Federal Skilled Trades Program- Get Details Here

Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) in Canada is a specialized immigration pathway for skilled tradespeople with the necessary qualifications and work experience to contribute to the country’s labour market. This program is part of the broader Express Entry system, which aims to streamline the immigration process for skilled workers and meet the demands of Canada’s growing economy.

Under the FSTP, eligible candidates with experience in specific skilled trades, such as electricians, welders, plumbers, and carpenters, can apply for permanent residency in Canada. This program recognizes the importance of skilled trades in various industries and offers a pathway for individuals with in-demand skills to settle and work in Canada. 

In this article, we will explore the key requirements, documents needed, and application process of the Federal Skilled Trades Program, providing information for individuals seeking to pursue immigration opportunities in Canada as skilled trades professionals.

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Eligibility Criteria for Federal Skilled Trades Program

To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet specific criteria set by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Understanding these eligibility requirements is crucial for individuals seeking to apply for this program and start a new chapter in their career and life in Canada. Let’s delve into the key eligibility criteria that applicants need to fulfill to qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

To qualify, you need to satisfy the minimum criteria for:

  • Skilled Trades Work Experience
  • Job Offer or Certificate of Qualification
  • Language Proficiency

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Skilled Trades Work Experience

You must:

  • Have gained a minimum of two years of full-time work experience (or its part-time equivalent) in a skilled trade within the five years preceding your application.
  • Fulfill the job requirements specified for your skilled trade as outlined in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
  • Demonstrate that you have executed the responsibilities mentioned in the primary statement of the occupational profile in the NOC, covering all essential duties and the majority of principal duties.

Your work experience should fall within one of the specified NOC groups:

Major GroupDescription 
72Technical trades and transportation officers and controllersDoes not include Sub-Major Group 726
73General trades
82Supervisors overseeing natural resources, agriculture, and related production
83Occupations in natural resources and related production
92Supervisors in processing, manufacturing, and utilities, and utility operators and controllers.
93Central control and process operators aircraft assembly assemblers and inspectorsDoes not include Sub-Major Group 932
6320Cooks, butchers, and bakers

The applicants should not do these:

  • Fail to demonstrate that their experience aligns with the description provided in the NOC.
  • Not qualified to independently practice the trade occupation during this period of employment.

Paid wages or earned commission must compensate the work experience. No unpaid volunteer work or internships is to include here.

Job Offer or Certificate of Qualification

Applicants must have either:

  • A valid job offer for full-time employment spanning at least one year, or
  • A certificate of qualification in their skilled trade granted by a Canadian provincial, territorial, or federal authority.

Certificate of Qualification: A certificate of qualification works as evidence of an individual’s proficiency in a specific skilled trade within Canada. This shows that you have:

  • Successfully passing a certification examination.
  • Fulfilling all requirements necessary to practice the trade within the province or territory that issued the certificate.

This certificate is issued by either the provincial or territorial body overseeing trades within their respective jurisdiction, or a federal authority.

The name for this certificate may vary depending on the issuing body, termed either a “certificate of qualification” or a “qualification certificate.”

The provincial, territorial, or federal authority conducts an evaluation of the applicant’s training, trade experience, and skills to ascertain eligibility for the certification exam.

Provincial or Territorial Assessment: Each province and territory maintains its requirements for certification and certification procedures.

Applicants should:

  • Undergo assessment within the province or territory for their trade.
  • Secure employment in Canada to acquire experience and training.

In cases where the province or territory of intended residence and employment does not offer certificates of qualification for the applicant’s trade, a valid job offer in the respective trade is required for program eligibility.

Federally Regulated Trades: Trades that are not regulated by a province or territory may fall under federal regulation, such as airplane mechanics.

Language Proficiency

Applicants must:

  • Complete approved language examinations assessing proficiency in:
    •   Writing
    •   Reading
    •   Listening
    •   Speaking
  • Achieve the minimum score stipulated.
  • Input the test outcomes into their Express Entry profile.

Language Test Guidelines:

  • Test results remain valid for two years from the date of issuance.
  • Results must remain valid at the time of applying for permanent residence.
  • The language eligibility of the Federal Skilled Trades Program is listed below.
LanguageAbilitiesMinimum level
EnglishSpeaking and listeningCLB 5
EnglishReading and writingCLB 4
FrenchSpeaking and listeningNCLC 5
FrenchReading and writingNCLC 4


The FST program does not have any eligibility criteria related to education. However, to enhance your ranking in the Express Entry pool, there are two options available:

  • If you attended school in Canada, you can earn points for a certificate, diploma, or degree from either a Canadian secondary institution (high school) or post-secondary institution.
  • For foreign education, points can be obtained if you possess both:
    •  A completed educational credential.
    •  An educational credential assessment report for immigration purposes from a designated organization, indicating that your education is equivalent to a completed certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian secondary institution (high school) or post-secondary institution.

