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.

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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.


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
You can find which occupations fall under these major groups on the National Occupation Classification Matrix 2016, published by Employment and Social Development Canada.

Minimum Requirements

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)
Besides meeting the above requirements, you must be criminally, medically and financially admissible to Canada with no previous misrepresentation. In other words, you must have a clean police certificate, clean medical examination and enough financial means to support you and, if any, your dependents.

I will be happy to represent or assist you in your FST profile creation and permanent residence application. Please fill out the free assessment form to learn if you qualify to be a Federal Skilled Trades class person or directly book a consultation session with me to discuss in detail.