Permanent Residence > Skilled Trade Worker Requirements

Skilled Trade Worker Requirements

The Federal Skilled Trades Program allows people who are qualified in a skilled trade to become permanent residents of Canada.

Federal Skilled Trades – Requirements

To immigrate as a skilled worker under the Federal Skilled Trades Program, you must meet three primary requirements:

– to have work experience in the skilled trades,

– to have a job offer or a certificate of qualification in the skilled trade issued by a Canadian authority, and

– the specific level of the language ability.

However, IRCC (the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) will invite you to become a permanent resident of Canada based on your score in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). That is why your education, even though not a requirement, can add points to your CRS score.

Thus, first, meet eligibility criteria, and, secondly, work on your CRS score to increase your chances to be invited for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Trades program in the Express Entry. The Express Entry system manages the Federal Skilled Trades program in Canada.

What is a Skilled Trade?

Skilled trade is a labour job that requires specific training, as well as much of the labour involved with skilled trade job is manual work and can be physically demanding.

To immigrate as a skilled worker under the Federal Skilled Trades program, your job must be in the list of eligible skilled trades – jobs! Currently, the following skilled trades job is eligible for immigration:

  1. Industrial, electrical and construction workers.
  2. Maintenance and equipment operation workers.
  3. Supervisors and technical workers in natural resources, agriculture and related production.
  4. Processing, manufacturing and utility supervisors and central control operators.
  5. Chefs and cooks.
  6. Butchers and bakers.

Work Experience Gained in the Skilled Trade

To qualify for immigration under the Federal Skilled  Trades program, you must 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.

Also, it is essential to show that you performed the job duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description of National Occupational Classification (NOC)  of the major group of your primary occupation – 72, 73, 82, 92, 632, or 633.  Job duties include all the listed essential duties and most of the main duties.


Case Study – What Experience Counts?



For example, you are an electrician from Mexico.

You are qualified to practice independently in that trade in Mexico, and you worked as an electrician for 1 year in Mexico.

However, as an electrician from Mexico, you might work in another country that has different rules for practising as an electrician.

Assuming, you then worked for 1 year as an electrician in Croatia.

In that case, the work experience from Croatia will only count toward the 2‑year work experience requirement if you also met the requirements to practise independently as an electrician in Croatia.


Thus, for this 2 years of experience as an electrician to count, you must prove that you were certified or licenced to be an electrician in Mexico and Croatia, according to Mexican and Croatian regulations.

If though you worked for 1 year as an electrician in Ontario, to count that experience, you must show you met the requirements to practice independently as an electrician in the province of Ontario. To prove that, most likely you would need a Certificate of Qualification form the Ontario College of Trades. The Ontario College of Trades is a professional regulatory body responsible for issuing certificates of qualification and statements of membership in the province of Ontario.

Job Offer Or Certificate Of Qualification

To meet the minimum requirements under the Federal Skilled Trades program, a candidate must have:

– a 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.


How To Get A Certificate of Qualification?

If you don’t have a job offer from the Canadian Employer, then you should get a Certificate of Qualification form to a specific province or territory.

The provincial or federal body that governs skilled trades will assess your qualification for the province or territory where you would like to live and work.

The assessment of qualification process is different depending on the Canadian province and whether you need a certificate of qualification to work in that province or territory in a specific skilled trade and what you have to do to get a certificate.

Below are the links to the provincial or territorial regulatory bodies:

Some trades are regulated at the federal level. For example, an aeroplane mechanic is federally regulated. You might want to contact the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials. This Center provides information on credential assessment for all regulated trades in Canada.

Language skills – Federal Skilled Trades Program

You will meet the language requirement if you get a minimum result of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening and CLB 4 for reading and writing.

Language Test

You can take either English or French test.

For English, there are two options, either CELPIP or IELTS.

Please note that only “General test” (not academic!) option is accepted under the Express Entry.

For French, TEF test is the only possible option.

Language test result is only accepted if it less then two years old (on the day you apply for permanent residence).

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April 2019