Federal Skilled Trades Program

If you cannot qualify to get through the Federal Skilled Workers’ Program, do not worry. Canada requires different skill sets, so if you are adept at a trade, you might be able to immigrate as well through the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

You can apply for permanent Canada residence with Federal Skilled Trades program if you:

  • Are qualified in a skilled trade;
  • Can become economically established in Canada;
  • Intend to reside in a province other than Quebec.

When can you qualify under the Federal Skilled Trades program?

Skilled trades eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) fall under the following groups according to the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC):

  •  Industrial, electrical and construction trades
  •  Maintenance and equipment operation trades
  • Supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture, and related production
  • Processing, manufacturing and utility supervisors and central control operators
  • Chefs and cooks
  • Butchers and bakers.

Requirements for the Federal Skilled Trades Program

You must fulfill the following requirements in order to qualify for the program:

Skilled work experience

It is required to have the relevant experience in these trades. The applicant must show that they performed the duties listed in the description of the occupation in the NOC.

The minimum requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program is 2 years (3,120 hours) of full-time work experience at one or more than one job or 3,120 hours in 4 years of part-time work. This experience must have occurred in your skilled trade during the past 5 years before you apply.

Language skills

Applicants must take an approved language test either for English or French. Four language abilities are tested: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. In order to apply for the program, you must get a minimum score in all four abilities. The minimum language score for the Federal Skilled Trades Program is lower than that of the Federal Skilled Worker Class.
The approved language tests are CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program),  IELTS (International English Language Testing System), TEF Canada (Test d’évaluation de français), and TCF Canada (Test de Connaissance du français).

Note that the test results are only valid for two years after the certificate is issued and the results must be valid at the time of application. The special ranking system is applied in case you are unable to complete one or more parts of the test due to a disability.

The builder in a construction vest and orange helmet smiling with sign ok against industrial background. Safety specialist, engineer, industry, architecture, manager, occupation, businessman, job concept

The builder in a construction vest and orange helmet smiling with sign ok against industrial background. Safety specialist, engineer, industry, architecture, manager, occupation, businessman, job concept

A valid job offer or certificate of qualification

You must either have a valid job offer for at least 1 year of full-time employment or obtain a certificate of qualification. This certificate is issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority. You will be assessed by your training, trade experience and skills to decide if you are eligible to write an exam to be certified.

Proof of funds

Unless you are able to legally work in Canada, or have a job offer from a Canadian employer, you must provide proof of sufficient funds for you and your family to settle in Canada. The amount of money you need depends on the size of your family, which includes you, your spouse or partner, you and your spouse’s dependent children.

Do include your spouse and your dependent children even if they are permanent residents or citizens of Canada, or if they are not coming to Canada with you. You can have money in a joint account with your spouse but it must be readily available to you at any time.

Our experts can help ensure you meet all these requirements before you send in your application for the Federal Skilled Trades program.


Applicants to this program are not required to have an education, but having one will improve your ranking. If you went to school in Canada, present your secondary, high-school, post-secondary or higher education certificate or diploma. If you have foreign education, obtain a report from an approved agency in Canada showing that your education is equal to a Canadian certificate, diploma or degree.

You must be admissible to Canada. There are different reasons for inadmissibility, such as security, criminal and medical reasons

Your skills will be assessed by different government bodies depending on which province or territory you want to go to. For most provinces, the process consists of verification of work experience, written theory exam, and for some occupations a practical assessment.

In some cases, for certain trades under the Federal Skilled Trades Program, applicants are not required to obtain a certification if the employer is satisfied that the uncertified worker has the knowledge and skills expected of him or her, although it can be compulsory for application for a permanent residence