Skilled Trades

Canada offers great opportunities for experienced tradespeople. With good wages, working conditions and the opportunity to obtain Permanent Resident status for your family, many tradespeople from around the world are relocating here.  Many tradespeople come to Canada with work permits first, which can be processed in 2 to 6 months. Then, while you are working, we can prepare and manage the permanent residence application for you and your family.

Work Permits

To obtain a permit to work in Canada, you usually need a job offer from a Canadian company. The employer will usually need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”), stating that hiring a foreign worker will not negatively impact the Canadian labour market. Once the employer has the LMIA and you have a job offer, it usually takes between 1 to 4 months to process a work permit.

Spousal Work Permits and Children Study Permits

If you are working in Canada with a work permit, we may be able to apply for a work permit for your spouse or common law partner. We can also obtain study permits for your school age children, and in some cases, we can even obtain work permits for the children if they are under age 19.

Federal Skilled Trades Class Overview

The Federal Skilled Trades Class is one of the four immigration classes that use the Express Entry system. Express Entry system candidates – including Federal Skilled Trades candidates – enter their credentials into a pool. Then, throughout the year, candidates with the highest points according to the Comprehensive Ranking System will be chosen and awarded with an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence. Comprehensive Ranking System factors affecting your profile competitiveness are valued differently. For more information, please see the Skilled Workers page or contact us. With the Invitation to Apply, the applicant is then permitted to make their Federal Skilled Trades application. The general process is as follows:

 FST flow chart

Federal Skilled Trades Class Requirements

Applicants of the Federal Skilled Trades Class must meet four minimum requirements:

  1. Minimum Work Experience

Applicants must have two years of full-time (or part-time equivalent) work experience obtained within the five years preceding the application date. The work experience must be for the same NOC skilled occupation as the one identified in the permanent residence application. Furthermore, the actual work performed must be done while qualified to practice independently, and must meet the lead statement and main duties of the corresponding NOC.

  1. Meet Employment Requirements of the Trade

The only eligible trades under this program are from the following NOC “B” groups:

  • Industrial, Electrical and Construction Trades;
  • Maintenance and Equipment Operation Trades;
  • Supervisors and Technical Occupations in Natural Resources, Agriculture and Related Production;
  • Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities Supervisors and Central Control Operators;
  • Chefs and Cooks; and
  • Bakers and Butchers.

An applicant must meet the employment requirements listed for their eligible occupation.

If your occupation is not on the eligible trades list, you may still have immigration options through the Skilled Worker Program or Canadian Experience Class.  These options are discussed under our Skilled Workers page or we invite you to contact us.

  1. Have a Job Offer or Trade Qualification Certificate

A Job Offer must be from a qualifying Canadian employer for a continuous one-year (minimum) position.

A Certificate of Qualification from a provincial or territorial Apprenticeship Authority allows you work in your Trade in that province. In order to obtain a Certificate of Qualification, you need to provide proof of your educational background and work experience. The issuing authority usually contacts your past employers to verify your experience and job duties, and once they are satisfied, you would be given an opportunity to challenge the examination for your trade.

  1. English or French Language Skills

Language requirements under the Federal Skilled Trades Program are less than those required under the Federal Skilled Worker Class. Applicants are expected to have abilities in Reading (CLB 4/NCLC 4), Writing (CLB 4/NCLC 4), Speaking (CLB 5/NCLC 5) and Listening (CLB 5/NCLC 5) for English or French, and will be required to take an English or French exam by an approved organization.

How We Can Help

We can review your background, and advise you what you would need in order to qualify for a work permit or immigration to Canada.  We can then advise you of all of the documentation that you will need, and prepare the applications needed to process your case. This often includes preparing beyond the minimum to improve your ability to be selected under the Express Entry System. Contact us now to begin.