On January 2nd, 2013 Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) began accepting applications for permanent residence under its widely anticipated Federal Skilled Trades Program. The program is quota based and limited to 3000 applications per year with sub quotas
Eligibility under the Federal Skilled Trades Class is assessed on a pass or fail basis, with applicants required to fulfill the following four requirements:
1. Have offers of employment from one or two Canadian employers for a duration of at least one year in an eligible skilled trade (NOC Skill level B), OR Hold certification of qualification for that trade from a Canadian provincial or territorial regulatory body.
2. Provide evidence of sufficient language proficiency in one of Canada’s two official languages
3. Have 24 months of work experience in the last five years in the skilled trade, after trade qualification, where applicable
4. Be qualified to meet the requirements of the job offer(s) or trade in Canada, as defined by the NOC
The Federal Skilled Trades Class is not open to applicants wishing to establish themselves in the Province of Quebec which has its own authority to select applicants.
Trade certification in Canada falls under provincial jurisdiction. Each province outlines which professions will be regulated and establishes regulatory bodies where applicable. Provincial certification is often difficult to obtain from outside Canada and accordingly, this program will be most beneficial to tradespeople who obtain an approved offer of employment from a recognized employer, or who are already working in Canada as temporary foreign workers. Not all trades are regulated in all of the provinces. Where a trade is not regulated, an offer of employment becomes mandatory.
Tradespeople who obtain an approved offer of employment for one year or more in their trade from a Canadian employer are also eligible to apply. The offer of employment will be evaluated to ensure that it is an eligible trade and that the hiring will have a neutral effect on the Canadian Labour Market.
Applicants must provide evidence that they have at least a basic proficiency in English or French language for all four language abilities, including speaking, listening, reading and writing. Only test results from a CIC designated language testing agency will be considered to establish proficiency. Two of the most commonly used language tests are the IELTS for English and the TEF for French. Applicants must obtain the following scores in each respective language ability: