Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program
Last updated: October 3, 2019
Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program is designed to bring people with skilled trades to Canada, except for Quebec, on a permanent basis. Quebec has its own skilled immigration programs. Foreign nationals working in certain skilled trades might be eligible under this program.
What is a Skilled Trade?
As defined by Wikipedia “A tradesman, tradeswoman, tradesperson, skilled tradesman, skilled tradeswoman, skilled tradesperson or tradie refers to a worker who specializes in a particular occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often formal vocational education, but not a bachelor’s degree.”
Additionally, SettlementAtWork.org defines a skilled trade as an occupation that requires skilled labour, such as a carpenter, baker, plumber or electrician. For each skilled trade, there is a process for getting a certificate of qualification.
Foreign nationals working in certain skilled trades might be eligible under this program.
Eligible Skilled Trades
The skilled trades currently eligible under Federal Skilled Trades program must belong to one of the following major occupation groups:
- 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
- Minor Group 633, butchers and bakers
To be eligible for this program, you must meet the minimum requirements for skilled trade experience and language ability. There is no education requirement, but if you have a certificate, degree or diploma, that works for you in Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. Moreover, you either must have a job offer for at least one year or have a Canadian certificate of qualification. In a nutshell, you must;
- have worked for at least two (2) full years (3,120 hours) in a skilled trade within the last five (5) years
- meet the job requirements and occupational description in your skilled trade’s National Occupation Classification (NOC) code
- have scored at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in speaking and listening, and CLB 4 in writing and reading (significantly lower scores required compared to Federal Skilled Worker Program)
You either must have a job offer for at least one year or have a Canadian certificate of qualification.