What is the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

Federal Skilled Trades Program

Skilled trades generally refer to occupations where you must have specific hands-on skills and training in order to be given the title. Some examples include a plumber, a carpenter, electrician, gas fitter or HVAC technician. In Canada, there is a program known as “The Federal Skilled Trades Program” where people from other countries can apply for permanent residency based on their skills and experience in specific skilled trades.

Are You Eligible?

In order to be considered for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, it stands to reason that you must be proficient in a skilled trade. There are also other requirements you must meet, including:

  • Meeting the required speaking, reading, writing and listening levels of English or French.
  • Meeting all of the job requirements for your specific skilled trade as stated in the National Occupation Classification.
  • Having at least two years of full time work experience in your skilled trade within the past five years.
  • Having an offer of full time employment (at least 30 hours per week) that lasts at least one year; or having a certificate issued by a provincial body that qualifies you in a skilled trade.

In order to receive a skilled trades qualification certificate, you must be assessed by the particular provincial or territorial trades authority to determine if your skills and training are sufficient to write the certification exam. In some cases, a Canadian employer must provide training and experience to complete the process successfully.

How to Apply

The application process isn’t overly complex, but a lot has to happen to gain acceptance and start the program. To immigrate to Canada under the Federal Skilled Trades Program, all you have to do is get a hold of the application package, fill out the forms and pay the required application fees and submit the application.

Your application may go through relatively quickly or it could linger, depending on what type of skilled trade you do, where you plan to settle and how busy the system happens to be when you apply. Naturally, not everyone who submits an application can get into the program at that very moment for that specific skilled trade.

Sometimes, patience is required to see your plans go through and sometimes you may have to tweak the plans altogether and discover a new region that requires your skills. You can earn an honest and prosperous living in Canada with skilled trades, just follow the process through to the end.