A Step-by-Step Guide to Canadian Federal Skilled Worker Program

Immigrate to Canada through the Canadian Federal Skilled Worker Program. A step-by-step guide on how to meet the federal skilled worker class requirements as a foreign skilled worker.

What is Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)?

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is one of the three main programs of Canada’s economic immigration class. Candidates under the Federal Skilled Worker Class are not required to have Canadian work experience to be eligible for the Express Entry pool like the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Instead, applicants must obtain a minimum CRS score based on qualifications like education, work experience, and language proficiency. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program to immigrate to Canada.

How to Immigrate to Canada through the FSWP?

IRCC launched the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program in 1967. The most important benefit of the FSW program is that it allows skilled workers having foreign work experience to immigrate to Canada and apply for permanent residency.

Federal Skilled Worker Program Process

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Eligibility Requirements for Federal Skilled Worker Program

1. Minimum Work Experience

  • You must have a minimum of one year of continuous paid work experience, full-time or an equal amount of part-time (1,560 hours) in the last ten years.
  • Work experience must be in either TEER 0, TEER 1, TEER 3 or TEER 4 categories of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) ver. 2021. You can search your NOC code based on your job title here.
  • Applicants must have performed the actions described in the lead statement and a substantial number of the primary duties listed in the NOC description of the occupation under which they are applying.

2. Language Requirements for the FSWP

  • Applicants must meet the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of at least level 7 in all categories, i.e. Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.
  • Language test results must not be more than two years old at the time of application.
  • Language proficiency tests can be taken in one of Canada’s two official languages: English and French.
  • It must be from a designated institution approved by IRCC.

3. Education Requirements for Federal Skilled Worker Class

  • a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary diploma or degree, or
  • a foreign secondary or post-secondary diploma or degree with an educational credential assessment (ECA) report from an IRCC-approved agency shows that the foreign education credential is equal to Canadian educational standards.
  • The ECA must be less than five years old on the date of application.

4. Proof of Funds

  • Applicants must show proof of sufficient settlement funds to support themselves and their dependents once they arrive in Canada.
  • Applicants under this program are NOT required to show proof of settlement funds if:
    • They are currently able to work legally in Canada, and they have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.

Eligible Occupations under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program

You need at least one year of work experience in a job requiring a TEER 0, TEER 1, TEER 2, or TEER 3 to qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program. Please review the list of all eligible occupations below:

TEER CategoryNOC CodeOccupation Category
010010Financial managers
010011Human resources managers
010012Purchasing managers
010019Other administrative services managers
010020Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers
010021Banking, credit and other investment managers
010022Advertising, marketing and public relations managers
010029Other business services managers
010030Telecommunication carriers managers
020010Engineering managers
020011Architecture and science managers
020012Computer and information systems managers
030010Managers in health care
040010Government managers - health and social policy development and program administration
040011Government managers - economic analysis, policy development and program administration
040012Government managers - education policy development and program administration
040019Other managers in public administration
040020Administrators - post-secondary education and vocational training
040021School principals and administrators of elementary and secondary education
040030Managers in social, community and correctional services
040040Commissioned police officers and related occupations in public protection services
040041Fire chiefs and senior firefighting officers
040042Commissioned officers of the Canadian Armed Forces
050010Library, archive, museum and art gallery managers
050011Managers - publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts
050012Recreation, sports and fitness program and service directors
060010Corporate sales managers
060020Retail and wholesale trade managers
060030Restaurant and food service managers
060031Accommodation service managers
060040Managers in customer and personal services
070010Construction managers
070011Home building and renovation managers
070012Facility operation and maintenance managers
070020Managers in transportation
070021Postal and courier services managers
080010Managers in natural resources production and fishing
080020Managers in agriculture
080021Managers in horticulture
080022Managers in aquaculture
090010Manufacturing managers
090011Utilities managers

