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.
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.
- 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
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.
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|
|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|
|Prince Edward Island||PEI Immigration|
Please note that the province of Quebec does not participate in the Skilled Trades Stream.
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|
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|
|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|
|7237||Welders and related machine operators|
|7241||Electricians (not including industrial electricians and power system electricians)|
|7243||Power system electricians|
|7244||Electrical power line and cable workers|
|7245||Telecommunications line and cable workers|
|7246||Telecommunications installation and repair workers|
|7252||Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers|
|73||7311||Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics|
|7312||Heavy-duty equipment mechanics|
|7313||Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics|
|7315||Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors|
|7318||Elevator constructors and mechanics|
|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.