Step 3: Ensure you meet other eligibility criteria
Have you taken your language test? For English, candidates may take the IELTS or CELPIP test. For French, your options are limited to the TEF or TCF test. Candidates with some ability in English and French can be awarded additional points for ability in their second language.
Do you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer OR a certificate of qualification issued by a Canadian province or territory? You must have at least one of these in order to meet the criteria.
Step 4: Create an Express Entry profile
This step is completed entirely online on the IRCC website. You will be asked to provide some personal information, some of which is self-declared (such as your work history), and some of which must be accompanied with documentation (such as your proof of language ability).
Step 5: Improve your profile and ranking under the CRS
If your CRS score is below the cut-off required to receive an invitation to apply, consult our guide on how to improve your CRS score.
One common reason why Federal Skilled Trades Program candidates have a lower CRS score, is because they don’t have to prove their level of education in order to enter the Express Entry pool, so many end up being awarded a lower CRS score than they might otherwise be able to achieve. By providing proof of education level, these candidates could receive a massive boost in their score — up to 150 points for the education level itself, plus up to 100 more points in combination with Canadian work experience and/or language ability.
Candidates who completed their studies outside Canada may be awarded these points by obtaining an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). Federal Skilled Trades Program candidates should get an ECA or upload proof of their Canadian education experience in order to maximize their chances of being invited to apply for permanent residence.
There are other potential ways to improve your ranking, such as completing additional work experience, retaking a language test and getting a better result, or seeing if you are eligible under one of the Express Entry-aligned Provincial Nominee Program streams, particularly those that explicitly look for tradespersons. Your experience and skills may be in demand in a particular province, and so there could be a 600-point bonus waiting for you.
Step 6: Receive an invitation to apply
This step — receiving an invitation to apply — allows you and your family, if applicable, to then submit an application for permanent residence. From this point, you will have 60 days to submit a complete application. ITAs are issued when IRCC conducts one of its draws from the Express Entry pool.
Step 7: Complete a medical, provide security background checks, and submit an e-application
All applicants are screened for potential medical and criminal inadmissibility. With your application, you will need to show that you have completed a medical exam with an IRCC-recognized panel physician.
In addition, you have to provide a police background check (also known as a clearance certificate) from each country you have lived in for at least six months since the age of 18. The e-application must also include detailed work reference letters from previous employers.
Given the tight timeframe, it is a good idea to gather the background checks and work reference letters before you receive an ITA.
Step 8: Your e-application is reviewed
A Canadian immigration officer will review the submitted e-application and let you know if anything else is required.
Step 9: Receive confirmation of permanent resident status and complete your landing
Most applications submitted through the Federal Skilled Trades Program are processed in less than six months. When a person is approved, he or she receives a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) document. An officer at a Canadian port of entry or at a IRCC office signs and dates this document when permanent residence is granted.
Step 10: Get your PR card
Once you have your confirmation of status, you may then apply for your PR card. If you travel outside Canada, you may use this card as proof of your status in Canada.
Get help with your Federal Skilled Trades Program application
Do you need assistance in preparing an application for Canadian permanent residence? If so, view our Book an Immigration Consultant page to see Moving2Canada’s list of recommended, accredited representatives who can assist you in your goals.