TEER CategoryNOC CodeOccupation Category
111100Financial auditors and accountants
111101Financial and investment analysts
111102Financial advisors
111103Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers
111109Other financial officers
111200Human resources professionals
111201Professional occupations in business management consulting
111202Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations
121100Physicists and astronomers
121101Chemists
121102Geoscientists and oceanographers
121103Meteorologists and climatologists
121109Other professional occupations in physical sciences
121110Biologists and related scientists
121111Forestry professionals
121112Agricultural representatives, consultants and specialists
121120Public and environmental health and safety professionals
121200Architects
121201Landscape architects
121202Urban and land use planners
121203Land surveyors
121210Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries
121211Data scientists
121220Cybersecurity specialists
121221Business systems specialists
121222Information systems specialists
121223Database analysts and data administrators
121230Computer systems developers and programmers
121231Software engineers and designers
121232Software developers and programmers
121233Web designers
121234Web developers and programmers
121300Civil engineers
121301Mechanical engineers
121310Electrical and electronics engineers
121311Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
121320Chemical engineers
121321Industrial and manufacturing engineers
121322Metallurgical and materials engineers
121330Mining engineers
121331Geological engineers
121332Petroleum engineers
121390Aerospace engineers
121399Other professional engineers
131100Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine
131101Specialists in surgery
131102General practitioners and family physicians
131103Veterinarians
131110Dentists
131111Optometrists
131112Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
131120Pharmacists
131121Dietitians and nutritionists
131200Psychologists
131201Chiropractors
131202Physiotherapists
131203Occupational therapists
131204Kinesiologists and other professional occupations in therapy and assessment
131209Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating
131300Nursing coordinators and supervisors
131301Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
131302Nurse practitioners
131303Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals
141100Judges
141101Lawyers and Quebec notaries
141200University professors and lecturers
141201Post-secondary teaching and research assistants
141210College and other vocational instructors
141220Secondary school teachers
141221Elementary school and kindergarten teachers
141300Social workers
141301Therapists in counselling and related specialized therapies
141302Religious leaders
141310Police investigators and other investigative occupations
141311Probation and parole officers
141320Educational counsellors
141321Career development practitioners and career counsellors (except education)
141400Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers
141401Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts
141402Business development officers and market researchers and analysts
141403Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers
141404Health policy researchers, consultants and program officers
141405Education policy researchers, consultants and program officers
141406Recreation, sports and fitness policy researchers, consultants and program officers
141407Program officers unique to government
141409Other professional occupations in social science
151100Librarians
151101Conservators and curators
151102Archivists
151110Editors
151111Authors and writers (except technical)
151112Technical writers
151113Journalists
151114Translators, terminologists and interpreters
151120Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations
151121Conductors, composers and arrangers
151122Musicians and singers

