Federal Skilled Trades

Federal Skilled Trades

On January 2, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) agreed to approve the application for Canadian permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Trades Program. The programme is notable for being quota-based, limited to 3000 applicants annually, and having sub-quotas in many of the 43 targeted occupations.


The following four standards must be met in order for an applicant to be considered eligible, whether they pass or fail:

  • Possess a formal attestation of qualification for that trade from a Canadian provincial or territorial regulatory body, or hold an employment offer from one or more Canadian employers for a period of at least one year in an eligible skilled trade (NOC Skill level B); Provide evidence of sufficient language proficiency in a language that is unquestionably regarded as one of Canada’s professional languages.
  • Display language proficiency evidence in one of Canada’s two official languages;
  • Demonstrates 24 months of work experience in a skilled trade during the last five years following trade qualification, where applicable.
  • Qualified to meet the requirements of trade in Canada or the job offer (s) as defined by the NOC.


Candidates wishing to settle in the Province of Quebec, which has its own jurisdiction to choose applicants, are excluded from the Federal Skilled Trades Class.

Certification Or Offer Of Employment

In Canada, trade certification falls under provincial law, and each province designates a list of regulated professions as well as any necessary established regulating agencies. Obtaining a provincial certification from outside of Canada is challenging. Therefore, this programme will be helpful to tradesmen who receive a job offer that has been accepted by a reputable business or who are already employed in Canada as temporary foreign workers. Since not every province regulates every trade, where a trade is not regulated, an offer of employment is required.


A tradesperson will also be qualified to apply if a Canadian employer extends an acceptable offer of employment in their trade for a period of one year or longer. The job offer will be examined to determine whether it falls within an eligible trade and whether hiring the candidate will have no adverse effects on the Canadian labor market.

Language Requirement

The applicants are required to show evidence of their competency in speaking, reading, listening, and writing across all four language skills in either English or French. Only test results from organizations approved by CIC will be taken into account when determining proficiency.
The two language exams that are most frequently used are:

  • IELTS for English
  • TEF for French.

Candidates need to get the following results in each area of language proficiency:


Eligible Trades And Caps On Application

CIC accepts a maximum of 3000 applications in the Federal Skilled Trades Class in each calendar year. Eligible trades are separated into two categories:

  • One with individual sub-caps of 100 applications and
  • Others with no sub-cap.

Applications in the following trades will be accepted up to a maximum of 100 or until the total Class cap of 3000 applications is reached:

  • 7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations;
  • 7204 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades;
  • 7205 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and services;
  • 7271 Carpenters;
  • 7301 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades;
  • 7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews;
  • 8211 Supervisors, logging and forestry;
  • 8221 Supervisors, mining and quarrying;
  • 8222 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling services;
  • 8241 Logging machinery operators;
  • 8252 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers;
  • 9211 Supervisors, mineral and metal processing;
  • 9212 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities;
  • 9214 Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing;
  • 9231 Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing;
  • 9241 Power engineers and power systems operators;
  • 9243 Water and waste treatment plant operators.

Applications in the following trades will be accepted until the total Class cap of 3000 is reached, with no sub-cap applying:

  • 7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors;
  • 7233 Sheet metal workers;
  • 7235 Structural metal and plate work fabricators and fitters;
  • 7236 Ironworkers;
  • 7237 Welders and related machine operators;
  • 7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system);
  • 7242 Industrial electricians;
  • 7243 Power system electricians;
  • 7244 Electrical power line and cable workers;
  • 7245 Telecommunications line and cable workers;
  • 7246 Telecommunications installation and repair workers;
  • 7251 Plumbers;
  • 7252 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers;
  • 7253 Gas fitters;
  • 7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics;
  • 7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics;
  • 7313 Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics;
  • 7314 Railway carmen/women;
  • 7315 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors;
  • 7318 Elevator constructors and mechanics;
  • 7371 Crane operators;
  • 7372 Drillers and blasters – surface, mining, quarrying and construction;
  • 7373 Water well drillers;
  • 8231 Underground production and development miners;
  • 8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers;
  • 9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators;