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The Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program is one of the three programs under which you may qualify for permanent residence through the Express Entry system. To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • In the past 5 years, have completed 2 years of paid work (full-time, or equivalent in part-time, for a total of 3,120 hours) in a trade which falls under one of these groups from the National Occupational Classification (NOC):
      • Group 72, industrial, electrical and construction trades
      • Group 73, maintenance and equipment operation trades
      • Group 82, supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production
      • Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators
      • Group 632, chefs and cooks
      • Group 633, butchers and bakers

Meet all the job requirements for that trade, as specified in the NOC

Have either:

    • A certificate of qualification in your trade issued by a Canadian authority (provincial, territorial, or federal, as applicable to the trade), OR
    • a valid full-time job offer for at least 1 year after receiving permanent residence

Take a language test to show proficiency in either English (with the CELPIP or IELTS test) or French (with TEF or TCF). The scores are standardized according to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB). The minimum scores required are:

    • Reading and Writing – CLB 4
    • Speaking and Listening – CLB 5

Show proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and each dependent family member (spouse or partner and children, whether accompanying or not), unless you are authorized to work in Canada and have a valid job offer.

As long as you meet the requirements above, you may enter the “pool” of candidates by uploading a profile through Express Entry (EE). EE is a platform used to competitively rank candidates against each other by assigning a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score to each profile. The FST program is based on the above qualifications and there is no point system associated with this category. However, as FST applicants must apply through EE, CRS points will determine whether an applicant is given an invitation to apply (ITA). This means that some candidates who meet the minimum FST requirements may not receive an invitation to apply (ITA) through EE. To increase the likelihood of receiving an ITA, an applicant can provide documents to increase CRS points. For instance, although there is no minimum education threshold, submitting proof of completed degrees or diplomas will make your profile more competitive for EE. This is one of many ways to increase your chances of being selected. Once your application is submitted, if properly completed, you may obtain Canadian permanent residence in approximately 6 months. There are several specifications which apply to each supporting document in an application, such as police clearances, education credentials, and valid job offers, where an error or omission could result in a refusal. Our lawyers, with over 25 years of experience in immigration law, can help you optimize your profile and ensure completeness and coherence in your permanent residence application.