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federal skilled trades

Immigrate to Canada using federal skilled trades program

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is an Express Entry-based economic immigration programme.
It was established to alleviate Canada’s skilled trades labour deficit as the baby boomer generation approaches retirement. This, combined with Canada’s low birth rate, means that there aren’t enough skilled trades employees in the country to fill the void and immigration will be critical in the future to keep the skilled trades sector afloat.

What is the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

The FSTP is a specific avenue for skilled trade employees to become permanent residents of Canada. Because the qualifying conditions are specific to only one National Occupation Classification (NOC), skill level, and occupation, they differ from other Express Entry programmes (Skill level B). Different educational and linguistic requirements are also in place.

Candidates must meet the following requirements to be considered for the FSTP:

  • Within the five years before application, you must have at least two years of skilled crafts job experience.
  • On their English or French language test, they must achieve a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark of 5 for speaking and listening and 4 for reading and writing.
  • Demonstrate that you have the necessary finances (if applicable)

Skilled worked experience

Candidates must have at least 2 years of paid, full-time job experience or an equal amount of part-time work experience in any of the following NOC occupational categories within the five years prior to applying for the FSTP. NOC skill type B encompasses all of these important groups:

  • 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

Language Requirements

Candidates for the FSTP must be able to demonstrate fluency in English or French at a minimum. They must have a CLB score of five in speaking and listening and a CLB score of four in reading and writing to be eligible.

Proof of funds

Candidates must be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources in Canada to sustain themselves and any dependent family members. The payment rises in proportion to the number of people you help. The bank or financial institution where you hold your money will provide proof of funds, which will indicate your average account balances over the last six months as well as any outstanding obligations. If you are already employed in Canada or have a valid job offer from a Canadian company, this is not required.

Each additional family member$3,586

Get assessed by a province or territory

Skilled Trades are regulated by state and territory governments. Candidates for FSTP may need a Canadian employer to provide experience and training. The process may vary by state or region.


There are no educational requirements set for FSTP candidates. By receiving an Education Qualification (ECA) or certifying that you have completed secondary or higher education in Canada, FSTP candidates can use the comprehensive ranking system. Earn points through Express Entry and increase your chances of becoming a permanent resident.

Next steps

Once the candidate has self-assessed their FSTP eligibility, they can go online and create an express entry profile on the IRCC website. After you submit your profile, IRCC will provide you with a CRS score. This score is based on criteria such as age, work experience, language proficiency, and education, among other human capital factors. The score received will be compared to other candidates in the Express Entry Pool. The person with the highest score receives an invitation (ITA) to apply for permanent residence. Please submit the application within 60 days of receiving the ITA. IRCC will then review your document and make the final decision on your application.


Invitation to Express Entry for FSTP candidates has been suspended since December 2021 due to a pandemic. However, the invitation will resume in early July this year. IRCC is trying to clear the application backlog and reduce the processing time of new applications to 6 months. In the 2022-2024 Immigration Level Plan, Express Entry will be the primary way Canada welcomes economy-class immigrants. Canada aims to welcome more than 110,000 Express Entry immigrants by 2024.

Jasmine Kaur
Author: Jasmine Kaur

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