Eligibility to apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (Express Entry)
To be eligible, you must:
- Meet the required language levels for each language ability:
- Have at least 2 years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within the 5 years before you apply,
- Meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification, except for needing a certificate of qualification.
- Have a valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority.
Skilled work experience
Skilled trades for the Federal Skilled Trades Program are organized under these groups of the National Occupational Classification (NOC):
- Major Group 72, industrial, electrical and construction trades
- Major Group 73, maintenance and equipment operation trades
- Major Group 82, supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production
- Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators
- Minor Group 632, chefs and cooks
- Minor Group 633, butchers and bakers
The major NOC groups are subdivided into different occupations, and they are all skill type B.
You must show that you performed the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC. This includes all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.
If you do not show that your experience meets the description in the NOC, we won’t accept your application.
Federal Skilled Trades Program applications must be made based on the 2016 version of the NOC.
There is no education requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. But, if you want to improve your rank in the Express Entry pool, there are 2 ways you can do this.
- If you went to school in Canada, you can get points for a certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian:
- secondary (high school) or
- post-secondary school
- If you have foreign education, you can get points for:
- meet the minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening, and Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 for reading and writing
- take approved language tests for:
- enter the test results in your Express Entry profile
Your language tests are valid for 2 years after the date of the test result. They must be valid on the day you apply for permanent residence.
You must be admissible to Canada.
Where you can live in Canada
You must plan to live outside the province of Quebec. The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers. If you plan on living in Quebec, see Quebec-selected skilled workers for more information.
Get assessed by the province or territory
You will likely have to go to the province or territory to be assessed for your trade. You may also need an employer in Canada to give you experience and training.
To learn more about getting assessed, you should go to the website of the body that governs trades for the province/territory where you would like to live and work. The process is different depending on where you want to go.
Each website has more details about certificates of qualification to work in that province or territory in a specific skilled trade, and what you have to do to get one.
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
If your trade is not regulated by a province or territory (for example, airplane mechanic), it may be federally regulated. You can find out who regulates your trade by visiting The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials website.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: