Eligibility to apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (Express Entry)
To be eligible, you must meet all the minimum requirements for your
- skilled trades work experience
- job offer or certificate of qualification
- language ability
Skilled trades work experience
- 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 (NOC)
- show that you performed the duties listed in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC, including
- all the essential duties
- most of the main duties
Skilled trades NOC groups
Your work experience must be in one of the following NOC groups:
- Major Group 72, technical trades and transportation officers and controllers
- excluding Sub-Major Group 726, transportation officers and controllers
- Major Group 73, general trades
- Major Group 82, supervisors in natural resources, agriculture and related production
- Major Group 83, occupations in natural resources and related production
- Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors, and utilities operators and controllers
- Major Group 93, central control and process operators and aircraft assembly assemblers and inspectors, excluding Sub-Major Group 932, aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors
- Minor Group 6320, cooks, butchers and bakers
- Unit Group 62200, chefs
We will refuse your application if
- you don’t show that your experience meets the description in the NOC
- you weren’t qualified to independently practise the trade occupation during this work
Your work experience must be for paid work (paid wages or earned commission). We don’t count volunteer work or unpaid internships.
Job offer or certificate of qualification
You must have a
- valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year or
- certificate of qualification in your skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority
Certificate of qualification
A certificate of qualification proves you’re qualified to work in a certain skilled trade in Canada. This means you
- passed a certification exam
- meet all the requirements to practise your trade in the province or territory that issued your certificate
This certificate is issued by
- the provincial or territorial body that governs trades in their province or territory, or
- a federal authority
Depending on which body or authority issues it, this certificate may be called a “certificate of qualification” or a “qualification certificate.”
To get a certificate, the provincial, territorial or federal authority must assess your training, trade experience and skills to decide if you’re eligible to write a certification exam.
Get assessed by the province or territory
Each province and territory has its own
- certificate of qualification requirements
- certification process
- have to go to the province or territory to be assessed for your trade
- need an employer in Canada to give you experience and training
To learn more about getting assessed, visit the website of the body that governs trades for the province or territory where you want to live and work:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
If the province or territory where you plan to live and work doesn’t give certificates of qualification in your trade, you’ll need a valid job offer in your trade to be eligible for this program.
If your trade is federally regulated
If your trade is not regulated by a province or territory, it may be federally regulated (for example, airplane mechanics).
Find out who regulates your trade and how to get assessed through the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials.
- take approved language tests for
- meet the minimum score required
- enter the test results in your Express Entry profile
Your language tests
- are valid for 2 years after the date of the test result
- must be valid on the day you apply for permanent residence.
There is no education requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
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 institution (high school) or
- post-secondary institution
- If you have foreign education, you can get points if you have both of these
- a completed educational credential
- an educational credential assessment report for immigration purposes that
- is from a designated organization and
- shows your education is equal to a completed certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian secondary institution (high school) or post-secondary institution
Proof of funds
You must show that you have enough money for you and your family to settle in Canada, unless you
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.
When you fill out your profile, we’ll ask you where you plan to live in Canada. You don’t have to settle in that province or territory.
If you’re a Provincial Nominee, you must settle in the province or territory that nominated you.
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