Canadian Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The Federal Skilled Trades Program is one of three skilled worker programs managed under Canada's Express Entry system. This article contains information about the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the eligibility criteria, the application process, and more relevant details.

Canadian Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is one of the immigration programs managed by the express entry immigration system. The FSTP is intended for foreign nationals seeking immigration to Canada who have experience in relevant trade occupations. It is not the only route available to qualified professionals seeking to immigrate to Canada permanently. There are further routes for unskilled immigration to Canada, but they do not involve a fast-track scheme like this one under Express Entry.

The FSTP offers skilled employees from all backgrounds the possibility to submit their profiles and be considered for invitations to submit visa applications. It functions similarly to a lottery, but because there are labor shortages in various occupations across Canada, the chances of being chosen are relatively high.

International applicants and those with temporary work permits can submit their profiles and wait to see if they are chosen from a list of skilled trades that the Canadian government releases yearly. Canada's National Occupational Classifications (NOC) list applies to the skilled trades. You can live and work in Canada if you apply for permanent residency under the Federal Skilled Trades Canada Program. You will also have the option to naturalize as a Canadian citizen after a while.

In the Federal Skilled Trades Program, 3,000 persons are invited to apply for a permanent residency each year from 26 different occupations. There are 26 different jobs; however, only 17 have a maximum workforce of 100.

Requirements for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Furthermore, here are the minimum requirements for the Canadian Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

  • A full-time job offer from a Canadian employer for a total period of at least 1-year OR a certificate of qualification (This certificate must be obtained from a transference of qualifications exam written in Canada) from a provincial, territorial, or federal governing body
  • Language proficiency score in French or English measured by the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC). (Level 4 for writing + reading and level 5 for listening + speaking)
  • At least 2-years of full-time work experience within the last five years
  • Ability to demonstrate that you meet the job requirements of your skilled trade
  • You must show that you have enough money for you and your family to settle in Canada unless you have a valid job offer or can legally work in Canada.

You can create your online profile and apply for the program through the Express Entry system if you are eligible.

Skilled work experience requirements

Your previous experience must have been in a profession listed in the National Occupational Classification (NOC). From Skill Level 0 to Skill Levels A, B, C, and D, there are five skill levels in the NOC. The NOC's Skill Levels A or B must correspond to the skill level required for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Only 100 persons may work in vocations at Skill Level A, but there is no cap on Skill Level B, which includes the following jobs:

  • 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 utility supervisors and central control operators;
  • Minor Group 632 – Chefs and cooks;
  • Minor Group 633 – Butchers and bakers;

Educational requirements

Although there are no rigorous educational requirements for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, having some qualifying education will assist raise your profile. If you possess any of the following, you must mention them in your application:

  • A Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary diploma;
  • A completed foreign credential and Education Credential Assessment from an approved agency shows that your education equals a secondary (high school) or post-secondary Canadian degree.

If you meet one of these qualifications, you'll receive more points and have a better chance of having your profile selected from the candidate pool.

Language requirements

The basic English and French requirements must be met because they are both official languages in Canada. Canadian Language Benchmark - CLB 5 is the prerequisite for speaking, listening, and reading (CLB 4). You must also take and enter the results of tests that have been approved in speaking, reading, listening, and writing.

Admissibility requirements

If you wish to apply for the FSTP, you must be eligible to enter Canada. You might not be admitted for the following reasons, but they are not limited to them:

  • You're a danger to security;
  • You violated the law or human rights internationally;
  • You've been found guilty of a crime, either domestically or abroad;
  • You have connections to a group of organized criminals;
  • You have significant health issues;
  • You have significant financial difficulties;
  • You lied on your application or during your interview;
  • A member of your family is unable to enter Canada;

Provincial, territorial, or federal assessment requirements

You will need to be evaluated and obtain a certificate of credentials from a provincial, territorial, or federal organization, depending on your degree of trade expertise. You must visit one of the locations' websites below to determine which body regulates your trade and request the evaluation after determining the trade and NOC number for your activity.

