Citizenship and Immigration Canada established the Federal Skilled Trades Class in order to promptly respond to labour shortages in parts of Canada that are experiencing explosive economic growth. The program will allow skilled workers in certain trades to obtain Canadian permanent residency. This is applicable especially to Canadian immigration applicants with training and work experience in certain in-demand trades, such as welders, crane operators, and electricians.
In its first year, the FST program will accept a maximum of 3,000 permanent resident applications for 43 eligible skilled trades, 17 of which are each restricted to annual sub-limits of 100 applications. It is applicable to all provinces and territories except for Quebec, which has its own skilled worker program.
Immigrate to Canada through the Federal Skilled Trades Class if you are qualified in an eligible skilled trade and meet the program’s criteria:
Immigrate to Canada through the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) with the help of this free infographic about CIC's new Canadian Immigration stream. Contact FWCanada for more details on how to apply.
All applicants must demonstrate at least basic proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening for at least one of Canada’s two official languages. Only results from an English or French CIC-designated language test will be accepted as proof of language proficiency.
Applicant must have obtained a minimum of 2 years full-time work experience in an eligible skilled trade. This must have been acquired within five years before the submission of you application. Applicants must have completed a full-time position for at least one year, or must have a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a provincial or territorial body.
*The qualifications of a full-time work are at least 30 hours of work over one week, or an amount equivalent in part-time work experience.
Meet the employment requirements for that skilled trade as outlined in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. Check the list of eligible occupations here.
Skilled Trades that are currently under eligibility for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) are categorized unde the following 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, and
- Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators.
Offer of Employment or Qualification Certificate
Applicants must have either
- A valid offer of employment for at least one year of continuous full-time work (a minimum of 30 hours a week)
- A qualification certificate for an eligible skilled trade issued by a Canadian province or territory. These certificates are issued by each individual province, thus each applicant should contact the proper authority in the province where they intend to reside in Canada. To determine whether they are eligible to write a certification exam, applicants will be assessed based on their credentials, experience, and skills. As the certification process differs regionally, applicants are urged to visit the website of each provincial trades body for more specific details.
Qualification Certificate Example: Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board (AAIT)
There are two types of designated trades in the province of Alberta:
Optional Certification Trade
In optional trades, an individual is not required to hold a trade certificate to work in their trade as long as the employer is satisfied with the knowledge and skills that the uncertified person has demonstrated. However, certification would provide you with an official document recognized throughout Alberta and possibly in other provinces across Canada. An Alberta Qualification Certificate is necessary if you are interested in applying for permanent residence under the Alberta Nominee Program Compulsory and Optional Trades Category.
Compulsory Certification Trade
Foreign workers looking to work in a compulsory trade must have a letter from Apprenticeship and Industry Training indicating that their application is approved. In this category, foreign workers much be certified under the Qualification Certificate Program, or have a recognized trade certificate.
Workers from outside of Canada that want to work in Alberta in a compulsory trade need to meet Alberta’s standards for their specific trade. Foreign workers may apply for certification under the Alberta Qualification Certificate Program.
How do become a certified tradesperson:
1. Find an employer in Alberta that will hire you as a temporary foreign worker.
2. Complete the Qualification Certificate Work Experience Application
3. Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) will verify your work experience in the trade and will notify you in writing as to whether your application has been approved.
4. Once your application has been approved, you will need to include your AIT Approval letter with your Canadian work permit application.
5. Within seven days of arriving in Alberta, you mush provide your Alberta mailing address, the name of your employer, phone number(s), and the date of your arrival to the International and Provincial Assessment Services office.
6. You are required to contact AIT to schedule your required examination(s) when you arrive in Alberta.
For more detailed instructions and further information on how to become a certified tradesperson in Alberta click here.
Note: Individuals will be required to meet all applicable federal temporary resident and admissibility criteria in order to obtain temporary resident status in Canada.
The Quebec Exception
Applicants must plan to live outside the province of Quebec (Note: The province of Quebec chooses its own skilled workers. IF you plan on living in Quebec, see Quebec-selested skilled workers for more information.
Cases arise where applicants are not allowed to come into Canada. Instances such as previously being involved in criminal activites, violation of human rights, health reasons, etc,. *In the case of inadmissibility to Canada, do not apply under the Federal Skilled Trades Program.