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Federal Skilled Trades Program 2018

The Canadian Federal Skilled Trades Program offers potential immigrants who are qualified in a skilled trade the opportunity to quickly become a permanent resident of Canada in an attempt to ensure that the country attracts and retains a skilled work force. The Canadian Government and Immigration Department developed the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) in 2013 in order to address the growing shortage of skilled workers in areas that were experiencing rapid growth due to the increasing strength of the economy. The economic immigration program was developed at the request of Canadian businesses and employers who were struggling to hire enough skilled workers to help them complete their work on time. The Canada Federal Skilled Trade Program now operates through the Canadian Express Entry immigration selection system.

Canada Federal Skilled Trades Program Elibility

There are a variety of different factors that affect an applicant's eligibility for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Skilled Trade Program applicants are assessed on their predicted ability to establish themselves in Canada economically.

Work Experience
The applicant must have at least 24 months of full-time experience (30+ hours per week) in the particular trade in the five years prior to the application being lodged. Part-time work that adds up to two years of full-time work also meets the requirements. This can be 24 months of working more than one job for a total of 30 hours/week, or a longer duration of part-time work (15+ hours each week) totalling 3,120 hours over a two-year period.

Language Proficiency
Applicants who wish to reside in Canada through the Skilled Trades Program must demonstrate that they have at least an intermediate grasp of either English or French. This can be done by taking a test through the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) for English, or the Test d’Evaluation de Francais (TEF) for French. The applicant will be tested on all four parts of the chosen language: speaking, reading, listening and writing. The prospective immigrant needs to score above the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) points in order to be found eligible for Federal Skilled Trades Class immigration.

  • For IELTS, the 2018 Federal Skilled Trades Program Canada requires CLB 5 for speaking (5.0+) and listening (5.0+), and CLB 4 for reading (3.5+) and writing (4.0+)
  • For CELPI, the Federal Skilled Trades Program 2018 requires CLB 5 for speaking (5+) and listening (5+), and CLB for reading (4+) and writing (4+)
  • For TEF, the 2018 Canada Federal Skilled Trades Program requires NCLC 5 for speaking (226+) and listening (181+), and NCLC 4 for reading (121+) and writing (181+)

Please note: all language testing must be completed with an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) approved agency.

Permanent Job Offer or Skilled Trade Qualification
In the case of a permanent job offer, the applicant must be able to supply proof that they have been offered a full-time job in Canada that adds up to 30 hours a week or more. This can also be applicable to two part-time job offers that will cover 30 hours a week.

If the applicant is qualified and holds a certification in their particular skilled trade, they do not necessarily need a job offer. Instead, the applicant needs to get hold of the regulatory body in the province or territory in which they intend to work, and through this provincial or territorial organization get their skilled trade qualifications certified.

Please note: it is likely that the applicant will have to travel to the province or area in which they wish to reside to get the certification done.

Satisfy Job Requirements
An applicant must be able to meet the requirements of one of the employment opportunities that is offered in the Federal Skilled Trades Program. There is a list of the possible jobs for applicants, and failure to meet either the relative certification or training for one of these jobs will result in failure to work in Canada through the program. We have listed all the eligible Federal Skilled Trades Program occupations below, as well as their National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes.

Work Outside Quebec
Quebec has its own skilled immigration program called the Quebec Skilled Trades Program, therefore prospective immigrants who are qualified in a skilled trade and wish to work and settle in Quebec are not able to got through the Federal Skilled Trades Program and must instead apply to the relevant authorities in Quebec. The Federal Skilled Trades Program is only for prospective immigrants who wish to live and work in British Columbia (BC), Alberta (AB), Saskatchewan (SK), Manitoba (MB), Ontario (ON), New Brunswick (NB), Nova Scotia (NS), Prince Edward Island (PEI), Newfoundland (NL), or any of the Canadian territories.

Interested in Canada's Federal Skilled Trades Program? Contact us today for a free consultation.

2018 Federal Skilled Trades Program Cap

The maximum cap for the Canada Federal Skilled Trade Program is 3000 successful applicants, but for many of the occupations a maximum sub-cap of 100 is applied. To qualify for the Skilled Trades Program an applicant must first be found eligible through various factors such as job offers, qualifications, language proficiency, and work experience. The employment opportunities are mainly found in the following sectors of the economy.

