Determine your eligibility — Skilled trades

The Federal Skilled Trades Program is for people who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade.

Note: To avoid backlogs and ensure fast processing times, we will accept no more than 5,000 complete federal skilled trade applications for processing as of May 1, 2014. These are the last applications we will accept under the current system before Express Entry launches in January 2015.

Within the 5,000 cap, no more than 100 new applications for each job will be considered for processing. See which applications we are currently accepting.

To apply, you must:

  • plan to live outside the province of Quebec (Note: The province of Quebec chooses its own skilled workers. If you plan on living in Quebec, see Quebec-selected skilled workers for more information),
  • meet the required levels in English or French for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing, and listening),
  • have at least two years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience)Footnote * in a skilled trade within the five years before you apply,
  • meet all job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC), and
  • have an offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one yearFootnote ** or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a provincial or territorial body.Footnote ***

You will likely have to go to the province or territory to be assessed. You may also need an employer in Canada to give you experience and training.

You should go to the website of the body that governs trades for the province/territory where you would like to live and work. The process is different depending on where you want to go.

Each website has more details about whether you need a certificate of qualification to work there in a specific skilled trade, and what you have to do to get one.

National Occupation Classification (NOC) requirements

Skilled Trades currently eligible for the FSTP are organized under these major groups of the NOC:

  • 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, and
  • Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators.

These major NOC groups are subdivided into different occupations. We will accept no more than 100 applications for each occupation. See which applications we are accepting.

FSTP applications must be made based on the 2011 version of the NOC. However, if the application includes a Labour Market Opinion from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada based on the 2006 version of the NOC, it will be accepted by CIC as long as the applicant’s occupation corresponds to a 2011 NOC code that is eligible for the program.

Language testing

You must show you meet the minimum requirements in English or French for each of the four language abilities:

  • reading,
  • writing,
  • speaking, and
  • listening.

To do this, you must take an English or French language test from an organization approved by CIC. You must then include the results of your test with your application.


Some people are inadmissible—they are not allowed to come to Canada. Several things can make you inadmissible, such as being involved in criminal activity, in human rights violations or in organized crime.

You can also be inadmissible for security, health or financial reasons. Find out more about inadmissibility.

Do not apply under the Federal Skilled Trades Program if you are not admissible to Canada.

If you are not sure if you should apply as a skilled trades worker, try the Come to Canada Wizard to find out if you would be eligible.

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