Federal Skilled Worker Program: What it is all about, How to be Eligible, and How to Apply

Canada's Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is a highly sought-after immigration program that provides opportunities for skilled individuals to migrate to Canada and contribute to its diverse economy. In this article, we will explore what the Federal Skilled Worker Program is all about, the eligibility requirements for applicants from Nigeria, and the step-by-step process of applying for this program. If you are a skilled professional from Nigeria dreaming of starting a new chapter in Canada, this article will guide you through the key aspects of the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

What is the Federal Skilled Worker Program?

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is a program under the Express Entry system that allows skilled foreign workers to apply for permanent residency in Canada. It is designed to attract individuals with the skills and qualifications needed to contribute to the Canadian economy. The FSWP is based on a points-based system, where applicants are assessed based on various factors such as age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability.

Benefits of the Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program offers several benefits to successful applicants:

  1. Permanent Residency: Through the FSWP, applicants can obtain permanent residency status in Canada, granting them the right to live, work, and study in the country indefinitely.
  2. Access to Social Benefits: Permanent residents have access to various social benefits, including healthcare coverage, education, and social assistance programs.
  3. Pathway to Canadian Citizenship: After fulfilling the residency requirements, permanent residents can apply for Canadian citizenship, providing them with the opportunity to enjoy all the rights and privileges of being a Canadian citizen.

Eligibility Requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

To be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, applicants from Nigeria must meet certain requirements set by the Canadian government. These requirements include:

Educational Qualifications

To qualify for the FSWP, applicants must have completed a minimum of secondary education, equivalent to a Canadian high school diploma. In addition, educational credentials obtained outside of Canada must be assessed by an authorized Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) agency to determine their Canadian equivalency.

Work Experience

Applicants must have at least one year of full-time work experience, or an equivalent amount in part-time hours, within the past ten years in a skilled occupation listed in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. The work experience must be in one of the following skill levels: NOC Skill Type 0 (Managerial Occupations), NOC Skill Level A (Professional Occupations), or NOC Skill Level B (Technical Occupations and Skilled Trades).

Language Proficiency

Proficiency in English or French is a crucial requirement for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Applicants must take a designated language proficiency test and achieve the minimum required scores in each language skill (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). For English, the accepted language tests are the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program). For French, the TEF (Test d'Évaluation de Français) is the accepted language test.

Adequate Funds

Applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their accompanying family members upon arrival in Canada. The required amount depends on the size of the family unit.

Application Process for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

Step 1: Obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

Before applying for the FSWP, applicants must have their educational credentials assessed by an authorized ECA agency. The assessment verifies the Canadian equivalency of the applicant's educational qualifications.

Step 2: Take a Language Proficiency Test

Applicants need to take a designated language proficiency test to demonstrate their language abilities in either English or French. The test results will be a crucial factor in the points calculation process.

Step 3: Create an Express Entry Profile

To apply for the FSWP, applicants must create an online Express Entry profile. The profile includes information about the applicant's education, work experience, language proficiency, and other relevant details.

Step 4: Submitting the Application

Once the Express Entry profile is created, applicants will be entered into the Express Entry pool, where they will be ranked against other candidates based on their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

Step 5: Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

The CRS is a points-based system that evaluates candidates based on various factors, including age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability. The highest-ranking candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency.

Step 6: Invitation to Apply (ITA)

Candidates who receive an ITA will have a limited time to submit a complete application for permanent residency through the FSWP. It is essential to gather all the required documents and submit them within the given timeframe.

Step 7: Completing the Application

Applicants must complete all the necessary forms, provide accurate information, and ensure that all supporting documents are included with their application.

Step 8: Submitting the Application

The completed application, along with the required documents and applicable fees, must be submitted online through the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) portal.

Step 9: Application Processing

Once the application is submitted, it will be reviewed by immigration officers. The processing time can vary, and applicants may be asked to provide additional documents or attend an interview.


The Federal Skilled Worker Program offers a fantastic opportunity for skilled professionals from Nigeria to migrate to Canada and build a new life. By understanding the program requirements and following the step-by-step application process, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to stay updated with the latest immigration regulations and seek professional guidance if needed. Good luck on your journey to becoming a permanent resident of Canada!


1. Can I apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program if I don't have a job offer in Canada?

Yes, a job offer is not required to apply for the FSWP. The program is based on a points system that evaluates factors such as education, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability.

2. What is the minimum score required in the language proficiency test for the FSWP?

The minimum required score in the language proficiency test depends on the individual's language ability. The higher the scores, the more points you will receive in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

3. How long does the Federal Skilled Worker Program application process take?

The processing time for the FSWP can vary. It depends on various factors, such as the volume of applications received and the complexity of individual cases. You can check the estimated processing times on the official website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

4. Can I include my family members in my FSWP application?

Yes, you can include your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children in your FSWP application. However, they must meet the eligibility requirements and provide the necessary supporting documents.

5. Can I work in Canada while my FSWP application is being processed?

If you are already in Canada with a valid work permit, you can continue to work while your FSWP application is being processed. However, if you are outside of Canada, you will need to wait until your application is approved, and you receive your permanent residency status before you can start working in Canada.