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You often read that skilled workers have a huge demand in Canada. From federal immigration programs to provincial nomination programs, there are plenty of pathways open for skilled workers to migrate to Canada.

But, what if you are a tradesperson? What if you are specialized in a skilled trade and aspire to settle in Canada based on your trade skills? Is there any possibility for you to obtain a permanent residency in Canada?

To answer all these questions and give a good news to skilled traders, we are writing this guide that will help them in obtaining a permanent residency through the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

What is the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

The Federal Skilled Trades Program, also known as FSTP is one of the 4 programs managed by Canada Express Entry. This program helps foreign skilled traders to apply for permanent residency status through the Express Entry portal and get a PR status in Canada upon meeting the required eligibility criteria.

The Federal Skilled Trades Program was launched by Citizenship and Immigration Canada in order to address the growing labour shortages in the Canada, especially in the trade sector. Each year, nearly 3000 skilled tradespersons are allowed to apply for a Canadian PR status through the Federal Skilled Trades program.

Occupants for this visa program are selected based on points grid and a list of skilled trade. These skilled trades are in accordance with the National Occupational Classification (NOC) list of Canada.

Candidates who are positively selected for a Canadian PR through the FSTW program are given right to live in Canada for long-term and work full-time in their specialized trade occupation. They are also allowed to apply for Canadian citizenship after completing a stay of 3 years in Canada.

How does the Federal Skilled Trades Program work in Canada?

The Federal Skilled Trades Program came as a solution to address all the hiring challenges of trade's positions such as welding, plumbing, crane operations, building etc.

It is through this program Canadian employers are able to bring in the required labour and retain them for a long period in their companies because of the permanent residency benefits.

It is said that this program has been of a huge benefit in addressing the shortage of skilled labour in Canada. It has made a positive difference in many Canadian sectors.

In the coming years too, the Canada Federal Skilled Trades Worker visa will be of a great help to both aspiring tradesmen and Canadian employers.

What are the requirements for Federal Skilled Trades Program?

5 basic requirements of the Federal Skilled Trades Program

Who is eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

A skilled trade worker who is able to meet the below requirements is eligible to apply for Canada PR under the Federal Skilled Trades Program:

  • Intention to live anywhere in Canada except Quebec.
  • Minimum 2 years of full-time work experience (or an equivalent part-time work experience) in the selected trade, gained within past 5 years.
  • Ability to meet the job requirements and take up position of the selected trade.
  • Ability to score at least CLB 5 in IELTS, in order to prove adequate English language skills.
  • Good health, moral character and sufficient funds to manage immigration and post-immigration expenses in Canada.
  • Either have a certificate of qualification in the selected trade or a job offer from a Canadian employer which is valid for 1 year.

Note: If you want to prove your eligibility through the certification of qualification instead of a valid job offer, your certification must be issued by a federal, provincial or territorial authority of Canada.

How do you apply to the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

Now that you know the basic requirements of the Federal Skilled Trades Visa program, let us help you understand the process from start-to-finish along with the related details.

Step 1: Undergo Profile Evaluation

As you read above, you need to first meet the eligibility criteria before you can proceed with the process. Evaluation experts who are specialized in immigration eligibility check can help you in understanding whether you are eligible or not.

Step 2: Check the Trade List

It is important that the trade you specialize in is listed on the trades list of the FSTW program. Keep reading to find out the trade list in the end of this blog.

Step 3: Attempt IELTS (optional)

While most consultants urge to have the IELTS requirement met before creating your Express Entry profile, some suggest it as a part of the process. However, to be on a safer side, attempt IELTS before you sign up for the visa. This will help you be assured whether you will qualify on language parameters or need to work harder.

Step 4: Seek a Certificate of Job Offer

You must have a certificate of qualification issued by a Canadian territory, province or its Federal authorities. In case you are unable to obtain the certificate, you have to strive for a job offer in your specialized trade from a Canadian employer.

Our job search experts can help you understand the labour market of Canada and your scope of employment.

Step 5: Create an Express Entry Profile

Once you are all set with the eligibility requirements, you can create your Express Entry profile. This is also known as Expression of Interest and is considered as your initial application for the visa.

This profile must feature all asked details authentically. You will not be charged any fee to create this initial application.

Note: You must undergo an Education Credential Evaluation before submitting your initial application. This is asked so as to assess that your education meets the standards of Canadian education.

What kind of details must be provided?

During the initial application, you are required to provide all details like your work history, personal details, marital status, family details, identity along with supporting documents. Based on these details, your profile gets points. These points then help in getting you a Comprehensive Ranking in the Pool. Also known as the CRS, this ranking will be the selection criteria of your application.

Step 6: Reach Required CRS

The Comprehensive Ranking Score or CRS is the prime aspect considered in selecting your application for the FSTW visa. Though there is no minimum requirement of CRS, you have to ensure that it is meeting to the trend of Canada Express Entry Draws.

