The Federal Skilled Trades Program is designed for candidates who work in the trade occupations that are in demand in the Canadian job market. It is worth emphasizing that candidates for the Federal Skilled Trades Program can usually be selected on general grounds if they have a high Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS).
However, candidates in the trade occupations usually don’t get high scores. Besides that, the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) conducts separate rounds of selection exclusively for this program. As of November 2018, there were four rounds of invitations exclusively for Federal Skilled Trades candidates.
In the Express Entry rounds for Federal Skilled Trades, the government does not issue many Invitations to Apply (ITA), and the CRS score to get the ITA is well below the usual minimum scores compared to Federal Skilled Workers. Most candidates in the trade occupations immigrate to Canada through various Provincial Nominee Programs, since the provincial certificate grants an additional 600 points, which is always enough for the ITA.
In 2017 a total of 905 candidates were invited through the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and only one candidate was invited as part of the regular Express Entry invitation round. The candidates for this program simply did not have a chance to receive an invitation, without having a nomination from the province or the LMIA-supported job offer. For this reason, since May 2017, there have been separate rounds of invitation for the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
In 2018, the government invited 900 candidates for the program.
Our experts recommend trade occupation candidates to check the in-demand lists of Provincial Nominee Programs. This way of immigration takes longer and requires more money, but the chance of moving to Canada this way is still higher than waiting for the Express Entry invitation rounds aimed at the Federal Skilled Trades class.