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Canada Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is one of the multiple express entry paths to immigrate to Canada. You can be granted permanent residency in Canada under this program and qualify for Canadian citizenship after living as a permanent resident for the required period.

Working with professional immigration lawyers can maximise your chance of obtaining Canadian permanent residence through the FSTP. Contact us on 0333 305 9375 for help on FSTP, eligibility and application.


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    When it comes to obtaining a Canada visa or permit, IAS Canada immigration lawyers are well-equipped to help you.

    With IAS’ track record of successfully helping clients visit or immigrate to Canada successfully, we can help you achieve your goal.

    Our dedicated immigration lawyers provide our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach. With IAS, you enjoy:

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    What is the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

    The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is a Canadian migration path under the Express Entry immigration system. The Express Entry system is a popular choice for immigrants in the middle-income or economic class, with several thousand applications submitted to this system each year.

    The Federal Skilled Trades Program allows skilled trade workers who meet all the requirements to submit applications for permanent residency. If invited to apply, you may have your application approved within six months.

    When you have obtained a permanent resident status and lived in Canada for five years, you may choose to apply for Canadian citizenship. However, to do this, you must have lived in Canada for a minimum of 1095 days within these five years while having a permanent residence status.

    For any help with the application process for the Federal Skilled Trades Program or with any other immigration process, you can contact us at 0333 305 9375.

    What are the Benefits of the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

    There are many benefits under the Federal Skilled Trades Program. As an applicant under this program, you have lower score requirements under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) than skilled workers taking other immigration pathways under the Express Entry migration system.

    Other immigration paths under the Express Entry migration system require applicants to submit proof of educational qualifications. However, you will not have to provide proof of educational qualification as an applicant under the Federal Skilled Trade Program.

    Furthermore, there is a higher chance of being granted permission to enter Canada under the Federal Skilled Trades Program. More applicants under this program have had their applications approved in the past years than applicants under other Express Entry programs. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada also occasionally invites only applicants under the Federal Skilled Trades Program through program-specific draws for the Express Entry system.

    What are the Eligibility Requirements for the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

    To qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, you have to meet the following minimum requirements;

    • You must have a valid employment offer of constant full-time employment from a maximum of two Canadian businesses or employers.
    • You must possess basic French or English language abilities that are proven by a test taken a maximum of 2 years before you submit your application.
    • You must possess a minimum of two years of full-time work experience or equal part-time employment in your skilled trade within the five years before you submit your application for the Federal Skilled Trade Program.
    • You will also need to prove your experience and skills in carrying out your trade or profession’s core responsibilities and tasks. You will also need proof of your skill level corresponding to the National Occupational Classification.
    • You must also provide evidence that you intend to live outside Quebec Province. The Province of Quebec operates its unique Skilled Worker Program.

    Proof of Funds Requirements

    Asides from meeting the personal requirements for the Federal Skilled Trades program, you will need to provide proof of funds. Canada requires immigrants under this immigration pathway to show they can be financially responsible for themselves while staying in Canada. You will also need to prove that you can support any accompanying family member.

    Generally, you will need about $13,757 to show that you can support yourself and one other family member. However, you will need to add $3,706 for each additional family member. The financial requirement can go up to about $36,407 if you bring seven family members.

    You will need to provide proof of funds alongside your application to the program. Official letters from a financial institution or bank are the only allowed proof of funds.

    The official letter must bear the financial institution’s letterhead, and the institution’s contact details must be included in the letter. Your name, account number, bank balance, outstanding debts, the date your account was opened, and your average balance over the last six months from writing the letter must also be included.

    However, suppose you have been legally approved to work in Canada and have obtained a valid offer for employment from a Canada-based organisation. In that case, you will not have to provide proof of funds.

    What Skilled Trades are Eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

    The Federal Skilled Trades Program was explicitly created for professions or technical jobs under specific classifications provided by the National Occupational Classification (NOC). These categories include:

    • Electrical, Industrial, and Education Trades (Major Group 72)
    • Cooks and Chefs (Minor Group 632)
    • Equipment Operation and Maintenance Trades (Major Group 73)
    • Technical and Supervisor jobs in agriculture, natural resources, and related production (Major Group 82)
    • Bakers and Butchers (Minor Group 633)
    • Central Control Operators and Processing manufacturing and Utility supervisors (Major Group 92)
    • Major groups are the broadest professional category and are subdivided into minor groups. Minor groups are also further split into unit groups.

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist you with your FSTP Visa application.

    What is the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)?

    The Express Entry system operates a point-based system. Only skilled workers with the highest points are invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) assesses these immigration candidates.

    All immigration candidates are assigned points based on skill transferability, essential human capital, and other factors. Each area of human life is assigned a score, and the applicant is given a score based on their characteristics and performance. In essence, the ranking system examines the applicants’ age, finances, education, work experience, language test scores, and other eligibility requirements.

    Every program under the Express Entry migration system has its average score. The Federal Skilled Trades Program has one of the lowest average scores under the Express Entry system. In past years, candidates for the Federal Skilled Trades Program were required to have a minimum score of 415 points of the 1200 points available. Remember that if more skilled candidates score higher, this minimum point could reach about 600 points.

    Asides from the low Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) requirement, The Federal Skilled Trades Program has other benefits. The province may also nominate you, and this nomination can assure you of success since a provincial nomination gives you about 600 points on the CRS.

    You will also have more CRS points if you have worked in Canada or previously studied in Canada.

