Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Are you a skilled tradesperson with work experience and good English or French language skills? If you also have adequate post-secondary training in your skilled trade and meet other criteria, you and your family may have an opportunity to immigrate to Canada through the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)!

A Variety of Trades Needed!

There is an ongoing demand for skilled tradespeople to work in Canada in a variety of occupations that normally require post-secondary training, such as a certificate from a trade school, or satisfactory on-the-job training and/or apprenticeship. Here are some examples of the many skilled trades that qualify for the FSTP.

CONSTRUCTION – Many of these high-demand Canadian jobs are in the construction industry, including: cabinetmakers, carpenters, concrete finishers, electricians, glaziers, ironworkers, pipefitters, plasterers and drywall installers, plumbers, roofers, tilesetters, and welders (among many others).

MAINTENANCE – Some of the trades needed in Canada are in the maintenance field, such as aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors; appliance servicers and repairers; automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers; electrical power line and cable workers; elevator constructors and mechanics; heavy-duty equipment mechanics; refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics – and many more!

MACHINE & PLANT OPERATORS – Other occupations that qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) involve operating machinery or plants. Examples of these skilled trades include: central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing; crane operators; logging machinery operators; petroleum, gas and chemical process operators; power engineers and power systems operators; printing press operators; pulping, papermaking and coating control operators; and water and waste treatment plant operators.

TRADE SUPERVISORS – There is a demand for experienced supervisors to work in Canada to oversee skilled tradespeople. For example, contractors and supervisors are needed in electrical trades and telecommunications occupations; heavy equipment operator crews; and oil and gas drilling and services. Supervisors are also being sought for electronics and electrical products manufacturing; food, beverage and associated products processing; logging, forestry and forest products processing;  furniture and fixtures manufacturing; mining, quarrying, mineral and metal processing;  motor vehicle assembling; petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities;  plastic and rubber products manufacturing; and railway transport operations.

FOOD PREPARATION – Bakers, butchers, chefs and cooks who meet the criteria may also be able to apply for immigration to Canada through the FSTP.

Please note that these are just some examples of the types of trades that may be eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program; there are many additional jobs in Canada that qualify for the FSTP; and the Canadian government may update the criteria at any time.



Foreign skilled tradespeople who want to immigrate to Canada through the FSTP must meet certain eligibility requirements. For example, at least two years of full-time paid work experience (or the equivalent part-time experience) within the past five years is required in a skilled trade that qualifies for the FSTP. This work experience must also match the criteria listed for the skilled trade in Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC). Furthermore, an applicant for the FSTP must either (1) have a certificate of qualification for the skilled trade issued by a province or territory in Canada; OR (2) receive a genuine offer of qualifying employment in Canada lasting for at least one year in the skilled trade. There are also requirements that must be satisfied for English or French language skills, health and character.



In order to apply for immigration to Canada through the FSTP, an Express Entry profile must be submitted online to the Canadian immigration officials. Before this can be done, the applicant must already have satisfactory results less than two years old from his/her English or French language evaluation exam, plus other preliminary steps may be needed. Applicants who seem to meet the requirements for the FSTP may be placed in the Express Entry pool of candidates for up to 12 months. Once an Invitation to Apply (ITA) is issued, the candidate will have up to 90 days to submit his/her Canadian visa application and all of the required documents and fee(s). Most people applying for immigration to Canada through Express Entry receive a decision about whether they have been approved for permanent residency within six months after they submitted their complete Canadian visa application. This is, of course, a brief overview of the FSTP requirements. If you are a foreign skilled tradesperson and want to receive an assessment of your eligibility for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), click here!



Skilled tradespeople and their eligible family members who are approved for Canadian immigration through the FSTP will be granted permanent residency and be authorized to live in Canada long-term. Other benefits of Canadian permanent residency include authorization to work in Canada, free healthcare, access to education programs, the opportunity to buy a home or start a business, and the option to apply for Canadian citizenship once all of the criteria have been satisfied. Permanent residents and citizens of Canada who are at least 18 years-old and meet other criteria may also have the option to sponsor eligible family members for a Canadian visa. People who live in Canada generally enjoy a high standard of living in a beautiful, immigrant-friendly country where freedoms are protected by law. These are just some of the many benefits available to people who live in Canada. To learn more about Canadian immigration, click here!

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