TEER CategoryNOC CodeOccupation Category
212010Supervisors, general office and administrative support workers
212011Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers
212012Supervisors, library, correspondence and related information workers
212013Supervisors, supply chain, tracking and scheduling coordination occupations
212100Executive assistants
212101Human resources and recruitment officers
212102Procurement and purchasing agents and officers
212103Conference and event planners
212104Employment insurance and revenue officers
212110Court reporters, medical transcriptionists and related occupations
212111Health information management occupations
212112Records management technicians
212113Statistical officers and related research support occupations
212200Accounting technicians and bookkeepers
212201Insurance adjusters and claims examiners
212202Insurance underwriters
212203Assessors, business valuators and appraisers
222100Chemical technologists and technicians
222101Geological and mineral technologists and technicians
222110Biological technologists and technicians
222111Agricultural and fish products inspectors
222112Forestry technologists and technicians
222113Conservation and fishery officers
222114Landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists
222210Architectural technologists and technicians
222211Industrial designers
222212Drafting technologists and technicians
222213Land survey technologists and technicians
222214Technical occupations in geomatics and meteorology
222220Computer network and web technicians
222221User support technicians
222222Information systems testing technicians
222230Non-destructive testers and inspectors
222231Engineering inspectors and regulatory officers
222232Occupational health and safety specialists
222233Construction inspectors
222300Civil engineering technologists and technicians
222301Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians
222302Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians
222303Construction estimators
222310Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
222311Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment)
222312Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
222313Aircraft instrument, electrical and avionics mechanics, technicians and inspectors
232100Opticians
232101Licensed practical nurses
232102Paramedical occupations
232103Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
232104Animal health technologists and veterinary technicians
232109Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
232110Denturists
232111Dental hygienists and dental therapists
232112Dental technologists and technicians
232120Medical laboratory technologists
232121Medical radiation technologists
232122Medical sonographers
232123Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists
232124Pharmacy technicians
232129Other medical technologists and technicians
232200Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists
232201Massage therapists
232209Other practitioners of natural healing
242100Police officers (except commissioned)
242101Firefighters
242102Specialized members of the Canadian Armed Forces
242200Paralegals and related occupations
242201Social and community service workers
242202Early childhood educators and assistants
242203Instructors of persons with disabilities
242204Religion workers
252100Library and public archive technicians
252110Film and video camera operators
252111Graphic arts technicians
252112Broadcast technicians
252113Audio and video recording technicians
252114Announcers and other broadcasters
252119Other technical and coordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts
252120Graphic designers and illustrators
252121Interior designers and interior decorators
262010Retail sales supervisors
262020Food service supervisors
262021Executive housekeepers
262022Accommodation, travel, tourism and related services supervisors
262023Customer and information services supervisors
262024Cleaning supervisors
262029Other services supervisors
262100Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade
262101Retail and wholesale buyers
262200Chefs
262201Funeral directors and embalmers
262202Jewellers, jewellery and watch repairers and related occupations
272010Contractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations
272011Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
272012Contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades
272013Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
272014Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
272020Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
272021Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
272022Supervisors, printing and related occupations
272023Supervisors, railway transport operations
272024Supervisors, motor transport and other ground transit operators
272025Supervisors, mail and message distribution occupations
272100Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
272101Tool and die makers
272102Sheet metal workers
272103Boilermakers
272104Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters
272105Ironworkers
272106Welders and related machine operators
272200Electricians (except industrial and power system)
272201Industrial electricians
272202Power system electricians
272203Electrical power line and cable workers
272204Telecommunications line and cable installers and repairers
272205Telecommunications equipment installation and cable television service technicians
272300Plumbers
272301Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
272302Gas fitters
272310Carpenters
272311Cabinetmakers
272320Bricklayers
272321Insulators
272400Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
272401Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
272402Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
272403Railway carmen/women
272404Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
272405Machine fitters
272406Elevator constructors and mechanics
272410Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers
272411Auto body collision, refinishing and glass technicians and damage repair estimators
272420Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics
272421Appliance servicers and repairers
272422Electrical mechanics
272423Motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and other related mechanics
272429Other small engine and small equipment repairers
272500Crane operators
272501Water well drillers
272600Air pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors
272601Air traffic controllers and related occupations
272602Deck officers, water transport
272603Engineer officers, water transport
272604Railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators
272999Other technical trades and related occupations
282010Supervisors, logging and forestry
282020Supervisors, mining and quarrying
282021Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services
282030Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors
282031Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services
292010Supervisors, mineral and metal processing
292011Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
292012Supervisors, food and beverage processing
292013Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing
292014Supervisors, forest products processing
292015Supervisors, textile, fabric, fur and leather products processing and manufacturing
292020Supervisors, motor vehicle assembling
292021Supervisors, electronics and electrical products manufacturing
292022Supervisors, furniture and fixtures manufacturing
292023Supervisors, other mechanical and metal products manufacturing
292024Supervisors, other products manufacturing and assembly
292100Power engineers and power systems operators
292101Water and waste treatment plant operators

