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Federal Skilled Trades Class

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Federal Skilled Trades Program is for those who have relevant knowledge of and acquired work experience in skilled trades. This program is now managed under Express Entry which is an application intake management system. Potential candidates who wish to immigrate to Canada must first create a profile under Express Entry which is essentially an Expression of Interest (EOI). For more information on Express Entry and the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) please click here.

The Express Entry System manages the Federal Skilled Trades Class or Federal Skilled Trade Program to welcome economic-class skilled workers to immigrate to Canada. Under this immigration class, Canada welcomes about 400,000 immigrants annually.

It is the fastest way to pursue immigration to Canada as a skilled trade professional. IRCC uses Express Entry to manage capable worker applications.

A candidate must meet the FSTP’s eligibility criteria. An eligible candidate can upload an Express Entry profile onto IRCC’s website to receive a CRS score based on different criteria, including age, education, language skills, work experience, and Canadian work and study experience.

IRCC holds Express Entry draws every two weeks inviting the candidates with the highest CRS scores to apply for permanent residence. IRCC will give you a deadline to submit your permanent residence application. IRCC will process your application within six months.

Criteria to qualify under the Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades program offer potential qualifying applicants who have work experience in a skilled trade to apply for and become a Permanent Resident under this category. This program was developed by the Federal Government in 2013 in order to fulfil the gap in the Canadian workforce in industries which were experiencing exponential growth. The requirements to qualify under the Federal Skilled Trades Program are:

The potential applicant(s) must intend to reside outside of the Province of Quebec

Meet or exceed the official language proficiency program requirements

Possess at least two years of full-time (or equivalent in part-time) work experience in a skilled trade in the past 5 years of the application date

Meet the requirements of the job in skilled trade as per the National Occupational Classification (NOC) of the main occupation, except for the need of a certificate of qualification

Have received an offer of full-time employment which is for a period of at least one year OR a certificate of qualification issued by a Canadian Province, Territory or Federal body

Experience Requirement

The potential applicant(s) who intend to apply for Permanent Residence under this program must have at least 24 months of full-time work experience (or the equivalent in part-time) in a skilled trade in the last 5 years immediately before making an application. A job is considered full-time if the applicant works in a skilled trade job for at least 30 hours in a week or more. An example of full-time work experience is provided below:

Mr. A worked as a drywall finisher (NOC 7284) from May 2016 to June 2018. He worked with employer X in Egypt in this position 30 hours each week. He has now acquired more than 3,120 hours of experience. This work experience has been acquired by Mr. A in the last five years.


Mr. B is employed as a sushi cook (NOC 6322) with Employer Z in Japan. He worked with employer Z in Japan in this position 15 hours each week (considered part-time). Now Mr. B has acquired 3,120 hours of work experience in 48 months and his work experience falls within past five years.

Skilled Work Experience

For the purpose of this program, skilled trades as defined under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) are:

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

Please note that the above NOC groups are further subdivided into many occupations and they all fall under NOC skill type B. Potential applicants should have the ability to demonstrate that they performed the duties which are listed in the lead statement of their particular NOC and it would include all the essential duties and most of the listed of the particular NOC.

Educational Requirements

There is no specific education requirement to qualify under the Federal Skilled Trades Program; however, if a potential applicant wants to improve their CRS score under Express Entry, they may claim points for their acquired educational credentials. For example, if Mr. A who qualifies under this program and he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Egypt. In this case Mr. A may choose to get his foreign education assessed by one of the designated organizations authorized to assess foreign educational credentials for the purpose of acceptance by IRCC.

Official Language Proficiency Requirements

Potential applicants who intend to qualify and subsequently submit their profile under Express Entry (EOI) must obtain a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 5 in speaking and listening, and CLB level 4 in reading and writing. Potential applicants must provide proof that they have acquired the required language scores in one the approved language tests i.e. IELTS, CELPIP or TEF.

Assessment by Province or Territory

Potential applicants who intend to apply for Permanent Residence under this program and, if they don’t have a valid offer of employment, they must contact the Canadian province where they intend to settle and get assessed for their particular skilled trade. Those who intend to qualify under this program may refer to a Province’s website and check the applicable criteria and requirements which they must meet in order to get a Certificate of Qualification to work in that Province or Territory.

Valid Offer of Employment for Federal Skilled Trades People:

For the purpose of Federal Skilled Trades Program, a valid offer of employment must be:


Made by up to maximum of two employers

The job offer should be for paid, continuous and full-time employment (at-least 30 hours a week)

It should be valid for at least one year

Should be in a skilled trade i.e. as per the NOC 2016 codes which start with 72, 73, 82, 92 and 632 & 633

It should also meet the following Requirements too

Should be made by employer(s) who have obtained a new positive LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for the job offer and bears the applicant’s name and their job position

If the applicant is presently working in a skilled trade job and their work permit was issued based on a positive LMIA, and:

  • The applicant is currently working for an employer listed on their work permit
  • The applicant must be authorized to work in Canada on the day when they make an application for permanent resident visa and when the same is issued to them
  • The applicant’s present employer (or employers as the case may be) offered them a full-time job if the applicant is selected as a permanent resident, in a job position which is same as the three digit NOC level of their present job, for at least one year OR

The applicant is in possession of a work permit which is valid for one of the skilled trade occupation (NOC codes which start with 72, 73, 82, 92 and 632 & 633) and they are exempt from the requirement of LMIA and the Applicant:

  • Is presently working with an employer whose name is listed on their work permit
  • They have one year of full-time work experience (or equivalent in part-time work) while working with the employer(s) listed on their work permit who is making the job offer and
  • They have a valid job offer from that employer for at least one year after permanent resident visa is issued to them

Application Process for Federal Skilled Trades Class

The following is a step-by-step guide to pursuing immigration to Canada through the FST

  1. A candidate must be eligible for the FSTP’s eligibility criteria.
  2. An English and French language test recognized by IRCC officially
  3. Submit your Express Entry profile on IRCC’s website.
  4. Follow IRCC’s Express Entry draws to see the update if you have received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Draws take place every two weeks.
  5. After receiving an invitation to apply, submit a permanent residence application to IRCC within the specified deadline. Most applicants have six months or less standard for permanent residence application processing.

Processing Time for Federal Skilled Trades Class

Most applicants have six months or less standard for permanent residence application processing under Federal Skilled Trades Class.

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Do you want to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry or another skilled worker pathway? Complete our free visa assessment form. If you are eligible for Canadian immigration, our representative will reach out to provide you with assistance.