Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC)
Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) applications are assessed based on an applicant’s ability to become economically established upon immigration to Canada.
Eligible candidates for the Federal Skilled Trades Program must express interest in immigrating through the Express Entry selection system for immigration to Canada.
The FSTC allows individuals with job offers or appropriate certification to work in certain occupations to obtain Canadian permanent residence in any Canadian province or territory other than Quebec.
Eligibility Criteria for the FSTC
To qualify for a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa, Federal Skilled Trades applicants must:
- have suggestions of employment from up to two employers in Canada of at least one-year duration OR a Certificate of Qualification* from a provincial or territorial body;
- furnish proof of basic language proficiency from a designated language testing organization, indicating that the applicant meets the minimum threshold set by the Minister — Canadian Level Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening, CLB 4 for reading and writing;
- have obtained two years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work) in the skilled trade in the five years before applying; and
- be able to reveal the skills and experience and have performed the vital duties of the occupation.
Professional work experience eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Class falls into the following general Skilled Trades categories of the 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 utility supervisors and central control operators,
- Minor Group 632: chefs and cooks, and
- Minor Group 633: butchers and bakers.
FSTC and Express Entry
The FSTC is one of three programs driven by Canada’s Express Entry system. This means that to commence the process of immigrating to Canada as a tradesperson, a tradesperson must first create an online Express Entry profile to acquire a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and become ranked against other candidates in the Express Entry pool.
Generally, FSTC candidates may have lower CRS scores than other Express Entry candidates — Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) — because they are not required to demonstrate their level of education to enter the pool.
Since the inception of the Express Entry system in 2015, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) has held three program-specific draws where FSTC candidates were prioritized.
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