Canada values its workforce! Especially when there is heavy demand for certified tradespersons and workers in growing industries such as construction, transportation or automation. The skilled trades salary in Canada averages to $60,869 per year or $31.22 per hour, which is way above the national average.  

Are you an experienced/certified tradesperson, looking to immigrate to Canada?

Now you can fulfill this dream, that too within a year’s time, if you qualify under any of the following categories of the National Occupational Classification (NOC):

  • 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,
  • Major Group 92: processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators,
  • Minor Group 632: chefs and cooks, and
  • Minor Group 633: butchers and bakers.

Individuals who qualify under FSTP have a high possibility of immigrating to Canada permanently, along with their family and finding an excellent job opportunity.

Eligible Trades and Upper Limits on Number of Applications

RCIC will accept a maximum of 3000 applications in the Federal Skilled Trades Class in each calendar year. 


Eligible trades are separated into two categories: 


Applications in the following trades will be accepted up to a maximum of 100 or until the total Class Limit 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.


Applications in the following trades will be accepted until the total Class Limit of 3000 is reached, with no sub-limits 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;

Program Requirements

Individuals interested in applying must ascertain first whether they meet all the minimum requirements of the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

The minimum requirements are:

  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec.
  • meet the required language levels for each language ability
  • have at least 2 years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within the 5 years before you apply
  • meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification, except for needing a certificate of qualification
  • have a
    • valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year or
    • certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal author

 Note: Your work experience must be for paid work (paid wages or earned    commission—volunteer work or unpaid internships don’t count)

Trade Certification or Offer of Employment

Trade certification in Canada comes under provincial authority and jurisdiction. Each province sketches out the vocations and professions that will be regulated and establishes regulatory bodies wherever applicable. 

Provincial certification is often hard to attain if you are an outland applicant. Thus, this program is most beneficial to trades people who get a valid offer of employment from a recognized employer, or who are already in Canada working as temporary foreign workers. Not all trades are regulated in all of the provinces. Where a trade is not regulated, an offer of employment becomes mandatory.

Trades people who obtain an approved offer of employment for one year or more in their trade from a Canadian employer are also eligible to apply. The offer of employment will be evaluated to ensure that it is an eligible trade and that the hiring will have a neutral effect on the Canadian Labour Market.

Language Requirement:

Applicants must have at least a basic proficiency in English or French language, in all four language abilities i.e. speaking, listening, reading and writing. Only test results from an IRCC approved language third party testing agency will be considered to establish proficiency.

Two of the most commonly used language tests are the IELTS for English and the TEF for French. Applicants must obtain the following scores in each of the language abilities:


Other Requirements

The individual and all his sponsored family members must be able to pass all applicable medical and security checks to be eligible for the program. They should be admissible to come to Canada. They may be denied entry into Canada if:

  • They are a security risk;
  • They have committed a violation of human or international rights;
  • They have been convicted of a crime;
  • They are tied to organized crime;
  • They have a serious medical problem;
  • They are in serious financial debt;
  • They lied in your application and interview;
  • One of their family members is not allowed into Canada.

Proof of Funds

To participate in the program, you will need to show that you have enough funds to get you settled in Canada for the first time. You do not have to provide proof of funds if you are currently able to legally work in Canada, or if you have a valid job offer.

Program Benefits

  1. Canada needs to address its labour shortages in trade occupations. The FSTP is an attempt to welcome more skilled trade workers to Canada. If you meet all the requirements, there are higher chances of you receiving an ITA.
  2. Canada has an aging population and low birth rate, which is why it heavily relies on immigration in order  to support its labour force and economic growth. The skilled trades is an area of significant need.
  3. Successful FSTP candidates are generally able to gain their permanent residence within six months.
  4. If you are an FSTP applicant with previous Canadian work experience, you are one step closer to thriving in the Canadian labour market after getting your permanent residence.
  5. You not only get more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points for Canadian Work Experience but also for any trade certifications/ occupational courses completed in Canada.
  6. Since FSTP candidates are not required to prove their level of education, you may have lower CRS scores than other candidates in the Express Entry pool but it’s not a reason to worry. IRCC occasionally holds Express Entry draws for Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or Canadian Experience Class (CEC) draws, inviting only FSTP candidates.
  7. Entering the Express Entry pool also adds to your chances to receive a provincial nomination. A provincial nomination provides an additional 600 CRS points, which means you will very likely eventually receive a permanent residence invitation under Express Entry.

Apply Today with our Expert Immigration Team

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • 1. What language requirements do I need to meet for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)?

    You need to take an English and/or French test by a third party language tester that has been designated by IRCC. You need to meet the following requirements at a minimum on your test(s):

      at least a CLB 5 (English) or a NCLC 5 (French) for speaking and listening
    • at least a CLB 4 (English) or a NCLC 4 (French) for reading and writing
    If you receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence, your test results can not be older than two years old on the day you submit your permanent residence application.

  • 2. What is a certificate of qualification for the FSTP?

    It proves that a person is qualified to work in a certain skilled trade in Canada. This means that they:

    • have passed a certification exam, and
    • meet all the requirements to practice their trade in that province or territory.
    • This certificate is issued by the body that governs trades in a Canadian province or territory or by a federal authority.Depending on which body or authority issues it, this certificate may be called a “certificate of qualification” or a “qualification certificate”.

