Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades Program is one of the three economic streams available under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (Immigration Canada) Express Entry program. The Federal Skilled Trades Program is the main program where foreign nationals, whom are trained in a skilled trade, will qualify. 

To qualify under the Federal Skilled Trades Program, a foreign national must demonstrate that they: 

  1. Have, at minimum, two years of full-time work experience, or the equivalent in part-time work experience, in a skilled trade, obtained within the last five years. The work experience must have been obtained in one of the skilled trades that is currently eligible under the Federal Skilled Trades Program;
  2. Have, at minimum, CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) 5 in speaking and listening, and CLB 4 in reading and writing, in either English or French;
  3. Meet the requirements for the skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC). The only exemption, is requiring a certificate of qualification; and
  4. Have an offer of full-time employment for one year, or that they hold a certificate of qualification issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority.

Immigration Canada is currently accepting applications from foreign nationals whose work experience falls under the following NOC groups:

  • Group 72 – industrial, electrical and construction trades
  • Group 73 – maintenance and equipment operation trades
  • Group 82 – supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production
  • Group 92 – processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators
  • Group 632 – chefs and cooks
  • Group 633 – butchers and baker

Under the Federal Skilled Trades Program there is no minimum education requirement. However, if one holds a foreign education diploma, they may still wish to have their education assessed by an approved agency in order to be awarded points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

If a foreign national meets the minimum criteria, their Express Entry profile will be placed in the pool of applicants. Once in the pool of applicants, a foreign national’s profile will be awarded points based on the information contained in their Express Entry profile, and then they will be ranked against all other candidates in the Express Entry pool. They will be awarded points based on the Express Entry CRS matrix.