In 2015, the Federal Government of Canada introduced Express Entry, an application management system that governs all federal streams of economic immigration. Since then, thousands of principal applicants and their families have been invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Currently, Express Entry is an umbrella system that governs the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). There are also some Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) that are aligned with Express Entry.
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
The Canadian Federal Skilled Trades Program offers potential immigrants who are qualified in a skilled trade the opportunity to quickly become a permanent resident of Canada in an attempt to ensure that the country attracts and retains a skilled work force. The Canadian Government and Immigration Department developed the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) in 2013 in order to address the growing shortage of skilled workers in areas that were experiencing rapid growth due to the increasing strength of the economy. The economic immigration program was developed at the request of Canadian businesses and employers who were struggling to hire enough skilled workers to help them complete their work on time.
Eligible occupation categories:
- Electrical and Construction
- Maintenance and Equipment operations
- Agriculture and Production
- Cooks and Chefs
- Bakers and Butchers
To be eligible, you must:
- Meet the required language levels for each language ability:
- Have at least 2 years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within the 5 years before you apply,
- Meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification, except for needing a certificate of qualification.
- Have a valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority.
Skilled work experience
There are a variety of different factors that affect an applicant’s eligibility for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Skilled Trade Program applicants are assessed on their predicted ability to establish themselves in Canada economically.
The applicant must have at least 24 months of full-time experience (30+ hours per week) in the particular trade in the five years prior to the application being lodged. Part-time work that adds up to two years of full-time work also meets the requirements. This can be 24 months of working more than one job for a total of 30 hours/week, or a longer duration of part-time work (15+ hours each week) totalling 3,120 hours over a two-year period.
Skilled trades for the Federal Skilled Trades Program are organized under these groups of the National Occupational Classification (NOC):
- Major Group 72, industrial, electrical and construction trades
- Major Group 73, maintenance and equipment operation trades
- Major Group 82, supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production
- Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators
- Minor Group 632, chefs and cooks
- Minor Group 633, butchers and bakers
The major NOC groups are subdivided into different occupations, and they are all skill type B.
You must show that you performed the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC. This includes all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.
If you do not show that your experience meets the description in the NOC, we won’t accept your application.
Federal Skilled Trades Program applications must be made based on the 2016 version of the NOC.
There is no education requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. But, if you want to improve your rank in the Express Entry pool, there are 2 ways you can do this.
- If you went to school in Canada, you can get points for a certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian:
- secondary (high school) or
- post-secondary school
- If you have foreign education, you can get points for:
- a completed foreign credential, and
- an Educational Credential Assessment report from an approved agency showing that your education is equal to a completed certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian:
- secondary (high school) or
- post-secondary school
Applicants who wish to reside in Canada through the Skilled Trades Program must demonstrate that they have at least an intermediate grasp of either English or French. This can be done by taking a test through the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) for English, or the Test d’Evaluation de Francais (TEF) for French.
- meet the minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening, and Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 for reading and writing
- take approved language tests for:
- enter the test results in your Express Entry profile
Your language tests are valid for 2 years after the date of the test result. They must be valid on the day you apply for permanent residence.