Federal Skilled Trades Program

Immigration to Canada - Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Canadian Federal Skilled Trades Program offers potential immigrants who are qualified in a skilled trade the opportunity to quickly become a permanent resident of Canada.

This program is for people with skilled trade work experience and there is no minimum education requirement to apply under this program. 

The Canada Federal Skilled Trade Program now operates through the Canadian Express Entry immigration selection system.

Also if you want to apply under Federal Skilled Trades Program then you must plan to live outside of Quebec as Quebec has its own immigration programs.

Federal Skilled Trades Eligibility Checklist-

Minimum eligibility requirements for Federal Skilled Trades Program

The minimum eligibility requirements for Immigration to Canada under Federal Skilled Trades Program through Express Entry is explained in detail below.

Fulfilling this eligibility criterion is a must as without this basic eligibility you will not be allowed to apply at all.

The eligibility requirements are:

  1. Skilled Work Experience,
  2. Minimum Language Ability and
  3. Ability to Work in Canada

1. Skilled Work Experience

In the last five years period,
– you have skilled work experience of minimum 2 years full time (more than 30 hours per week) or 4 years part time (15 hours per week for part time)
– you were paid salary for that work
– your job was in one of the following NOC groups classified under skill type B, and your duties matched the description of these jobs:

  • 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 83, occupations in natural resources and related production,
  • Major Group 92: Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities Supervisor and Central Control operators,
  • 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.

Your duties must match the descriptions given in the 2021 version of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Without this the application will not be accepted.

2. Minimum Language Ability

You must demonstrate that you have at least an intermediary level of either English or French, the two Canadian official languages.

You have to demonstrate your ability in all four modules: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing
And for your choice of First Language and Second Language among, English and French.

Depending on your choice of first language you must show your language ability in at least one of the languages, English or French.

You must take the requisite test before submitting your profile for the Express Entry Pool

For those choosing English as first language must sit for an IELTS-General Training exam and score minimum

Speaking5.0 Band
Listening5.0 Band
Reading3.5 Band
Writing4.0 Band


For French as a First Language minimum score in TEF (Test D’evaluation de Francais) Exam must be:

Speaking226 or above
Listening181 or above
Reading121 or above
Writing181 or above


3. Ability to Work in Canada

You have a valid full time job offer for at least one year. You will be eligible even if you have job offers from maximum two employers and the total work hours per week are minimum 30.


You have a certificate of qualification in your skilled trade from a Canadian province.

A valid job offer means that your employer has obtained a positive LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) with your name and position OR

you are already working in Canada on a work permit that was issued based on a positive LMIA or your work permit is exempt from an LMIA and your employer has offered you a job offer of at least one year after you get your permanent residence status.

A certificate of qualification means is issued by each province and territory through a designated agency or organization. This certificate authorizes trades people to work in their trade throughout that Province or Territory. For complete details on Certificate of qualification read here.

If you have the minimum requirements to apply under the Federal Skilled Trades Program i.e the skilled work experience, minimum language ability, and valid job offer or certificate of qualification then you must create your online profile and submit it to Express Entry Pool.

The Express Entry Program manages applications for Immigration to Canada for people with Skilled Trades Experience under the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

If you are eligible to apply under this Program then you must rank yourself according to the Comprehensive Ranking System.

Education for Skilled Trades Program

There is no minimum educational requirement for application under Federal Skilled Trades Program to Immigrate to Canada, but you can get points for any education equal to or above Canadian High School. To get those points in the Comprehensive Ranking System, you must get your educational credentials assessed from the designated organisation for your trade in Canada. You must include the results of the assessment in your profile and application.

Express Entry System

To apply for Immigration to Canada under Federal Skilled Trades Program you need to create an online profile and submit it to the Express Entry Pool. Here each profile is ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

Regular Express Entry Draws take place, where Invitation to Apply are sent out to the qualifying candidates. The invited candidates have to update their profile and submit all required documents online within 60 days. 

Click here to know more about the Express Entry System for Canada Immigration.

Federal Skilled Trades Application Process

Once you have determined your eligibility for Federal Skilled Trades Program, you must get your:

  • Language Ability Test results
  • Educational Credentials Assessment results (if you want to claim points for education under Comprehensive Ranking System)
  • Valid job offer or Certificate of Qualification from one of the Canadian Provinces other than Quebec

After that you must create your Express Entry Profile and submit it to the Express Entry Pool. Here your profile will be ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System. Once your profile comes up in the Express Entry Draws you will get an Invitation to Apply for Immigration to Canada under Federal Skilled Trades Program.

You now have to file your application along with all the documents within 60 days of getting the ITA (Invitation to Apply).

