Difference between Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades

Federal Skilled Worker vs.Federal Skilled Trades

In this blog we will discuss the difference between Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and Federal Skilled Trades (FST). People tend to mix these two together as far as information is concerned. There is a difference in terms of requirements in each category. The procedure for processing these applications is electronic and based on point system as well. Through Express Entry you enter into a pool where there are a lot of other candidates are also available with their profile to seek eligibility. However, the person who ranks the highest out of all these people gets an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence in Canada. Now some of you may ask what is Express Entry Pool? The candidates who want to immigrate to Canada create an online profile and if they are eligible for one of Canada’s economic immigration programs, they enter the Express Entry Pool. There are four programs that are applied through Express Entry:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Class
  • Federal Skilled Trades Class
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Provincial Nominee Class

We will just talk about the top two programs as we mentioned above. The first one that we will discuss is Federal Skilled Trades Class. This class of immigration requires a candidate to have work experience, language ability, education, and various selection factors. We will discuss briefly each of these requirements so everybody can understand what is required of them if they were to apply under either one of these categories.

Federal Skilled Worker Requirements

There are requirements that have to be met before the application could be concluded. You must have:

  • at least one year of experience within the last 10 years
  • it has to be paid work, volunteer and unpaid internships do not count
  • your job has to be under the NOC skill level A, B, O

If you did a full time job then it must be equal to 30 hours per week for 12 months which will be equivalent to 1,560 hours throughout the year. If it was part time then it should be 15 hours per week for 24 months which will be equal to 1,560 hours.

Language Ability Requirement

Language test results are very crucial to your application. One need to be very good with the languages that are spoken in Canada. You have to show your language test results to be able to get a points for it in express entry. You must meet the minim language level of Canadian language benchmark which CLB 7 or you can also do ielts exam. The language test must be approved by citizenship and immigration Canada. You will have to include your test results when you complete your express entry profile. The results of your test must not be more than two years old, the day when you apply for permanent residence.


If you got your education in Canada then the level of education has to be a Canadian high school or post-secondary certificate, diploma or a degree. However, if you have foreign education then you will require the assessment of your foreign credential through an agency approved by CIC called (ECA) Educational Credential Assessment. The report from ECA must demonstrate that your qualification is equivalent to the standard of education in Canada.

Factors for Selection

If you are lucky enough to meet the criterion set out in the minimum requirements, your application will be assessed based on the selection factors in the federal skilled worker point’s grid. To summarize the selection criteria in few words you should look at the factors we have provided below:

  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Whether you have a job offer in Canada or not
  • Your age
  • Your linguistic ability in English or French
  • Adaptability to see how likely you are to settle in Canada

These six factors are the soul of your application. If you are married or have a common-law partner and if your partner meets the requirements to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker, you have the option to decide which one of you can apply under express entry as the principal applicant.

Proof of fund

You do not necessarily have to have a job in Canada to be able to immigrate. In Federal Skilled Worker program the immigration officer will also pay attention to how financial stable you are. You will have to demonstrate that you have enough funds to support yourself and your family once you arrive in Canada. The exception to this rule is that if you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer then you do not have to have solid fund to convince the officer that you can take care of yourself and your family.

Other requirements include your admissibility to Canada and also you must not have the intention to live in the province of Quebec.

Federal Skilled Trades Class Requirements

This category of immigration is more or less the same when it comes to assessing the applicant’s ability to adapt to the environment and society in Canada. The applicant has to demonstrate that he or she has the credentials required to live a smooth life in Canada based on their education, language ability and work experience. However, the requirements in this category are different to the category we discussed above.

Federal Skilled Trades Class Requirements

We will discuss the categories briefly to help people understand how it is difference from the Federal Skilled Worker Class and what is needed to qualify under Federal Skills Trade Class. The requirements are mentioned below:

  • You must plan to live anywhere in Canada except the prince of Quebec
  • You must meet the required level of linguistic ability either in English or French
  • You must have two years of full time or equal amount of part time experience within the five years before you apply under express entry
  • You must meet the job requirements as it is set out in NOC
  • You must have an offer of full time employment for the period of one year at least

As an applicant your must show that you did the duties at your employment exactly as they are set out in the National Occupation Classification description. If you fail to show the duties and your experience for the job you did as it is set out in the NOC your application will not be accepted.


When it comes to education in this category you will be surprised that that there is no education requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades program. However, it is always a bonus to show your education on your profile as it gives you extra points. If you have Canadian education such as post-secondary, diploma or a degree you will be given points for it. But if you have foreign education then you will need assessment of your foreign credentials from the ECA as it is the case in Federal Skilled Worker program.

Language Ability

It will be crucial for your to meet the minimum language requirements of Canadian language benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening and (CLB) 4 for reading and writing. You will have to demonstrate your proficiency in either English or French language through the tests approved by (CIC). Your test results cannot be older than two years when you apply for permanent residence.

Contact Akrami & Associates:

We cannot discuss every single detail of these categories in this brief blog. If you want further information about Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades or if you want to apply for it and need our help to make a good application for you, please do consider Akrami & Associates for all your legal needs. Our team of dedicated consultants and lawyers will take good care of you by presenting the best possible case for you and your loved ones.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!

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