- What is the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)?
- What is the Express Entry system?
- What are the eligibility criteria for the Federal Skilled Trades Program?
- What skilled trades are eligible in the Federal Skilled Trades Program?
- Advantages of the Federal Skilled Trades Program
- FSTP Application Process
- Documents needed for the Express Entry (EE) profile
- Applying for Permanent Residency in Canada
- Documents needed for the Permanent Residence application
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)?
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSTP) is a Canadian immigration program where foreign nationals with skilled trade work experience are granted permanent residency for themselves and their immediate family members in a territory or province in Canada. Skilled trade workers can qualify for this program if they meet the eligibility criteria for certain professional trade occupations.
Irish citizens who are interested in applying to the FSTP can submit their applications through the Express Entry system, an electronic system that manages online applications for Canadian permanent residency. Before submitting their applications, all candidates must first check to see if their skilled trade occupation qualifies for the program according to the standards of the Canadian federal government.
In addition, all candidates must have either a valid job offer or a certificate of qualification to qualify for the FSTP. After submitting their Express Entry profile, applicants who receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) can then apply for permanent resident status in the Canadian province or territory that endorses the applicant.
What is the Express Entry system?
The federal Canadian government created Express Entry (EE) in 2015 as a way to better manage permanent residency applications online. Express Entry is used most often to process online immigration applications from skilled workers through such programs as the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
In this online application system, candidates create an online profile detailing their educational qualifications, work experience, and language ability in English and/or French. Candidates in Express Entry will then acquire points in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) based on this information. Candidates who have the highest CRS scores in the Express Entry pool often receive Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence through the immigration program that they applied to.
What are the eligibility criteria for the Federal Skilled Trades Program?
To qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Class, candidates must meet the following minimum requirements:
- The applicant has either a job offer for full-time employment from a Canadian employer for at least 1 year or the candidate has received a certificate of qualification from a governing body (either provincial, territorial, or federal)
- The candidate meets the basic language requirements in English or French according to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or the Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens (NCLC)
- The candidate has at least 2 years of full-time work experience within the last 5 years
- The candidate can demonstrate how they meet the job requirements in their particular skilled trade
- The candidate can demonstrate that they have adequate settlement funds to support themselves and their family in Canada (unless they already have a valid job offer)
If an applicant can meet these minimum requirements, they can then create their Express Entry profile online and apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
If an Irish skilled trade worker would like to immigrate to Quebec specifically, they can apply for the Quebec Skilled Trades Program. The province of Quebec maintains its own set of immigration programs that are entirely separate from other Canadian programs such as the FSTP.
Trade workers who do not yet have an offer of employment from an employer in Canada will need to have their skilled trade qualifications certified through the governing body of the province or territory where they wish to reside in Canada.
What skilled trades are eligible in the Federal Skilled Trades Program?
In order to apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, skilled workers must have occupations or technical jobs in the National Occupational Classification (NOC). These include the following occupation groups:
- Industrial, electrical, and educational trades (Major Group 72)
- Maintenance and equipment operation trades (Major Group 73)
- Supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture, and related production (Major Group 82)
- Processing, manufacturing, and utilities supervisors and central control operators (Major Group 92)
- Chefs and cooks (Minor Group 632)
- Butchers and bakers (Minor Group 633)
Advantages of the Federal Skilled Trades Program
Some of the advantages of applying to the FSTP include higher acceptance rates for permanent residence and acceptance into the program with a lower CRS score.
Individuals who receive an ITA from the Federal Skilled Trades Program have a higher likelihood that their permanent residence application will be approved by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Canada admits an average of 110,000 immigrants every year via Express Entry and a majority of these immigrants come from the FSTP.
In addition, FSTP candidates are not required to prove their level of education like other programs such as the Federal Skilled Workers Program or Provincial Nomination Program. This results in an overall lower CRS score needed for the program. However, candidates who would like to prove their education level in their Express Entry profile will most likely receive a higher CRS score which can help them obtain an ITA relatively quickly.
FSTP Application Process
Applying for the Federal Skilled Trades Program is fairly simple and includes the following steps:
- Assess your eligibility for the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
- Gather the necessary documents
- Set up your Express Entry profile
- Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
It is always important to make sure that you are eligible to apply for a Canadian immigration program. Many applicants go through the trouble of applying only to be rejected or not receive an ITA due to not meeting the minimum requirements.
If you have found that you can meet the requirements for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, you will then need to gather the necessary documents which prove your qualifications. These can include taking the necessary language proficiency tests in either English or French. These language tests must be from an approved source such as IELTS. Irish citizens who were not educated in Canada may obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). This is to prove that your education is sufficient enough to meet Canada’s standards. Again, an ECA is not required for the FSTP but acquiring it may help a candidate receive a higher CRS score.
When all of the necessary documents have been gathered, the candidate will then create their Express Entry profile on the IRCC’s website. It is important to carefully complete your EE profile and to make sure that it is free from errors that could harm your chances of quickly receiving an ITA.
After you have completed your EE profile to the highest standards, you may then submit it to the IRCC who will review the profile. If you are considered to be a good candidate for the FSTP, you will be sent an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
In general, the IRCC holds Express Entry draws every 2 weeks where they pick the candidates with the highest scores to apply for permanent residence through the Federal Skilled Trade Program.