Eligible occupation categories:

  • Industrial
  • Electrical and Construction
  • Maintenance and Equipment operations
  • Agriculture and Production
  • Processing
  • Transport
  • Manufacturing
  • Cooks and Chefs
  • Bakers and Butchers

Federal Skilled Trades Program Eligible Jobs List

The following occupations, all of which are classified as National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level B, are eligible for the Canada Skilled Trades Program. NOC Skill Type B jobs are skilled trades and technical jobs that typically require a college diploma or apprenticeship training. In general, prospective immigrants who are skilled in trades that are in high demand in Canada, such as welders, electricians, machinists, cooks, carpenters, mechanics and plumbers, are qualified for immigration to Canada through this program. We have listed all the eligible occupations for the Federal Skilled Trades Program Canada below, including the official NOC job code pertaining to each. To find out exactly which occupations are subject to a sub-cap of 100 participants, please contact us.

Minor Group 632 - Chefs and cooks

  • 6321 Chefs
  • 6322 Cooks

Minor Group 633 - Butchers and bakers

  • 6331 Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers - retail and wholesale
  • 6332 Bakers

Major Group 72 - Industrial, electrical and construction trades

Minor Group 720 - Contractors and supervisors, industrial, electrical and construction trades and related workers

  • 7201 Contractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations
  • 7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
  • 7203 Contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades
  • 7204 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
  • 7205 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers

Minor Group 723 - Machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades

  • 7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
  • 7232 Tool and die makers
  • 7233 Sheet metal workers
  • 7234 Boilermakers
  • 7235 Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters
  • 7236 Ironworkers
  • 7237 Welders and related machine operators

Minor Group 724 - Electrical trades and electrical power line and telecommunications workers

  • 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
  • 7247 Cable television service and maintenance technicians

Minor Group 725 - Plumbers, pipefitters and gas fitters

  • 7251 Plumbers
  • 7252 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
  • 7253 Gas fitters

Minor Group 727 - Carpenters and cabinetmakers

  • 7271 Carpenters
  • 7272 Cabinetmakers

Minor Group 728 - Masonry and plastering trades

  • 7281 Bricklayers
  • 7282 Concrete finishers
  • 7283 Tilesetters
  • 7284 Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers

Minor Group 729 - Other construction trades

  • 7291 Roofers and shinglers
  • 7292 Glaziers
  • 7293 Insulators
  • 7294 Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)
  • 7295 Floor covering installers

Major Group 73 - Maintenance and equipment operation trades

Minor Group 730 - Contractors and supervisors, maintenance trades and heavy equipment and transport operators

  • 7301 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
  • 7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
  • 7303 Supervisors, printing and related occupations
  • 7304 Supervisors, railway transport operations
  • 7305 Supervisors, motor transport and other ground transit operators

Minor Group 731 - Machinery and transportation equipment mechanics (except motor vehicle)

  • 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
  • 7316 Machine fitters
  • 7318 Elevator constructors and mechanics

Minor Group 732 - Automotive service technicians

  • 7321 Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers
  • 7322 Motor vehicle body repairers

Minor Group 733 - Other mechanics and related repairers

  • 7331 Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics
  • 7332 Appliance servicers and repairers
  • 7333 Electrical mechanics
  • 7334 Motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and other related mechanics
  • 7335 Other small engine and small equipment repairers

Minor Group 736 - Train crew operating occupations

  • 7361 Railway and yard locomotive engineers
  • 7362 Railway conductors and brakemen/women

Minor Group 737 - Crane operators, drillers and blasters

  • 7371 Crane operators
  • 7372 Drillers and blasters - surface mining, quarrying and construction
  • 7373 Water well drillers

Minor Group 738 - Printing press operators and other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.

  • 7381 Printing press operators
  • 7384 Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.

