Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) started accepting permanent residence applications under its widely anticipated Federal Skilled Trades Program on January 2nd, 2013. In many of the 43 targeted occupations, the programme is quota-based and limited to 3000 applications per year with sub quotas.

Eligibility is assessed on a pass or fail basis under the Federal Skilled Trades Class, with applicants required to satisfy the following four requirements.

  • Have employment offers from one or two Canadian employers for a period of at least one year in an eligible skilled trade (NOC Skill Level B), OR Hold certification from a Canadian provincial or territorial regulatory authority for that trade.
  • Provide evidence of sufficient linguistic competence in one of the two official languages of Canada.
  • Have 24 months of professional experience in the last five years in the field of skilled trade, after the qualification of a professional, where applicable.
  • Be qualified, as defined by the NOC, to meet the requirements of the job offer(s) or trade in Canada.
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Class is not open to applicants wishing to establish themselves in the province of Quebec, which has the power to select applicants in its own right.
Certification or Offer of Employment

In Canada, trade certification comes under provincial jurisdiction. Each province specifies which occupations will be governed and where applicable, creates regulatory bodies. It is often difficult to obtain provincial certification from outside Canada and, accordingly, this programme would be most useful for traders who receive an authorized offer of employment from a recognized employer or who are already employed as temporary foreign workers in Canada.

In all provinces, not all trade is limited. Where a trade is not limited, it becomes mandatory to provide jobs.

Tradesmen who receive an accepted offer of employment from a Canadian employer for one year or more in their trade are also eligible to apply. In order to ensure that it is an eligible trade, the offer of jobs will be analyzed and that the hiring will have a neutral impact on the Canadian labor market.

Requirement for Language

For all four language skills, including speaking, listening, reading, and writing, applicants must provide proof that they have at least basic English or French language skills. In order to determine proficiency, only test results from a CIC designated language testing organization will be accepted.

FST Application Procedure

If a person meets these requirements, a candidate can submit their profile to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Submitting an Express Entry profile does not guarantee that Canadian permanent residence will be given to an applicant. An applicant will be given a CRS score only after submitting an Express Entry profile and will be considered for permanent residence in future Express Entry drawings for Invitations to Apply (ITAs).

An FST applicant will be expected to include details from multiple documents when submitting an Express Entry profile:

  • Test results for Language Proficiency

All Express Entry applicants must include the results of an accepted language test taken within the previous two years.

  • Identification of Documents

Candidates will be needed to provide identity documents with details. Ideally, an applicant and all accompanying members of the family should have passports valid for travel.

While educational documents for FST are not needed, an applicant must have certain documentation to claim education points:

Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA)

An FST applicant must have a credible ECA report attesting to the importance of international education by Canadian standards in order to receive points for education. In Canada, there are five organizations approved to issue ECA reports. For education certificates obtained from a Canadian educational institution, this is not necessary.

The lowest-ranked FST nominee to earn an ITA has had a CRS score of 199 points since the Express Entry system was introduced in 2015. If the CRS score of an applicant is below this score, they should actively seek options to increase their score.