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Skilled workers and professionals

Federal skilled workers (FSW) are selected as permanent residents based on their education, work experience, knowledge of English and/or French, and other criteria that have been shown to help them become economically established in Canada. The rules for applying as a FSW can change from time to time without notice, so make sure you visit this site regularly if you are considering immigrating to Canada under this category.

Determine your eligibility

Find out if you are eligible to come to Canada as a FSW.

Follow the steps to apply as a FSW.

Check processing times

Find out how long it will take CIC to process your application.

After you apply: get next steps

Find out what you should do after you apply to come to Canada as a FSW.

Prepare for arrival

Be prepared and know what to expect when you arrive in Canada. Note: The province of Quebec is responsible for selecting its own skilled workers. If you plan on living in Quebec, see Quebec-selected skilled workers for more information.

Determine your eligibilitySkilled workers and professionals

Skilled workers are people who are selected as permanent residents based on their ability to become economically established in Canada. Federal skilled worker (FSW) applications are assessed for eligibility according to the criteria set out below.

Basic eligibility
For your application to be eligible for processing, you must:

have a valid offer of arranged employment, OR be an international student enrolled in a PhD program in Canada (or graduated from a Canadian PhD program within the past 12 months) and meet certain criteria.

Note: As of July 1, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has temporarily stopped accepting applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). This temporary pause does not apply to those with a qualifying job offer or applying under the PhD stream. We will likely start accepting applications again when the revised FSWP selection criteria take effect. Proposed FSWP changes should come into force in 2013.

Work experience minimum requirements

If your application is eligible for processing, it will then be assessed against minimum requirements. Your work experience must be:

at least one year, continuous, and paid (full-time or the equivalent in part-time); AND a skill type 0 (managerial occupations) or skill level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) on the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) list.

(The NOC is a system for classifying jobs in Canada.)

Six selection factors

If you meet the above minimum requirements, your application will be processed according to the six selection factors in the skilled worker points grid*, which are:

your education; your abilities in English and/or French, Canadas two official languages;

your work experience; your age; whether you have arranged employment in Canada; and your adaptability.

To see if you qualify, take the self-assessment test. This will help you know if you should apply. (You can also read about the selection factors if you are not able to use the test.) *Please note that CIC will be proposing regulatory changes to the FSWP selection criteria shortly. Details will be available by the end of 2012, with the new rules expected to take effect in early 2013.

Proof of funds
You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada. If you are not sure if you should apply as a skilled worker, try the Come to Canada Wizard to get an idea of whether your application would be eligible for processing.

Some people are inadmissiblethey are not allowed to come to Canada. Several things can make you inadmissible, including involvement in criminal activity, in human rights violations or in organized crime. You can also be inadmissible for security, health or financial reasons. Find out more about inadmissibility.

ApplySkilled workers and professionals

Note: As of July 1, 2012, CIC has temporarily stopped accepting applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). This temporary pause does not apply to those with a qualifying job offer or applying under the PhD stream. We will start accepting applications again on May 4, 2013 when changes to FSWP selection criteria take effect. To apply as a federal skilled worker (FSW), there are three steps:
1. Get the application package

The package includes the Instruction Guide and all the forms you need to fill out. Download and print the Federal Skilled Worker Application Package. You can use the guide to help you fill out the forms correctly.

Fill out the form using a computer and when you are done: o validate the Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008] online, print the barcode page and sign where indicated. Include the barcode page with your application; and o print the other forms and sign where indicated. Answer all questions carefully, completely and truthfully. Incomplete application packages will not be processed and will be returned to you. There are serious consequences for applicants who misrepresent or withhold relevant information on their application. You must complete all the forms listed in the application package. Use the Document Checklist in the application package to make sure you do not miss anything.

Note: Be careful to include all the forms, information, documents, signatures, proof of language proficiency and fees that are asked for. If your application is missing any of these, it is incomplete and will be returned to you unprocessed. You must go through medical, criminal and background checks as part of the immigration process. An applicant with a criminal record may not be allowed to enter Canada. People who pose a risk to Canadas security are also not allowed to enter Canada. Medical, criminal and background checks are explained in the application package. You must also take a language test and include your results. Find out more about language testing.
2. Pay your application fees

a) The processing fee for you and your dependants You must specify on your application who will accompany you to Canada. Information on how to pay your processing fee is included in the Instruction Guide. If you are found ineligible to apply, we will inform you and refund your processing fee. b) The Right of Permanent Residence fee

You will need to pay this fee if your application to immigrate as a skilled worker is approved. It covers you and your accompanying spouse or common-law partner, if applicable. It must be paid before Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) issues your permanent resident visa. This fee is refundable if you withdraw your application or if you do not use your visa. You will have to pay fees to third parties for:

your medical examination; a police certificate, if you require one as part of your criminal and security check; and your language test.

