Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Canadian Government and Immigration Department joined hands in the year 2013 to develop the Federal Skilled Trades Program. This step was taken so as to address the increasing shortage of skilled workforce in certain areas against the rapid growth that they were experiencing because of the increasing strength of the economy.

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It was at the request of the businesses and employers in Canada, that this program came into fruition. Since its inception, the Canadian Federal Skilled Trades Program has been offering immigration and PR opportunity to people who qualify a particular skilled trade and ready to be a part of the Canadian workforce. The applicants for this program can apply for Canadian Visa through the Express Entry System.


These are the various factors affecting an applicant’s eligibility to apply through this program to live and work in Canada

  • Work Experience
  • Language Proficiency
  • Permanent Job Offer / Skilled Trade Qualification
  • Satisfy Job Requirements
  • Principal Applicant
  • Work Outside Quebec
  • Education


Work Experience

You should have at least 2 years, i.e. 24 months of full-time experience with more than 30 hours per week, in a particular trade. This 2-year experience should be within the five years before you apply for this visa. You can also show a part time experience instead, that adds up to the same amount of work as two years of full-time work. You could have either worked 24 months at a job for 30 hours every week, or done part-time work for 15+ hours each week, the total of which amounts to 3,120 hours over two years.


Language Proficiency

You should be able to showcase that you have at least an intermediate grasp of either English or French to go to Canada through this program. You can take either of the two exams – International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) – for English. For French, you will have to take the Test d’Evaluation de Francais (TEF). You will be tested in all the 4 categories of listening, speaking, writing, and reading. For a prospective immigrant, you will have to score above the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) points only then will you be eligible for this class of immigration.


Permanent Job Offer/Skilled Trade Qualification

In case you receive a full time job offer, for a period of at least a year, from a Canadian employer, you must be able to show a viable proof of the same. The offer should be for work that amounts to 30 hours or more per week, and it could be either one full time job or two part-time ones. If you don’t have a job offer beforehand, then you will have to first decide on the territory or province that you intend to work in. Thereafter, you will need to get your skilled trade qualifications certified through the regulatory body of that territory or province. You might have to actually go to that territory or area, and personally get the certification.


Satisfy Job Requirements

As an immigration applicant, you would be required to meet all the requirements of at least one of the employment opportunities offered in the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Amongst a list of different jobs, you would need to have either the proper training or the required certification for one job. In case you fail to do so, you will not be eligible to work in Canada through Federal Skilled Trades Program.

The following are the sectors that offer most employment opportunities, and thus decide the eligibility of a candidate for migration under this program.

  • Industrial
  • Electrical and Construction
  • Maintenance and Equipment operations
  • Agriculture and Production
  • Processing
  • Transport
  • Manufacturing
  • Cooks and Chefs
  • Bakers and Butchers


Principal Applicant

If both you and your common-law partner, who you’re either married to or are living with, meet all the above requirements, you can choose who gets to be the primary or main applicant to apply under Express Entry. By definition, a common-law partner can only be one with whom you’ve been in a conjugal relationship for at least a year. You could be either an opposite-sex or a same-sex couple.

Visa Class

Canadian Express Entry program is a system to manage various immigration applications, that was initiated in the year 2015. There are three categories of immigration programs, varying on the country's economic basis, through which any person intending to live while working a full-time job in Canada, can seek immigration through.

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