When you refer these draws of Express Entry, you will find the cut-off score of the FSTW program. This means that applications that are able to reach that score or higher have a scope of quick success. The ones will low score need to strive for a better score or remain in the pool till the CRS drops down.

To improve CRS score for Canada Express Entry:

One of the primary reason that may resulting you to low CRS is your work experience. While a minimum of 2 years’ experience is eligible, higher experience gets higher points. So, to improve your CRS, you can gain more experience (part-time or full-time) and update your profile.

Another way to improve your CRS is by re-attempting IELTS and getting a higher CLB.

In rare cases, a provincial nomination can help skilled trade workers to improve their CRS score. For this you need to check the Canada PNP programs that qualify tradesperson and apply for a nomination under the specific program. If the province selects your PNP application and nominates you for PR visa, you get 600 more points on your current CRS.

Step 7: Complete ITA formalities

After you reach the desired CRS and selected in an upcoming Canada Express Entry FSTW Draw, you are issued with an Invitation to Apply. You are given a time of 60 days to fulfil all the associated documentation formalities.

Step 8: Undergo medicals & police clearance

In order to prove that you are neither a medical burden nor a criminal threat to Canada, you have to undergo medicals and police clearance respectively. The authorities will issue you medical certificate and police clearance certificate which you must submit with your final PR visa application.

Step 9: Submit Documents and PR application

You are then required to submit your final PR visa application along with fee payment and supporting documents. This application is verified and approval status is given through your Express Entry account. Of all the applicants submitted, 80% applications of the FSTW program is usually processed within 6 months.

Step 10: Passport Stamping at Embassy

After you receive your visa, you must then go to the Embassy or Consulate for passport and visa stamping. With this step, you are officially declared as a permanent resident of Canada on papers. You can book your tickets within the stated landing date (on your visa) and fly to Canada.

What are the types of trades accepted for FSTW visa?

This program allows 3000 applicants to apply each year. Nearly 26 occupations are allowed to apply. However, 17 occupations have a cap of 100 applications.

It is equally important to know that occupations of NOC Skill Level B are eligible to apply. These jobs are technical jobs and skilled trades that either require a college diploma or apprenticeship training.

While we have listed here all the eligible occupations of the FSTW program (along with their NOC code), the highest in-demand occupants are electricians, welders, cooks, machinists, carpenters, plumbers and mechanics.

Federal Skilled Trades Program - List of Eligible Occupations

Minor Group 632 - Chefs and cooks

  • 6321 Chefs
  • 6322 Cooks

Minor Group 633 - Butchers and bakers

  • 6331 Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers - retail and wholesale
  • 6332 Bakers

Major Group 72 - Industrial, electrical and construction trades

Minor Group 720 - Contractors and supervisors, industrial, electrical and construction trades and related workers

  • 7201 Metal forming, shaping and erecting trades, Contractors and supervisors, machining and related occupations
  • 7202 Electrical Trades And Telecommunications Occupations, Contractors and supervisors
  • 7203 Pipefitting Trades, Contractors and supervisors
  • 7204 Carpentry Trades, Contractors and supervisors,
  • 7205 Contractors and supervisors, installers, repairers and servicers, other construction trades

Minor Group 723 - Machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades

  • 7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
  • 7232 Die andTool makers
  • 7233 Sheet metal workers
  • 7234 Boilermakers
  • 7235 Structural metal, plate work fabricators, fitters
  • 7236 Ironworkers
  • 7237 Welders and machine operators

Minor Group 724 - Electrical trades and electrical power line and telecommunications workers

  • 7241 Electricians (except Power and industrial system)
  • 7242 Industrial electricians
  • 7243 Power system electricians
  • 7244 Electrical power cable and line workers
  • 7245 Telecommunications line and cable workers
  • 7246 Telecommunications Repair and installation workers
  • 7247 Cable television service and maintenance technicians

Minor Group 725 - Plumbers, pipefitters and gas fitters

  • 7251 Plumbers
  • 7252 Steamfitters, sprinkler system installers and pipefitters
  • 7253 Gas fitters

Minor Group 727 - Carpenters and cabinetmakers

  • 7271 Carpenters
  • 7272 Cabinetmakers

Minor Group 728 - Masonry and plastering trades

  • 7281 Bricklayers
  • 7282 Concrete finishers
  • 7283 Tilesetters
  • 7284 Drywall installers, Plasterers, and finishers and lathers

Minor Group 729 - Other construction trades

  • 7291 Roofers and shinglers
  • 7292 Glaziers
  • 7293 Insulators
  • 7294 Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)
  • 7295 Floor covering installers

Major Group 73 - Equipment Operation Trades and Maintenance

Minor Group 730 - Maintenance trades, Contractors and supervisors, and heavy equipment and transport operators

