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Eligibility to Apply as a Federal Skilled Worker (Express Entry): A Comprehensive Guide – Cougar Immigration

Eligibility to Apply as a Federal Skilled Worker (Express Entry): A Comprehensive Guide

If you are a skilled worker looking to immigrate to Canada, the Federal Skilled Worker Program under the Express Entry system might be the perfect pathway for you.

This program is one of the three federal programs managed through Express Entry, an online application system for skilled workers. In this blog post, we will take you through the minimum requirements, selection factors, language ability, education, and more to help you understand the eligibility criteria for the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

1. Minimum Requirements

The following minimum requirements must be met in order to qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program:

– Skilled Work Experience

Your skilled work experience must fall under one of the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER categories: TEER 0, TEER 1, TEER 2, or TEER 3. Your work experience should align with the lead statement and essential duties listed in the NOC occupational description.

Additionally, your skilled work experience must meet the following criteria:

  • Be in the same type of job (have the same NOC) as the one you want to use for your immigration application (your primary occupation).
  • Have been gained within the last 10 years.
  • Be paid work (volunteer work or unpaid internships are not considered).

You must have at least one year of continuous work or a total of 1,560 hours of work (30 hours per week). This requirement can be met in various ways, such as full-time work for 12 months, an equal amount in part-time work over 24 months, or full-time work at more than one job.

– Language Ability

You need to take approved language tests in either English or French to demonstrate your language proficiency in the following four abilities: writing, reading, listening, and speaking. The minimum score required for each ability is Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7.

Your language test results are valid for two years from the test date, and they must be valid on the day you apply for permanent residence.

– Education

If you completed your education in Canada, you must have a certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian secondary institution (high school) or post-secondary institution.

For candidates with foreign education, the following criteria apply:

  • You must have a completed credential from your foreign educational institution.
  • You must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes from a designated organization, which will evaluate your education’s equivalency to a completed Canadian certificate, diploma, or degree.

2. Selection Factors

After meeting the minimum requirements, your eligibility for the Federal Skilled Worker Program will be assessed based on several selection factors. These factors include:

– Age

– Education

– Work Experience

– Valid Job Offer

– English or French Language Skills

– Adaptability

Each factor is assigned a specific number of points, and based on your performance in these factors, you will receive an overall score out of 100. The current pass mark is 67 points. This selection factor point system is different from the points used to rank your profile in the Express Entry pool.

Eligibility to Apply as a Federal Skilled Worker (Express Entry): A Comprehensive Guide

3. Proof of Funds

You must show that you have enough funds to support yourself and your family when you settle in Canada, unless you meet any of the following conditions:

  • You are currently eligible to legally work in Canada.
  • You have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.

4. Admissibility

To be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must also be admissible to Canada. This means you must not have any criminal or medical issues that would prevent you from entering the country.

5. Where You Can Live in Canada

If you are applying through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must plan to live outside the province of Quebec, as Quebec has its own skilled worker selection process.

When you fill out your Express Entry profile, you will be asked where you plan to live in Canada. However, this choice is not binding, and you are not obligated to settle in the province or territory you initially select.

Next Steps

Once you have met all the eligibility criteria and requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you will need to create an Express Entry profile. Your profile will be ranked based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) once you join the Express Entry pool. IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) holds regular draws to select the highest-ranking candidates for permanent residence.


the Federal Skilled Worker Program is a fantastic opportunity for skilled workers looking to start a new chapter in Canada. If you meet the minimum requirements and have a strong overall score in the selection factors, you stand a good chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and becoming a permanent resident of Canada.

Remember, thorough preparation and attention to detail are crucial throughout the application process. Make sure to gather all required documents, perform well in language tests, and accurately complete your Express Entry profile. The journey to becoming a Canadian permanent resident starts with taking the first step towards meeting the eligibility requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Good luck!

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