Federal Skilled Trades Program
The Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program is one of the three federal immigration programs managed by the Express Entry system. As with all Express Entry programs, FST uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank interested candidates against one another, only inviting the most competitive candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Each year, more than half of all immigrants to Canada are skilled workers invited through economic programs, including the Federal Skilled Trades Program. For qualified individuals, the FST can be a quick way to obtain permanent residence in Canada, and with it the right to live and work in Canada permanently. You must prove that you have enough money to support yourself or your family while looking for work.
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To qualify for the FST, a candidate must have at least two years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade (or the same amount on a part-time basis). This experience must have been acquired within the previous 5 years and only takes into account work experience gained after the individual has been granted a trade license in their country of residence.
Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) code, defines skilled trades as the following occupation 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 utilities supervisors and central control operators|
|Minor Group 632||chefs and cooks|
|Minor Group 633||butchers and bakers|
If the individual has the required work experience, they must also meet the other eligibility criteria set out in the FSTP:
Provided the applicant meets these requirements, they will be eligible to submit an Express Entry profile to participate in the FSTP. However, applicants should consider that they must meet Canada’s basic eligibility requirements.
If a person meets these requirements, they can submit an Express Entry profile to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Submitting an Express Entry profile does not guarantee that a candidate will obtain permanent residence in Canada. Only after submitting an Express Entry profile will a candidate be awarded a CRS score and be considered for future Express Entry draws for an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence.
When submitting an Express Entry profile, an FSTP candidate will be required to provide information from several documents:
Since the launch of the Express Entry system in 2015, the lowest ranked FSTP candidate for the ITA has had a CRS score of 199. If an applicant’s CRS score is below this score, they should actively look for ways to improve their score.