Federal Skilled Trades Program

skilled tradeThe Federal Skilled Trades Program is a nationwide immigration program allowing international workers qualified in a skilled trade to settle anywhere in Canada, except for Quebec

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST) is one of the three federal immigration programs along with the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Canadian Experience Class. These programs function within the Express Entry system. 

To be eligible under the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the applicant must:

  • Plan to live outside Quebec (if you are a skilled worker planning to live in this province, apply under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program)
  • Register in the Express Entry system
  • Have at least 2 years of full-time work experience in the past 5 years in one of the following trades:

   — Industrial, electrical and construction trades (NOC Major Group 72)

   — Maintenance and equipment operation trades (NOC Major Group 73)

   — Supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production (NOC Major Group    82)

   — Processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators (NOC Major Group 92)

   — Chefs and cooks (NOC Minor Group 632)

   — Butchers and bakers (NOC Minor Group 633)

  • Have a valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year or certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian authority
  • Have a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 4 or higher for reading and writing and 5 or higher for speaking and listening in English or French. The language test results (IELTS, CELPIP or TEF) should be no older than 2 years
  • Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada: at least C$12,669 for one applicant and from C$15,772 to C$33,528 for the family of 2 to 7. The applicant does not need to show proof of funds if he is currently able to legally work in Canada and has a valid job offer from a Canadian employer
  • Be admissible to Canada (there should be no security, criminal or medical reasons prohibiting you from entering Canada)

You will likely have to go to the province or territory to be assessed for your trade by a provincial or territorial body that governs trades and to get a certificate of qualification. You may also need an employer in Canada to give you training and experience.

If you are in a legal or common-law marriage with a person who does not have Canadian citizenship, and that person meets the above requirements, you can decide which of you will be the main applicant.

Learn about other nationwide programs in the article “Federal Immigration Programs”.