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The Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program for Canada | Express Entry


The Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program is one of the three federal immigration programs managed by the Express Entry system. As with all Express Entry programs, FST uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank interested candidates against one another, only inviting the most competitive candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Each year, over half of all immigrants to Canada are skilled workers welcomed through economic programs, including the Federal Skilled Trades program. For qualified tradespeople the FST program can be a fast option for obtaining Canadian permanent residence, and with it, the right to live and work in Canada permanently.


FST Program Requirements

In order to qualify for FST, a candidate must have at least two years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade (or an equal amount in part-time). This experience must have been obtained within the previous 5 years and only considers work experience obtained after an individual has been granted the certification to practice the trade in their country of residence.

Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) code, defines skilled trades as the following occupation groups:


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 623 Chefs and Cooks
Minor Group 633 Butchers and Bakers


If a person does possess the necessary work experience, they also must meet the other eligibility criteria outlined by the FST program:

  • Canada employment connection

Have a valid offer of full-time employment for a position lasting at least 12-months or a certificate of qualification in their skilled trade which is issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority.

  • Language

 Reach a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 on an approved English or French language test.

  • Residence in Canada

Must intend to live outside of the province of Quebec.

Provided a candidate meets these requirements, they will be eligible to submit an Express Entry profile for the Federal Skilled Trades program. However, candidates should note that they must meet Canada’s basic admissibility requirements. Certain criminal offences and medical conditions may make a person inadmissible to Canada.


Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Application Procedure

Eligible candidates need to create & submit an Express Entry profile to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). After submitting your profile, you will be assigned a CRS score and ranked in the Express Entry pool for future Express Entry draws.

When submitting your Express Entry profile under the FST program, you need to provide the following documents:

  • Language Test Results

Candidates applying under Express Entry’s Federal Skilled Trades program need to provide valid English/French language test results.

  • Identification Documents

This part requires information from identification documents. Candidates should make sure that they and all accompanying family members (if any) possess valid passports for travel.

  • Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA)

To claim points for study attained outside of Canada, an FST candidate needs to provide a valid ECA report. You do not require an ECA report for education obtained in Canada.


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