Skilled Trades Stream

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Skilled Trades Canadian Immigration Program

The Federal Skilled Trades program (FST) allows people with work experience in skilled trades, and Canadian job offers in those occupations, to come to Canada. To apply for the Skilled Trades program, use Express Entry, an online portal offered by IRCC that handles the FST, FSW, & CEC programs.

Remember that if you have been trying to come to Canada using the skilled worker program (FSW), you may instead be able to use the FST program to come, provided you meet the requirements. As we explain below, it all depends on the occupation (job) you wish to work in in Canada.


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 within the 5 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
  • Have obtained 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.


How do I apply for the Federal Skilled Trades program (FST)?

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


PO Box 27060
Masonville PO
60 North Centre RD
London, Ontario N5X 3W0

If you are applying directly to CIC, you should apply online using Express Entry. You have the option of naming a paid (or unpaid) representative to handle your application online through Express Entry. Immigroup will be glad to help you with this.


How much does the FST 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 for the Skilled Trades program?

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 for the Federal Skilled Trades program?

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 for FST?

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

Federal Programs Foreign Credentials Office
Canadian Centre for International Credentials
Red Seal Program
Provincial / Territorial
Alberta Apprentice and Industry Training Alberta
British Columbia Industry Training Authority
Manitoba Manitoba Trades
New Brunswick Apprenticeship & Occupational Certification
Newfoundland and Labrador Association for New Canadians of Newfoundland and Labrador
Apprenticeship & Trades Certification Division
Northwest Territories Education, Culture & Employment
Nova Scotia Careers Nova Scotia
Skilled Trades
Nunavut Apprenticeship, Trades, & Occupation Certification
>Ontario Ontario College of Trades
Prince Edward Island PEI Trade Certification
Saskatchewan Apprenticeship & Trade Certification Commission
Yukon Training & Certification Process

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 for FST?

For language requirements, you will have to demonstrate CLB level 5 in speaking and listening and CLB level 4 in writing and reading. While this is lower than the levels required for the FSW program, it is still a good idea to take an English course to improve your language skills before you take the test.

IRCC accepts two types of English-language tests: the Canadian English Proficiency Index Program (CEPIP) – General and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – General. Do NOT take or submit the Academic version of IELTS as it will not be accepted. Don NOT take or submit the General-LS test of CELPIP as it will also not be accepted. Please see below for what CLB levels 5 and 4 mean for these tests.

Language Test Skill CBL minimum Test score
CELPIP General













IELTS General















How do I know if my trade is eligible (i.e. “NOC A” or “NOC B”)?

Canada’s ministry of Employment and Social 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.

Major Occupation Group Minor Occupation Group Specific occupations
72 – Industrial, electrical & construction trades


Contractors & supervisors, industrial, electrical & construction trades & related workers


Machining, metal forming, shaping & erecting trades


Electrical trades & electrical power line & telecommunications workers


Plumbers, pipe fitters, & gas fitters


Carpenters & cabinet makers


Masonry & plastering trades


Other construction trades
73 – Maintenance & equipment operation trades


Contractors & supervisors, maintenance trades & heavy equipment & transport operators


Machinery & transport equipment mechanics (except motor vehicles)


Automotive service technicians


Other mechanics & related repairers


Train crew operating occupations


Crane operators, drillers & blasters


Printing press operators & other trades & related occupations
82 – Supervisors & technical occupations in natural resources, agriculture, & related production


Supervisors, logging & forestry


Contractors & supervisors, mining & oil & gas


Underground miners, oil & gas drillers & related occupations


Logging machine operators


Contractors & supervisors, agriculture, horticulture, & related operations & services


Fishing vessel masters & fishermen/fisherwomen
92 – Processing, manufacturing & utilities supervisors & central control operators


Supervisors, processing & manufacturing occupations


Supervisors, assembly & fabrication


Central control & process operators in processing & manufacturing


Utilities equipment operators & controllers


Chefs & Cooks


Butchers & Bakers

Please note that Major group 63 is not listed because the other minor groups in Major Group 63 (631: Supervisors and 634: Specialized occupations in personal and customer service) are NOT included in the Federal Skills Trades program. Only minor groups 632 & 633 as listed above are included in the FST program.

Please note that this is based on NOC 2016. 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 to qualify for Federal Skilled Trades?

Within the last 5 years before the date you submit your application.


How much work experience do I need?

You need the equivalent of 2 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 more than 30 hours.

Call us at 1-866-760-2623 / (+1) 416-962-2623 or email us at [email protected]


Express Entry Points Cut Offs by Draw


Express Entry Invitations to Apply (ITAs) by Draw

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