Shabnam Akrami Blogs

Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Federal Skilled Trades Program FAQ's

FAQs for the Federal Skilled Trades Program

The federal skilled trades program (FSTP) is a stream of the Express Entry program economic immigration program, which helps Canadian employers find skilled workers to fill positions in Canada, and help the Canadian economy grow. The FSTP is one of the three federal programs individuals can be nominated under, and receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Essentially, to receive an invitation to apply, you must be eligible under the FSTP, or, one of the other two federal economic programs. If you are eligible, you will be placed in a pool with others who are also eligible under your specific economic stream. Top candidates will be those who receive an invitation to apply. The express entry system as a whole is very difficult to understand. Though, we have provided links to other blogs which help break down the express entry system. This blog will aim to go further than breaking down the express entry system, and actually help individuals who may be thinking about creating an express entry profile because they believe they are eligible under the FSTP, understand the FSTP a little better.

What are the Minimum Requirements?

To be eligible, you must

  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec
    • The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers. If you plan on living in Quebec, you should consult the Quebec skilled workers immigration programs.
  • Meet the required levels in English or French for each language ability
    • CLB 4 in reading and writing
    • CLB 5 in speaking and listening
  • Have at least 2 years of full-time work experience, or an equal amount of part-time work experience in a skilled trade within the 5 years before you apply
  • Meet the job requirements for that skilled trade, as set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) of your primary occupation
  • Have an offer of full-time employment from a Canadian eligible employer, for a total period of at least 1 year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority.

What Counts as a Skilled Trade?

There are certain skilled trades which are and are not eligible for the FSTP. As it is currently, the following skilled trades are currently eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program:

  • major group 72: industrial, electrical and construction workers
  • major group 73: maintenance and equipment operation workers
  • major group 82: supervisors and technical workers 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

How Do I Show I am Qualified for a Particular Skilled Trade?

To show you are eligible for any of the above mentioned groups, you must show that you did the duties set out in the occupational description of the NOC. This includes showing that you had to do all the listed essential duties and most of the main duties of that particular skilled trade. Unfortunately, if you do not show that your experience meets the description of the NOC and that you did all the essential duties, and most of the main duties of that position, the application will not be accepted.

Is there an Education Requirement for the FSTP?

No, there is no minimum education requirement to be eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. However, if you want to earn points on your Express Entry profile for your education, you must show you have either a Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, or, a completed foreign credential and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Is There a Minimum Language Ability Requirement?

Yes, as mentioned, you must meet the required levels in English or French for each language ability. Specifically, you must meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening and CLB 4 for reading and writing. To show you meet these minimum levels, you must take a language test approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), such as the ILETS.

Your test results must be included in your initial Express Entry profile. Then, when you receive an invitation to apply, your test results must not be more than 2 years old by the time you apply for permanent residence.

What is a certificate of qualification for the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

Because of the fact that in Canada, provinces and territories are in charge of education and training, including skilled trades apprenticeships, it is the province which usually decides on how foreign credentials will be recognized for certain trades.

Therefore, a certificate of qualification proves a person is qualified to work in a certain skilled trade in Canada. To get a certificate of qualification, you must

  • pass a certification exam, and
  • meet all the requirements to practice your trade in that province or territory.

How can I get a certificate of qualification from a provincial, territorial or federal body for the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

You will be assessed by the regulatory body that governs trades in your province or territory. You will be assessed based on your training, trade experience and skills. The individual who does the assessment will then determine if you are eligible to write an exam to be certified.

Then, to actually get the certificate of qualification, it will likely require you to have to physically go to the specific province or territory to write the certification exam. In addition, you may need an employer in Canada to give you training and work experience before you are allowed to write the exam.

How can I qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program if the province or territory where I plan to live and work does not give Certificates of Qualification in my trade?

If this is the case for you, you must have a qualifying job offer in the trade you intend to apply under, from an eligible employer in Canada.

What is a qualifying job offer for the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

To count as a qualifying job offer, the job position must follow the following regulations:

  • It must be an offer of continuous, full-time employment for at least 30 hours a week,
  • The offer must be for a period of at least one year.

You must also have a certificate of qualification from the province or territory you are interested in working in. Once again, if the province you are interested in does not issue these certificates, you must have a job offer which complies with the above requirements.

Also, under Express Entry, most job offers need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This means, to be a valid job offer, the offer should be supported by a positive LMIA. Though, there are some cases in which your job offer may be exempt from the requirement of an LMIA. If you need to find out more about your potential job offer, contact Akrami and Associates to speak with a representative today!

Contact Akrami and Associates

Many clients have come to us not knowing how to deal with the new Express Entry program and how to apply for the federal skilled program as a result. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients apply for express entry, under any of the economic program. If you believe that you might be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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