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What Is The Difference Between FSWP (Federal Skilled Worker Program) And CEC(Canadian Experience Class)?

Difference between FSWP

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The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class applications are managed by the Express Entry system. You are simultaneously eligible for both, but you cannot pick which one you will be invited to apply for.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) encourage applicants to apply based on the following sequence:

  • CEC
  • FSWP
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Consequently, you will be invited to the CEC if you qualify for all three. If you qualify for both the CEC and the FSWP, you will be prompted to apply to the CEC. If you qualify for both the FSWP and the FSTP, you will be invited to participate in the FSWP.

CEC candidates are exempt from providing evidence of settlement payments, so many FSWP applicants eligible for the CEC would wish to avoid this obligation. If they have a valid work offer in Canada, FSWP applicants are excluded from this criterion.

Even though statistically more CEC applicants apply from within Canada and more FSWP candidates apply worldwide, you can still apply if you meet the requirements for each program. Location is not a consideration for qualifying for any program.

CEC eligibility

To qualify for the Canadian Experience Class, you must have completed at least one year of qualifying work experience in Canada.

You must have completed 1,560 hours of work in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill category 0, A, or B occupation during the preceding three years. Volunteer experience does not count.

You must have been compensated for your labor in Canada and have legal status.

In addition, you must meet the Canadian Language Benchmark for English or French language proficiency in all abilities (CLB).

For people having Canadian work experience in a NOC B occupation, a CLB 5 is sufficient; for all others, a CLB 7 is required. Language proficiency tests are valid for two years and must be valid on the day permanent residence is sought.

FSWP eligibility

The FSWP requires minimal qualifications for education, linguistic proficiency, and skilled work experience. In addition, it includes its point grid.

Your occupation comes under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0, A, or B if you have skilled job experience. Your experience must correspond to the same NOC as the occupation you wish to list on your immigration application as your main occupation.

Your competent work experience must be from within the preceding decade. There are several ways to satisfy the requisite 1,560-hour requirement:

  • 30 hours per week for 12 months is one year of full-time work (1,560 hours)
  • For example, 15 hours per week for 24 months equals one year of full-time labor (1,560 hours)
  • Working full-time at multiple jobs: 30 hours per week for 12 months at many jobs equals one full-time year (1,560 hours)
  • You must achieve a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 7 in reading, writing, speaking, and listening in English or French.

To satisfy the minimum education requirement, you must provide evidence of a Canadian high school diploma or its international equivalent. If you finished your schooling outside of Canada, you must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment.

To determine eligibility for the FSWP, IRCC will also evaluate your application using a 100-point grid. The current passing score is 67 points. You receive points depending on the following six factors:

  • age
  • education
  • work experience
  • Whether your job offer is valid
  • Language proficiency in English and French 
  • Adaptability

Canada resumed Express Entry draws for FSWP and CEC applicants.

After 18 months, IRCC held a draw for all Express Entry programs on July 6, inviting 1,500 candidates with a minimum score of 557.

In addition, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has stated that processing delays for all Express Entry programs will return to the norm for new applications. This means that applications for new FSWP and CEC candidates could be processed in six months.

We do not know what the next Express Entry draw will look like, but we know that IRCC will need to continue holding all-program draws for years to come to reach their Express Entry immigration levels plan goals.

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