The Federal Skilled Trades Program is one of the three federal immigration programs under the Express Entry immigration system, while the others are, the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Canadian Experience Class. These immigration programs act as pathways for skilled workers to apply for permanent residence in Canada, as these are based on in-demand skilled occupations.

 Candidates must meet all the criteria under this program, to qualify for an occupation considered a skilled trade. Applicants must have a valid job offer or a certificate of qualification to meet the eligibility under this program. When a candidate is issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA), he will be eligible for permanent residency in all provinces and territories of Canada, except for Quebec (it has its guidelines and rules to welcome skilled workers).

 Eligibility for Federal Skilled Trades Program

Applicants must meet specific criteria to be eligible for the Federal Skilled Trade Program to create an Express Entry profile. The requirements vary among different programs; to qualify under the FSTP, a candidate must:

  • Have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer for at least one year or a certificate of qualification from a provincial body
  • Secure the minimum eligible language proficiency score in English or French, measured by the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level (Writing: 4, Reading: 4, Listening: 5, and Speaking: 5)
  • Have a minimum of two years of relevant work experience
  • Have the ability to show and prove skills in the trade

 NOTE: Certificate of Qualification must be obtained from a transference of qualifications exam written in Canada, or the candidate’s original qualifications must be valid for practice in Canada.

 While meeting all the above criteria, the candidate must prove that he/she has sufficient funds to support himself/herself and accompanying family members in Canada. The candidate must acquire relevant training or experience under an employer in Canada, so the same can be assessed by a recognized Canadian body to determine the candidate’s skilled trade. 

After completing all the above requirements, the candidate can create an online profile and attach supporting documents to apply for the program under the Express Entry system.

 Qualifying Skilled Occupations 

There are many in-demand occupations stated by the federal government, as these occupations do not have a sufficient workforce. Also, these in-demand occupations are expected to rise over the next five years. Here is the list of qualifying occupations/fields under the Federal Skilled Trades Program:

National Occupational Classification (NOC) Categories


  Major Group 72
  • Industrial
  • Electrical
  • Construction
  Major Group 73


  • Maintenance
  • Equipment operation
  Major Group 82


  • Supervisors and Technicians in Natural Resources
  • Agriculture
  Major Group 92



  • Processing and Manufacturing
  • Utility Supervisors
  • Central Control Operators
  Minor Group 632 Chefs and Cooks
  Minor Group 633 Butchers and Bakers

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About Express Entry Immigration System

Introduced in 2015, the Express Entry system is a fast-track immigration system that speeds up the processing times for visa applications for in-demand skilled workers. All these applications are deemed to be closed within six months by the federal department.

 To apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (applicants first meet the above criteria), the candidate will have to create an online profile, and he/she will be assessed on the basis of the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS assesses candidates based on a series of human capital factors and ranks all the candidates on the basis of their CRS scores. 

 The candidates with maximum CRS scores in the pool are issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence during the Express Entry draws (usually takes place every two weeks).

 Selection Factors for CRS

  • Age
  • Educational qualifications
  • Work Experience (In and outside of Canada)
  • Language Proficiency
  • Arranged employment
  • Adaptability
  • Provincial Nomination
  • Family connection (sibling in Canada)

 Through this pathway, applicants are not required to provide their education level. However, the CRS score will be calculated if a candidate submits proof of education in Canada or foreign educational credentials. Candidates must also score a minimum eligible CRS score under the program to demonstrate their language proficiency.

 How to boost your CRS score?

You can improve your CRS score in many ways, such as, adding your work experience or attaining more qualifications in your field of study. In short, you must keep your Express Entry profile updated. You must also focus on making your profile strong by adding all the necessary documents before applying to improve your chances of being nominated for a PR visa.

 You can also improve your CRS score by obtaining a Provincial Nomination (PN) from any province or territory under one of the PNPs. If you are already in the Express Entry pool, then you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the province per your preference, or sometimes provinces send a Notification of Interest (NOI). Also, you must meet the eligibility criteria stated by the province, as well as you must have the skills that are in demand in the province.

 Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

A candidate is required to create a separate profile for PNP than his/her Express Entry profile. If he/she successfully meets the criteria under the Provincial Nominee Program, then the province will issue a Provincial Nomination (PN) to him/her. The PN adds 600 extra points to the CRS score, and it also increases the candidate’s chances of receiving an ITA. 

 NOTE: The minimum drawn from the Express Entry profile has never increased beyond 500 points.

 There are many PNP streams for skilled workers that are aligned with the Express Entry system; however, candidates can directly apply through PNP before creating an Express Entry profile. These streams target candidates with critical skills such as healthcare professionals, who may not score very well in the Express Entry pool but can score well if measured against the criteria set by different provinces.

 How can Make Home Canada assist you?

We offer immigration services under different programs, and our expert consultants will guide you through the dynamic immigration policies. We will help you through your complete application process, starting from creating a profile to receiving an ITA for permanent residence.

 Moreover, our immigration consultants will also check on all of your supporting documents required to submit a complete application after receiving an ITA. We will keep track of all the formalities being done on time, leaving no room for errors. 

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