  • 3. How can I get a certificate of qualification from a provincial, territorial or federal body for the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

    In Canada, provinces and territories are in charge of education and training, including skilled trades apprenticeships usually decide on the standards and conditions used to assess and recognize foreign credentials for certain trades The regulatory body that governs trades in a province or territory must assess your training, trade experience and skills decides if you are eligible to write an exam to be certified To get a certificate of qualification, you will likely have to physically go to the specific province or territory to write the certification exam may need an employer in Canada to give you training and work experience before you are allowed to write the exam If your trade is not regulated by a province or territory (for example, airplane mechanic), it may be federally regulated. The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials provides information on credential assessment for all regulated trades in Canada. Contact the provincial, territorial or federal regulatory body for more information.

  • 4. How can I qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program if the province or territory where I plan to live and work does not give Certificates of Qualification in my trade?

    In that case, to qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program you must have a qualifying job offer in your trade from a Canadian employer.

  • 5. What is a qualifying job offer for the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

    This means an offer of continuous, full-time employment from up to two Canadian employers, for at least 30 hours a week. The job offer must be for a period of at least one year. You must have a job offer if you do not have a certificate of qualification in your skilled trade issued by a Canadian province or territory. Under Express Entry, most job offers need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA verifies that Canadian labour market has a need for this type of worker, and that your employer(s) have tried to hire a Canadian or permanent resident first.

  • 6. If I come to Canada under the Federal Skilled Trades Program, will I be qualified to work in any province or territory?

    Not necessarily. Standards and conditions of training for specific trades vary depending on the province or territory. (for example, ways to register apprentices, training curriculum, how to get accredited/certified/licensed) It is up to you and your employer to make sure you have the documents needed to practice in the province or territory where you will work. When we assess your application, we may check that you meet the requirements to be certified, licensed or registered to work in a regulated occupation in Canada. If you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer but do not meet the requirements, we must be satisfied that you are capable of doing the job you were offered and that you are likely to qualify to be licensed or certified when in Canada. Note: Even if you get certified in one province or territory, you may not be able to practise in another. After you immigrate, if you want to work in a different province or territory, check the requirements of the regulatory body that governs trades for that province or territory.

  • 7. What work experience can I count towards the Federal Skilled Trades Program’s two-year requirement?

    In the Federal Skilled Trades program, work experience in a trade can only count if you are qualified to independently practice that trade in the region where you got your work experience. If you are qualified in one country, you might work in another country that has different rules for practicing your trade. In that case, the work experience from the second country will only count towards the two-year work experience requirement if you also met the requirements to practice there independently. For example, if you are a plumber from Germany and worked for one year in Poland, you need to prove that you were certified to be a plumber in Germany, and that you were qualified to work in Poland according to Polish regulations at the time for this work experience to count.

  • 8. The employer I work for temporarily in Canada wants to offer me a full-time job. Will I need a new LMIA for Express Entry?

    In most cases, your current employer does not need to re-apply if they already got a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire you. For example, they do not need to re-apply if:

    • your work permit is still valid
    • you still work for the same employer (in a skilled job) as listed on your work permit
    • you work in a job listed as Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B in the 2016 National Occupational Classification, and
    • that employer already got an LMIA to hire you before.
    If you are working in Canada on a work permit that does not need an LMIA, your employer doesn’t need to get one to make your job offer valid. When you create your Express Entry profile, you can show that you have a job offer. If we invite you to apply, you will need to submit a copy of the documents with your application. But, if you plan to work for a different employer and want job offer points (or a valid job offer for the Federal Skilled Worker or the Federal Skilled Trades programs), your new employer will usually need to apply for a new LMIA (unless the job is exempt).

  • 9. I work in Canada on an LMIA-exempt work permit. How do I get job offer points for Express Entry?

    It depends on why your permit is exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Under Express Entry, some LMIA-exempt jobs count towards job offer points. For example, if you are working in Canada on a LMIA-exempt work permit that was issued under an international agreement or Federal-Provincial-Territorial agreement (or certain other cases), you don’t need your current employer to get an LMIA for your job offer to be valid. If your work permit is LMIA-exempt for any other reason, your employer still needs to get an LMIA to improve your chances of being invited to apply. These exemptions apply to temporary workers, but not to Express Entry. A valid job offer supported by an LMIA could get you more points under the Comprehensive Ranking System.

  • 10. I am working in Canada on a post-graduation work permit. Do I need a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

    Not necessarily. If you are working in Canada on a post-graduation work permit, and have a valid job offer, your current employer will need to get an LMIA if:

    • you need one to meet the program requirements for the FSWP or the FSTP and
    • your job is not exempt.
    If a job is exempt, it means your employer does not need an LMIA to support your job offer. If you are invited under the Canadian Experience Class, you don’t need an LMIA to meet the program requirements. But, a valid job offer supported by an LMIA can get you more points under the Comprehensive Ranking System. This can improve your chances of being invited to apply. So in that case, your employer may want to get an LMIA, even though you don’t need it to be eligible.