Canada Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program is for skilled workers who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade.

The FST program is managed by Express Entry system. Candidates who want to apply for Canadian permanent residence must first submit their express of interest through Express Entry. The system will then assess all applications in the pool to select the most competitive candidates based on their points.


  • Experience: at least 2 years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within the 5 years before you apply. Your work experience must be for paid work (paid wages or earned commission—volunteer work or unpaid internships do not count), and post-qualification.
  • Meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification (as explained below), except for needing a certificate of qualification.
  • Connection to Canada:
    • Have a valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year, or
    • Certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial, or federal authority.
  • Residence in Canada: You must agree to live outside of Quebec.
  • Language: reach a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) on English or French, as below:
Language Abilities Minimum Level
English Speaking and Listening CLB 5
English Reading and Listening CLB 4
French Speaking and listening NCLC 5
French Reading and Writing NCLC 4

If you meet the above requirements, you can create an Express Entry Profile on Express Entry system for the FST for consideration.

Skilled work experience

Skilled trades for the Federal Skilled Trades Program are organized under these groups of the National Occupational Classification (NOC):

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

You must be able to show that you performed the tasks set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC.


Formal education is not required in the FST program. However, if you want to increase to chance to get the invitation by increasing your points, you can submit your qualification to claim points:

  • If you went to school in Canada, you can claim points for certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian secondary institution or post-secondary institution;
  • If you want to use your foreign qualification, you must get educational credential from a designated organisation to claims points.

Proof of funds

You must be able to demonstrate that you have enough funds to settle in Canada, unless you:

  • are able to work legally in Canada; and
  • have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.

How much money you will need

Number of family members Funds required (in CAD)
1 $12,960
2 $16,135
3 $19,836
4 $24,083
5 $27,315
6 $30,806
7 $34,299
Each additional family member $3,492

Check your eligibility against FST requirements

Create an express entry profile through the Express Entry system - you do not have to submit documents at this stage

Get Nomination Certificate from the federal government

Submit your application with the federal government for permanent residence

Since 2015, the lowest score to get invited in the FST program was 199. This score has been significantly increasing throughout the last 6 years and it has come to around 450 points to get invited. We, therefore, recommend that you try to improve your score to secure a nomination.

To see the last express entry draws, click here.

To calculate your current points, click here.

Kunal Thakur

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant R#519955

Kunal Thakur is a passionate Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC), holding close to two decades of immigration experience, during which he has successfully guided thousands of immigrants in their immigration journey. He is quick in responding to client queries and would always give his clients the right advice. Kunal also brings immense value in all his talks and discourses on immigration and when not in front of his laptop reading and analysing client cases he could be seen exploring new places and trying new things. Kunal is currently based in Adelaide, Australia. You can book a time with him here.

[email protected]

RCIC: R519955