20 August, 2020


The Federal Skilled Trades is one of the immigration programs managed by the Express Entry System. Which means you will need to create an express entry profile in order to apply for this immigration program to Canada. Don’t worry – our team of regulated immigration consultants will help each step of the way.


What is the Express Entry System?


Speaking of Express Entry, in case you are not familiar with the system, it is a point-based scheme designed to bring qualified immigrants to Canada, and it takes into consideration some key factors such as:


  •  Age (for a maximum of 100 points)
  •  School Level (for a maximum of 140 points)
  •  Language proficiency (English and / or French) (for a maximum of 150 points)
  •  Canadian work experience (for a maximum of 70 points)
  •  Foreign work experience (for a maximum of 50 points)


During the year, the government releases numerous draws, inviting those with a certain minimum score to apply to immigrate to Canada. For the Federal Skilled Trades Program specifically, the draws usually occur twice a year, but the minimum score needed to apply is much lower than other Immigration programs, like the Federal Skilled Worker.

If you still don’t know what is your Express Entry score, take our free assessment to find out!

What is the Federal Skilled Trades Program? (FST)



The Federal Skilled Trades Program is aimed at qualifying skilled trade workers, with experience in very specific occupations.

In order to be eligible for this immigration program to Canada, you must:

  • Have at least two years of proven full-time work experience (or an equivalent amount of part-time work experience) within the five years prior to application. This experience fall within the following groups of the National Occupational Classification (NOC):


  • 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
  • Have writing and reading english skills of at least CLB 4 (NCLC 4 for french) and speaking and listening english skills of at least CLB 5 (NCLC 4 for french).


Keep in mind that although there is no education requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, it is a points based system, so if you want to improve your rank in the Express Entry pool, the higher your level of education, the better!

But there’s more…


Pay attention, that is not all: In addition to the work experience, you need one of the following:

Have a full-time qualified job offer in Canada for at least one year (within the NOCs mentioned above)


A certificate of qualification in that specialized trade issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority.


For a qualified job offer

Sadly, having an employer that is willing to hire you for one of the positions mentioned above is not enough.

Said employer must also sponsor you and obtain an official official letter from the Government of Canada that states that they have tried to fill the position with a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident with no success. This process is called LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) and it is the only way your job offer will be valid for your Express Entry profile and make you eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

If you have doubts whether your job offer is considered qualified for your profile, get in touch with one of our regulated immigration consultants.


For a certificate of qualification.



The other way we mentioned for qualifying for the Federal Skilled Trades Program is to have a certificate of qualification issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority, regarding that specific trade.

Every province in Canada has a regulatory council that determines the criteria for one person to work in a certain field. When you come to study in Canada, some courses already gives you the certification upon completion, while others might require you to take another exam in order to qualify and be able to work in that position in Canada.

But if you wish to work in Canada without completing a study program first, in most cases, you can challenge the certification. Based on your previous studies and work experience, you might be able to take the exam without enrolling or completing any courses.

However, be careful! It might seem simple, but challenging the certification requires a lot of documentation – so be sure to talk to your immigration consultant to understand the best course of action for you.

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