TEER CategoryNOC CodeOccupation Category
313100Administrative officers
313101Property administrators
313102Payroll administrators
313110Administrative assistants
313111Legal administrative assistants
313112Medical administrative assistants
313200Customs, ship and other brokers
313201Production and transportation logistics coordinators
333100Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants
333101Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations
333102Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
333103Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
333109Other assisting occupations in support of health services
343100Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants
343109Other instructors
343200Sheriffs and bailiffs
343201Correctional service officers
343202By-law enforcement and other regulatory officers
343203Border services, customs, and immigration officers
343204Operations members of the Canadian Armed Forces
353100Registrars, restorers, interpreters and other occupations related to museum and art galleries
353110Photographers
353111Motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and performing arts assistants and operators
353120Dancers
353121Actors, comedians and circus performers
353122Painters, sculptors and other visual artists
353123Theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers
353124Artisans and craftspersons
353125Patternmakers - textile, leather and fur products
353200Athletes
353201Coaches
353202Sports officials and referees
363100Insurance agents and brokers
363101Real estate agents and salespersons
363102Financial sales representatives
363200Cooks
363201Butchers - retail and wholesale
363202Bakers
363210Hairstylists and barbers
363211Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations
363220Shoe repairers and shoemakers
363221Upholsterers
373100Concrete finishers
373101Tilesetters
373102Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers
373110Roofers and shinglers
373111Glaziers
373112Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)
373113Floor covering installers
373200Residential and commercial installers and servicers
373201General building maintenance workers and building superintendents
373202Pest controllers and fumigators
373209Other repairers and servicers
373300Transport truck drivers
373301Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators
373310Railway and yard locomotive engineers
373311Railway conductors and brakemen/women
373400Heavy equipment operators
373401Printing press operators
373402Drillers and blasters - surface mining, quarrying and construction
383100Underground production and development miners
383101Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
383110Logging machinery operators
383120Fishing masters and officers
383121Fishermen/women
393100Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing
393101Central control and process operators, petroleum, gas and chemical processing
393102Pulping, papermaking and coating control operators
393200Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors
242204Religion workers
252100Library and public archive technicians
252110Film and video camera operators
252111Graphic arts technicians
252112Broadcast technicians
252113Audio and video recording technicians
252114Announcers and other broadcasters
252119Other technical and coordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts
252120Graphic designers and illustrators
252121Interior designers and interior decorators
262010Retail sales supervisors
262020Food service supervisors
262021Executive housekeepers
262022Accommodation, travel, tourism and related services supervisors
262023Customer and information services supervisors
262024Cleaning supervisors
262029Other services supervisors
262100Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade
262101Retail and wholesale buyers
262200Chefs
262201Funeral directors and embalmers
262202Jewellers, jewellery and watch repairers and related occupations
272010Contractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations
272011Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
272012Contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades
272013Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
272014Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
272020Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
272021Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
272022Supervisors, printing and related occupations
272023Supervisors, railway transport operations
272024Supervisors, motor transport and other ground transit operators
272025Supervisors, mail and message distribution occupations
272100Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
272101Tool and die makers
272102Sheet metal workers
272103Boilermakers
272104Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters
272105Ironworkers
272106Welders and related machine operators
272200Electricians (except industrial and power system)
272201Industrial electricians
272202Power system electricians
272203Electrical power line and cable workers
272204Telecommunications line and cable installers and repairers
272205Telecommunications equipment installation and cable television service technicians
272300Plumbers
272301Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
272302Gas fitters
272310Carpenters
272311Cabinetmakers
272320Bricklayers
272321Insulators
272400Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
272401Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
272402Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
272403Railway carmen/women
272404Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
272405Machine fitters
272406Elevator constructors and mechanics
272410Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers
272411Auto body collision, refinishing and glass technicians and damage repair estimators
272420Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics
272421Appliance servicers and repairers
272422Electrical mechanics
272423Motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and other related mechanics
272429Other small engine and small equipment repairers
272500Crane operators
272501Water well drillers
272600Air pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors
272601Air traffic controllers and related occupations
272602Deck officers, water transport
272603Engineer officers, water transport
272604Railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators
272999Other technical trades and related occupations
282010Supervisors, logging and forestry
282020Supervisors, mining and quarrying
282021Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services
282030Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors
282031Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services
292010Supervisors, mineral and metal processing
292011Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
292012Supervisors, food and beverage processing
292013Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing
292014Supervisors, forest products processing
292015Supervisors, textile, fabric, fur and leather products processing and manufacturing
292020Supervisors, motor vehicle assembling
292021Supervisors, electronics and electrical products manufacturing
292022Supervisors, furniture and fixtures manufacturing
292023Supervisors, other mechanical and metal products manufacturing
292024Supervisors, other products manufacturing and assembly
292100Power engineers and power systems operators
292101Water and waste treatment plant operators

FSW Eligibility Points Grid and Selection Factors

Federal Skilled Worker Program applicants get assessed against the FSW Eligibility Point Grid System. They have to obtain at least 67 points out of 100 on IRCC’s six selection factors given below:

  • Education: Up to 25 points for formal education
  • Language Skills: Up to 28 points (24 first and 4-second official languages)
  • Work Experience: Up to 15 points for paid professional work experience in the last ten years, but at least 9 points are required to qualify
  • Age: Up to 12 points
  • Arranged Employment (Valid Job Offer): Up to 10 points if the candidate has a valid job offer in Canada
  • Adaptability: Up to 10 points for factors to show that the candidate is adaptable to settling in Canada successfully
Selection Factors for Federal Skilled Worker Program

Step-by-Step Process for Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Canada Express Entry steps for applying through economic immigration programs are outlined below.

