federal Skilled Worker program varies depending on where you received your education.
If you went to school in Canada you must hold either a certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian secondary institution or post-secondary institution.
US citizens who went to school in the United States must instead have a completed credential and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes from a designated organization. Your ECA must show that you have an educational qualification that is equal to a certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian high school or post-secondary educational institution.
How to apply for Canadian permanent residence as a skilled worker?
There are several steps to obtaining permanent residence through the Federal Skilled Worker Program. The application process for any of the Express Entry routes is the same. The first thing that you must do to begin your application is to submit your Express Entry profile.
To submit your profile you will need to create an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) account. When filling in your profile you will need information from certain documents such as language test results and your National Occupational Classification (NOC) job title and code. Once you have completed all of the necessary information you can submit your profile online. Using the information submitted in your profile the Canadian government will figure out whether you are eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program or any of the other Express Entry Programs for skilled workers.
If you are eligible you will be entered into the Express Entry pool and will be assessed using the Comprehensive Ranking System. Whilst in the pool you should begin to gather your supporting documents and check that your language test results are valid in case you are invited to apply for permanent residence.
If you are one of the highest scorers in the pool then you will be invited to apply for permanent residency. If you receive an invitation to apply from the Canadian government they will tell you which program you have been invited to apply for and what to do next. You will have 60 days from receipt of your invitation to apply for permanent residence. You can apply by logging into your IRCC account, clicking the link to apply, and completing the online application form. You will need to provide documents to prove that you meet the requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker program and that the information given in your profile was true.
When applying for the Federal Skilled Worker Program you will need to provide a number of documents when completing your Express Entry profile and when applying to become a permanent resident.
For your profile you will need the following:
- A passport or travel document
- Your language test results
- Proof of Canadian education or an educational credentials assessment
- A written job offer from a Canadian employer if you have one
- Proof of work experience
- Proof of funds to support yourself in Canada
For your application to become a permanent resident you will need the following documents:
- Police certificates
- Medical exams
- Proof of funds
You will need additional documents if you are declaring dependent children or if you have declared your marital status as common-law, married, divorced, or widowed.
How can Total Law help?
The Federal Skilled Worker Program is highly competitive and there is an extensive list of eligibility criteria you will need to meet when applying. Having to meet the minimum requirements, score highly on the Federal Skilled Worker points grid, and get a high CRS score means that applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program can be incredibly complex.
With their expertise in immigration law, our lawyers will give you the best chance of a successful application. We can assess whether you meet the minimum eligibility criteria for the program, advise you about how to increase your FSW points grid and CRS scores, help you to complete the Express Entry process, and assist you with your application for permanent residence also.
For more information about the services that we offer don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today on +1 844 290 6312.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The minimum CRS score needed to be invited to apply for permanent residency varies for each Express Entry pool draw but usually, you will need at least a minimum score of 400 to be selected. Federal Skilled Workers must also score at least 67 points on the Federal Skilled Worker points grid.
It costs $1,325 to apply for Express Entry as a Federal Skilled Worker, this includes the $825 processing fee and the $500 permanent residence fee. It will also cost $1,325 for your partner to join you as well as an additional $225 for any dependent children you intend to include in your application.
No, you are not required to have a job offer in Canada to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program however having arranged employment will increase your score on the Federal Skilled Worker points grid and make you more eligible.
As a permanent resident in Canada, you can benefit from many of the same rights as a Canadian citizen, this includes being able to live, work and study in the country permanently. After living in Canada as a permanent resident for a certain period of time you can also be eligible to apply to become a Canadian citizen.