Fill out the Fee Payment FormApplication for Permanent Residence (IMM 5620) (PDF, 29 KB) and include it with your application to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO). Online payments are not accepted by the CIO. See the application guidefor more detailed information on fees.
3. Submit your application

Make sure that:

your application and all forms are completed and signed; your processing fee is included; and all required supporting documents are included.

If not, your application will be returned to you and you will have to complete and resubmit it. Use the Document Checklist included in the application package (Appendix A) to make sure you have not forgotten anything. If you validate the Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008] online, print and include the barcode page, it will help ensure your application is complete and avoid delays. Mail your application and your fee to the CIO for FSW Applications in Sydney, Nova Scotia (Canada): Centralized Intake Office FSW P.O. Box 7500 Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 0A9 Canada For more detailed information, including courier and mailing addresses, consult the mailing addresses on our website. Do not submit your FSW application to the visa office responsible for your country of nationality or residence. There are many ways to immigrate to Canada. If you do not meet the criteria to apply under the FSWP you may qualify under another category. Learn more about your options.

After you apply: get next steps

Once you send your application, there are a few things you can expect.

Application assessment process

After you submit your application, a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) officer will verify that you have:

completed your application forms correctly and signed them; paid your processing fee; and included any required supporting documents.

If your application is not complete, it will be returned to you unprocessed. The Centralized Intake Office (CIO) will contact you when it receives your completed application. You will be told what you need to do and what will happen next.
Processing times

The length of time it takes to process applications varies, depending on which visa office ends up processing your application. You can check application processing times. You may be able to avoid unnecessary delays by:

notifying the visa office of any changes to personal information on your application, such as your address, telephone and facsimile numbers or a change in the number of dependants; and avoiding repeated inquiries to the visa office.

Your application will be delayed if:

there are criminal or security problems related to your application or additional background checks are needed; your family situation is not clearreasons could include a divorce or an adoption that is not yet complete or child custody issues that have not been resolved; or the office processing your application has to consult with other CIC offices in Canada or abroad to verify the data provided in your application.

You can check the status of your application online after the visa office has started to process your application.
Medical exams

You must have a medical exam before coming to Canada. Your dependants must also have one, even if they are not coming to Canada with you. Applications for permanent residence will not be accepted if an applicants health:

is a danger to Canadas public health or safety; or

would cause excessive demand on health or social services in Canada.

Instructions on how to get the medical exam will normally be sent to you after you submit your application.
Police certificates

If you have a criminal record, you may not be allowed to enter Canada. People who pose a risk to Canadas security are also not allowed to come to Canada. To immigrate to Canada, you and any family members 18 years of age and older must provide police certificates to the visa office, when requested.
Decision on your application

The CIC officer will make a decision on your application based on the following requirements, including:

whether you meet the eligibility criteria for the program; whether you have the funds to support yourself and your family when you arrive in Canada; the results of your medical exam; and the information provided on your police certificate.

The office processing your application will contact you if you need to send more documents or go to an interview. If your application is approved, you will be asked to submit your passport to the visa office in order to receive your permanent resident visa.
Confirmation of permanent residence

If your application is approved, you will be issued a permanent resident visa. Your permanent resident visa includes your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and your entry visa. Your COPR will include identification information as well as your photograph. Please check the information on your COPR to make sure it is correct. It should be the same as the information on your passport. If there is a mistake on your COPR, contact your visa office. You must have your COPR and your visa with you when you arrive in Canada.
How to contact the Centralized Intake Office

Federal skilled workers who applied to the CIO and have a request for case information may contact the Client Service Unit (CSU). Note that if your application has already been sent to the visa office for processing, the CIO will not be able to help you. You will not receive a reply to your email if:

you have not already applied as a federal skilled worker; you are not authorized by the applicant to receive personal information; you applied within the last six weeks; or

your enquiry concerns a topic other than your case.

Please do not send the same enquiry more than once. You can reach the CSU at Courier address Centralized Intake Office 47-49 Dorchester Street Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 5Z2 Canada Please clearly mark Federal skilled worker/FSW on the outside of the envelope or in email subject line.