Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Class
To be eligible, you must:
- plan to live outside the province of Quebec (Note: The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers. If you plan on living in Quebec, see Quebec-selected skilled workers for more information
- meet the required levels in English or French for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing and listening),
- have at least two years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within the five years before you apply,
- meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC), except for needing a certificate of qualification, and
- have an offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority.
This means you have to work a total of at least 30 hours over a period of one week for two years in your skilled trade within the five years before you apply. For example:
30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
15 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
30 hours/week for 12 months at more than one job = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
Up to two employers can commit to employing you for at least one year of continuous full-time work, meaning a total of at least 30 hours of work per week.
In Canada, provinces and territories issue certificates of qualification in the skilled trades. To get a certificate, the provincial or territorial 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 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 trades,
- Major Group 73, maintenance and equipment operation trades,
- Major Group 82, supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production,
- Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators,
- Minor Group 632, chefs and cooks, and
- 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 in the NOC, including all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.
If you do not show that your experience meets the description in the NOC, we will not accept your application.
Find out the NOC code, title and skill type or level for your job
Federal Skilled Trades Program applications must be made based on the 2011 version of the NOC. However, if the application includes a Labour Market Impact Assessment (previously Labour Market Opinion or LMO) from Employment and Social Development Canada based on the 2006 version of the NOC, it will be accepted by CIC as long as the applicant’s occupation corresponds to a 2011 NOC code that is eligible for the program.
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 either need:
- a Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree
- a completed foreign credential, and
- an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by CIC. [The report must show your foreign education is equal to a completed Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree.]
Note: You will only benefit from getting an ECA if your foreign education is equal to a completed Canadian high school diploma or greater.
- meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening, and Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 for reading and writing, and
- take a language test approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that shows you meet the level for speaking, listening, reading and writing.
You must show that you meet the requirements in English or French by including the test results when you complete your Express Entry profile. Your test results must not be more than two years old on the day you apply for permanent residence.
If you are married or live with a common-law partner who also meets the above conditions, you can decide which one of you will apply under Express Entry as the principal (main) applicant.
A common-law partner is a person who has lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. Common-law partner refers to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.
Check to see which one of you is most likely to be found eligible. That person should apply as the principal applicant.
- You must be admissible to Canada. Find out more about inadmissibility.
- You must plan to live outside the province of Quebec.
Be assessed by the province or territory
You will likely have to go to the province or territory to be assessed. You may also need an employer in Canada to give you experience and training.
You should go to the website of the body that governs trades for the province/territory where you would like to live and work. The process is different depending on where you want to go.
Each website has more details about whether you need a certificate of qualification to work in that province or territory in a specific skilled trade, and what you have to do to get one.
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
If you work in a skilled trade and want to live in Canada permanently, use our Come to Canada tool to see if you are eligible for the Express Entry pool.