Documents needed for the Express Entry (EE) profile
Irish citizens who would like to submit their Federal Skilled Trades applications through the Express Entry process will need to gather the following documents in order to set up their online profile:
- A valid passport or travel document
- Language test results that show the applicant meets the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark scores
- Proof of Canadian education or an educational credential assessment report (this is needed if you would like to get extra points for your CRS score)
- Proof of your relevant work experience
- Certificate of qualification in a trade occupation issued by a Canadian province or territory (if you have one)
- A certificate of nomination from a PNP (if you have already received one)
- A written valid job offer from a Canadian employer (if you already have one)
- Proof of sufficient funds for travel and resettlement
It should be noted that certain documents will need to be submitted at certain stages of the application process. However, the online profile will need the information in these documents whether or not they are uploaded to the EE profile.
Candidates who do not yet have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer will need to obtain a certificate of qualification that demonstrates that the candidate is a qualified skilled worker in their respective skilled trade occupation.
Applying for Permanent Residency in Canada
If an FSTP applicant receives an ITA, they can then submit their application for Canadian permanent residency via the Express Entry process. This application will need to be completed within a specific amount of time, which is usually 60 days or any other time frame set forth to the applicant in their ITA. Applications who miss the deadline to apply will automatically have their permanent residency application be denied.
Application for Canadian permanent residency is fairly simple and includes the following steps:
- Pay the processing fee
- Submit all supporting documents
- The applicant receives an Acknowledge of Receipt (AOR) after the IRCC has received the application
- The IRCC processes the application
- If approved, the applicant will be sent a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) along with instructions on how to apply for a permanent residence card
- Applicant travels to Canada
After the applicant has sent off their application to the IRCC, he/she may be contacted with additional requests for biometric information, additional documents or to schedule and attend an interview. The IRCC will try to keep the applicant up to date with any additional information or updates regarding their immigration case. Usually, the IRCC processes permanent residency applications within six months provided that everything is in order and properly submitted.
If an applicant is abroad in a country that will require a Canadian visa to enter the country with, then a travel visa will be provided with the COPR if their application is approved.
Those who were unfortunate to either not receive an ITA a year after submitting their FSTP application through their EE profile or were denied permanent residence may need to create a new IRCC profile in order to re-apply (if they are still able to meet the eligibility criteria).
Documents needed for the Permanent Residence application
To apply for permanent residency through the Express Entry process, all FSTP candidates who received an ITA will need to upload all of the supporting documents to their online profile along with the following supporting documents:
- Police certificates (or proof of police background check)
- Proof of completed medical examinations with an IRCC-recognised panel physician
- Proof of sufficient settlement funds
- Work reference letters from previous employers
- Birth certificate (this is required if you are declaring dependent children)
- Use of a Representative Form (this is required if you have hired a representative to help with your application)
- Common-law union form (this is required if you have declared your marital status as “common-law”
- Marriage certificate (if you are married)
- Divorce certificate and legal separation agreement (if you are divorced)
- Spouse’s death certificate (if you declared your marital status as “widowed”)
- Adoption certificate (if you have dependent children who are adopted)
If you would like to strengthen your application, you may also include the following supporting documents:
- Proof of relationship to any Canadian citizen family members (if applicable)
- Digital photos to confirm your identity
- Any other name you may have had in the past (to confirm aliases)
- Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual Form
- Any other documents that you feel are important to your application
How can Total Law help with my FSTP application?
If you are interested in starting a new home in Canada permanently, we are here to help. Our team of lawyers is dedicated to helping you make your dream a reality. We can help assess your eligibility criteria for the immigration program you are interested in, help you collect the necessary documents, and advise you on the best way to increase your CRS score.
If you need any help with completing the Express Entry process or with your application for permanent residence, we can help guide you through every step of the process. For more information about the services that we offer don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today at (+353) 061 518 025.
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If you would like to move to Canada permanently, we are here to help. Our team of lawyers is dedicated to helping you make your dream a reality. We can help:
- Help find the right immigration program for you
- Assess your eligibility
- Help you collect the necessary documents and check that your application is completed to the highest standard
- Advise you on the best way to increase your CRS score
In addition, we can help you complete your Express Entry profile and help with your application for permanent residence. Our goal is to help guide you through every step of the process. For more information about the services that we offer don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today at (+353) 061 518 025.
There is no fee for setting up an Express Entry profile. However, applicants are responsible for the fees associated with acquiring necessary documents such as the language proficiency exam, ECA, and certified translations (if applicable).
Those who received an ITA and are applying for permanent residence will need to pay the following fees:
- FSTP application processing fees: $825
- Right of permanent residence: $500
- Police background checks: costs will vary
- Medical exams: costs will vary
- Biometrics: $85
All costs are in Canadian dollars. It should also be noted that dependents who are accompanying the principal applicant to Canada will also need to pay the permanent residence fees. Spouses will need to pay a total of $1,325 for the FSTP application and right of permanent residence fees. Children will only cost $225 each.
Permanent residence applications acquired through the FSTP program are usually processed within 6 months to 1 year. The processing time will depend on the applicant’s CRS score and the thoroughness of their application.
Permanent residence applications in Canada can be denied for a variety of reasons including:
- Criminality (applicants can be denied if they have been convicted of a serious crime)
- Health (certain health conditions may result in refusal)
- Misrepresentation of information (fraud) on the form
- Not meeting eligibility requirements for the program applied to
- Failure to provide the necessary documents for your application
- Missing deadlines to apply
- Financial reason (the applicant does not have enough settlement funds to provide for themselves and their accompanying family)