Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) applications are assessed based on an applicant's ability to become economically established upon immigration to Canada.

Eligible candidates for the Federal Skilled Trades Program must make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada through the Express Entry selection system for immigration to Canada.

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The FSTC allows individuals with job offers or appropriate certification to work in certain occupations to obtain Canadian permanent residence in any Canadian province or territory other than Quebec.

Find out admission targets for this program in Canada's multi-year immigration levels plan for 2018-2020.

Eligibility Criteria for the FSTC

In order to qualify for a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa, Federal Skilled Trades applicants must:

  • have offers of employment from up to two employers in Canada of at least one year duration OR a Certificate of Qualification* from a provincial or territorial body;
  • provide proof of basic language proficiency from a designated language testing organization, demonstrating that the applicant meets the minimum threshold set by the Minister — Canadian Level Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening, CLB 4 for reading and writing;
  • have obtained 2 years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work)  in the skilled trade in the five years before applying; and
  • be able to demonstrate the skills and experience and that they have performed the essential duties of the occupation.

Skilled work experience eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Class fall into the following general Skilled Trades categories of the 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, and
  • Minor Group 633: butchers and bakers.

FSTC applicants must plan to reside outside the province of Quebec. The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers through a unique immigration system. If prospective applicants plan on living in Quebec, visit the Quebec Skilled Worker Program page for more information.

FSTC and Express Entry

The FSTC is one of three programs managed by the Government of Canada's Express Entry system. This means that in order to begin the process immigrating to Canada as a tradesperson must first create an online Express Entry profile to get a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and become ranked against other candidates in Express Entry pool.

Generally, FSTC candidates may have lower CRS scores than other Express Entry candidatesFederal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) — because they are not required to prove their level of education to enter the pool. 

Since the inception of the Express Entry system in 2015, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) has held three program-specific draws where FSTC candidates were prioritized. See a complete overview of Express Entry draws that have taken place so far. 

 *A Certificate of Qualification proves that person is qualified to work in certain skilled trade in Canada. With a Certificate of Qualification, applicants prove they have passed a certification exam or met all the requirements to practice their trade in a specific province or territory. 

Complete our free asssessment form to find out if you are eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC).

Tools and Resources

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