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Federal Skilled Trades Program

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Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Starting in 2013, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced an immigration pathway specifically designed for skilled trades workers.

This program, known as the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), is part of the Express Entry program, the main process for bringing skilled workers of various economic backgrounds to Canada. Each year, 110,000 slots are allocated through Express Entry as part of Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan to welcome over 400,000 new immigrants.

If you’re a skilled trades professional looking to immigrate to Canada, applying for permanent residency through the FSTP is one of the many options available. Also, there are other federal immigration programs, such as the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or the Quebec immigration program, that also provide avenues for applying.

What are the benefits of FSTP?

A federal and provincial effort is to bring in more skilled trade workers to meet labor shortages in trade occupations. You see, Canadians are getting older and not having as many kids as they used to, so immigration is becoming more critical to support their economy. There is a severe lack of skilled tradespeople out there. It’s like finding a needle in a pile of stuff!

Now, let’s discuss the benefits of FSTP immigration to Canada.

When someone successfully gets selected for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), they usually get permanent residence within six months after completing the Express Entry process. That’s pretty quick. And here’s the thing: the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores may be lower for FSTP candidates than others in the Express Entry pool. They do not have to demonstrate their educational attainment like the others do.

If you’re a candidate in the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and have Canadian work experience, you’re in a great position to succeed in the Canadian labor market. It’s worth noting that candidates who have both worked and studied in Canada are awarded more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points.

This means that having Canadian experience is highly valued by both the Canadian government and academics when applying for permanent residence. Regarding the FSTP, your knowledge, connections, experience, and skills gained while working in Canada will give you a competitive advantage when applying for permanent residence. So, if you’re looking to successfully transition into the Canadian labor market, your Canadian work experience will work in your favor.

How does the FSTP work with immigration?

As part of the FSTP, IRCC uses Express Entry to handle the applications of skilled workers for three economic class immigration programs.

The most important thing is to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements for the FSTP, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). If you’re eligible, your CRS score will be determined by various factors such as your age, education, language skills, work experience, and Canadian work and study experience. Once you’ve uploaded your profile to IRCC’s website, you’ll receive your CRS score. They usually hold a draw for Express Entry every two weeks to select applicants with the highest CRS scores. After you’ve submitted your permanent residence application, IRCC will provide you with a deadline. Rest assured, IRCC will process your application within six months.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to pursuing immigration to Canada through the FSTP:

  1. Check if you meet the FSTP’s eligibility requirements.
  2. You must take an official English and French language test to qualify for the FSTP or another Express Entry program. After studying abroad in an eligible program, you can claim extra CRS points by getting an Educational Credential Assessment.
  3. You can fill out a free Express Entry profile on IRCC’s website.
  4. Contact us if you’ve been invited to apply for permanent residence through the IRCC’s Express Entry draws. The draws usually happen twice a month.
  5. If you get an ITA, you have a specific deadline to submit your permanent residence application. For most applicants, IRCC’s standard processing time for permanent residence applications is six months or less.

The criteria for eligibility

You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the FSTP:

  • Valid job offers from two or more Canadian employers. A certification from the provincial or territorial government OR continuous, paid, full-time work (at least 30 hours a week).
  • Language proficiency test from a recognized testing organization, demonstrating the applicant meets IRCC’s minimum standards for speaking and listening – Canadian Level Benchmarks (CLB) 5, and reading and writing – CLB 4;
  • It’s a requirement that the applicant has at least two years of full-time experience (or an equal amount of part-time experience) in a skilled trade within the last five years and
  • They must prove they’ve done essential duties in the occupation and have the skills and experience.

The Canadian government allows foreign nationals to work in skilled trade occupations if they have a certificate of qualification. A certificate of qualification shows an applicant has passed a certification exam or met all the requirements to practice their trade.

The FSTP is open to individuals with talents that fall into the following categories of the National Occupational Classification (NOC):

Minor Group 72: Trades in industry, electrical installation, and construction
Major Group 73: Trades that involve maintenance and equipment operation,
Major Group 82: Managers and technical workers in agriculture, natural resources, etc.
Major Group 92: Supervisors and operators of processing, manufacturing, and utilities
Minor Group 632: Personal chefs and cooks
Minor Group 633: Butchers and bakery workers.

If you are eligible for the FSTP, you may also qualify for category-based Express Entry draws. If you meet the eligibility criteria for category-based draws, you will have an increased chance of being invited for Canadian permanent residence.

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