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How to immigrate to Canada under the Federal Skilled Trades Class Program

From 2015, eligible candidates for the Federal Skilled Trades Class must make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada through the Express Entry selection system.

The Federal Skilled Trades Program is for people who want to become permanent residents, based on being qualified in a skilled trade.


Minimum requirements:

  • To be eligible, you must:

  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec 

  • Meet the required levels in English or French for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing and listening)

  • Have at least 2 years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience)Footnote * 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 (NOC) of your primary occupation, except for needing a certificate of qualification

  • Have an offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority.

This means you have to work a total of at least 30 hours over a period of 1 week for 2 years in your skilled trade within the 5 years before you apply.

In Canada, the provincial, territorial, and federal governments issue certificates of qualification in skilled trades. To get a certificate, the provincial, territorial, or federal trades authority must assess your training, trade experience, and skills to decide if you are eligible to write an exam to be certified.

Skilled work experience

Skilled trades that are currently eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program are organized under these major and minor groups of the NOC:

  • major group 72: industrial, electrical and construction workers

  • major group 73: maintenance and equipment operation workers

  • major group 82: supervisors and technical workers in natural resources, agriculture, and related production

  • major group 92: processing, manufacturing and utility supervisors and central control operators

  • minor group 632: chefs and cooks

  • minor group 633: butchers and bakers

These major NOC groups are subdivided into different occupations (all are NOC skill type B).

You must show that you did the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description of the NOC, including all the listed essential duties and most of the main duties.

What counts as work experience

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 1 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 toward the 2‑year work experience requirement if you also met the requirements to practice independently in that second country.


There is no education requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. But, if you want to earn points for your education under Express Entry, you need either:

a Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree

a Completed foreign credential and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Note: The report must show your foreign education is equal to a completed Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree. You will only benefit from getting an ECA if your foreign education is equal to a completed Canadian high school diploma or greater.


Language ability
You must meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening and CLB 4 for reading and writing;
Take a language test approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that shows you meet the level for speaking, listening, reading and writing;
You must show that you meet the language requirements in English or French by including your test results when you complete your Express Entry profile. Your test results must not be more than 2 years old on the day you apply for permanent residence.


Principal applicant

If you are married or live with a common-law partner who also meets the above conditions, you can decide which of you will apply under Express Entry, as the principal applicant.

A common-law partner is a person who has lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least 1 year.

Other requirements

You must be admissible to Canada. Please contact our offices for more information on admissibility issues.

You must plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

Be assessed by a province or territory
You will likely have to go to a specific province or territory to be assessed. You may also need an employer in Canada to give you experience and training.

How to proceed?

  1. Email us ( Your  CV/Resume, 4-5 sentences about Yourself/Family Situation, If you or your spouse took IELTS – Test results, family in Canada (if any)

  2. We review your documents and appoint a consultant/lawyer to contact you with the brief assessment

  3. You decide whether to proceed.


All our cases are handled by experienced lawyers and RCIC immigration professionals.

We adhere to the highest standards of client relationship and service.

Click here to fill out the Immigration Assessment Form



Source & Copyright: The source of the above visa and immigration information and the copyright owner is the: Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Immigration Quebec

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