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Federal Skilled Worker Program(FSWP) - Selection Criteria

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Citizenship and Immigration Canada has officially announced that it will start accepting applications under Federal Skilled Worker Program, starting from May 1st, 2014. The key selection parameters under the revised point- based system have also been indicated. Meeting main requirements including credentials assessment and IELTS test requirements, can take many weeks and in some instances many months. In addition, quota for skilled workers may again be limited. It is therefore, important that you initiate the process for filing of your immigration application as a federal skilled worker immediately and without any further delays. You must have your file ready for filing in all respects by April end to stand a good chance to be considered under the 2014 quota.

Primarily, key recommended changes can be summarized as follows:

Language - Principal applicant (Maximum 28 points)

The CIC intends to emphasize on linguistic skills in socio-economic scenario through setting, for the principal applicant, a minimum level of language communication ability to satisfy parameters of the scheme. One can claim more points, under the revised selection criteria for Canada FSW, for IELTS test results with higher individual bands!

  • Out of the possible 28 points, one can claim up-to 24 points under English language factor and remaining 4 points under French Language factor. This is under a situation where the applicant is filing the application with English as the first language. Applicants with high level (proven by high IELTS band score) of English language proficiency can claim all the 24 points.
  • An applicant must prove a minimum proficiency in each of the four language abilities, speaking, listening, reading and writing - Canadian Language Benchmark 7 (CLB 7) level for English or is at the Niveau de comp?tence linguistique canadien 7 (NCLC 7) level for French, in order to qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) program.
  • For the English language requirement, CLB 7 is equivalent to scoring 6 band in each of the 4 abilities on the IELTS GENERAL pattern examination.
  • For the French language requirement, NCLC 7 is equivalent to scoring 309, 248, 206 and 309 on the speaking, listening, reading and writing modules of the Test d`?valuation de fran?ais (TEF), respectively.
  • 4 points are awarded for each of the four language abilities, meaning that all candidates that meet the mandatory minimums on all language abilities will have at least 16 points.
  • Applicants will be awarded one extra point for each language ability for which they score CLB 8 or NCLC 8 and two extra points if they score CLB 9 or NCLC 9 (for a maximum of 24 points under English language factor).
  • The IELTS equivalent to CLB 8 is 7.5, 6.5, 6.5 and 6.5 on Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The TEF equivalent to NCLC 8 is 349, 280, 233, and 349 on Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, respectively. Getting these scores will mean that 5 points are awarded for each of the four language abilities, meaning that all candidates that meet these criteria can claim a maximum of 20 points.
  • The IELTS equivalent to CLB 9 is 7.5 , 6.5 , 6.5 , and 6.5 on Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The TEF equivalent to NCLC 9 is 349 , 280 , 233 , and 349 on Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, respectively. This means that to claim 24 points under the English language factor, the applicant MUST claim AT LEAST 8.0, 7.0, 7.0, and 7.0 on Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, respectively. 6 points are awarded for each of the four language abilities, meaning that all candidates that meet these criteria can claim a maximum of 24 points.

One can also have various combinations of scores and accordingly credit points under the factor. Just remember that the MINIMUM requirement of at least 6.0 should be met to qualify.


Listening Reading Writing  Speaking  
8.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 24 points
7.5 6.5 6.5 6.5 20 points
6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 16 points
8.0 6.5 7.0 6.5 22 points
7.5 7.0 7.0 7.0 22 points
8.0 7.0 6.0 6.0 20 points

Second Official Language:

The number of points awarded for proficiency in a second official language will be reduced from 8 to 4 under the new rules, making focusing on studying a single language a more viable strategy for those seeking to qualify for immigration to Canada. Our understanding is that in almost all instances, French will be the second official language.

Age - Principal Applicant (Maximum 12 points)

The preferential age will be redefined from 18 to 35 bands under the recommended point`s criteria, which will be allotted a maximum of 12 points. An applicant above 47 years and getting Zero points for age can still file a petition, if he/she meets the minimum pass-mark requirements of 67 under other selection factors.

  • 18 to 35 yrs - 12 points

After this age band, points are deducted on basis of age in years

  • 36 years - 11 points
  • Age 37 years - 10 points
  • Age 38 years - 9 points
  • And so on till
  • Age 46 years - 1 point
  • 47 and above - 0 points

Points for employment experience (Maximum 15 points)

Score allocation

  • 1 year - 9 points
  • 2-3 years - 11 points
  • 4-5 years - 13 points
  • 6 years - 15 points

Above allocation indicates the following:

  • Minimum experience of at least a year, in an occupation on O, A and B category is a MUST. To review the list of occupations that fall under these 3 categories, please click here.
  • Higher the experience, more points the principal applicant can claim under the employment experience factor.
  • Clearly outlining ones experience profile - as per NOC descriptions - in one of the permitted occupations under O, A and B category will determine whether or not an application under Canada FSW will be accepted or not. Hence taking an experienced immigration consultants` help will be useful for your all important life objective to immigrate to Canada. For a free of charge assessment, you can also simply send across your and (if applicable), the spousal resume to for immediate contact from our business executives.

