Canada Federal Skilled Trades Immigration Program

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If you are a skilled worker and it is your dream to move into Canada and work there permanently, your dream may come true through the Federal Skilled Trades Program. The Canadian government knows fully well that there is shortage of skilled workers in the world and in order to make Canada to take advantage of the pull of talented skilled workers all over the world, it put in place a special program for all skilled workers who will like to live and work in Canada.

Before 2015, all skilled workers who wanted Canada Permanent Residence ( PR) were selected on the basis of first come, first served. With this special program, the best candidates are selected based on comprehensive Ranking System.

What is Federal Skilled Trades Program?

Federal Skilled Trades Program now known as Federal Skilled Trades Class is one of the three express entry system organized by the IRCC. This is a special program for qualified tradespersons who want to apply for Canadian PR. Just like the other express entry system, it is ranked by CRS and the candidates with the highest points are given invitation to apply (ITA).

If you have any skilled trade and you meet the minimum requirements, then this program is meant for you because it will be the easiest way for you to get Canada PR. Thousands of workers have obtained their PR using Federal Skilled Trades Program. So, if you qualify for this program, then, you have the opportunity to join thousands of immigrant works in Canada through the program.

Federal Skilled Trades program advantage

The FST program has a number of benefits for the applicants. They include:

  • Candidates who apply for express entry pool through the FST program stand a higher chance because it has the lowest minimum score. The lowest pass score is 199 points where as the lowest for both FSWP and CEC is 413. Also the FST always has a separate draw at least once in a year. So, many candidates who apply under the program have this advantage.
  • The language bench mark for FST is 5, compared to the other two programs under express entry system, it is the lowest and therefore easy to get.
  • Another visible advantage for candidates under the Federal Skilled Trades Class is that any valid job offer makes you eligible and also adds to your score which increases your chances to be invited to apply.

Minimum Requirements for FST

To be eligible for express entry under Federal Skilled Trades program, you must

  • meet the required language level in your ability to speak, write, read and listen in any Canadian language.
  • have at least 2 years of experience in a paid full-time job in any skilled trade within 5 years before you apply or a part-time job equivalent to a full-time job of two years.
  • meet the requirements for the skilled job you are using to apply according to National Occupational Classifications.
  • have a full-time employment for full one year without interruption or a certificate of qualification by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority in that skilled job you are applying with.

Other Requirements for Federal Skilled Trades Class program

Apart from the above mentioned requirements, if you want to rank high in the CRS, you must also meet the following requirements for the FST program.

In order to rank well in the CRS, you have to make sure that you have experience in a skilled work according to NOC. There are many occupations which are under skilled job B and you must provide evidence that you duties in the lead statement of the occupational description under NOC.

Your work experience only counts when you have been certified to independently practice your occupation.

This is the NOC classification of skilled jobs under skilled job type B

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


There is no academic requirement for you to be eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades program. That not withstanding, your academic background can help to boost your score in the Comprehensive Ranking System in two ways,

  • If you have a diploma, certificate or degree from a Canadian high school or tertiary institution.
  • Or if you have foreign education, you complete your educational credentials for extra points or you can obtain Educational Credentials Assessment report for immigration purposes showing that your education is equivalent to diploma, certificate or degree obtained in a Canadian secondary school or post secondary school institutions.

Language Ability

You must take a language test in either French or English in which you must get the minimum score in Canadian Language Bench Mark. The minimum CLB is 5 for speaking and listening we while the minimum CLB for writing and listening is 4. The more scores you get, the more points you also acquire.

Proof of Settlement Funds

For you to be eligible to qualify for express entry through Federal Skilled Trades program, you must show that you have enough fund to settle down in Canada with your family or that you are legally allowed to work in Canada or that you have a valid job offer in Canada.

This fund must be available for withdrawal and not restricted by any debt or sanctions. You must also make sure that they are valid when submitting your application and at the time you are issued PR permit.

Fund requirements may vary based on the number of family members who are following you to migrate into Canada. The table below shows the fund requirements depend on the size of family members.

View Settlement Fund Requirements
Number of
family members
Funds required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $12,960
2 $16,135
3 $19,836
4 $24,083
5 $27,315
6 $30,806
7 $34,299
For each additional family member $3,492


Admissibility means that you are legally allowed to live in Canada. Your admissibility can be hampered by certain medical conditions or if you can proven criminal record. So, you must make sure that you are admissible before applying for FST program.

Skilled Trades Program Eligibility

All qualified skilled workers who meets the minimum requirements for FST is eligible for this program. You can also try to get other necessary requirements to increase your chances of invitation to apply(ITA).

Step by step guide on how to process FST

If you want to apply for Canada PR using the Federal Skilled Trades program, this is exactly what you will do from the start to the end to get your permanent residence permit.

Step 1: Obtain two years experience in a relevant skilled occupation

The first thing you must do before thinking about applying for permanent residence is to gain at least two years of full-time work experience in a job listed by NOC as skilled type B jobs. If you are working on a part-time job, then you must complete the hours equivalent to a full-time job of two years to be eligible.

Step 2: Check to know if you meet other eligibility criteria

After getting your two years compulsory skilled work experience, you then check to know if you meet other requirements. The requirements are listed above for you.

You must have a language test in either English or French in which you must reach the Canadian Language Benchmark of 5 for speaking and listening and CLB 4 for writing and reading.

3: Create your online express entry profile

When you have checker your eligibility status and you are qualified, the next thing you do is to create an online profile for express entry. This profile is created in the IRCC website and you will be asked to fill personal details like name and job history which you can provide by yourself. There are some details that need accompanying documents like proof of fund and language test result.

4: Improve your profile

You can improve your online profile in many ways if you think your score is low. You can improve it by retaking your language test to get higher score if your previous score is below the minimum pass score.

You can also improve your profile by gaining extra work experience. This will help you to rank high in the Comprehensive Ranking System and stand a bigger chance of getting invitation to apply(ITA) when the express entry pool is drawn.

Another way to improve your profile is by providing your education background, if you studied in Canada, you can provide diploma, degree or certificate showing that you have completed a Canadian high school or tertiary institution. And if you went to school outside Canada, then you have to provide an Educational Credential Assessment(ECA) proving that your qualifications are equivalent to diploma, certificate or degree from a Canadian secondary school or post secondary school institutions. This will give extra points of between 100 and 150.

Step 5: You will receive invitation to apply

The most joyful moment in the whole process is when you are invited to apply for Canada PR permit by IRCC. From the day you are invited, you have only 60 days to complete your online application. Therefore, you must keep all your documents ready because the time limit for the whole process is small. Everything can be done within six months.

Step 6: Submission your online application

Once you have received your invitation to apply, you have only 60 days from the day you receive it to submit an e-application with all the necessary documents. In the online application, you will be asked to fill in personal details which will be provided by yourself. You will also need some accompanying documents like medical certificate, police clearance certificate and a host of other relevant document.

The medical certificate must be from an IRCC panel certified physician while the police clearance certificate will come from all the countries in which you have lived since you attained the age of 18 years.

Step 7: Receive Confirmation of Permanent Residence status

After you have submitted your online application, a panel will review it and send you a confirmation of your permanent residence status, this confirms that that you have obtained a PR permit. You will be then offered a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) document signed by a Canadian officer at a point of entry or at an IRCC office with the date when the permanent residence was issued.

Step 8: Apply for a PR card

Once you have received your confirmation of permanent residence document, you immediately apply for a PR card. This card can be used whenever you travel outside Canada as a proof of your status in Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions about FST

1. Who is eligible for Federal Skilled Trades Program?

And: You are qualified for the FST if you are a qualified, professional trade person and you want to immigrate into Canada to live and work permanently.

2. What is the processing time for Federal Skilled Trades Program?

Ans: The processing time for most applications is six months. So, if you want to apply for Canada permanent residence through FST, you have to keep all the necessary document ready even before submitting your online application.

3. Where can I live with FST PR permit?

Ans: With FST, you can live in any province of your choice in Canada except Quebec province. The Quebec province has its own selection of skilled workers. If you want to live in the province of Quebec, there is a special program for those who want live in the province of Quebec with Canada permanent residence.

4: When is the Federal Skilled Trades Program draw?

Ans: The draw for FST is organized every two weeks under the express entry pool by IRCC. After the draw, an invitation to apply (ITA) will be sent to all successful candidates. If you are among the successful students, you are expected to submit your online application within 60 days from the day of invitation.

You should also make sure that all the necessary documents are ready because, the process does not take long to complete.