Federal Skilled Trades Program

What is a Federal Skilled Tradesperson? How do you qualify for the Express Entry system into Canada under the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC)?

federal skilled trades program

Canada wants people to immigrate if they can add to the economy and growth of Canada.

Tradespeople are hugely sought after. In order to qualify for the Express Entry system, one of the quickest routes to gain permanent residency of Canada, you need to have had at least 2 years of full time employment of your skilled trade. Don’t forget you also need to meet the points based criteria of age, language and whether you can adapt to living in Canada amongst other things.

Criteria to submit expression of interest into the Express Entry system as a Federal Skilled Tradesperson:

  • Must have worked for at least two years or an equal amount in part time work in your skilled trade in the five years before applying.
  • Age is a factor. The younger you are the more points you will gain but don’t be put off if you don’t gain the maximum in age there are other ways to pick up points.
  • Language – a proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking in English and/or French is a must. A language test needs to be taken at an approved centre. You can earn a maximum of 24 points for proficiency in your first language and a further 4 points should you meet the required level in your second language. Remember though, your first and second language has to be English and French.
  • If you have any family residing in Canada either as a Canadian citizen or as a permanent resident you can gain further points for this. The family members can be parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses including common law, child, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew.
  • Previous experience of living in Canada either working or studying will also award you further points. The IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) want to see that you can adapt to living in Canada hence awarding additional points.
  • Have a valid job offers of continuous, paid, full-time employment (at least 30 hours a week) from up to two employers in Canada for at least one year OR a certificate of qualification from a provincial or territorial body;
  • An offer of employment will also gain additional points.
  • The higher level you have reached in education will also help although this is not mandatory for a Federal Skilled Tradesperson but more points can be gained if you have completed a level of education.

Some of the trades that are able to submit their expression of interest into the Express Entry system are electricians, anyone within the construction industry, chefs and cooks and butchers and bakers. Don’t worry if you don’t fit into these occupations, there are more, this is just to give you an idea.

Don’t forget too that you must be able to prove you have the funds to live in Canada for you and your family, you must also be able to pass a required language test in either English or French or ideally both and this has to be by taking an approved language test and must include writing, reading, listening and speaking.

Another thing with the Federal Skilled Trades Program is that you cannot choose to live in Quebec. Quebec selects its own skilled workers.

Federal Skilled Tradespeople will go into the Express Entry pool where the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) invite you to apply (ITA) for your permanent residency into Canada. The more points you have the better chance you have of receiving an Invite to Apply (ITA).

Once your expression of interest is submitted your application will go into the Express Entry pool and IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) carry out a regular draw of applicants with the highest number of points. If they draw out your application otherwise known as Invite to Apply (ITA) you then have a number of days to submit the rest of the required paperwork such as medical certificates, proof of funds and a police report to prove you do not have a criminal record.

Once you have been accepted into the Express Entry pool you can then begin your job search, if you don’t already have an offer of employment, by creating a Job Match account. This is specifically for skilled professionals who have reached the criteria to be placed into the Express Entry pool.

Your Express Entry expression of interest (application) is only valid for one year. If you are not invited to apply during this time then you can re-submit your profile (application) and enter the Express Entry pool as long as you still meet the criteria.

The Express Entry visa is exactly that, an expressway of gaining permanent residency into Canada.

Do you qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Class? Find out today!

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