Federal Skilled Trades (FST)

Federal Skilled Trade Program is a pathway for foreign nationals to Canadian permanent residency with experience in a skilled trade.

Foreign nationals with experience in skilled trade looking to immigrate to Canada under the Federal Skilled Trade Program pursue their permanent residency process by making an expression of interest through the Express Entry selection system. Under this program, the individual must have a valid job offer or a certificate of qualification to obtain permanent residence in any Canadian province or territory other than Quebec.

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Eligibility Requirements For Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP)

Foreign national candidates start their process of immigration under the Federal Skilled Trade program by determining where they meet the minimum requirements of the program or not. The minimum requirements of FSTP are as follows:

  • Language Proficiency: Candidate must take an approved language test in English or French for writing, reading, listening, and speaking and get a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark 5 for speaking and listening, and Canadian Language Benchmark 4 for reading and writing. The language test must not be more than 2 years old.
  • Experience: Candidate must have at least 2 years of full-time work experience or equivalent part-time work experience in a skilled trade within the 5 years before you apply.
  • Able To Demonstrate: Candidate will able to demonstrate that the skills and experience gained covers the essential duties of the occupation
  • Valid Job Offer or Certificate of Qualification: have valid job offers of continuous, paid, full-time employment (at least 30 hours a week) from up to two employers in Canada for at least one year OR a certificate of qualification from a provincial or territorial body. A certificate of qualification proves that a foreign national is qualified to work in a skilled trade occupation in Canada. With a certificate of qualification, applicants prove they have passed a certification exam or met all the requirements to practice their trade in a specific province or territory.


Skilled work experience eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Class falls under the following categories of the National Occupational Classification (NOC)

  • 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 utility supervisors and central control operators,
  • Minor Group 632: chefs and cooks, and
  • Minor Group 633: butchers and bakers.

FSTC candidates must plan to reside outside the province of Quebec. The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers through a unique immigration system. If you plan on immigrating to Quebec, please visit the Quebec Skilled Worker Program page for more information.


Under the Federal Skilled Worker Program if a candidate is without an arranged employment must declare sufficient settlement funds upon entering the Express Entry pool. This must be proven while making an application for permanent residence. The requirement increases depending on family size.


These funds must be available, transferable and unencumbered by debts or other obligations. The settlement funds requirement must be met at the time the application is made, as well as when the permanent resident visa is issued.

Federal Skilled Trades Program And Express Entry

The Federal Skilled Trade (FST) program is one of three federal economic programs managed by the Government of Canada’s Express Entry system. This means that in order to begin the process of immigrating to Canada as a tradesperson, you must first create an online Express Entry profile and obtain a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The CRS determines your ranking in the Express Entry pool based on factors like skills, work experience, language ability, education and others.

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