Have Questions?
close slider
Have Questions?
close slider

Call Us


Federal SKilled Trades Program - FSTP

Every year, Canada invites individuals of all skill levels through its various immigration programs in order to fill any vacancies in the Canadian workforce with skilled foreign nationals. The Federal Skilled Trades Program allows individuals with the required experience and skills in specific trade professions to come to Canada.

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is one of the immigration programs controlled by the Express Entry system. The Federal Skilled Trades Program is designed for skilled employees who desire to become permanent residents based on their ability to perform a skilled trade occupation. The Canadian Federal Skilled Trades program allows skilled workers with experience in a selected number of trades to gain legal permanent residence in Canada.

However, it is not the only opportunity for skilled workers seeking permanent residency in Canada. There are alternative options for unskilled immigration to Canada, but not through a fast-track program like Express Entry.

The program is accessible to both Canadians and those from other countries, but the primary difference is that the Federal Skilled Trades Program requires applicants to have either a Canadian Trades Certificate or a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.

The very first stage is to evaluate if you meet the federal government's criteria for a skilled trade worker. If so, you may use the Express Entry system to apply. To be considered eligible, you must also have a valid employment offer/certificate of qualification. To be qualified to apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, you must fulfill specific requirements (some of which match with the Express Entry system's CRS norms) before you can create your profile through Express Entry. These criteria are particular to this programme and must correspond to one of the skilled trades specified in the table below. Then, you need to wait for an Express Entry draw (which usually happens approximately twice a month). The highest-scoring individuals receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency at the draw.

The CRS Criteria grants points for the following

  • Age
  • Level of Education
  • Work Experience in and outside of Canada
  • Ability to adapt to life in Canada
  • Whether or not you have a sibling in Canada
  • Level of Language proficiency
  • Arranged Employment
  • Whether or not you have a provincial nomination

There are several approaches to enhancing your Express Entry CRS score. The majority of them begin with gaining work experience or becoming more certified in your field of study. This is possible while you are submitting an Express Entry application. Furthermore, it is advised that you build a better profile and acquire all the required supporting documents before applying in order to have the maximum chance of succeeding early in the process.

Applicants for the Canadian Federal Skilled Trades program (FSTP) must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Must have at least 24 months of skilled work experience (continuous full time) in Canada, which was gained in the 5 years leading up to the application, and which must have been gained under a valid work permit/visa (unless exempt)
  • Must have experience that meets the specific job requirements of the trade, as set out in Canada's National Occupation Classification List
  • Must meet the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) requirements, i.e. by achieving Level 4 in writing and reading and Level 5 in listening and speaking in French or English, which will be measured by the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC).
  • Must have a Canadian full time job offer for a period of at least 12 months OR a qualification certificate in their trade issued by a provincial, territorial, or federal governing authority in Canada
  • Must show sufficient funds to support you and your family to settle in Canada unless you have a valid job offer or can legally work in Canada.
  • Must plan to live outside of Quebec

If you match the above prerequisites, you may apply for the program by creating an online profile using the Express Entry System

Work Experience

Applicants must have at least 24 months of full time work experience – meaning 30 hours per week or more, for a total of 3120 hours – or the equivalent amount in part time work experience, which must have been gained in the last 5 years. You must demonstrate that you completed the responsibilities outlined in the NOC's lead statement of the occupational description. This comprises all of the necessary responsibilities as well as the majority of the key duties listed. If you fail to demonstrate that your job experience and duties match the description in the NOC, your application will be denied.

The experience must have been gained in one of the following major groups on Canada's National Occupation Classification List. The major NOC groups are subdivided into different occupations, and they are all skill type B. The first two or three numbers of each occupation's NOC code indicate its major group:

National Occupation Classification Categories
Major Group 72
  • Industrial Trades
  • Electrical Trades
  • Construction Trades
Major Group 73
  • Maintenance Trades
  • Equipment Operation Trades
Major Group 82
  • Supervisors & Technicians/Technical Jobs in Natural Resources
  • Supervisors & Technicians/Technical Jobs in Agriculture and Related Production
Major Group 92
  • Processing, Manufacturing, and Utility Supervisors
  • Central Control Operators
Minor Group 632
  • Chefs and Cooks
Minor Group 633
  • Butchers and Bakers


The Federal Skilled Trades Program has no educational requirements. However, there are two ways to improve your Express Entry pool ranking.

If you have attended school in Canada, you can earn points towards a Canadian certificate, diploma, or degree, such as:
  • Seconday institution (high school) or
  • Institution of higher learning, i.e a post-secondary institution
  • OR

    If you have a foreign education, you can get points by completing an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes from any of the designated organizations, showing that your education is equal to a completed certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian:

  • Secondary Institution (high school) or
  • Post-Secondary Institution

English and/or French Language Skills

Applicants must have reasonable proficiency in English, French, or both languages. To prove, applicants must provide test results from the following language test providers on their Express Entry profile BEFORE they can apply for a visa:

  • The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), OR
  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), OR
  • The Test d’evaluation de français (TEF)
Applicants Must:
  • Score at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 5 for speaking and listening modules, and Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 for reading and writing.
  • Take official language examinations for all four modules, i.e., writing, reading, listening and speaking.
  • Fill out your Express Entry profile with your test results.
  • Language tests are valid for two years from the date of the test result and must be valid on the day you apply for permanent residency.

Proof of Funds

You must demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family in Canada, unless you

  • Are now permitted to work officially in Canada and
  • Have a valid offer of employment from Canadian employer.

This money cannot be borrowed and must be available when the application is submitted. This money cannot be used for the immigration procedure and must be accessible until the day you arrive in Canada.


You must be permitted to enter Canada.

Apply as a Federal Skilled Tradesperson
  • Determine whether you are eligible.
  • Acquire a valid of employment OR a Canadian trade certification
  • Appear for a language test from an approved Center
  • If applicable, get your education evaluated by an authorised body in Canada.
  • Create and submit a profile on an online Express Entry Application
  • If required, boost your Comprehensive Ranking System score.
  • Wait to receive an invitation to apply
  • Within 60 days of obtaining an Invitation to Apply, submit your application for permanent residency.
  • Wait an average of six months for your application to be evaluted and accepted.
  • Obtain your immigrant visa and Confirmation fo Permanent Residency document (COPR) and immigrate to Canada!

Get a Canadian Trade Qualification

This program accepts Canadian trade certifications and qualifications. However, international trade credentials are not accepted. If they are unable to find an appropriate work offer, those having a foreign trade certificate might consider acquiring a Canadian trade certificate. This would require traveling to Canada to contest a Canadian trade exam.

  • Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trades Certification Commission
  • Apprenticeship and Trades Certification Division (Newfoundland)
  • Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training
  • Industry Training Authority (British Columbia)
  • Red Seal Program (New Brunswick)
  • Red Seal Program (Prince Edward Island)
  • Red Seal Program (Nova Scotia)
  • Apprenticeship Manitoba
  • Ontario College of Trades