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As part of an effort to streamline immigration for certain skilled foreign nationals, Canada enacted an Express Entry System for processing and approving immigration applications. The Federal Skilled Trades Program is among several programs overseen by the Express Entry System. While it is not the only immigration pathway for interested skilled trade workers, it can be the quickest way to permanent Canadian residency.

Like other Express Entry Programs, applicants interested in the Canadian Federal Skilled Trades Program must express their interest by completing an online Express Entry profile. Candidate profiles will be evaluated and given a Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS), which will determine their ranking in the Express Entry Pool of all interested applicants. Candidates with the highest CRS scores will be offered an Invitation to Apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

Eligibility to Apply for The Express Entry Federal Skilled Trades Program

Applicants to the Federal Skilled Trades Program must have skilled trade experience in one of the following National Occupation Classification trades:

  • Major Group 72 – construction, industrial, and electrical trades
  • Major Group 73 – equipment operation and maintenance trades
  • Major Group 82 – technical and supervisorial jobs in natural resources, agriculture, or associated field
  • Major Group 92 – central control operators and processing, manufacturing, and utility supervisors
  • Minor Group 632 – chefs and cooks
  • Minor Group 633 – butchers and bakers

The Major Groups include various Minor Group subcategories.

There are several other conditions relating to language ability, work experience, and capacity to settle that must also be met to be deemed eligible for the Canadian Federal Skilled Trade Program. They include:

  • Minimum language abilities in either English or French
    • CLB (NCLC) 5 speaking and listening
    • CLB (NCLC) 4 reading and writing
  • A minimum 2-years full-time, or 24-month equivalent part-time work, in your listed skilled trade accumulated within the last 5-years
  • Meet the Canadian job requirements for your skilled trade as listed under the NOC, except for those requiring a certificate of qualification
  • A minimum 1-year term job offer for full-time employment in your NOC listed trade OR
  • A provincial, territorial, or federally issued certificate of qualification in your skilled trade
  • Proof of enough funds to settlement. This amount will depend on your domestic situation and the number of dependants.

Applicants must also be admissible to Canada under Canadian Immigration Laws.

How to Apply to the Canadian Federal Skilled Trade Program – Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1: Once you have determined your eligibility for the Canadian Skilled Trades Program, it is recommended that you assemble all the required documents. These documents may include but are not limited to:

  • Travel document or passport
  • Language test results
  • Verification of work experience
  • Proof of job offer or certificate of qualification (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of settlement funds
  • Police certificate
  • Medical exam results
  • Documents supporting your marital status and dependent children

Not all these documents will be required to complete your profile, but some may take longer to get.

Step 2: Complete and submit an online Express Entry Profile.

Step 3: After your profile has been submitted, it remains valid for one year. During this time, you are able to modify your profile, including adding or updating skills that may improve your CRS score (like adding a second language or educational qualification)

Step 4: Invitations to Apply are sent out bi-monthly. If you receive an ITA, you have 90 days to submit your completed application. You must answer all questions truthfully and to the best of your ability. Knowingly providing false information may result in your being deemed inadmissible to Canada.

Step 5: If you do not receive an ITA within the 1-year time frame, your profile is removed. If you wish to re-enter the pool, you may submit another profile.

Get Help with Your Federal Skilled Trades Application

A Federal Skilled Trades application is a lengthy document with precise requirements, details, and deadlines. If you need help completing the application, if your application has been refused, or are looking for ways to improve an existing application, the immigration consultants at Elaar Immigration can help. Our professionally trained Canadian immigration consultants have an in-depth understanding of Canadian Express Entry and the specific requirements under each stream, and we will ensure your application is complete and correct.

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