Major Group 82 - Supervisors and technical occupations in natural resources, agriculture and related production

Minor Group 821 - Supervisors, logging and forestry

  • 8211 Supervisors, logging and forestry

Minor Group 822 - Contractors and supervisors, mining, oil and gas

  • 8221 Supervisors, mining and quarrying
  • 8222 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services

Minor Group 823 - Underground miners, oil and gas drillers and related occupations

  • 8231 Underground production and development miners
  • 8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers

Minor Group 824 - Logging machinery operators

  • 8241 Logging machinery operators

Minor Group 825 - Contractors and supervisors, agriculture, horticulture and related operations and services

  • 8252 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • 8255 Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services

Minor Group 826 - Fishing vessel masters and fishermen/women

  • 8261 Fishing masters and officers
  • 8262 Fishermen/women

Major Group 92 - Processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators

Minor Group 921 - Supervisors, processing and manufacturing occupations

  • 9211 Supervisors, mineral and metal processing
  • 9212 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
  • 9213 Supervisors, food, beverage and associated products processing
  • 9214 Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing
  • 9215 Supervisors, forest products processing
  • 9217 Supervisors, textile, fabric, fur and leather products processing and manufacturing

Minor Group 922 - Supervisors, assembly and fabrication

  • 9221 Supervisors, motor vehicle assembling
  • 9222 Supervisors, electronics manufacturing
  • 9223 Supervisors, electrical products manufacturing
  • 9224 Supervisors, furniture and fixtures manufacturing
  • 9226 Supervisors, other mechanical and metal products manufacturing
  • 9227 Supervisors, other products manufacturing and assembly

Minor Group 923 - Central control and process operators in processing and manufacturing

  • 9231 Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing
  • 9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators
  • 9235 Pulping, papermaking and coating control operators

Minor Group 924 - Utilities equipment operators and controllers

  • 9241 Power engineers and power systems operators
  • 9243 Water and waste treatment plant operators

How Does Federal Skilled Trades Immigration Help Canada?

Many industries in Canada, such as the Canadian construction and manufacturing sectors, have been unable to find enough skilled workers trained in skilled trades such as building, plumbing, welding and crane operations. The Canadian Federal Skilled Trades Program is designed to support the growing Canadian economy as well as offer a chance for foreigners, certified in specific trades, to settle down and become permanent residents in Canada while plying their trade.

The Federal Skilled Trade Program has gone a long way to addressing the shortage of skilled labor found in Canada, and the numbers have already made a difference in many of the different sectors. The program aims to attract skilled workers from foreign countries to Canada, not just to work but also to settle and start growing a new skilled workforce that resides in the country.

Applying for the Skilled Trades Program

The only way to apply for Federal Skilled Trades Class (FST) immigration is through the online Canada Express Entry system. The Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) program gives skilled traders an opportunity to live and work in what has consistently been voted as the best place to live by the United Nations, while also allowing the Canadian economy to benefit from their relocation. Our Canadian immigration professional can help you apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program via Express Entry with a highly optimized application. Federal Skilled Trades applications that contain any mistakes, even if it is just a small one such as an incorrect NOC code, may be denied by Immigration Canada without an opportunity for revision. Once officially accepted into the Express Entry Federal Skilled Trades Program, we can also help you apply to become a Canadian permanent resident. Applications for permanent residency in Canada are often processed in less than 6 months due to increased efficiencies offered by Express Entry.

Creation of Federal Skilled Trades Program

In the past few years there has been an increasing number of foreigners looking to settle in Canada, and there are many reasons why this has been happening. Canada is extremely safe, has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, enjoys clean air and water, and has incredibly high education standards. There is also a high quality of life, growing job opportunities and a strengthening economy.

Employment opportunities have been increasing steadily along with the economy, and it is this economic growth that prompted the development of the Skilled Trades Program. Canada has a distinct shortage of people who are qualified in specific trades, and the growing economy means expansion and building, which requires people skilled in trades. In particular there is a shortage in construction, transportation, manufacturing and service industries and the program was implemented to address this shortage and to attract and keep skilled workers in Canada.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

Canada Federal Skilled Trades Program applications must be made using an NOC 2011 code. If your application is made using an NOC 2006 code, it must also include a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which was previously known as a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). Regardless of which set of NOC codes you reference, your occupation must still correspond to an eligible 2011 NOC code in order for your CIC Express Entry Skilled Trades Canada application to be successful. Although the Skilled Trades Canada Program has no education requirement, potential immigrants can earn additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points in Express Entry by submitting their educational credentials. A Canadian post-secondary diploma or degree, or an equivalent foreign certificate combined with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) can increase a person's chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) within the Express Entry system.

Questions about the Federal Skilled Trades Program? Contact our Canadian immigration team for a free consultation.

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