Educational and professional qualifications (Maximum 25 points)

Under the new selection system for federal skilled worker, current educational and professional qualifications of the principal applicant will assessed by a Canadian credential assessment agency. Such an assessment will confirm the equivalency of the principal applicant`s qualifications.

Only the principal applicants getting positive assessment of their educational and professional qualifications will be permitted to file the application for permanent resident visa under federal skilled worker category.

The credential assessment has therefore, become single most important step in achieving ones` dreams to immigrate to Canada as a skilled professional. Just like Australia, a professional presentation of one`s` academic, professional and related experience credentials will therefore become very important for anybody who wishes to file for a permanent resident visa application under federal skilled worker category. Taking help of a professional in meeting this requirement has thus become very important. For a free of charge assessment, you can also simply send across your and (if applicable), the spousal resume to for immediate contact from our business executives.

Arranged employment (Maximum 10 points)

After the implementation of the new procedural recommendations labor market opinion - LMO will be superseding Arranged Employment Opinion - AEO. Employers would need to apply to the HRSDC for an LMO. This will bring down events of fictitious job offers and promote credibility of the scheme, establish the validity of the job offers in light of labor pool goals, and offer escalated LMO procedure to employers having a strict adherence track record.

Adaptability (Maximum 10 points)

A maximum score of 10 could be allocated to a migrant with employment experience in Canada.


Education in Canada can get up to 5 points,

OR Education AND experience in Canada can get up to 10 points!


Spousal education qualifications will no longer get any points but a spouse with CLB level 4 in English language-Likely MINIMUM IELTS score of 4.0 in each of the abilities--can help the principal applicant 5 adaptability factor points! This also means that to claim bonus points for spouse; she will need to appear in the IELTS test.

OR Even a blood relation in Canada can help the principal applicant gain additional 5 points under the adaptability factor. The blood relation can be 18 years and above; and can be Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Uncle, Aunt, Niece, Nephew. The blood relation can belong to either of the spouses and either of the parents.

The proposed amendments would not alter the number of the FSW visas issued annually. Annual levels set by the CIC and approved by Parliament specify a limit on the number of immigrants admitted to Canada each year, under the FSWC.


  • Proposed changes have increased weight-age for English language in overall pass-mark. Hence, the language skills of the principal applicant and (in case of married applicants) spouse, will determine likelihood of acceptance.
  • Proposed changes would expect principal applicant to have a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 in each of the 4 abilities. Higher the IELTS score--more will be chances of acceptance of application since higher IELTS score will mean more scoring points and meeting minimum pass-mark requirement of 67 points.
  • Proposed changes may require the spouse, in case of married applicants to appear in the IELTS test, IF there is a wish to claim adaptability points on account of her English Language skills! Having said that, it is NOT likely to be compulsory for the spouse to appear in the IELTS test, if the principal applicant is otherwise meeting the minimum pass-mark requirements.
  • Higher the education, more the points and even secondary school qualifications will be entitled to minimum points under the education heading.
  • Credentials/skills assessment of one`s` qualification with comparative Canadian qualifications will become mandatory. The process for credentials assessment is yet to be informed and finalized and will be announced in due course and in January, 2014.
  • Applicants below and up-to 35 years to get maximum points under age factor. Applicants above 35 years to qualify and be eligible to make application, if they meet the minimum point`s criteria by gaining higher points under other selection criteria.
  • Frauds under Arranged employment will be ruled out with more stringent requirements in place, especially meeting labor market definition of the HRSDC.
  • Points for blood relation - of either of the spouses - in Canada can still be claimed.
  • In all likelihood, the limited occupation list (like last 2 years) will no longer be valid. All occupation under "O", "A" and "B" categories may become eligible to file the application. This would mean majority of skilled professionals and working class is likely to qualify to file the application.
  • English language skills will be relaxed for tradespersons and will require the principal applicant to get minimum score of just 5.0 under each of the abilities. Indications are available of qualified trades and almost all tradesperson, diploma holders, technicians and technologists are likely to list under the new norms.
  • Annual quota for skilled professionals will continue on first-come-first serve basis, and hence it is in the interest of all prospective immigrants--who are interested in filing the application under Canada federal skilled worker program--to start preparing their file for impending filing on May 1st, 2014. ABHINAV is offering a special package of starting-off the consulting processes. All we need is a visit from your side or a phone call to one of our nearest offices ( For a free of charge assessment, you can also simply send across your and (if applicable), the spousal resume to for immediate contact from our business executives.
Doctoral level 25
Master`s level or professional degree 23
Two or more post-secondary credentials, one of which is a three-year or longer post-secondary credential 22
Three-year or longer post-secondary credential 21
Two-year post-secondary credential 19
One-year post-secondary credential 15
Secondary school 05

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