Federal Skilled Trade Program

Federal Skilled Trade Program

September 26, 2019

What is the Federal Skilled Trade program?

More than half of all immigrants to Canada are qualified employees welcomed through economic programs, especially the Federal Skilled Trades Program(FSTP).

Known as one of the three federal immigration programs under the Express Entry system, the Federal Skilled Trades program is appropriate for qualified tradespeople who want to become permanent residents in order to have the right to live and work in Canada. As with all Express Entry programs, FST also uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank potential candidates and invite accepted applicants to apply for Canadian permanent residence.


Applicants must meet some requirements to be eligible.

1. Work experience

Canadian or foreign experience in a skilled trade who apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program must work in the key groups of NOC B including:

  • 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

You must demonstrate that you have carried out the tasks stated in the NOC lead declaration of the job description. All vital tasks and most of the major tasks mentioned herein.

Previous work experience in a skilled trade must be at least two years within the last 5 years (either a combination of full-time or part-time work)

2. Job Offer

A valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority

You may be not required to meet licensing requirements at the time of application, but a Citizenship and Immigration officer must be satisfied that you are capable of performing the job offered to you.

If the occupation is regulated in Canada, meaning, it requires certain licensing or certification, the officer must also be satisfied that you can be expected to successfully qualify for licensing/certification when in Canada.

Your offer of employment must be valid at the time your permanent resident visa (if any) is issued

3. Educational background

Although this program doesn’t use educational background, applicants also use them to improve your rank in the Express Entry pool.

If you study in Canada, you can get points from a certificate, diploma or degree in Canadian secondary institution (high school) or post-secondary institution

If you study in a foreign country, you need to have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an independent company to prove that your foreign education is equal and acceptable in Canada.

4. Language ability

Applicants have to show their language proficiency by submitting the results of an English or French language test.

According to the Canadian Language Benchmark,  it is significant to get a minimum score of either English or French based on the standard is 5 for speaking and listening, while 5 is required for reading and writing.

Your language tests are valid for 2 years after the date of the test result. 

5. Proof of funds

It is important to prove that you have enough money for you and your family to settle in Canada unless you are currently able to legally work in Canada and have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.

6. Admissibility

You must be admissible to Canada

7. Living outside Quebec:

You have to plan to live outside Quebec. Québec chooses its own qualified employees. You should figure out Quebec’s qualified employees for more information if you plan to live in Quebec.

Application Process

Step 1: Two years of relevant experience

Federal skilled trades candidates are required to prove two years of full-time work experience (or an equivalent part-time) in their trade. Did you add up your knowledge and have the knowledge you need? When that happens, proceed to step 2. If not, continue to work until you comply with this.

Step 2: Check that your trade is on the list

Guaranteeing correctly that your trade is recognized. 

Step 3: Ensure you meet other eligibility criteria

Get the exam performed for your language. The IELTS or CELPIP test may be used by applicants in English. The presently accessible alternatives are TEF and TCF for French. Candidates with certain skills can obtain extra points for their second language capacity both in English and in French.

Step 4: Create an Express Entry profile

You can send your profile to the Express Entry system, which is an online system managed by the government for prospective candidates if you believe your background can fulfill all the CEC program criteria. This step would be finished on the IRCC website.

All the vital information as described in the form should be provided online which may include personal information such as job skills, job comprehension, the ability for dialect, learning ability, age, …

When Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) affirms its capacity, the expectations are placed in an express entry pool and the Comprehensive Ranking System is placed.

Step 5: Improve your profile and ranking under the CRS

The Comprehensive Ranking System contains a total of 1200 points accessible. From this positioning framework, the Government of Canada chooses expectations of the Express Entry pool. This action is to increase the chance to accept a challenge to apply for permanent homes in Canada via PR Visas, given a legitimate concern about the possibility of improving their position.

Step 6: Receive an invitation to apply

New colonists from the Express Entry Pool can be chosen by the Government of Canada, provincial governments and companies. Applicants for permanent residency under the Federal Trades Program will be welcome to apply for a permanent residence for Canada as well as those with lawful professional offers or nominations.

If the competitors are invited, they have 60 days to complete their application framework and provide it with all the supporting documents correctly. The request will be regarded as a welcome acknowledgment.

