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Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

By: Janice Bandick

Published On: February 25, 2015

What is the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)?

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is an economic immigration program for individuals who want to become permanent residents of Canada based on being qualified in a skilled trade. The FSTP selects permanent residents based on their expected ability to establish themselves in Canada. As of January 1, 2015, all applicants for the FSTP must submit their application through the new electronic immigration selection application system, Express Entry. Express Entry is designed to connect applicants who qualify for permanent residency to be matched with employers who require their skills and experience.


Canadian immigration, FSTP

Minimum Requirements

To be eligible for admission to Canada under the FSTP, applicants must:

  • plan to live outside the province of Quebec (as the province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers),
  • be admissible to Canada,
  • meet the required levels in English or French for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing and listening),
  • have at least two years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within the five years before you apply,
  • meet the job requirements for a skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC), and
  • have an offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one year, or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority.

Selection Factors

Applicants who meet the conditions set out in the minimum requirements are assessed based on the following selection factors:

  • skills in English and/or French,
  • education,
  • work experience,
  • skill transferability,
  • age,
  • possession of a valid job offer,
  • adaptability, and
  • spouse or common-law partner factors (language skills and education),

Eligible Skilled Trades

All NOC B level occupations are eligible for the FSTP , for a total of 90 eligible occupations. The 90 eligible occupations fall into the following general categories:

  • Industrial, electrical and construction trades;
  • Maintenance and equipment operation trades;
  • Supervisors and technical occupations in national resources, agriculture and related production;
  • Processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators;
  • Chefs and cooks;
  • Butchers and bakers


Applicants who satisfy the minimum requirements can apply for consideration through Express Entry.


The introduction of Express Entry and the resulting changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class can be complex and difficult to understand. If you have questions regarding the requirements for eligibility to work in Canada, the evaluation of foreign credentials by provincial regulators, and the differences between the various permanent residency programs, sign up today for Ashton's Skilled Trade Workers Webinar. Presented by Vance Langford, a nationally recognized expert on Canadian immigration law and policy, this webinar is accredited by the ICCRC, the Law Society of BC, and the Law Society of New Brunswick for 5 Continuing Professional Development hours. For more information, or to enrol, click here.



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