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Federal Skilled Trade Program

The Federal Skilled Trade Program is one of the three federal immigration pathways that is managed under the Express Entry System. Statistically, nearly half of all immigration programs are welcomed through skilled workers programs, including the Federal Skilled Trades Program. FST acts as a swift option to obtain a Canada PR, through which the applicant can work and settle anywhere in Canada. Like all Express Entry programs (CRS), allowing only the most competitive candidates to apply for a PR.

What are the potential advantages and limitations to receive an ITA?


  • IRCC conducts program specific draws for FST applicants with a CRS cut-off far below what other candidates need in order to be invited to apply. The first time it happened was in 2017 when FST applicants with CRS points of 199 or above were invited to apply. Specific draws have been conducted for FST candidates since then.
  • Having a valid job offer from a Canadian employer will help the applicant increase the CRS points that in turn increases the chances to receive the invitation to apply.
  • The language proficiency criteria to enter the Express Entry pool is lower for FTS applicants, as compared to Federal Skilled Workers Class (FSWC) and Canadian Economic Class (CEC).


  • There is no guarantee to be invited even if you are eligible to apply under the Federal Skilled Trades Class. However, as per the records IRCC has previously prioritized Federal Skilled Trades candidates, and may continue to do so.

What are the eligibility criteria for FSTW?

  • Language Proficiency: The applicant needs to submit results of language proficiency test with minimum of Level 5 as per the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in all four components: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. 
  • Work experience: The applicants need to demonstrate two years of full-time working experience (or its part-time equivalent) in the area of skilled trade in the last five years of the period. The applicant should also be able to show skills and knowledge under his experience can cover the job responsibilities 
  • A valid certificate of qualification or a full-time employment letter from a Canadian employer of at least one year is essential to qualify for the FSTP

What are the settlement funds requirements?

The FST applicants who do not acquire an arranged employment must have sufficient settlement funds if they enter the Express Entry pool. The claimed funds must be available and transferrable in addition to being debt and liability free. This declaration is made both at the time of FSTP application and while applying for a PR.  The funds requirement is claimed depending on the size of the applicant's family:

Number of family members Required funds (in CAD)
1 (single applicant) $12,669
2 $15,772
3 $19,390
4 $23,542
5 $26,701
6 $30,114
7 $33,528
For each additional family member, add $3,414

What are the eligible trades and caps on FSTP application?

CIC accepts a maximum of 3000 applications under Federal Skilled Trades Class every year. Eligible trades have two sub-categories:

  • Individual sub-caps of 100 application
  • No sub-caps

Following is the list of trades for which maximum of 100 applications is reached or until the total class cap of 3000 applications is reached:

  • 7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
  • 7204 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
  • 7205 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and services
  • 7271 Carpenters
  • 7301 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
  • 7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
  • 8211 Supervisors, logging and forestry
  • 8221 Supervisors, mining and quarrying
  • 8222 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling services
  • 8241 Logging machinery operators
  • 8252 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • 9211 Supervisors, mineral and metal processing
  • 9212 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
  • 9214 Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing
  • 9231 Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing
  • 9241 Power engineers and power systems operators
  • 9243 Water and waste treatment plant operators

The following list of trade applications shall be accepted until the total class cap of 3000 is reached, with no sub-cap applying:

  • 7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
  • 7233 Sheet metal workers
  • 7235 Structural metal and plate work fabricators and fitters
  • 7236 Ironworkers
  • 7237 Welders and related machine operators
  • 7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)
  • 7242 Industrial electricians
  • 7243 Power system electricians
  • 7244 Electrical power line and cable workers
  • 7245 Telecommunications line and cable workers
  • 7246 Telecommunications installation and repair workers
  • 7251 Plumbers
  • 7252 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
  • 7253 Gas fitters
  • 7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
  • 7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
  • 7313 Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
  • 7314 Railway carmen/women
  • 7315 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
  • 7318 Elevator constructors and mechanics
  • 7371 Crane operators
  • 7372 Drillers and blasters – surface, mining, quarrying and construction
  • 7373 Water well drillers
  • 8231 Underground production and development miners
  • 8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
  • 9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators

What is the application process of the FSTP?

Step 1. Ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements

The Federal Skilled Trade applicants are required to demonstrate 2 years of full time and (its part-time equivalent if applicable) experience in their specified skill trade. 

Demonstrating proficiency in language is also a prerequisite to apply for this program. For English, the recognised test is either IELTS or CELPIP and for French, the applicants need to take TEF. The candidates who can demonstrate language abilities in both French and English gain additional points.

Step 2. Create your Express Entry profile

The applicant should first create an Express Entry profile by providing personal information, work history, and other relevant details along with verified documentation. 

The FST applicants don’t have to prove their educational level in order to get into the Express Entry pool. This often becomes a reason why FST candidates have lower CRS points score. If the candidate provides the proof level of education, it can boost his CRS score for up to 150 points in addition to receiving 100 more points for proof of Canadian work experience and language proficiency. 

Another way to boost your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for a PR is to get your educational documents verified through ECA (Educational Credential Assessment). Completing your additional work experience or retaking your language test and scoring better results or analysing if your application is more eligible for an Express-entry aligned PNP stream. If you align to an Express Entry PNP stream and your experience or specific skill is in demand in that particular province, you can score up to a 600 bonus points.

Step 3. Receive an invitation to apply

Once the Express Entry application is submitted and you receive an Invitation to Apply, you shall have 60 days to submit a complete application. Invitation to Apply is received when the applicant gets chosen from the Express Entry draws conducted by IRCC.

Step 4. Submit documentations of Medical, Security and other Background checks

Applicants are then screened for medical and police verification check-ups. The medical exam should be conducted with an IRCC recognised medical professional. The police clearance certificate should be submitted from each country where the applicant has lived since the age of 18 for 6 months. This step also includes work related reference letters from previous employers.

All the above documentation should be submitted in the form of an e-application. It is advisable that the applicant gets all these background checks before they receive the ITA as there is a very tight timeline to be followed once you receive the ITA. 

Once you submit all the necessary documentation a Canadian immigration officer shall review your e-application and ask if anything else shall be required.

Step 5. Receive your PR confirmation and the PR card

Generally, the processing time taken for a Federal Skilled Trades application is 6 months. After the application is successfully approved, the candidate receives a confirmation and obtains a COPR document. The document is signed and dated by a Canadian officer at a Canadian entry port after the PR is granted. 

Once you receive the COPR, you can apply for a PR card, this card is used as a proof of your status in Canada when you travel outside Canada.

Get help with your Federal Skilled Trades application

To get assistance in preparing an application for a Canada PR book a session with our accredited representatives who can assist you in your immigration goals. Here at Nationwide, we help you assess your chances and guide you at every step of your Federal Skilled Trade Program application.

  • We provide qualification and education Assessment
  • Our experts help you create your documents checklist and other critical document templates
  • Resume writing
  • Provide you with consistent assistance on key documentation requirements
  • Help you create an online application and profile for your speedy Invitation to Apply
  • Provide free IELTS coaching