Canada’s Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is a category of immigration under the Express Entry system designed to attract skilled tradespeople who have practical experience in specific skilled trades occupations. The program aims to address labor shortages in various trades sectors across Canada and offer these skilled workers a pathway to permanent residency.
Key features of the Federal Skilled Trades Program include:
- Eligible Trades: The FSTP focuses on specific skilled trades occupations that are in demand in Canada. These occupations are listed in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system and include jobs such as electricians, plumbers, welders, carpenters, heavy equipment operators, and more.
- Work Experience: To be eligible for the FSTP, applicants need to have at least two years of full-time work experience (or equivalent part-time experience) in a skilled trade within the last five years. The work experience must be in an eligible occupation.
- Job Offer or Certification: Applicants need to have either a valid job offer from a Canadian employer for at least one year or a certificate of qualification in their skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority.
- Language Proficiency: Applicants need to demonstrate proficiency in English or French through approved language tests, which assess their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.
- Express Entry System: Like other Express Entry categories, candidates interested in the FSTP need to create an online profile through the Express Entry system. They are ranked based on factors such as age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and more, using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
- Express Entry Draws: Candidates with high CRS scores are invited to apply for permanent residency through regular Express Entry draws conducted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
- Settlement Funds: Unless currently authorized to work in Canada and in possession of a valid job offer, applicants need to demonstrate that they have sufficient settlement funds to support themselves and their family members upon arrival in Canada.
The Federal Skilled Trades Program provides a pathway for skilled tradespeople to obtain permanent residency in Canada, allowing them to continue their careers and contribute to the Canadian economy. By targeting specific occupations in demand, the FSTP supports both skilled workers and Canadian industries facing labor shortages in various trades sectors.