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

You must visit the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials website to determine who controls your trade if it is federally regulated, such as airline mechanics. If your expertise is applicable, you can reside in Canada except for Quebec. This province chooses skilled workers through the Quebec-selected skilled worker program.

How to Apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

You must complete several procedures before submitting your profile and application once you have decided whether or not you are eligible for the program.

Gather supporting documents

You need to submit your profile to begin the application process. However, gathering your supporting materials before you begin the profile is a good idea to finish it more quickly. The following papers are required:

  • A valid passport or travel document;
  • Your language test results;
  • Your education credential assessment report so that you can get extra points;
  • Written job offer from an employer in Canada (if you have one);

If you are requested to apply for permanent residency, you must also have the following documents, as the FSTP selects applicants from a pool provided by the Canadian government:

  • Police certificates that determine that you have a clean criminal record;
  • Medical exams to show you are in good health;
  • Proof that you have enough funds to cover your travel and first few months living in Canada while you find a job.

It is a good idea to compile all of these documents so that you can submit them quickly if chosen.

Submit your profile

You need to have a Government of Canada account to submit your profile. You can open one by clicking this link and logging in using your banking information or a Government of Canada account (GCKey). The test that will determine your eligibility for FSTP can then be taken.

You will be led to finish your profile if you are qualified. You will need to enter information from your documents, like your name, address, date of birth, place of employment, level of education, etc. Additionally, you will want your National Occupational Classification (NOC) code for the particular skilled trade you are applying for. You are not required to submit your profile right away. You have 60 days to submit it when you begin working on it. You will have to start over if you do not submit it within 60 days.

Wait for selection

The FSTP uses a pool of applicants and a ranking points system. The Canadian government will choose some applicants each year and send them invitations to apply for permanent residency. The information you provide and each qualification award point are used to decide. After assigning points for each piece of information—such as education, career history, or language proficiency—the Canadian government scores the candidates. The highest-ranking candidates are chosen and invited to apply.


You can work on raising your scores while you wait for this process to finish. You could change your profile after looking for a job offer if you didn't have one when you filed your application. By enrolling in classes or securing positions in your nation of origin, you can also advance your education or professional credentials while gaining additional expertise in your field. To achieve better results, you can retake language examinations. To boost your chances of selection, you must update your profile following any improvements you make.

Get an invitation to apply.

You will be invited to apply for permanent residency if you meet the program's eligibility requirements and have the highest-ranked score. You can accept or reject the invitation that will explain the subsequent steps you must take. You cannot change your mind after rejecting an application. You will need to resubmit your profile and then wait to be chosen.

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Apply for Permanent Residence in Canada

You can find out how to apply for permanent residence from the invitation. You must log into your account, click the linked links, and complete the required forms. Your forms must be filled out completely and accurately, including all required fields.

You must send the supporting documents you have obtained in the preceding steps after you have completed the forms. If your documents aren't in English or French, scan them and provide certified translations. Make sure they are clear and legible before uploading them to the system. Your passport must be valid for more than six months to be accepted.

Afterward, you must pay your fees in Canadian dollars, which will include the following:

  • Processing fee – $550;
  • Right of permanent residence fee (RPRF) (does not apply to dependent children) – $490;
  • If you include your spouse or common-law partner – $1,040 (includes processing fee and RPRF);
  • If you include a dependent child – $150 per child;

Your application for permanent residence must be finished and submitted within 60 days. The only significant modifications you may make after submitting your application are:

  • Changes in contact information or address;
  • Births or deaths in your family;
  • Marriage or divorce;
  • Adoption;
  • Changes to your job or job offer in Canada;
  • New education credentials;
  • Updated language test results;

After submission, you will hear within six months or fewer if you have been granted permanent residence in Canada. If they accept your application, the Canadian government will notify you and let you know what actions you must take next. If you are rejected, the notice will explain why, and you can make changes to your application moving forward.

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