The Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) program is another economic immigration program targeted to bring skilled workers into the country. The FSTC program is for very specific types of tradespeople in order to fill labor gaps in important trade jobs. Unlike the FSWP and CEC programs, the FSTC requires that you have a valid job offer in Canada or are already certified to work in your trade within the country of Canada. FSTC applicants might already be working in Canada as a temporary foreign worker with a work permit. Only 3,000 people can apply under this program each year and some of the individual NOC titles have caps of 100 applicants per year. People applying under this program are not required to have advanced degrees, though if you do happen to have one, it will help to increase your score.

Work Experience

To qualify under the FSTC program you’ll need to have at least 2 years of full time work experience in the past 5 years in one of these types of jobs:

  • NOC group 72: construction, electrical, and industrial trades
  • NOC group 73: equipment operation and machinery maintenance trades
  • NOC group 82: technical jobs in natural resources and agricultural production
  • NOC group 92: manufacturing, processing, fabrication, and operational trades
  • NOC group 632: chefs and cooks
  • NOC group 633: butchers and bakers

The CIC has a NOC matrix that provides a good overview of the major job types that would qualify for this immigration program. You can also do a more detailed search on the CIC website, but it can be tricky to track down your exact title. A better option is to search for the more generic job type and then narrow it down from there. You can also track down third-party lists of every NOC job that would qualify for the FSTC program if you don’t feel wading through all of the CIC websites yourself.

The basics:

  • You have a valid job offer for a full-time job to last at least 1 continuous year in Canada under your qualifying NOC code OR…
  • You have a valid certificate of qualification that matches the trade you have 24 months of experience in issues by a Canadian province or territory. Certification exams are offered by governing bodies in each province and sometimes require related work experience within that province.
  • If you do not already have a certificate of qualification, the CIC must be convinced that you would be eligible to obtain any necessary certifications required for your trade job.
  • You’ve worked in an applicable NOC field full-time (30+ hours a week) for at least 24 months in the last 5 years. Or, you’ve worked the equivalent in part time hours such as 15 hours a week for 48 months.
  • You will likely have to appear in person to have your qualifications assessed by an employer in Canada in order for a valid job offer in your trade.

Other requirements:

  • You’ll need to prove that you have a basic fluency of English or French by taking a language test
  • If you’re claiming points for education or certifications, you will need to have your academic diplomas evaluated by a CIC approved third party such as World Education Services (WES) in order to prove that they are equivalent to Canadian degrees
  • You intent to live in any province or territory except Quebec, which has different immigration programs from the rest of Canada
  • You must be admissible to Canada
  • You’ll need to demonstrate that you are in relatively good health
  • You can provide all of the necessary documentation

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