Proof of Funds

Applicants must demonstrate sufficient funds for themselves and their families to settle in Canada unless they:

  • Currently hold legal authorization to work in Canada.
  • Possess a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.

Residency Location

Applicants must intend to reside outside the province of Quebec. Quebec has its selection process for skilled workers. If planning to reside in Quebec, refer to the Quebec-selected skilled workers program for further details. Also, applicants must meet Canada’s admissibility criteria.

Upon completing your profile, you will be asked about your intended place of residence in Canada. It is not mandatory to settle in the specified province or territory.

Required Documentation for Federal Skilled Trades Program

You are not required to upload documents to submit a profile; however, you may need information from the following documents:

  • Passport or travel document.
  • Language test results.
  • Proof of education from Canada, else an educational credential assessment report.
  • Provincial nomination documentation (if applicable).
  • Written job offer from a Canadian employer (if applicable).
  • Proof of work experience.
  • Certificate of qualification issued by a Canadian province or territory in a trade occupation (if applicable).
  • Proof of funds.

Documents for Your Application for Permanent Residence from Federal Skilled Trades Program

Effective October 1, 2023, you are no longer required to undergo a medical examination upfront before submitting your application for permanent residence through Express Entry. Please ascertain the timing of your medical examinations and the necessary documentation.

If you receive an invitation to apply, you will be required to upload copies of the documents used for your profile (refer to the list above). Additionally, most applicants will need to provide the following documents:

  • Police certificates.
  • Proof of funds.
  • Birth certificate, if dependent children are declared.
  • Use of a Representative form, if representation has been engaged.
  • Common-law union form, if the marital status is declared as “common-law.”
  • Marriage certificate, if marital status is declared as “married.”
  • Divorce certificate and legal separation agreement, if marital status is declared as “divorced.”
  • Death certificate, if marital status is declared as “widowed.”
  • Adoption certificate, if a dependent child is listed as “adopted.”

Other Documents

You must provide these documents solely if they are listed in your personalized document checklist. Failure to submit these documents will not result in the refusal or rejection of your application; they are solely used to verify program requirements:

  • Proof of relationship with a relative (relation as mentioned) in Canada.
  • Digital photos to confirm your identity.
  • Other names to confirm aliases.
  • Authorization form for releasing personal information to a designated individual.
  • Any additional documents considered important to your application.

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Application Process for Federal Skilled Trades Program

Coming to Canada as a skilled immigrant begins with creating and submitting your profile to the Express Entry pool. If eligible, you will be scored with other eligible candidates; ranking is based on various factors. If among the top candidates, you’ll receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

Creating a profile or entering the pool doesn’t guarantee an invitation; you can only apply upon receiving one.

Step 1: First, assess your eligibility for the program. If married or in a common-law partnership, one partner must be the principal applicant.

Step 2: Next, create your Express Entry profile. If you use the online tool, you’ll go to your online account to fill it out. Otherwise, fill out the questionnaire in your secure account.

Gather the necessary documents and complete your profile within 60 days. IRCC needs dependent children’s information only upon invitation to apply.

Step 3: Finally, submit your profile online. Based on your information, your are assessed in Express Entry programs. You have no option to choose your preferred program during profile creation.

In summary, the Federal Skilled Trades Program serves as a specialized pathway for skilled tradespeople to immigrate to Canada, enhancing its dynamic labour force. Situated within the Express Entry system, the FSTP eases the immigration procedures for skilled workers, addressing the nation’s economic growth.

Qualified individuals with expertise in specific trades can go for permanent residency through the FSTP, recognizing the importance of these skills across industries. 

FAQs for the Federal Skilled Trades Program

1. What is the Federal Skill Trades Program in Canada?
A. The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is a specialized immigration pathway within Canada’s Express Entry system. It aims to attract skilled tradespeople with qualifications and work experience in specific trades to contribute to Canada’s labour market.

2. What are the key eligibility criteria for Federal Skill Trades Program?
A. To qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, applicants must meet several key eligibility criteria, including having at least two years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade within the past five years. Additionally, they must fulfill the job requirements specified for the skilled trade in the NOC and demonstrate proficiency in performing duties outlined in the NOC.

3. What are the examples of skilled trades?
A. Examples of skilled trades recognized under the FSTP include electricians, welders, plumbers, carpenters, and supervisors in various industries, and occupations in natural resources and related production.

4. What documents to submit to the Federal Skilled Trades Program?
A. Documentation required for the Federal Skilled Trades Program includes a passport or travel document, language test results, and provincial nomination documentation if applicable.

5. What steps to take to apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program?
A. The application process for the Federal Skilled Trades Program starts with candidates assessing their eligibility, followed by creating an Express Entry profile and gathering necessary documents. Subsequently, submit the profile online within 60 days, after which candidates undergo eligibility assessment in Express Entry programs based on their information. Extension for Invitations to apply for permanent residency is based on the assessment results.

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