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Skilled Trades Stream

Skilled Trades Federal Immigration Program

As of January 2, 2013, Canada is now accepting a new class of immigrant: skilled trades-people. The Skilled Trades Stream allows people with work experience in skilled trades, and Canadian job offers for those jobs, to come to Canada. To apply for the Skilled Trades program, use Express Entry.

If you have been trying to come to Canada using the skilled worker category you may be able to use the skilled trades stream to come, provided you meet the requirements.

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Skilled Trades Eligibility

You may be eligible for the skilled trades stream if you:

  • Have basic language skills in either English or French. See below for details.
  • For English:
  • Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 5 for speaking and listening
  • Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4 for reading and writing
  • For French:
  • Niveau de competence linguistique Canadien (NCLC) Level 5 for speaking and listening
  • NCLC Level 4 for reading and writing
  • Your experience falls into one of the accepted trades (see below) and your skills match the requirements listed in the NOC description
  • Must be able to prove that you have at least two years work experience in the trade and that experience is with the five years prior to filing your application. The work experience must be equivalent to:
  • 30 hours per week over 2 years, whether in one or more jobs
  • 15 hours per week at the same job over 4 years
  • Have a valid job offer to work in your trade in Canada (but not Quebec) for at least 30 hours per week (in up to two jobs) for at least one year OR a certificate of qualification for that trade issued by a provincial or territorial organization.


Here are some examples of trades that are eligible:

  • Contractors and supervisors, industrial, electrical and construction trades and related workers
  • Machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades
  • Electrical trades and electrical power line and telecommunications workers
  • Plumbers, pipe-fitters and gas fitters
  • Carpenters and cabinetmakers
  • Masonry and plastering trades
  • Other construction trades
  • Contractors and supervisors, maintenance trades and heavy equipment and transport operators
  • Machinery and transportation equipment mechanics (except motor vehicle)
  • Automotive service technicians
  • Other mechanics and related repairers
  • Train crew operating occupations
  • Crane operators, drillers and blasters
  • Printing press operators and other trades and related occupations, not elsewhere classified



What is the skilled trades stream?

It is a new stream initiated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to allow skilled tradespeople – carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, etc. – to immigrate to Canada even though they don’t meet some of the requirements of other Canadian immigration programs, such as the skilled worker program. Applicants still need to meet all the requirements of this new, however, in the stream some typical requirements relaxed. Applicants need to

  • have a job offer in Canada;
  • have basic English or French language skills (speaking, listening, writing);
  • have at least two years recent work experience in the trade they are applying under;
  • work in a trade that is recognized as NOC B.

For the first year, the stream will be capped at 3000 applicants, with 100-applicant caps in each applicable sector for any managerial or contract jobs.


How do I apply?

You complete the entire application.

If you are using Immigroup to apply, contact us at 1-866-760-2623 or [email protected]. Or come to our office at


P.O. Box 31037
College Square
Toronto, ON
M6G 4A7

If you are applying directly to CIC, you should apply online using Express Entry.


How much does it cost?

The government fees begin at $550 for the applicant’s permanent residence application but there are multiple fees involved in the process. If you are using a representative such as Immigroup to apply, the fees will be considerably more. Contact us to find out more information.


What are the requirements?

You need a job offer in a skilled trade recognized as skilled trade in Canada’s National Occupation Classification – or you need your skills in the trade recognized by a provincial or territorial body - and you need two years of experience in that trade. You need to able to communicate at a basic level in English or French.


How do I get a job offer?

There are many ways of getting a job offer from a company. Many companies advertise online. There are businesses and websites that offer employer – candidate matching services.


How do I get my skills recognized by a provincial or territorial body?

Though this depends on your particular trade, you may be able to find more information at some of the websites below:

Federal Foreign Credentials Office
Canadian Centre for International Credentials
Red Seal Inter-provincial Standards
Provincial / Territorial  
Alberta Apprentice and Industry Training Alberta
British Columbia Welcome BC
Manitoba Immigrate Manitoba
New Brunswick Welcome New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador Association for New Canadians of Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador Immigration
Northwest Territories Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia Careers Nova Scotia
Nunavut Nunavut
Ontario Ontario Immigration
Prince Edward Island PEI Immigration
Saskatchewan Sask Immigration
Yukon Immigration Yukon

Please note that the province of Quebec does not participate in the Skilled Trades Stream.


How do I know if I meet the language requirements?

Your language requirements are normally assessed on a points-system. However, unique to the skilled trades stream, the language requirement is being downplayed: provided you meet the other criteria, you will only have to demonstrate CLB level 5 in speaking and listening and CLB level 4 in writing and reading.

CIC accepts two types of English-language tests: the Canadian English Proficiency Index Program (CEPIP) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see below for what CLB levels 5 and 4 mean for these tests.

Test Skill Requirement CB Level required for Stream Minimum score to meet CB Level
CEPIP Speaking 5


Listening 5 3L
Reading 4 2H
Writing 4 2H
IELTS Speaking 5 5
Listening 5 5
Reading 4 3.5
Writing 4 4


How do I know if my trade is “NOC A” or “NOC B”?

Canada’s ministry of Human Resources and Development Canada releases a new list of classifications after each census. If your trade is on that list then all you need to do is match your trade to its NOC number and you are all set.

Skill Level Major Group NOC Code Description
A: Management and occupations requiring university education. Please note that each occupation code has a cap of 100 applications for 2013-14. 72: Industrial, electrical and construction trades 7202 Contractors, supervisors in electrical trades and telecommunications operations
7204 Contractors, supervisors in carpentry
7205 Contractors, supervisors in other construction trades, installers, repairers, and other services
7271 Carpenters
73: Maintenance and equipment operation trades 7301 Contractors, supervisors in mechanic trades
7302 Contractors, supervisors of heavy equipment operator crews
82: Supervisors and technical occupations in natural resources, agriculture and related production 8211 Supervisors in logging and forestry
8221 Supervisors in mining and quarrying
8222 Contractors, supervisors in oil and gas and drilling services
8241 Logging machinery operators
8252 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors, and specialized livestock workers
92: Processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators 9211 Supervisors in mineral and metal processing
9212 Supervisors in petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
9214 Supervisors in plastic and rubber products manufacturing
9231 Central control and process operators in mineral and metal processing
9241 Power engineers and power systems operators
9243 Water and waste treatment plant operators
B: Occupations requiring college or apprenticeships 72 7231 Machinists 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 (not including industrial electricians and power system electricians)
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
73 7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
7313 Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
7314 Railway carpersons
7315 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
7318 Elevator constructors and mechanics
7371 Crane operators
7372 Drillers and blasters for surface, mining, quarrying and construction
7373 Water well drillers
82 8231 Underground production and development miners
8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
92 9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators

Please note that this is based on NOC 2011. If your application is based on a trade in NOC 2006, you will have to submit a Labour Market Opinion with your application. Immigroup can help you with this.


How recent does my work experience have to be?

Within the last five years before the date you submit your application.


How much work experience do I need?

You need the equivalent of two years work full-time experience. That can be acquired through:

  • 30 hours per week over two years
  • 15 hours per week over four years
  • 15 hours per week in one job and 15 hours per week in an additional job (in the same trade) over two years

Please note that you can work for 30 hours.