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Federal Skilled Trades Program

Immigration plays a significant role in Canada’s economy, which is why the Canadian government keeps the Express Entry program open. Through the program, skilled workers, including skilled tradespersons, apply to come and work in Canada permanently.

You can maximize your chances of obtaining permanent residency in Canada through the Federal Skilled Trades Program by working with an immigration lawyer. Call us today on +1 844 290 6312 or use the chat button to chat with us online to get personalised answers.

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    What is the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

    The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is an immigration program under the Express Entry system that allows skilled persons who are qualified in an eligible skilled trade to get permanent residence in Canada.

    According to a January 2022 statement by the Canadian government, the demand for skilled trades workers is expected to remain high over the next 10 years as Canada’s economy continues to recover.

    FSTP candidates, as well as other skilled worker programs under the Express Entry immigration system, enjoy fast-track processing due to the labor shortages in many skilled trades occupations across Canada.

    What is a Skilled trade?

    A skilled trade is any occupation that requires a particular skill set, ability, or knowledge. They are usually hands-on jobs and can be found in areas such as agriculture, construction, service, industry, transportation, and manufacturing.

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      Eligibility requirements for the Federal Skilled Trades Program


      To meet the eligibility criteria, applicants must satisfy the minimum requirements. They must also meet the required level in the following categories listed below:

      • Skilled work experience.
      • Education.
      • Language proficiency.
      • Proof of funds.
      • Admissibility – Deserving to be admitted into Canada.

      Minimum requirements

      To be eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, applicants must:

      • Have at least two years of full-time paid (paid wages or earned commission) work experience with a Canadian employer in a skilled trade within the last five years before they apply. An equal amount of part-time work experience is also acceptable.
      • Meet the job requirements of their indicated skilled trade as outlined in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
      • Meet the required language level in English and/or French language ability. The areas tested are writing, reading, listening, and speaking.
      • Show that they intend to live outside Quebec. Quebec has its own skilled workers program through which it invites workers.
      • Hold either a valid job offer of full-time employment of at least one year with an eligible Canadian employer or a certificate of qualification in their skilled trade from a Canadian provincial, federal or territorial authority.
      • The certificate of qualification proves that the applicant possesses the skills to work in a specific skilled trade occupation in Canada.

      Skilled Work experience

      The skilled work experience that candidates may present for the Federal Skilled Trades Program falls into the groups of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) outlined below:

      • 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 skilled work experience is valid only from the date applicants received the qualification to practice the occupation independently.

      In addition, they must show that they performed all the main and essential duties listed in the lead statement of the occupational description in the national occupational classification.

      Language requirements

      To measure applicants’ language skills, the Canadian government uses the Canadian Language Benchmark or the Niveaux de compétence Linguistique Canadien.

      Applicants must show that they meet the minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 or Niveaux de compétence Linguistique Canadien (NCLC) 5 (if French) for speaking and listening, and CLB 4 or NCLC 4 for writing and reading by taking approved language tests.

      Accepted Language tests

      English test takers may take either of the following approved language tests:

      • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP).
      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

      Regardless of the type of English test applicants take, they must take the general option as other options are not accepted for the Express Entry process.

      French language test takers may take either of the following approved tests:

      • Test d’évaluation de français (TEF Canada).
      • Test de connaissance du français (TCF Canada).

      The French tests include compréhension de l’écrit, compréhension de l’oral, expression écrite, and expression orale.

      Test results of applicants must be less than two years old when they complete their express entry profile and permanent residence application.

      The profiles of applicants remain in the express entry pool for one year. Therefore, they must retake their language test and update their profile if their test expires.

      Education Requirement

      No academic qualification is required for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. However, applicants can increase their score in the express entry pool by:

      • Submitting a diploma, certificate, or degree they received from a Canadian secondary institution or post-secondary institution confirming that they went to school in Canada.
      • Submitting an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from a designated organisation showing that their education is equivalent to a degree, certificate, or diploma from a Canadian secondary or post-secondary institution.
      • An Education Credential Assessment is a report that is used to verify that a foreign degree, diploma, or certificate is valid and equal to a Canadian one. Applicants must request an ECA report specifically for immigration purposes as other types of ECAs are not acceptable.

      Proof of Funds

      Proof of funds shows that applicants have enough money to settle in Canada with their families and that they meet the minimum requirements for the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

      To determine the amount of funds applicants should have, they should first determine the size of their family. This includes them and their family members such as spouse or partner, dependent children, and spouse’s dependent children.

      Family members, here, imply those coming to Canada with you and those staying back.

      Below are the minimum funds required to immigrate to Canada under the Federal Skilled Trades Program based on the number of family members:

      • 1 person: $13,310
      • 2 persons: $16,570
      • 3 persons: $20,371
      • 4 persons: $24,733
      • 5 persons: $28,052
      • Each additional family member: $3,586

      All fees are in Canadian dollars. If the applicants’ spouse will come to Canada with them, applicants can count their money in a joint account or under the spouse’s name as proof of funds if they can prove that the money is readily available to them.

      Proof of Funds that are not accepted

      Unacceptable evidence of proof of funds includes:

      • Borrowed funds.
      • Equity on tangible property.

      Applicants must prove, with official letters from the bank where they are keeping money, that they can legally access the money for use in Canada. The letter(s) must:

      • Be printed on the financial institution’s letterhead.
      • Include banks’ contact information (address, telephone number, and email address).
      • Include the applicant’s name.
      • List outstanding debts such as credit card debts and loans.
      • Include all account numbers owned by the applicant, the date each account was opened, the average balance for the past 6 months for each current bank and investment account, and the current balance of each account.


      Some people are not allowed to enter Canada for reasons under Canadian immigration law. These reasons for refusing applicants entry include but are not limited to the following:

      • Security reasons such as violence, terrorism, spying, subversion, and affiliation with a terrorist organisation.
      • Human or international rights violations such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and international sanctions as a senior official in a government.
      • Criminal convictions, including while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
      • Membership with an organisation that engages in organised criminal activities such as money laundering or human trafficking.
      • Having a medical condition that endangers public safety or health.
      • Unwillingness or inability of applicants to support themselves or their family members.
      • Providing false or misleading information relating to the decision on the application of the applicant.
      • Having an inadmissible family member.
      • Violation of conditions of stay as a temporary resident.
      • Previous record of deportation or attempt to enter Canada without authorisation.

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        How to apply to the Federal Skilled Trades Program

        After applicants have ensured that they meet the eligibility requirements, they may proceed to:

        • Answer some questions about their eligibility online.
        • Submit an express entry profile on the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) if eligible to apply.
        • Prepare to receive their invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence by getting their documents ready. If invited, applicants will have 60 days to submit a complete application.

        Applicants should:

        • Ensure that their language tests are valid on the date they submit their application for permanent residence or retake their tests if expired. Any permanent residence application with expired language test results will be rejected.
        • Get police certificates for themselves and any of their family member who is 18 years or older.
        • Start searching for a job offer using the job seeker validation code received when they submitted their profile.
        • Improve their score by improving their language or education score, getting a valid job offer, gaining more relevant work experience, and contacting provinces or territories to consider them for a Provincial Nominee Program.
        • Make sure their profile remains true, accurate, and updated at all times.

        A provincial nomination gives applicants an additional 600 CRS points which guarantee an ITA provided all other eligibility criteria are met.

        Application Fees for the Federal Skilled Trades Program

        The application fees are:

        • $1,365 for the applicant.
        • $1,365 for the applicant’s spouse or partner.
        • $230 for dependent children.

        Steps to apply for Permanent Residence

        Applicants who receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency must do so within 60 days of receiving the invitation. To apply to become a permanent resident, applicants must:

        • Fill out the online form.
        • Scan and upload all requested documents.
        • Pay all fees such as the right of permanent residence fee, biometrics fee, and processing fees for themselves and their family members.
        • Submit the completed application.

        If the application is rejected, the applicant may get the help of an experienced immigration expert, and fill out and submit a new express entry profile.

        If the application is approved, applicants will be given a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a permanent resident visa (if from a country that requires a visa). With these and your passport, you are ready to immigrate to Canada.

        How can IAS Immigration Lawyers help me?

        have a successful express entry process and become a Canadian permanent resident, it is important you meet all the requirements and fill out a great profile.

        Our immigration lawyers will help you maximize your chances by ensuring that nothing is left out and that your application is filled to the highest of standards. Contact us today on +1 844 290 6312 or chat with us online to get access to our team of experienced immigration lawyers.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  The processing time is currently 43 months. This includes the time required to submit biometric information, if applicable to the applicant.

                  Your profile stays in the express entry pool for 12 months from the date of entry.

                  The differences include the following:

                  • FSWP requires that applicants have a minimum of CLB 7 in language skills while FSTP candidates only require CLB 5 for speaking and listening, and CLB 4 for writing and reading.
                  • FSWP requires at least one year of continuous full-time work experience within the last 10 years (combination of part-time, full-time, or more than 1 job in their primary occupation) while FSTP requires at least two years of full-time work experience within the last 5 years (either combination of full-time or part-time work).
                  • FSWP does not require a job offer but FSTP does.
                  • There are no education qualifications for FSTP while FSWP requires that applicants have at least a secondary Canadian or foreign education.

                  Express entry is a system through which the Canadian Federal government manages some of its immigration programs for skilled workers while the Federal skilled Workers (FSW) program is one of the immigration programs under the express entry system through which applicants can get permanent residence.

                  If you could not complete one or more sections of your test because of a disability, use the Comprehensive Ranking System language calculator tool to determine your CRS score for the abilities you could not complete.

                  Use the CRS calculator to get your averaged scores. You must provide proof that confirms that you could not take some sections of the tests because of your disability if you are invited to apply for permanent residence.

                  Note that the CRS language calculator tool is different from the CRS ranking system.