(The following is an article that I wrote for the March 2013 edition of Canadian Immigrant Magazine)
On January 2, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) opened the Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FSTP”). CIC will process up to 3,000 FSTP applications in 2013. For certain people, the FSTP will be an attractive alternative to those who fall through the cracks of the Federal Skilled Worker Program (the “Skilled Worker Program”) and the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”).
To be eligible for the FSTP, applicants must meet five requirements.
First, they must have twenty-four months of work experience in an eligible skilled trade during the five year period preceding their application. CIC has designated forty-three trades as being eligible for the program. Of these, seventeen occupations are capped at 100 applications. Applicants will accordingly need to check the CIC website to see whether the quota has been reached for their occupation prior to applying.
Second, applicants must have an offer of continuous full-time employment in Canada from up to two employers for a total period of at least one year in their skilled trade. As “full-time” means at least thirty hours of week, applicants could be eligible if they obtain offers from two employers who provide fifteen hours each per week. The effect of this requirement is that most FSTP applicants will have to obtain job offers from employers who have been issued positive Labour Market Opinions from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (“Service Canada”). Alternatively, applicants do not need a job offer if they possess a Certificate of Qualification from a provincial or territorial Apprenticeship Authority.
Third, applicants will have to satisfy the employment requirements of their skilled trade as described by Service Canada’s National Occupational Classification system.
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