  • 7301 Mechanic trades; Contractors and supervisors
  • 7302 Heavy equipment operator crews, Contractors and supervisors
  • 7303 Printing and related occupations, Supervisors
  • 7304 Railway Transport Operations, Supervisors
  • 7305 Motor Transport, Supervisors, and other ground transit operators

Minor Group 731 - Transportation Equipment and Machinery mechanics (except motor vehicle)

  • 7311 Industrial Mechanics and Construction millwrights
  • 7312 Mechanics related to Heavy-duty equipment
  • 7313 Air Conditioning and Refrigeration mechanics
  • 7314 Railway women/ Carmen
  • 7315 Aircraft inspectors and aircraft mechanics
  • 7316 Fittters for Machine
  • 7318 Elevator mechanics and constructors

Minor Group 732 - Automotive service technicians

    7321 Truck And Bus Mechanics, Automotive service technicians, and mechanical repairers 7322 Motor body repairers

Minor Group 733 - Other mechanics and related repairers

  • 7331 Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics
  • 7332 Appliance repairers and servicers
  • 7333 Electrical mechanics
  • 7334 All-Terrain Vehicle, Motorcycle, and other related mechanics
  • 7335 Small equipment repairers and Other small engine

Minor Group 736 - Train crew operating occupations

  • 7361 Yard and Railway locomotive engineers
  • 7362 Brakemen/women and Railway conductors

Minor Group 737 - Crane operators, drillers and blasters

  • 7371 Crane operators
  • 7372 Drillers and blasters - quarrying, surface mining, and construction
  • 7373 Water well drillers

Minor Group 738 - Printing press operators and other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.

  • 7381 Printing press operators
  • 7384 Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.

Major Group 82 - Technical and Supervisor occupations in natural resources, and related production

Minor Group 821 - Supervisors, Forestry and logging

  • 8211 Logging, Supervisors and forestry

Minor Group 822 - Contractors and supervisors, gas, mining, oil

  • 8221 Supervisors, quarrying, and mining
  • 8222 Oil And Gas Drilling, Contractors and supervisors, and services

Minor Group 823 - Underground miners, oil and gas drillers and related occupations

  • 8231 Development miners and Underground production
  • 8232 Testers And Related Workers, Oil and gas well drillers, servicers

Minor Group 824 - Logging machinery operators

  • 8241 Logging machinery operators

Minor Group 825 - Agriculture, Contractors and supervisors, horticulture and related operations and services

  • 8252 Farm Supervisors, Agricultural service contractors, and specialized livestock workers
  • 8255 Landscaping, Grounds Maintenance, Contractors and supervisors, and horticulture services

Minor Group 826 - Fishing vessel masters and fisherwomen/men

  • 8261 Fishing Officers and masters
  • 8262 Fisherwomen/Men

Major Group 92 - Manufacturing, Processing, utilities supervisors and central control operators

Minor Group 921 - Processing, Supervisors, and manufacturing occupations

  • 9211 Mineral And Metal Processing Supervisors
  • 9212 Supervisors- gas, petroleum, and chemical processing and utilities
  • 9213 Supervisors, beverage, food and associated products processing
  • 9214 Supervisors, rubber and plastic products manufacturing
  • 9215 Supervisors, forest related products processing
  • 9217 Supervisors, , fabric, fur, textile and leather products processing and manufacturing

Minor Group 922 - Supervisors, fabrication and assembly

  • 9221 Supervisors related to motor vehicle assembling
  • 9222 Supervisors related to electronics manufacturing
  • 9223 Supervisors related to electrical products manufacturing
  • 9224 Supervisors, fixtures and furniture manufacturing
  • 9226 Supervisors, other metal and mechanical products manufacturing
  • 9227 Supervisors, other products manufacturing and assembly

Minor Group 923 - Central control and manufacturing and process operators in processing

  • 9231 Central control, process operators and mineral and metal processing
  • 9232 Petroleum, Chemical and gas process operators
  • 9235 Pulping, coating control and papermaking operators

Minor Group 924 - Utilities equipment operators and controllers

  • 9241 Power Systems and power engineers operators
  • 9243 Water and waste treatment plant operators

How to check your eligibility for federal skilled worker trade program?

To check your eligibility for Federal Skilled Worker Trades Program, you have to first refer the eligible job list and find out if your job is listed. Also, you need to determine your CRS score.

The best suggested way to find out your eligibility is to consult our immigration experts.

Why hire us to help with your skilled trade application?

Kansas Overseas Careers has been a specialist in processing Canada visas. From Federal Skilled Worker visa applications to FSTW programs to Quebec skilled visa process, we help candidates in processing visas of their choice.

The major reason of why you should choose us is our 360 settlement support in processing your visa. We not only help you in documentation part but also help you in searching for a job that relates to your profile. After your migration process, we also provide you assistance for finding an affordable accommodation in Canada.

What's more? Our support does not end with your visa process. We are at your assistance for upto 6 months from the time you immigrate. To understand more about us and our services, reach out to us on 1800-102-0109 or write to us at info@kansaz.com.