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Express Entry (EE)

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The inception of the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) in 2013 marked a strategic shift in Canada’s immigration and economic policies, addressing a critical gap in the labor market. Skilled trades have long been the backbone of a robust, knowledge-based economy, maintaining Canada’s competitive edge on the global stage. Government of Canada, in collaboration with immigration department, introduced FSTP in recognition of skilled tradespeople’s indispensable value. Increasing shortages of skilled trade workers contributed to significant challenges for Canadian businesses and employers as they grappled with the demands of growth.

In response to urgent calls from businesses and employers facing difficulties in completing projects on time due to a shortage of skilled workers, the FSTP streamlines the process of bringing essential skills into the country. The program is specifically designed for skilled trade workers aspiring to obtain permanent residency based on their qualifications in a skilled trade. The initiative highlights Canada’s commitment to fortifying its labor force, as well as its recognition of the profound impact skilled trade professionals have on economic development and infrastructure.

Minimum Program requirements

Experience: An applicant must have at least 2 years of continuous, full-time, or equivalent part-time paid work experience in a skilled trade within the past 5 years. Work experience should be in one of the specific categories of skilled trades or technical jobs. These categories are based on the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. 

Technical Trades and Transportation Officers (Major Group 72): This includes various technical trades but does not include jobs related to transportation officers and controllers (Sub-Major Group 726).

General Trades (Major Group 73): This covers a broad range of trade jobs.

Supervisors in Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Related Production (Major Group 82): This category is for those who supervise operations in natural resources, agriculture, and related production.

Occupations in Natural Resources and Related Production (Major Group 83): Jobs in this category are directly involved in working with natural resources.

Supervisors and Operators in Processing, Manufacturing, and Utilities (Major Group 92): This includes supervisory and operational roles in processing, manufacturing, and managing utilities.

Central Control and Process Operators and Aircraft Assembly (Major Group 93): This category includes jobs in central control operations, process operating, and aircraft assembly. However, it excludes aircraft assemblers and assembly inspectors (Sub-Major Group 932).

Cooks, Butchers, and Bakers (Minor Group 6320): This category is specifically for those who work in food preparation roles like cooking, butchery, and baking.

Chefs (Unit Group 62200): This is specifically for those who have a professional role in managing and preparing food in kitchens.

Language: A minimum CLB 5 in Speaking & Listening, and a CLB 4 in Reading & Writing.

Job offer or Certificate of Qualification: An applicant must have a valid job offer for at least 1 year from up to 2 employers in Canada, or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade from a Canadian provincial, territorial, or federal authority.

Education: There is no education requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. However, applicants with a Canadian education or Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for foreign education will receive points in their Express Entry pool.

Settlement Funds: An applicant must prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their family members after arriving in Canada, unless they are currently working in Canada under a valid work permit or have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.

Where you can live in Canada: The applicants must plan to reside outside the province of Quebec. The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers through a unique immigration system.

How Can X Can Help?

Documentation Mastery: At Can X, we skillfully manage the documentation of your trade experience, ensuring it is presented comprehensively and compliantly to meet Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) standards. Our team understands the unique requirements of trade professionals and helps showcase your professional history accurately.

Selecting the Right TEER/NOC Code: Choosing the appropriate TEER/NOC code is critical for your FST application. Our experts at Can X provide guidance in selecting the right code that perfectly matches your trade experience. This enhances the relevance and strength of your application.

Handling Employment Verification Challenges: Obtaining a detailed experience letter from employers, particularly overseas, can be challenging. Can X recognize this obstacle and offers strategic advice on how to request documentation effectively.

Customized Application Strategy: Utilizing our deep knowledge of FST requirements, Can X crafts a tailored application strategy. We align your trade skills and overseas work experience with the FST criteria to maximize your chances of success.

Proven Expertise: Can X have a strong track record of successfully assisting clients with FST applications. This has established our reputation for reliability and expertise in navigating Canadian immigration programs for skilled trades.

End-to-End Support: From your initial consultation to your successful integration into Canada, Can X provide comprehensive support. We understand the specific challenges of applying from overseas for trade professions and are committed to facilitating a seamless transition.

With Can X as your partner, you gain dedicated support that recognizes the significance of your trade experience and its crucial role in your future in Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)about the Federal Skilled Trades Program

The FSTP is a Canadian immigration program designed for skilled tradespeople. It aims to fill labor shortages in Canada by granting permanent residency to skilled tradespeople.

Eligibility for the FSTP includes having a valid job offer or certification in a skilled trade, meeting the required language levels, having at least 2 years of work experience in a skilled trade within the 5 years before applying, and meeting the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC), except for needing a certificate of qualification.

Trades eligible under the FSTP fall under major NOC groups such as technical trades, general trades, supervisors in natural resources, agriculture and related production, occupations in natural resources, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisor, and certain chef, cook, butcher, and baker categories.

The FSTP is specifically for skilled tradespeople, focusing on practical, hands-on work and experience, while the FSWP targets individuals with professional and managerial experience or technical expertise in other sectors.

Yes, a valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one year is required, or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority.

A Certificate of Qualification proves that a person is qualified to work in certain skilled trade in Canada. Trade certification in Canada falls under provincial jurisdiction. Each province outlines which professions will be regulated and establishes regulatory bodies where applicable. With a Certificate of Qualification, applicants prove they have passed a certification exam or met all the requirements to practice their trade in a specific province or territory.

Each province outlines which professions will be regulated and establishes regulatory bodies where applicable. You should contact following provincial, territorial, or federal bodies to know more about the process and requirements:


Department / Regulatory Agency


Apprenticeship and Industry Training

British Columbia

The Industry Training Authority (ITA)


Apprenticeship Manitoba

New Brunswick

Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour

Newfoundland and Labrador

Apprenticeship & Trades Certification Division

Northwest Territories

Apprenticeship and Trades 

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency


Apprenticeship, Trade and Occupations Certification


Jobs and Employment

Prince Edward Island

Apprenticeship Training and Skilled Trade Certification


Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission


Apprentices and trades


If your trade is not regulated by a province or territory, it may be federally regulated (for example, airplane mechanic). You can find out who regulates your trade by visiting the website of the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials.


Applicants must meet the minimum language level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening, and CLB 4 for reading and writing.

Yes, you can include your spouse or common-law partner, dependent children, and potentially other eligible relatives in your application.

While formal education is not a mandatory requirement, it can help you earn more points in the CRS if you have a Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree, or its foreign equivalent with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

Yes, self-employed work experience can count, provided you can prove that your experience meets the skill level requirements for your trade as per the NOC descriptions.