Mon | Feb 17, 2020

Immigration Corner | How to qualify under Canada's FSWP

Published:Tuesday | August 13, 2019 | 12:18 AM
Deidre S. Powell
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Ms Powell,

I saw on your Facebook page that professionals can migrate to Canada and be citizens under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme (FSWP) and that they can bring their family. I thought that programme was scrapped. If not, can you tell how I can qualify? Is there a specified occupation list? Do I need a job offer to qualify? Thanks in advance for selecting my question.


Dear AE

Canada has many immigration programmes under which qualified individuals can move to Canada with their family. Although the programmes were revised, they were not 'scrapped'. The government continues to select skilled workers based on factors which they deem to be indicators that applicants are likely to integrate into the society and contribute to the economy.

The most popular pathway to permanent residence and ultimately citizenship are the economic programmes, which are now managed by the express entry system. The three main economic programmes are the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, Federal Skilled Trades Programme and the Canadian Experience Class. Many provinces and territories also have Provincial Nominee Programmes (PNP) that are focused on recruiting individuals to the province to meet their labour market demands.

How are applicants selected.

The government of Canada has devised a points-based system to select individuals to come to Canada via the economic programmes. Individuals are given points based on their age, language ability, education, work experience, family members in Canada, among other factors. They also consider your savings or the amount of money that you can bring with you, as a part of your settlement plan.

Although there are no specific occupations under the revised system, to qualify as a skilled worker, your work experience must fall within the national occupational classification (NOC) job groups such as managerial, professional, technical jobs or skilled trades. These jobs are classified as skill type O, skill level A, or skill level B.

You will need letters from your current and past employers that details your job title, job duties and must reflect that you have a minimum of one continuous full-time or the equivalent number of part-time hours work experience in the required NOC.

Applicants must be able to show that after you have completed your post-secondary certification, be it diploma or degree, that you have at least one year of continuous work experience in the same NOC or 1,560 hours total (30 hours per week). You must be able to demonstrate that you have experience in a full-time work at the same job. That means, demonstrating a minimum of 30 hours/week for 12 months. This is the equivalent of one year or 1,560 hours.

Similarly, if you have the equal amount of part-time work experience, you can still qualify, as long as you can show that you worked a minimum of 15 hours per week, for at least two years and that the total number of hours worked add up to 1,560 hours.

Some people have more than one job under the same NOC code. As long as you are able to show that you have the same occupation with more than one employer and the total number of hours worked per week is a minimum of 30 hours and the total hours for the year is a minimum of 1,560 for the year, then you can still qualify.

Although you do not need to have a job offer in order to apply and qualify as a federal skilled worker, a valid job offer, or a provincial nominee can significantly increase your chances of being selected.

Family Factors

Canada aims to keep families together and so their programmes are geared towards enhancing this. Individuals who have a brother, sister, parent, grandparent, aunt or uncles in Canada, can get additional points and could gain the attention of a province. This is seen as an indication that an individual may have a greater chance of integrating into the society, settle permanently and be of support to their other family members and vice versa.

For persons planning to immigrate, I encourage the principal applicant and your spouse to provide documents to demonstrate your education, language ability and work experience, as this will increase the amount of points that you are given as a family and lead to your ultimate selection.

If you have children under the age of 21 years old, that are single, attending school and are depending on you for support, then they can be added to your application.

To find out which programme best suits you, I strongly recommend that you speak directly with an authorised immigration lawyer to assess your eligibility and guide you, based on your family background and credentials.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, personal, family, commercial and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to Email: Subject line: Immigration Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tel:613.695.8777.