After each segment is finalized and passed on, the candidates will receive a Receipt Accounts (AOR) from the CIC to further examine the requests and decide whether or not the candidate is eligible for the program.

Step 7: Complete and submit an e-application

When submitting an Express Entry profile, an FST candidate will be required to provide information from several documents:

  • Medical examination: You need to demonstrate through your application that you have finished a medical examination with a medical officer recognized by the IRCC, which can prove your health is suitable to immigrate.
  • Identification Documents: Candidates will be required to provide information from identification documents. Additionally, you have to provide a police background check (also known as a clearance certificate) from each country you have lived in for at least six months since the age of 18. Ideally, a candidate and all accompanying family members should possess passports valid for travel.
Step 8: Your e-application is reviewed

A Canadian immigration officer will review the submitted e-application and let you know if anything else is required

Step 9: Receive COPR

Receive confirmation of permanent resident status and complete your landing. Most candidates are often responded to this program for less than six months. The candidates obtain a Permanent Residence Confirmation (COPR) document signed by a Canadian entry port or an IRCC office after acceptance.

Step 10: Get your PR card

Finally, you can apply for your PR card when you have your status confirmation. If you plan to travel outside Canada, this card can be used as evidence of your status in Canada


  • Right of PR fee 490 CAD
  • Principal applicant 475 CAD
  • Principal applicant, if less than 22 years of age and not a spouse or common-law partner (including a dependent child of the sponsor, a child to be adopted and an orphaned brother, sister, niece, nephew or grandchild) 75 CAD
  • A family member of the principal applicant who is 22 years of age or older, or is less than 22 years of age and is a spouse or common-law partner 550 CAD
  • A family member of the principal applicant who is less than 22 years of age and is not a spouse or common-law partner 150 CAD.
  • PR card: 50 CAD
  • PR travel document: 50 CAD
  • Biometrics fee: 85 CAD
  • Biometrics fee for your family pay for a visitor visa is maximum up to 170 CAD
  • Medical exams fees
  • Police certificate fees
  • Language testing fees

How long would it take?

The Government of Canada recently changed how immigration processing times are published so until now, the FST program may last within 6 months.

Work in Quebec

If applicants wish to work and settle in Quebec, they must apply to their respective authorities and take up the Québec Skilled Trade Program instead of the Federal Skilled Trade Program 

Here is the list of the territories which allow immigrants to apply through the Federal Skilled Trades Program to live and work there:

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

If your trade is not regulated by a province or territory, it may be federally regulated (for example, an airplane mechanic). You can find out who regulates your trade by visiting the website of the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials.

Common reasons might be get denied

Previously, the applicants who had their applications rejected because of incompleteness were able to re-send their applications. However, nowadays everything has changed, the current Express Entry procedures provide no guarantee that one can resubmit a request after the first one has been refused. Therefore, the application’s check and double-check their applications for permanent residence are important in order to meet all IRCC requirements.

1. Police certificates

Until recently the IRCC had demanded that all countries that applicants have lived in succession for more than six months after eighteen years old should be provided with the police certificates. However, this requirement has changed by the IRCC. Applicants must now submit police certificates for more than six months from everywhere they have been living. This change is not known to many candidates, and so it causes many rejections.

2. The sixty-day window

Police certificates are also the second prevalent reason for refusing requests. The candidates for Express Entry have a sixty-day window to receive their police certificates. However, within this period, candidates may not receive certificates from some nations. Once that happens, the IRCC will demand that applicants prove that, if an applicant is unable to provide the proof of their application is disallowed because they are not complete, they have indeed requested a police certificate from that country.

3. Applicants not monitoring their MyCIC accounts

It is very crucial that Express Entry candidates should keep track of their MyCIC accounts so that no significant deadlines are missed. In many cases, the IRCC requires that new formats and documents be submitted to the applicants within 7 days of an application.

4. Not checking uploaded documents

Many Express Entry candidates do not see various reasons which documents they have uploaded or how many records they have uploaded. The candidates need to make sure that the right PDFs are uploaded.

5. Exceptions

Lastly, even though there are some exceptions to providing every single document required in the Express Entry checklist, the applicant must be 100 % sure that they qualify for this exception. The 2015 Express Entry report states that applicants should seek further information from the IRCC if they are not sure about the requirements and procedures.


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