    Comprehensive Ranking System Scores for the Federal Skilled Trades Program

    Skilled trade workers applying for the FSTP must meet specific threshold scores based on the Comprehensive Ranking Systems (CRS). Points are assigned to each section, and being eligible for the program provides you with some points. Sometimes, being qualified is enough to earn you all the necessary points.

    The point requirements differ depending on the unique circumstance of each applicant. For instance, these points listed are the maximum points for any candidate or applicant that does not have a dependent common-law partner or spouse

    • 100 points for skill transferability factors
    • 500 points for core or essential human capital factors
    • 600 points for all other factors such as previous work or study experience, an offer for employment, relatives living in Canada who are either permanent residents or citizens, French language proficiency etc.

    On the other hand, candidates who have a dependent common-law partner or spouse have the following maximum points to earn

    • 40 points for core or essential human factors of the dependent common-law partner or spouse
    • 100 points for skill transferability factors
    • 460 points for the core or essential human capital factors of the actual candidate or applicant
    • 600 points for all other factors

    You should know that only the candidates or applicants with the highest scores in the Express Entry pool will be invited to tender applications for permanent residency in Canada. You can increase your chances of having your application approved simply by improving in areas that you can improve in, such as your language proficiency and educational qualifications. You should make sure to do this before commencing your application process.

    How can I apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program?

    Skilled trade workers can apply for the program by submitting an application through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You should ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements before applying. Canadian immigration lawyers can assist you with this process.

    Additionally, you must take an approved French or English language proficiency test like the IELTS. Any language proficiency test from a non-approved body will be disregarded.

    As a foreign national who schooled outside Canada, you must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) result. This result will help you claim more CRS points in educational credentials.

    Once you have been confirmed to meet all the necessary requirements and obtained your language test results and ECA results, you can create an Express Entry profile on the IRCC website. Your profile must be completed accurately, as your CRS scores will be influenced by the amount and quality of information available on your Express Entry profile.

    Once the IRCC approves your Express Entry profile, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residency. Usually, the IRCC holds a draw for the Express Entry system on a two-week basis. These draws are to determine which candidates with the most points should be given an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

    The Federal Skilled Trades Program is one of the most popular choices for immigrants looking to relocate permanently to Canada. As a result, the application for this program is usually quite competitive.

    What should you do after receiving an ITA?

    When you receive an invitation to apply from the IRCC, you can submit an application for Canadian permanent residency. Information on how long you have to tender an application is always included in your invitation to apply. In most cases, applicants only have about 60 days to tender an application to the IRCC.

    You are allowed to apply or deny this invitation to apply within this allocated period. However, if you intend to continue with the process, ensure that your application is submitted within that deadline.

    Your application for permanent residency can be made online on the IRCC application system. You will need to pay certain processing fees and provide all the required documents for the process. Once this is done, the IRCC will provide you with an AOR, or an acknowledgement of receipt, to confirm that your application has been received.

    The IRCC may reach out to you during this period. You may be required to provide your biometrics, submit additional documents, and/or make yourself available for an interview. Sometimes, the IRCC may contact you to provide updates or further details about the process.

    Canadian permanent residency applications are usually processed within six months. When your application for permanent residence is approved, you will be given a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR). Once you get your COPR, you may apply for a permanent residence card.

    Suppose you are applying from a country that requires a Canadian visa to grant entry into Canada. In that case, you will also be given a permanent resident visa alongside the COPR. You can then travel to Canada to apply for a permanent residence card.

    Suppose your application is not approved, or you failed to get an invitation to apply after one year of creating your Express Entry profile. If you still qualify for the program, you will have to make a new IRCC profile to complete your re-application process.

    Find out how we can assist with your FSTP Visa application.

    What are the Required Documents for FSTP?

    The documents required for the Federal Skilled Trades Program include:

    • A valid travel document such as a passport
    • Language proficiency test results
    • Proof of Canadian education or Education Credential Assessment results
    • Employment offer letter from a Canada-based organisation
    • Proof of funds
    • Proof of job experience
    • Canadian provincial nomination (if available)
    • Certificate of qualification in a trade profession issued by a province or territory in Canada (if available)

    Note that if you do not have an offer letter, a certificate showing that you are skilled or qualified in a relevant trade profession will do.

    Additionally, while there is no requirement for educational qualifications under the FSTP, you can earn more points if you have studied in a Canadian institution or have studied in a foreign equivalent and have the equivalent degree, diploma, or certificate.

    The documents required for the permanent residence application process include:

    • Police certificates (from each country you lived in for at least six months after you turned 18)
    • Proof of funds
    • Medical examination results from an IRCC-approved physician
    • Birth Certificate or adoption papers (if immigrating with children)
    • Marriage certificate or any other certificate relevant to your marital status
    • Reference letters from past employers

    Other documents may be required based on your unique circumstances.

    Call us for further assistance with your Canadian immigration matter.

    How Can IAS Help?

    That you are eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program is not a guarantee that you will receive an invitation to apply (ITA). Even after receiving an ITA, there are specific steps you must take at every point during the process. These steps are quite different from that of processing permanent residence in Canada.

    It is commonplace for immigration processes to be confusing and stressful. Our immigration lawyers at IAS are versatile with all the procedures and can help you with FSTP applications from start to finish. We have years of experience doing this and have successfully helped several immigrants obtain permanent residence in Canada. We can do the same for you. Contact us at 0333 305 9375 for any immigration help and questions.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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