The main documents that you will require are Valid Job offer from a Canadian Employer and/or Certificate of Qualification, Your Experience Certificate(s), Language Ability Test results, Police Clearance Certificate, Medical Exam, and Educational Credentials Assessment.

Preparations and Application Phases

Once you have determined that you are eligible, you should prepare to apply for Immigration to Canada through Express Entry System.

Below is the explanation of different phases of planning, preparing and application:

Phase 1

Before beginning the process of applying for immigration under Federal Skilled Trades program you must have either a valid job offer or a Qualification Certificate.  Given below are the details of both:

Valid Job Offer

For Federal Skilled Trades Program a valid job offer means an offer from a Canadian employer for continuous, full-time employment. The job offer must be for a period of at least one year.

Up to two Canadian employers can employ you for continuous full time work, which means for a total of 30 hours or more per week.

Under Express Entry, most job offers need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Only employers can apply for and get and LMIA. Candidates can not directly get one.

The LMIA verifies that Canadian labour market has a need for this type of worker, and that your employer(s) have tried to hire a Canadian or permanent resident first.

In some cases, your employer may not need an LMIA to support your job offer. Find out more about jobs that are exempt.

Qualification Certificate

In Canada many trades are regulated Provincially or Federally. Which means that to be able to work in those trades one must have the required qualifications and work experience.

Certificate of Qualification or Qualification Certificate is a certificate that certifies that the individual holding that certificate has the required training, qualification and experience to work in that trade independently.

As a foreign trained tradesperson, one can get the Qualification Certificate by demonstrating that you have the skills, Knowledge and experience required to work in your trade.

You can do this by showing your work experience, passing a theory exam and/or complete a competency assessment.

Every Province has a designated organisation for each regulated trade to issue Certificate of Qualification.

Given here are the links to each Provincial Agency responsible to issue Certificate of Qualification:

Some trades like Airplane Mechanic may be regulated by the Federal Agencies. Check Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials website  to find out about those.

You may have to travel to the Province of your choice to get your certificate of Qualification.

Proceed to phase 2 only when you have one of the two above mentioned documents.

Phase 2

Language Skills

Now that you have your Job Offer or Certificate of Qualification, you must sit for IELTS to show your language ability. Your spouse should also appear in the IELTS as that will improve your overall CRS rank. If you know French then you must also appear for TEF.

In case you already have your language ability test results and want to use those make sure the test results are not more than 2 years old.

You will not be able to create your Express Entry Profile without these results.

Educational Credentials Assessment

Although no minimum education level is required for this program and you don’t need to show any proofs, it will help in improving your CRS rank if you get your Educational Credentials Evaluated.

You will only get points for your education which is equal to or above secondary/high school. So, if your education is below secondary/high school then you don’t need to get the credentials assessed.

The designated organizations for Educational Credentials Assessment are:

  1. Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
  2. International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
  3. World Education Services
  4. International Qualifications Assessment Service
  5. International Credential Evaluation Service
  6. Medical Council of Canada
  7. Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (professional body for Pharmacists)

You must contact directly the one authorized for your education assessment. They may take up to 20 weeks for assessment so apply as soon as possible.

Phase 3

Express Entry Profile

After you get your language test results and educational Credential assessment report (if applied for ) you should complete and submit your Express Entry profile online.

Create your profile at the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada website. You will receive an email regarding submission of your profile and an Express Entry Profile Number will also be generated for you.

Phase 4

Invitation to Apply

When you get an invitation to apply for permanent resident status you will have 60 days to apply with all required documents. Log into your online account. Fill in the Application for Permanent Residence under Express Entry. Once you complete the form a document checklist will be generated.

The documents will be mainly to prove the information that you have given in your profile. You will also be asked to update any information that has changed since then.

You will need to upload the documents through your online account so make sure all your documents are in .jpg, .png, .doc, .docx, .pdf or .tiff formats.

Documents for Express Entry Application

  • Language test Results
  • Educational Credential Assessment Report (if Applied)
  • Proof of Work Experience
  • Police Certificates
  • Medical Exam
  • Marriage certificate (If married)
  • Valid job offer or qualification Certificate
  • Provincial nomination (If you have one)
  • Valid Passport
  • Photographs
  • Fees
  • Proof of funds (only if you don’t have job offer and have only Qualification Certificate)

For further clarification about documents check here.


Along with the above mentioned documents you will need to fill the application form. So be ready with the following information before you start the application. The following information is needed for the principal applicant, spouse and all dependent children over 18 years of age.