Step 1: Determine Eligibility for FSWP

You must meet the Federal Skilled Worker Class Requirements mentioned above to apply for the FSW Express Entry Program. Start your assessment here if you want to check if you’re eligible.

Step 2: Education Assessment (ECA)

You can claim FSW points for your education if you have done Education Credential Assessment (ECA) from one of the designated organizations. WES is one of the most popular organizations authorized to issue ECA.

Step 3: Language Proficiency Test (IELTS or Equivalent)

To obtain FSW points based on your Language Proficiency, you need to take tests like IELTS, CELPIP, or equivalent French language tests.

Step 4: Express Entry Profile Creation

After completing your ECA and Language tests, you will get enough FSW points to create an Express Entry profile for the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Step 5: Receive ITA

Only candidates surpassing the cut-off score of the Latest FSW Draw receive an ITA. Once you successfully receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you will get 60 days to prepare and submit an electronic Application for Permanent Residence (eAPR).

Step 6: Medical Exam and Police Verification (PCC)

After that, Federal Skilled Workers must pass a medical exam and police clearance stage to move to the next process phase.

Step 7: Processing Stage

IRCC processes your application at this stage. A visa officer will let you know whether they require more paperwork to apply for Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Step 8: Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR)

IRCC makes the final decision on your FSW application, and you receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR).

Step 9: Move to Canada

After that, you can move to Canada as a skilled federal worker.

FSW Processing Time

The Express Entry system has the fastest processing times out of all the Canadian immigration options. FSW Processing time is between 6-8 months, but due to the Covid-19 crisis, the processing times can go up to 26 months. You can check the latest processing time for the Federal Skilled Worker program here.

Proof of Funds for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

Federal Skilled Workers must show that they can support themselves and their families after immigrating to Canada. The amount of money needed for settlement is determined by how many family members you listed on your application. Please see the table below for the amount needed based on the size of your family.

No. of Family MembersMinimum Funds Needed
( Canadian dollars)
1$13,213
2$16,449
3$20,222
4$24,553
5$27,847
6$31,407
7$34,967
For each additional
family member
$3,560

Federal Skilled Worker Processing Fees

The application processing fee for the Federal Skilled Worker Program is as follows:

  • Application processing fee – CAD$ 850
  • Right of Permanent Residence fee – CAD$ 515
  • With Spouse or partner – CAD$ 850
  • With a dependent child – CAD$ 230 (per child)

How ELAAR can help you?

If you need assistance with Federal Skilled Worker Program, please get in touch with ELAAR. Our team of experts is led by Keshav Sharma, a Licensed and Regulated Immigration Consultant with many years of immigration experience. Together we can help you optimize your FSW Express Entry profile and maximize your odds of receiving an Invitation to Apply.

FAQs: Federal Skilled Worker Program

What is the difference between Express Entry and FSW?

FSW is a type of Express Entry program. It is one of the three main economic immigration programs of Canada.

What is the difference between FSW and PNP?

PNP is a province-focus immigration pathway, while FSW is valid all over Canada (except Quebec). If you apply for PNP in addition to FSW you will get 600 extra points on the nomination. Although you can apply for a standalone PNP program as well. Learn more.

How many CRS points are required for FSW in Canada?

You typically require a minimum of 67 points out of 100 if you wish to be eligible under the Express Entry System.

What is the general processing time for FSW in 2022?

Generally, it takes around 6 months for Express Entry applications to be processed. But FSW applications is expected to rise to 36 months in 2022 because of over-achieved targets as per this plan by IRCC.

What is sufficient proof of funds in FSW Program?

  • bank account statements in your name or in the name of the spouse/common-law partner accompanying you to Canada.
  • cashable investments that are in your name or in the name of the spouse/common-law partner accompanying you to Canada.
  • cashable fixed deposits that are in your name or the name of the spouse/common-law partner accompanying you to Canada.

Move to Canada through Federal Skilled Worker Program

Get Canadian PR as a skilled worker, or international student through Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program.