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The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is one of the immigration pathways under Canada’s Express Entry system, specifically designed for skilled workers who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade. This program is aimed at addressing the demand for skilled workers in various trades across Canada and supports the country’s economic growth by filling labor shortages in these areas.

Key Requirements for the Federal Skilled Trades Program

  1. Skilled Work Experience: Applicants must have at least two years of full-time work experience (or an equivalent amount in part-time work) in a skilled trade within the five years before they apply. The work experience must be in one of the eligible skilled trades that fall under key groups of the National Occupational Classification (NOC), such as:
    • 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,
    • Minor Group 633: butchers and bakers.
  2. Language Ability: Applicants must meet the required language levels for speaking, reading, listening, and writing in English or French. The required language levels vary according to the NOC code of the skilled trade.
  3. Education: Although there is no education requirement for the FSTP, applicants can earn points for their education under Express Entry if they have a Canadian high school or post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree, or its foreign equivalent with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
  4. Other Requirements: Applicants must have a valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one year or a certificate of qualification in their skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority.

Application Process

Applicants to the Federal Skilled Trades Program must create an Express Entry profile and indicate their interest in immigrating to Canada as skilled workers. Based on their profile, they are ranked in the Express Entry pool using a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranking candidates may be invited to apply for permanent residence through regular draws from the pool.

Benefits of the FSTP

The FSTP offers a pathway to permanent residence for skilled tradespeople, allowing them to contribute to the Canadian economy and enjoy the benefits of living in Canada, including access to healthcare, education, and a high quality of life.

This program plays a crucial role in supporting Canada’s need for skilled tradespeople across various sectors, helping to ensure that industries facing labor shortages are able to find the skilled workers they need.

FAQs about the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Q1: What is the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)?

A1: The FSTP is a Canadian immigration pathway under the Express Entry system, designed for skilled workers who want to become permanent residents based on their qualifications in a skilled trade.

Q2: Who is eligible for the FSTP?

A2: Eligibility for the FSTP includes having at least two years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade within the five years before applying, meeting the required language levels in English or French, and having a valid job offer or a certificate of qualification from a Canadian authority.

Q3: What trades are eligible under the FSTP?

A3: Eligible trades fall under various NOC groups, including industrial, electrical, construction trades, maintenance, equipment operation trades, certain supervisory and technical jobs, as well as chefs, cooks, butchers, and bakers.

Q4: Is there an education requirement for the FSTP?

A4: There is no mandatory education requirement for the FSTP. However, applicants can earn points for their Canadian or foreign education credentials through an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) when they create their Express Entry profile

Q5: How do I apply for the FSTP?

A5: To apply, you must create an Express Entry profile online and meet the FSTP eligibility criteria. Candidates in the Express Entry pool are ranked, and those with the highest scores may receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

Q6: Do I need a job offer to apply for the FSTP?

A6: Yes, you either need a valid job offer of full-time employment for at least one year or a certificate of qualification in your skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial, or federal authority.

Q7: How long does it take to process FSTP applications?

A7: Processing times can vary based on the number of applications received and the specific details of your application. It’s best to check the current processing times on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

Q8: Can my family accompany me to Canada if I immigrate under the FSTP?

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