What is the Federal Skilled Trades Class?
The Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) was launched on January 2nd 2013 by Citizenship and Immigration Canada – CIC (now Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada – IRCC).
Federal Skilled Trades Class and Express Entry
The FSTC is one of three programs managed by the Government of Canada’s
Express Entry selection system. This means that in order to begin the process immigrating to Canada under FSTC a tradesperson must first create an online Express Entry profile to get a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and become ranked against other candidates in Express Entry pool. See Immigration to Canada: How to create an Express Entry profile.
Generally, FSTC candidates may have lower CRS scores than candidates in the two other Express Entry program — Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) — because they are not required to prove their level of education to enter the pool.
FSTC applications are assessed based on an applicant’s ability to become economically established upon immigration to Canada. Eligible candidates must make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada through the IRCC Express Entry selection system for immigration to Canada.
FSTC Applicants receive a pass or fail score, based on the following four requirements:
- have offers 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;
- provide proof of basic language proficiency from a designated language testing organization, demonstrating 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 2 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 demonstrate the skills and experience and that they have performed the essential duties of the occupation.
The program is quota based and limited to 3000 applications per year
with sub quotas in many of the eligible categories of trade.
Skilled work experience eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Class fall 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 utilities supervisors and central control operators,
- Minor Group 632: chefs and cooks, and
- Minor Group 633: butchers and bakers.
FSTC applicants must plan to reside outside the province of Quebec. The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers through a unique immigration system. If prospective applicants plan on living in Quebec, visit the Quebec Skilled Worker Program page for more information.
Applicants must provide evidence of proficiency in the English or French language for speaking, listening, reading and writing. Only test results from a IRCC designated language testing agency are acceptable.
Two of the most commonly used language tests are the IELTS for English and the TEF for French. See Language Training for Canada. Required scores are: