Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) Canada

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The Federal Skilled Trades Program is for skilled workers who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade. This program was introduced in 2013 to address the shortage of skilled trades workers in Canada.

The FSTP is a dedicated pathway for skilled trades workers to gain status as Canadian permanent residents. To be eligible for the FSTP, candidates must meet the following criteria:

FSTP Eligibility: Work Experience Criteria

  • At least two years of paid, full-time skilled trades work experience or an equivalent amount of part-time experience, within the five years before applying. Your skilled trades work experience must fall under NOC skill type B.
    • 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
    • Minor Group 633, butchers and bakers
  • A minimum Canadian Language Benchmark of 5 for speaking and listening and CLB 4 for reading and writing on your English or French language test
  • Demonstrate proof of funds, Candidates must demonstrate they have sufficient money to support themselves and any dependent family members accompanying them.

The eligibility requirements differ from other Express Entry programs because they are specific to just One National Occupation Classification (NOC), Skill level B. You must show you perform all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed under skill level B.

Education requirements for FSTP applicants:

Although there is no education requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, you can get extra points if you do have an education, thus improving your ranking in the Express Entry pool. Following are two ways you can increase your points:

  • If you went to school in Canada, you could get points for a certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian secondary institution (high school) or a post-secondary institution
  • If you have foreign education, you can get points for a completed educational credential, if you have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECS), for immigration purposes, from a designated organization showing that your education is equal to a completed certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian secondary institution (high school) or post-secondary institution. The designated organizations are:
    • World Education Services (WES)
    • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS)
    • Comparative Education Service (CES), University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
    • International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
    • International Credential Evaluation Service
  • You must include your ECA Report and the reference number in your Express Entry profile.

By getting your credentials assessed, you

  • Show employers your qualifications
  • Understand the types of jobs you might be qualified for
  • See if your credentials are equal to the standards set for Canadian workers
  • See if your credentials are equal to the standards set for Canadian workers
  • Find out if you need more training, education, or Canadian work experience

Meeting Language Requirements for the FSTP

You must meet the minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking, listening, and Canadian Benchmark (CLB) 4 for reading and writing.

Your language test results will be valid for 2 years after the date of the test result. They must be valid on the day you apply for permanent residence.

Proof of Funds

You must show that you have enough money to support you and your family to settle in Canada. Unless you:

  • Are currently able to legally work in Canada and
  • Have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada

The amount of money you need to support your family depends on the size of your family. To calculate the size of your family, you must include:

  • Yourself
  • Your spouse or partner
  • Your dependent children
  • Your spouse’s dependent children

Include your spouse or your children even if they are

  • Permanent residents or Canadian citizens
  • Not coming to Canada with you

As of June 9, 2022, the below table shows the minimum of amount of money needed to immigrate to Canada. If you have more money, list the full amount in your profile or application:

Number of family members Funds required (in Canadian dollars)
1 $13,310
2 $16,570
3 $20,371
4 $24,733
5 $28,052
6 $31,638
7 $35,224
For each additional family member $ 3,586


What is expected as proof:

Funds must be readily available to you. For example, you can't use equity on real property as proof of settlement funds.

You also can’t borrow this money from another person. You must be able to use this money to pay the costs of living for your family (even if they aren’t coming with you).

If your spouse is coming with you, you can count money you have together in a joint account. You may be able to count money in an account under their name only, but you must prove you have access to the money.

The funds must be available both when you apply and when (if) you are issued a permanent resident visa. You must prove to an immigration officer you can legally access the money to use here when you arrive.

For proof, you must get official letters from any banks or financial institutions where you are keeping money.

Letters must:

  • be printed on the financial institution’s letterhead
  • include their contact information (address, telephone number and email address)
  • include your name
  • list outstanding debts such as credit card debts and loans
  • include, for each current bank and investment account, the
    • account numbers
    • date each account was opened
    • current balance of each account
    • average balance for the past 6 months

Updates to fund requirements

Minimum amounts are updated every year. The changes are small, but there is a chance they could affect your eligibility. Updates to minimum amount of money needed will be provided once posted.

How much money should you bring to Canada?

Bring as much money as you can as this will make moving and finding a home in Canada easier. If you are bringing more than $10,000CAD into Canada when you arrive, you have to tell the border officer. If you don’t tell them, you may be fined, and your funds could be seized. This includes:

  • cash
  • documents that show property or capital payable to you, such as:
    • stocks
    • bonds
    • debentures
    • treasury bills

Where you can live in Canada

You must plan to live outside the province of Quebec. The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers. You can settle in any province or territory, however, if you are a provincial nominee, you must settle in the province of territory that nominated you.

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