The Federal Skilled Trades Program

The government of Canada has developed an Immigration program which targets people who are skilled in the trades. Through the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the government aims to attract trades-people to make Canada their home. If you are experienced in a trade and this program appeals to you, continue reading to see if you qualify.

Step 1: Check if you are experienced in an eligible trade

To qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program you must have experience in an occupation under one of the following trade categories:

  • Industrial, electrical and construction trades
  • Maintenance and equipment operation trades
  • Supervisors and technical occupations in natural resources, agriculture and related production
  • Processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators
  • Chefs and cooks
  • Butchers and bakers

If you believe that your occupation falls under one of the categories listed above, you can confirm by checking the list of eligible trades. You will find a list of eligible trades in our article Eligible Trades for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Or you can visit the Government of Canada website and enter your job title under ‘Quick Search’. You must now confirm that the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) for your job falls under NOC Major Group 72, 73, 82, 92, or NOC Minor Groups 632 and 633.  This means that if the NOC code for your occupation begins with one of the aforementioned numbers, congratulations, you might be experienced in an eligible trade for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Now, you can move on to check whether you meet the minimum requirements for the program.

Step 2: Meet the minimum requirements

In order to be eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program you must meet the minimum criteria below:

  1. You must submit language test results. The results must prove that you have met the minimum grade of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening and CLB 4 for reading and writing. Keep in mind, these requirements are much lower than CLB 7, which is required to be considered for the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
  2. You must have at least 2 years of work experience within the last 5 years. This experience must be in an occupation under the categories mentioned above. It must also have been accumulated after you were qualified or certified for that trade in your country.
  3. You must be qualified according to the employment requirements listed in the NOC for your occupation. You do not have to meet Canadian certification and licensing requirements.
  4. You must either receive a valid job offer for at least one year in a skilled trade occupation OR get a Certificate of Qualification from an Apprenticeship Authority in Canada

Step 3: Meet the settlement funds requirement

Once you have met the minimum requirements, you should prepare your settlement funds. You will be required to show that you can financially support yourself and your family. The amount of money needed will vary according to family size. Your family size must include yourself, your spouse/partner, and both of your children. This number will include both those that are accompanying you to Canada and those that are remaining behind. It will also include your family members who are already permanent residents or Canadian citizens. Keep in mind, money that is burdened by loans and credit cards will not count towards your settlement funds. To see the minimum amount you will require take a look at the table on the Canadian Government website. If you are authorized to work in Canada, meaning you have a valid work permit, and you have a job offer, you will not have to meet the settlement funds requirement. However, if you live and work outside of Canada, in Israel for example, you will have to be financially prepared.


Qualifying individuals can enter the pool for nomination into the Federal Skilled Trade Program through the Express Entry system. One of the benefits of using this system is that you can be found eligible under more than just one immigration program. To read more about Express Entry read the article Express Entry: Fast Lane for Immigration to Canada.

For more information about the Federal Skilled Trades Program, please contact us.

Our law office would be happy to help you.

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