Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) was established to offer a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada to qualified skilled foreign tradespeople in dozens of high-demand occupations (such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers and welders).

Many of these skilled trades are related to jobs in such occupation categories as:

  • Construction, Electrical and Industrial
  • Equipment Operation and Maintenance
  • Supervisors and Technical Jobs in Natural Resources,
  • Agriculture and Related Production
  • Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities Supervisors and Central Control Operators

Who Can Apply for the FSTP?

In order to qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), an applicant must have a minimum of two years of full-time paid work experience during the past five years in a trade that is eligible for the FSTP.

Dozens of jobs in Canada qualify for the FSTP, particularly in the construction industry, oil & gas sector, trades related to heavy machinery, and various technical fields, among many others.

Currently, all of the skilled trades eligible for the FSTP will be listed under the NOC Skill Level B category in the following groups (groups 72, 73, 82 and 92 each have several specific occupations listed as eligible for the FSTP):

  • Major Group 72, industrial, electrical and construction trades
  • Major Group 73, maintenance and equipment operation trades
  • Major Group 82, supervisors & technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture & related production
  • Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators
  • Minor Group 632, chefs and cooks, and
  • Minor Group 633, butchers and bakers

Skilled foreign workers will also need to meet the requirements for employment in their FSTP-eligible trade as defined by the NOC system.

Examples of some of the dozens of occupations that qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) include:

Aircraft Mechanics and Aircraft Inspectors; Appliance Servicers and Repairers; Automotive Service Technicians, Truck and Bus Mechanics and Mechanical Repairers; Bakers; Bricklayers; Butchers; Cabinetmakers; Cable Television Service and Maintenance Technicians; Carpenters; Chefs; Concrete Finishers; Cooks; Crane Operators; Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers; Electricians; Elevator Constructors and Mechanics; Floor Covering Installers; Gas Fitters; Glaziers; Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics; Insulators; Ironworkers; Logging Machinery Operators; Machine Fitters; Machinists and Machining and Tooling Inspectors; Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers, Testers and Related Workers; Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Process Operators; Plasterers, Drywall Installers and Finishers and Lathers; Plumbers; Power Engineers and Power System Operators; Printing Press Operators; Railway and Yard Locomotive Engineers; Railway Conductors and Brakemen/Women; Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics; Roofers and Shinglers; Sheet Metal Workers; Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers; Telecommunications Installation and Repair Workers; Tilesetters; Tool and Die Makers; Water and Waste Treatment Plant Operators; Welders – and more!

Please note that there are many other occupations that also qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

The authorized immigration consultants who work with Canadian Visa Expert can let you know if your occupation qualifies for the FSTP or another program for immigration to Canada.

To check your eligibility, click here!  

An applicant for the FSTP must be able to prove that they have acceptable English or French language abilities necessary for their particular trade (as measured by such language evaluation exams as the IELTS or TEF).

Additionally, applicants for the FSTP long-term work visa to Canada must have a qualifying Canadian job offer of full-time employment lasting at least 12 months OR a “certificate of qualification” from one of the provinces or territories where they want to live and work in Canada.

Although an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is not a requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), there is potential to receive more points toward Canadian immigration on the “Express Entry” Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Therefore, obtaining an ECA is recommended by the Canadian government for FSTP applicants.

As with each type of work visa to Canada, applicants for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) must meet health and character requirements and provide “proof of funds,” among other criteria.

Keep in mind that skilled foreign workers who want to live and work in the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec should apply for a unique Quebec immigration program known as the Quebec Regular Skilled Workers Program. 

The authorized immigration consultants who work with Canadian Visa Expert can review your CV and relevant details to evaluate whether your occupation and profile meet the requirements for the FSTP or another Canadian immigration program.

FSTP Benefits

Skilled foreign tradespeople and their eligible family members who are granted a PR Visa to Canada through the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) are authorized to live and work in Canada long-term, receive free basic healthcare (after a brief waiting period), get access to educational programs, and have the opportunity to enjoy the high standard of living that Canada is famous for.

Another great benefit of being issued a PR Visa to Canada through the FSTP is the option to apply for Canadian citizenship after living in Canada as a permanent resident at least three years and meeting other criteria!

To receive your personalized assessment of your options for immigration to Canada

DISCLAIMER: This guide is not and shall not be considered as professional or expert advice.