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Federal Skilled Trades

Forge your future in Canada through the Federal Skilled Trades Program, crafting a pathway to residency with your valuable skills.

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Federal Skilled Trades for Skillful Traders

The Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program is a Canadian immigration program designed for individuals who are skilled in a specific trade and want to become permanent residents of Canada. The program is managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and is one of the economic immigration programs under the Express Entry system.


Minimum requirements
  • Meet minimum language requirements.
  • Have a minimum of two years of skilled Canadian work experience within the last 5 years.
  • Must 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 provincial, territorial, or federal authority

No minimum requirement


Speaking and Listening – CLB 5

Reading and Writing – CLB 4


Must be admissible to Canada

Proof of funds

Must show that you have enough financial support to settle in Canada unless you:

  • are currently able to legally work in Canada
  • have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada

Work experience requirements

  • To apply under this stream, you must have a minimum of 2 years of full-time or equalling part-time work experience within the last 5 years.
  • FST program is organized under the following NOC groups:
    • Major Group 72, technical trades and transportation officers and controllers excluding Sub-Major Group 726, transportation officers, and controllers
    • Major Group 73, general trades
    • Major Group 82, supervisors in natural resources, agriculture, and related production
    • Major Group 83, occupations in natural resources and related production
    • Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing, and utility supervisors, and utility operators and controllers
    • Major Group 93, central control and process operators and aircraft assembly assemblers and inspectors, excluding Sub-Major Group 932, aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors.
    • Minor Group 6320, cooks, butchers, and bakers
    • Unit Group 62200, chefs
  • How to calculate work experience?
    • Full-time at one job – 1 year full-time work experience is 30 hours per week for 12 months or 1,560 hours at one job.
    • Equalling part-time – 1 year full-time is 15 hours per week for 24 months or 1,560 hours. This may be in more than one job.
    • Full-time work at more than one job – 1 year full-time work experience is 30 hours per week for 12 months or 1,560 hours at more than one job.
  • The work experience for FST only counts after the candidate has qualified to practice independently in the occupation.
  • Work hours that exceed the 30-hour cap per week are not counted.


There are no minimum education requirements for the FST stream. You can increase your CSR score with high levels of education. This may be Canadian education or equalling foreign education.

Language requirements

English or French levels are measured by:

Currently, the following language tests are admissible by IRCC.


  • CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program – General test
  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System – General Training option


  • TEF Canada: Test devaluation de francais
  • TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du francais

Note: The Pearson Test of English Essential (PTE Essential) is anticipated to be accepted by IRCC as of late 2023.

If your application is successful, where can you live in Canada?

  • You can live in any province except Quebec.
  • If you are accepted under a Provincial Nominee Program, you must live in the relevant province.

The application process for the Federal Skilled Trades Program involves several steps

  1. Determine eligibility: The first step is to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. This includes having at least two years of work experience in a skilled trade, meeting the language requirements, having a job offer or certificate of qualification, and being admissible to Canada.
  2. Create an Express Entry profile: If you meet the eligibility requirements, the next step is to create an Express Entry profile. This involves providing information about your work experience, education, language proficiency, and other details that are used to calculate your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.
  3. Submit your profile: Once your profile is complete, you can submit it to the Express Entry pool. You will be ranked based on your CRS score and may receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence if you are among the highest-ranking applicants.
  4. Submit a complete application: If you receive an ITA, you must complete a permanent residence application within 60 days. This involves providing supporting documents, such as proof of language proficiency, education, work experience, and other details about your background.
  5. Medical and security checks: Once your application is received, IRCC will conduct medical and security checks to ensure that you are admissible to Canada.
  6. Receive confirmation of permanent residence: If your application is approved, you will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a permanent resident visa (if applicable). You will need to present these documents to a border officer when you arrive in Canada.