Canada Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The Federal Skilled Trades Program or FSTP is focused on helping qualified foreign workers obtain employment and permanent residence in Canada. The program is part of the Express Entry Canada which allows workers to present the necessary documentation to apply for the visa, and it was created by the lack of skilled labor in different occupations.

How can you know if you can opt for one of these visas?

The first thing you should do is wait for the Government of Canada to publish the list of specialized trades that they need to cover in the year. This list is published at the beginning of each year so that people who meet the requirements can apply for the corresponding visa.

You can visit the official government website and make a questionnaire that serves as a “filter” to know if you are eligible to enter any of the programs offered in Canada. The specialized trades are prepared in line with recommendations of the National Classification of Occupations (NOC) of Canada.

Also, there is a possibility that the Government of Canada might invite you to participate in the selection. Every year approximately 3000 people are invited to apply for permanent residency..

Requirements for the Federal Qualified Operations Program:

  • Adequate linguistic ability
  • English or French at an advanced level
  • 2 years of full-time work experience in the last 5 years
  • Comply with work requirements
  • Have a job offer if required or if you are obtaining it from the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Qualified work experience requirements

The first requirement that you need to fulfill is that your occupation must include in the list of the National Classification of Occupations (NOC). This classification has 5 skill levels from 0 to skill levels A, B, C and D. In the case of the Federal Qualified Operations Program, the person who is opting for a visa must have a skill level A or B.

In the case of skill level A, it’s difficult to qualify since opportunity is given to only 100 people annually; while those of a skill level B, there is no limitation. The skill levels B include the following occupations:

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


Before applying, you must know at what level of proficiency you’re at since each of category has different duties and responsibilities, as well as necessary documents that you must present once you apply to the program. 


In the case of the Federal Skilled Trades program, it is not necessary to have a high level of education. However, if you have it, this can help you add more points.The academic programs this program validates are:

  • A Canadian high school (secondary school) or post-secondary diploma
  • A completed foreign credential and an approved Education Credential Assessment

If you have technical or university education, this increases the possibility that your application will be accepted.


One of the most important points is knowing the language. 

In Canada, 2 official languages are spoken, English and French, so speaking any of these two languages or both can give you extra points in your application.

It is essential that you pass the tests of Canadian Language Benchmark – CLB 5 and for reading and writing (CLB 4).


To apply for a visa, you must be admissible to enter Canada. The following situations make a person inadmissible:

  • The person presents a risk in the security of the country
  • They have violated human rights inside or outside the country
  • People who have committed crimes outside of Canada
  • Those who are related to criminal organizations
  • If you have given false information in the application or in the interview
  • You are also denied entry due to severe health problems unless they require treatment within the country
  • If you have serious financial problems, you cannot enter
  • In case one of your family members is denied entry to the country, you cannot enter either. 

Provincial, territorial, or federal assessment requirement

In FSTP, your case depends on the experience in your trade. You must provide certificates that show you qualify for the program. Each province or territory has its own rules so you must send the documents that the government of these territories requests.The places that you can apply for include:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

If you demonstrate that you have the necessary skills to live and work in one of these places, then your permanent residence can be approved. The only city that does not fall into this category is Quebec since this city has its own program called Quebec-selected skilled-workers program. To check if you are eligible for this, visit the Canadian Government website and answer a few questions.

Applying for the Federal Skilled Trades Program

Once the Canadian government determines if you are eligible for this program, you must submit a series of documents that help validate your skills and identity:

  • A valid passport that does not expire in the next 6 months
  • All the language tests you have done
  • Certificates of education
  •  If you have a job offer, submit the letter from your employer.In case it is the government that has invited you to participate, then you must present the invitation. 
  • Police certificates
  • Medical exams
  • Proof that you have enough funds to cover your trip, and your stay for a few months until you find work in Canada

Steps to deliver documentation

The first thing you should do is create a profile on the website of the Government of Canada. You must first present a small test to find out if you are eligible to apply for one of these programs. The site will generate a code with which you can open a profile. Within this profile, you will have to fill in all the information required to apply. 

The information you will provide is that of the documents you have already collected. You will need to have your National Occupational Classification (NOC) code for your specific skilled trade.

When you have created the profile, you will have 60 days to fill it out, if you do not, it will automatically close, and you have to repeat the process again. Finally, you must wait for the selection.

The selection process can take up to 6 months, so be patient. 

The FSTP works on the basis of a point system; the more verified documentation present, the more points you add, which will help you have a better chance of being accepted into the program.

You can find an explanation of the Express Entry system and the points system by visiting our article here.

Do not have enough points?

Don’t worry! You can add points since the system offers you the possibility of improving your score, this can be done by increasing your points in the language exams, ending a career or course, finding work in your country of origin, etc. The more experience you add, the more points you can get, and this will make you more likely to be accepted.

Get an invitation to apply

In the case of applicants who were invited to send their application, they should also do the same process. The first thing you should do is accept or reject the invitation. If you reject it, and then apply, you must follow the whole procedure from the start. 

Applying for permanent residence

If you receive an invitation, it will tell you what steps you should follow:

  • Open an account
  • Provide all information within the platform

After you complete this, you must submit your supporting documents.

How can you send the documents?

You can scan them and if they are in a language other than English or French, you must translate them. It is essential that the translation is done by a verified translator.

Finally, you must pay your fees in Canadian dollars. Here are the fee details: 

Type of fee$CAD
Processing fee550
Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF)490
If you include your spouse or common-law partner1,040 (includes the processing fee and RPRF)
If you include a dependent child150 per child


You will have 60 days to complete your permanent residence application and submit it. After you submit your application, you will only be able to make such necessary changes:

  • Changes in contact information or address
  • Births or deaths in your family
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Adoption
  • Modifications to your job or job offer in Canada
  • New education credentials
  • Updated language test results

After the 6 months have elapsed, the Government of Canada will notify you if your application was approved or not. In case of not being approved, they will tell you the reasons so that you can improve your score next time.