Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP): All You Need To Know
FSTP dates back to 2013. That’s a time when skilled workers were badly needed fields that were experiencing rapid growth, thanks to a strong economy. Employers and businesses in Canada actually found it difficult to sign up enough skilled workers who would help them to finish work on time.
Still, not so much has changed as the program continues to offer immigrants who qualify in a skilled trade an opportunity to acquire permanent residency in Canada. Cities and communities all over Canada still face labor deficits in a couple of skilled trades occupations.
As you will learn later, applications for this program are processed through Express Entry (EE) – a selection system the Canadian immigration recently introduced to help them manage applications for permanent residence from skilled workers.
To begin, with, let’s find out who this immigration program targets.
Who is the FSTP For?
Any qualified and experienced tradesperson with a job offer or who possesses a certification that permits them to work in a line of work included in the job list under this program has the opportunity to immigrate to Canada and obtain permanent residency (PR). That means that even without a job offer, you can still apply for PR under this program provided you meet the specific requirements for work experience and educational requirements.
What is Express Entry (EE)
Initially, all federal skilled trades applications were being processed on a first-come-first-served model. That was until 2015 when the Express Entry system was introduced. To put it simply, it’s a selection system the Canadian federal government now uses to manage the applications for permanent residence from skilled workers.
Once you’ve ticked off everything on the federal skilled trades program checklist and determined your eligibility, don’t hesitate to create an EE profile and submit your application to the EE pool.
Once all the information you submitted has been evaluated, you’ll be given a score and a rank under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). If you are above the cut-off mark, you’ll be invited to apply for PR.
One great advantage FSTP has over the rest of the programs contained in the EE pool is that candidates under this program often enjoy a relatively lower cut-off mark. For example, during the May 2017 draw, the cut-off threshold for FSTP was 199.
Meanwhile, Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) have never had a cut off lower than 413.
Requirements for the FSTP
To be considered for this program, these are the minimum requirements an individual must meet:
- Possess at least 2 years of full-time work experience (over 30 hours per week) or an equivalent of the same if one worked part-time. The experience should be in a skilled trade and must have been obtained during the previous five years.
- Have in your possession a job offer lasting at least a year from up to two pre-screened Canadian employers or a be qualified in the skilled trade issued by a province. Remember you’ll need to have a certificate of qualification as proof of your qualification.
- Meet the specific requirements of the job you intend to apply for.
- If you are without a job offer, you’ll have to contact the province you intend to settle in and request for a trades certificate. Please check the province’s immigration website to find out it’s compulsory to be in possession of a certificate of qualification in order to work in a specific skilled trade. You will also learn how to go about the whole process from the resources on the site.
Despite there being no minimum education requirements under this program, you stand to gain more points in your EE application you must have either of the following:
- Degree, Diploma, a high school or post-secondary certificate all obtained in Canada
- An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)- attach the report in your application.
Another compulsory requirement is that all candidates looking to reside in Canada under this program must demonstrate that they have a good grasp of English and/or French. Thus, one must undergo an English and/or French Proficiency language test. To be eligible, your score has to be above the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB). Also, your test results have to be from a language testing center approved by the Canadian government.
FSTP candidates without a job offer are required to declare that they sufficient funds before joining the EE pool. When submitting the application for PR, that’s when the proof of sufficient funds will be required. Those without accompanying family members require at least CAD $12300. However, if you do have one, the amount will be a bit higher, depending on your family size.
Like most immigration programs in Canada, the federal skilled trades program processing times range between one to six months. Usually, IRCC will invite candidates from the EE pool to apply during the draws and then the applications will be processed during this period.
With the maximum cap for this program set at 3000, you stand a higher chance of obtaining PR if you meet all the requirements and comply with all the procedures while preparing your application. For more information and updates about this particular immigration Program, check out the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. Also, if you need more help on how to go about the process, get in touch with a reliable immigration lawyer or consultant.