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Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP)

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)


The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) plays a vital role in Canada’s strategy to address labor shortages in trade occupations. The FSTP offers several advantages, including a relatively swift path to permanent residency within approximately six months through the Express Entry system. To be eligible, applicants must satisfy skilled trades work experience, job offer or certificate of qualification, and language ability


1. Skilled Trade Work Experience (FSTP)

Applicants must have at least 2 years of full time experience (3,120 hours) or part-time experience with a total work hour of 3,120 hours within the 5 years before the application. To qualify, applicants must meet the job requirements specified in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) for their skilled trade and demonstrate their performance of all essential duties and the majority of main duties outlined in the NOC’s lead statement. Applicants must demonstrate that their experience aligns with the NOC’s description and that they are qualified to independently practice the trade occupation during the work.


According to IRCC as of September, 2023, Skilled trades NOC groups in demand include…

● Major Group 72, technical trades and transportation officers and controllers

● Major Group 73, general trades

● Major Group 82, supervisors in natural resources, agriculture and related production

● Major Group 83, occupations in natural resources and related production

● Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors, and utilities operators and controllers

● Major Group 93, central control and process operators and aircraft assembly assemblers and inspectors, excluding Sub-Major Group 932, aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors

● Minor Group 6320, cooks, butchers and bakers

● Unit Group 62200, chefs


2. Job Offer or Certificate of Qualification (FSTP)

A certificate of qualification serves as proof of your eligibility to work in a specific skilled trade within Canada, indicating that you have successfully passed a certification exam and met all the prerequisites for practicing that trade within the issuing province or territory. Depending on the issuing body, it may be referred to as either a “certificate of qualification” or a “qualification certificate.” To obtain this certificate, the relevant provincial, territorial, or federal authority assesses your training, trade experience, and skills to determine your eligibility to take a certification exam. Each province and territory has its unique requirements and certification process for obtaining this qualification, which may involve in-person assessment or necessitate Canadian employment to gain relevant experience and training. For detailed information on the assessment process, please refer to the governing body’s website in the province or territory where you intend to reside and work.


3. Language Ability (FSTP)

Applicants must demonstrate their language ability through approved language tests in English with minimum scores equivalent to CLB 5 in speaking and listening and CLB 4 in reading and writing. The applicants can enter the test results in their Express Entry profiles, and the test scores are valid for up to 2 years and must be valid on the day of application. 


4. Education (FSTP)

While there is no education requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, a certificate, diploma or degree earned in Canadian institutions or foreign education can contribute to a candidate’s ranking in the Express Entry pool.


In Summary

The minimum requirements for FSTP include…


● 2 years of full-time work experience or an equal amount of part-time work (3,120 hours) in the skilled trade in the 5 years before the application while demonstrating their ability to perform the job individually

● Job offers of full-time employment (continuous, paid, & 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 authority

● Language Proficiency: CLB 5 in speaking and listening and CLB 4 in reading and writing

● No educational requirement but can increase the rank by submitting

● certificates, diplomas, degrees from Canadian institutions or 

● a completed educational credential and Educational Credential Assessment for foreign institutions 


Meeting these minimum prerequisites leads to an evaluation based on additional selection factors, including age, education, work experience, job offers, language proficiency, and adaptability. Successful candidates receive an overall score out of 100, with the current pass mark set at 67 points, paving the way for permanent residency in Canada.

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