Canada welcomes skilled immigrant workers to join our national labor pool, which is decreasing due to an aging population and low birth rate. There are three Express Entry programs that welcome foreign workers into Canada:
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Canadian Experience Class
When enacted in 2015, the Express Entry Program envisioned inviting 400,000 immigrants to fill 110,000 employment spots based on the talents and skills of these new residents – talents and skills that are needed to sustain and build the Canadian economy. Let’s first explore the Federal Skilled Trades class.
What Are the Benefits of the Federal Skilled Trades Class?
Probably the best benefit of using the FSTP is the rapid result. Assuming an application process without complications, an applicant can gain permanent residence within 6 months. Because this is a skills-based program, successful candidates can emigrate with lesser education credentials. The Express Entry program can be further accelerated with a provincial nomination. And if you already have work experience in Canada, considered a real plus, you are more likely to be approved.
The Federal Skilled Trades Class Immigration Process
To familiarize yourself with the vocabulary and criteria, the application process has been broken down into its component parts.
Eligibility: To qualify for FSTP status, an applicant must:
- Have valid job offers of continuous, paid, full-time employment (minimum of 30 hours a week) from up to two Canadian employers for at least one year OR a certificate of qualification from a provincial or territorial body (a certificate of qualification is issued after passing a certified exam and meeting all of the requirements to practice a trade in a specific province or territory);
- Provide proof of basic language proficiency from a designated language testing service, establishing a minimum threshold of level 5 for speaking and listening and a level 4 for reading and writing;
- Documented 2 years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work) in the skilled trade in the 5 years before applying; and
- Be able to demonstrate the skills and experience, and that you have performed the essential duties of the occupation.
There are specific occupations that qualify for FSTP status:
- 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
FSTP candidates who want to live in the province of Quebec must apply separately through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.
What Language Requirements Do I Need to Meet for the Federal Skilled Trades Program? Language testing by an approved language institute is required to establish minimum English or French proficiency. These language requirements are less rigorous than other categories of Express Entry. Passing scores are:
- at least a CLB 5 (English) or a NCLC 5 (French) for speaking and listening
- at least a CLB 4 (English) or a NCLC 4 (French) for reading and writing
Test scores cannot be more than 2-years old from the date of application.
What Is a Certificate of Qualification for the FSTP? A certificate of qualification is earned when you demonstrate in a certified exam that you are qualified to practice a skilled trade in Canada. Upon passing the exam you are issued a certificate from the agency or organization that governs that trade in a given province or by the federal government.
Do I Need a Job Offer Under the FSTP? A job offer is only required if you do not have a certificate of qualification.
Should I Even Apply Under the FSTP If I Have a Low Express Entry CRS Score? CRS stands for Comprehensive Ranking System and it is the way immigration authorities rate the qualifications of an applicant for permanent residency. By entering the Express Entry pool, which FSTP is part of, you will automatically get an additional 600 CRS points added to your application. You can continue to apply for residency through the FSTP while pursuing other avenues for entry into Canada.
How Can I Improve My Express Entry CRS Score? There are several ways you can improve your CRS score when applying under the FSTP:
- Obtain an eligible job offer in addition to getting a certificate of qualification
- Have your foreign education evaluated through the Educational Credential Assessment
- Earn an eligible academic credential in Canada and/or gain work experience in Canada
- Prepare and retest, if necessary, to score as high as possible on your English or French language exams
- Consider having your spouse apply rather than you if your spouse scores higher in CRS points
Begin Your FTSP Application Now With Trusted Immigration Counsel
If you are seeking permanent resident status through a specific trade skill, you can trust the knowledge and experience of Canadian Currents Immigration to guide you through the process. Although the application to create a profile for Express Entry is free, the requirements for completing a successful application can be daunting. With the aid of an experienced immigration lawyer at Canadian Currents Immigration, you can apply for permanent residency through the Federal Skilled Trades Program, once we determine your eligibility.
Our immigration lawyers at Canadian Currents Immigration will review your status to determine your eligibility for Express Entry and to fit you into the most appropriate category available.
Start with a confidential 30-minute consultation with a Canadian Currents Immigration immigration lawyer in Vancouver.
Call us now to book a time: 778-331-1164.