  • Skilled worker express entry comes under Economic Program
  • You must know your personal information like height, eye colour, distinguishing marks
  • Your current mailing address and residential address if different from mailing address and contact number
  • Your father and mother’s personal details that include
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Date of birth
    • Town/city and country of birth
    • Date of death (if applicable)
  • Details of your activities in the last 10 years or since the age of 18 if your age is less than 28 years. These activities are working, studying, unemployed or travelling etc. Make sure there are no gaps in between. You will need to provide month and year for start and end of each period
  • Details of any memberships of political, social, student, trade or professional associations that you hold or held in the past
  • All residential addresses including postal codes where you have lived in the past 10 years or since the age of 18 if your age is less than 28 years. Include addresses of any hostels where you have lived during the course of your studies
  • Personal details of your brothers, sisters, half or step brothers or sisters
  • If you have a representative then your representative’s name and contact information including email

Phase 5

After you submit your application for Canada Immigration along with the documents, it will take about 6 months for final approval from the Immigration Department of Canada.

At this time you will be asked to submit your and your family members passports for visa stamping.

You must submit the passports along with Right of Landing Fee as per the instructions at the VFS or Visa Office.

FAQs for Federal Skilled Trades Program for Immigration to Canada.

How is work experience calculated?

A Full Time work experience means 30 Hours per week and 1560 Hours per year. (Any hours that you have worked over 30 hours/week or 1560 hours/year will not be counted.)

An equal Part Time work means 15 hours/week for 2 years. Even if you have worked more or less than 15 hours each week, you will get the benefit if total hours add up to 1560 in 24 months.

You will get the benefit even if you have worked full time at more than 1 job. i.e. total 30 hours/week.

What are the Eligible Jobs for Federal Skilled Trades Program?

The occupations and jobs eligible to apply for Federal Skilled Trades Program in each major group are as under:

Major Group 72:

  • Industrial, Electrical and Construction trades
  • Contractors and Supervisors in Machining, Metal Forming, Shaping and Erecting, Electrical, Telecommunications, Pipefitting, Carpentry, and Construction Trades,
  • Machinists, Machining and Tooling Inspectors,
  • Tool and Die Makers, Sheet Metal Workers, Structural Metal and Platework Fabricators and Fitters, Boilermakers, Ironworkers and Welders,
  • Electrical Trades, Electrical Power Line and Telecommunication Workers,
  • Plumbers, Pipefitters and Gas Fitters,
  • Carpenters and Cabinetmakers,
  • Masonry and Plastering Trades,
  • Roofers, Glaziers, Insulators, and Painters

Major Group 73:

  • Maintenance and Equipment Operation trades
  • Contractors and Supervisors for maintenance trades and heavy equipment and Transport Operators,
  • Construction millwrights, Industrial Mechanics, Heavy-duty Equipment Mechanics,
  • Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Mechanics,
  • Railways Carmen/women, Aircraft Mechanics,
  • Machine Fitters and Elevator Mechanics,
  • Automotive Service Technicians, Truck and Bus Mechanics, Motor vehicle Body Repairers,
  • Oil Mechanics,
  • Appliance Servicers and Repairers, Electrical Mechanics,
  • Motorcycle, All-terrain Vehicle and Small Engine Mechanics,
  • Railway Engineers, Conductors and Brakemen/women,
  • Crane Operators, Drillers and Blasters,
  • Printing Press Operators

Major Group 82:

  • Supervisors and Technical jobs in Natural Resources, Agriculture and related production
  • Supervisors in Logging and Forestry,
  • Contractors and Supervisors in Mining, Oil and Gas,
  • Underground Miners, Oil and Gas Drillers,
  • Logging Machinery Operators,
  • Contractors and Supervisors in Agriculture, Horticulture, Landscaping,
  • Farm Supervisors and Specialized Livestock workers,
  • Fishing Vessel Masters and Fishermen/women 

Major Group 83:

  • Underground production and development miners
  • Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
  • Logging machinery operators
  • Fishing masters and officers
  • Fishermen/women

Major Group 92:

  • Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities Supervisor and Central Control operators,
  • Supervisors in Mineral and Metal Processing, Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Processing,
  • Supervisors in Food and Beverage Processing, Plastic and Rubber Products Manufacturing, Forest Products Processing,
  • Supervisors in textile, Fabric, Fur and Leather Products Processing and manufacturing,
  • Supervisors in Assembly, Fabrication and Manufacturing,
  • Control and Process Operators in Mineral and Metal Processing, Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Processing,
  • Pulping, Papermaking and Coating Control Operators,
  • Power Engineers, Power System Operators, Water and Waste Treatment Plant Operators

Major Group 93 

(Excluding Sub Group 932):

  • Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing
  • Central control and process operators, petroleum, gas and chemical processing
  • Pulping, papermaking and coating control operators

Minor Group 6320:

  • Cooks
  • Butchers
  • Bakers

Unit Group 62200:

  • Chefs