Federal Skilled Trades Program (Express Entry)

Federal Skilled Trades Program


The Canadian government seeks to develop immigration programs that will address both the economic needs of the country by bringing in-demand skilled workers to reduce stress in certain industries. One such industry is for Skilled Trades People, and it is with this purpose that the government has identified workers from different trades categories to work in Canada.

  • Machinists & Machining & Tooling Inspectors.
  • Structural metal & plate work fabricators & fitters.
  • Welders and related machine operators.
  • Electricians (except industrial and power system).
  • Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers.
  • Telecommunications line and cable workers.
  • Telecommunications installation & repair workers.
  • Steamfitters, pipefitters & sprinkler system installers.
  • Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics.
  • Heavy-duty equipment Mechanics.
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics.
  • Underground production and development miners.
  • Oil & Gas Well Drillers, servicers, testers & related workers.
  • Sheet Metal Workers.
  • Ironworkers
  • Industrial Electricians.
  • Power System Electricians.
  • Plumbers
  • Gas Fitters.
  • Railway Carmen/women.
  • Aircraft Mechanics & Inspectors.

If you are part of one of these trades, then you certainly have an excellent opportunity to not only immigrate to Canada permanently with your family, but also find an excellent job as well.


The requirements for the program are as follows:

  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec.
  • Meet the required English or French levels as determined through a recognized test.
  • Have at least two (2) years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade within the five (5) years before you apply.
  • Meet all job requirements as set out in the National Occupational Classification; &
  • Have an offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one (1) year OR a Certificate of Qualification in that skilled trade issued by a provincial, territorial, or federal authority.

In addition to the above, the person and all sponsored individuals must be able to pass all applicable medical and security checks to be eligible for the program while proving that they have enough initial settlement funds to support themselves and any individuals that they are wishing to sponsor.



If you are a skilled trades person this is an excellent program for the following reasons:

  1. allows you to work in Canada in a specific, in demand industry
  2. gain relevant work experience while settling in Canada with your family and
  3. grant you Permanent Residence (PR) and all the rights and privileges that are attached with it.

In becoming a PR, you can do anything that a Canadian citizen can do except vote or join the military. This will entitle you to all the other benefits extended to all Canadians and PR’s, including the freedom to travel and visit other countries without needing a Visa. You can claim government benefits, tax benefits, and use universal healthcare coverage. Additionally, after you satisfy the residency requirements as a PR, you can then apply for Canadian Citizenship.


While everyone’s case and circumstances are different, there are some common traps, pitfalls, and misconceptions when it comes to applying under this program. Here are some general and common ones we have experienced and encountered throughout the years:

To meet the requirements, you need to meet the minimum score of CLB 5 for speaking and listening, and CLB 4 for reading and writing. If you don’t meet or pass at least one of these scores, then you will not meet the criteria. Additionally it is important to point out that the government has adjusted the language requirements to a very low level as there is an understanding that in some countries, tradesman may not necessarily have high English Skills but they certainly have the trades expertise.

The work experience must be a minimum of two (2) years within the five (5) years you apply. If the work experience does not reach at least two (2) years or it is past the five (5) years from the time of your final submission, then this will affect your whole file.

  • There is usually confusion as to what the job offer must be. It’s not enough for a Canadian employer to send you an email promising you a job. A valid job offer has to be:
  • made by up to two employers
  • for continuous, paid, full-time work (at least 30 hours a week)
  • for at least one year
  • in a skilled trade occupation (jobs with 2016 NOC codes that start with 72, 73, 82, 92 as well as 632 and 633)
  • Furthermore, the employers must have an LMIA with your name and position OR if you’re already working in Canada on a work permit, then there are certain conditions that must be met.

Selecting the incorrect NOC code for your work experience can result in a refusal. It is very important that you have the correct NOC code for your qualifying work experience that shows it is skilled work. In fact, this is one of the most important factors for any economic immigration application and interpreting the NOC and your job may be confusing as for some they might find that they cannot find their job or that it’s common to find that you might qualify under 2-3 different NOCs depending on your duties.

To meet the requirements, you can show that you have a certificate of qualification that has been issued by a federal, provincial, or territorial body for that skilled trade, instead of a job offer. This can be an option if you don’t have an offer of employment, but you must meet the requirements for this and in some cases, this may be tricky for overseas applicants who do not have the ability to get this qualification.


We understand that information can be found on the Internet, but it never tells the “whole story” related to your personalized situation. As well there are lots of consultant, lawyers, and scammers out there that seems to make this more confusing that this actually is. Our value to you is that we simplify and direct this process for you from the start to the end of your immigration journey. We will guide you and provide:

  • Personalized immigration advice and solutions that are tailored to your case and situation
  • Comprehensive documents and information at every stage of the process, including information and tips that can’t be found on the IRCC website
  • Affordable service with varying payment terms for the EE profile
  • Collaboration with a licensed immigration consultant who will communicate and represent your case on your behalf
  • Support and Assistance through every stage of the immigration journey, from the application, the landing and settlement in Canada.


The settlement funds will depend on the size of the family and the low income cut off (LICO) which change and fluctuate every year. The amount you need will be based on the family size calculations which must include:

  • The applicant
  • The spouse or common-law partner
  • Applicant’s dependent children and spouse/partner’s dependent children

You will need to include all dependent family members in the calculations, even if they are not accompanying you to Canada or if they are already Canadian citizens or PR.

There is no educational requirement. However, if you want to increase your scores, you can submit any completed Canadian post-secondary education, such as a college diploma or get an ECA for any education completed overseas.

While we appreciate that this is common in many trades industries, especially where workers are employed by contract basis or highly transient. You will need to show proof of your work experience, with a signed employment confirmation letter. Lastly, work experience only counts after you qualified to independently practice in the occupation. Our consultants can discuss your work experience and what the best pathways are for you in a consultation.

Not Sure Where To Start?

Tell us more about your unique situation and we’ll help get your Immigration journey to Canada started.