Eligibility for Express Entry Programs: Federal Skilled Trades Program

Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is an immigration pathway designed for skilled workers who are qualified in a skilled trade and wish to become permanent residents of Canada. This program is part of Canada’s Express Entry system and aims to attract individuals who possess the practical skills and experience needed in various trades.

Minimum Requirements

To be eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Skilled Trades Work Experience
  • Job Offer or Certificate of Qualification
  • Language Ability

Skilled Trades Work Experience

Applicants must have at least two years of full-time work experience (or an equivalent amount of part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within the five years before applying. This experience must be in a trade recognized under the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Key points regarding work experience:


At least two years of full-time (or equivalent part-time) work.

NOC Requirements:

Applicants must perform the actions in the lead statement and most of the main duties listed in the NOC.


Applicants must have been qualified to practice the trade where they gained their work experience.

Work experience must be paid, either through wages or commission. Volunteer work and unpaid internships do not qualify.

Job Offer or Certificate of Qualification

Applicants must have either:

  • A valid job offer of full-time employment in Canada for at least one year, or
  • A certificate of qualification in their skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial, or federal authority.

Certificate of Qualification

A certificate of qualification demonstrates that an applicant is certified to work in a particular skilled trade in Canada. This certificate is issued by the provincial, territorial, or federal body governing trades and confirms that the applicant has passed a certification exam and meets all requirements to practice the trade in the issuing province or territory.

Key points regarding certificates:


Provincial, territorial, or federal authorities assess training, trade experience, and skills.


Each province and territory has its own certification process and requirements.

Language Ability

Language proficiency is essential for applicants. They must take approved language tests in writing, reading, listening, and speaking, and meet the minimum score requirements. The language test results must be valid when submitting the application for permanent residence.

Key points regarding language tests:

Test Validity:

Results are valid for two years from the test date.

Approved Tests:

Only results from designated testing organizations are accepted.


There is no formal education requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. However, having educational credentials can improve an applicant’s ranking in the Express Entry pool.

Ways to improve rank:

Canadian Education:

Points can be earned for certificates, diplomas, or degrees from Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary institutions.

Foreign Education:

Points can also be earned if the applicant has a completed educational credential and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from a designated organization. The ECA must show that the foreign education is equivalent to a Canadian credential.

Proof of Funds

Applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their family upon settling in Canada, unless they are currently able to legally work in Canada and have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.


Applicants must be admissible to Canada. This includes passing background checks for criminality, health, and security.

Residency Intentions

Candidates must plan to live outside the province of Quebec, as Quebec has its own selection process for skilled workers. If an applicant plans to live in Quebec, they must apply through Quebec’s immigration programs.

Provincial Nominees:

If nominated by a province or territory, applicants must intend to reside in that region.

Next Steps

Once the minimum requirements are met, the next steps involve preparing and submitting an Express Entry profile. This profile should include detailed information about the applicant’s skills, work experience, language abilities, education, and other factors influencing eligibility and ranking.

Key Points for Submission

Express Entry Profile:

Submit a complete and accurate profile to enter the Express Entry pool.


Ensure all necessary documents, including language test results and proof of work experience, are ready.

Regular Updates:

Keep the profile updated, especially if there are changes in work experience, education, or language abilities.

Conclusion: The Federal Skilled Trades Program provides a pathway for skilled tradespeople to gain permanent residency in Canada. Understanding and meeting the eligibility requirements, and strategically enhancing your profile, can improve your chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

Contact us: For personalized advice and assistance with your immigration journey, contact us at The Visa House for expert guidance and support. Our team is dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of the immigration process and achieve your Canadian dream.

Disclaimer: This information is for general guidance only. For specific advice tailored to your situation, consult with an immigration professional or visit the official Government of Canada website.

Upcoming Changes to Canada’s Post-Study Work Rights: Insights from Immigration Minister

Also read: