Express Entry: Canada holds rare federal skilled trades draw

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Canada has held its second Express Entry draw in two days.

A total of 250 Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) candidates received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

Successful FSTP candidates needed a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of at least 415 to receive an ITA.

Yesterday, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held an all-program draw which saw 3,900 ITAs issued to candidates with a CRS of at least 476.

Over this two day period, Canada has issued 4,150 ITAs.

This year is turning out to be a record year for Express Entry despite the coronavirus pandemic.  Throughout 2020, Canada has issued 61,850 ITAs in total, which is the most invitations issued on this day compared to every other year before.

Today marks just the seventh FSTP-specific draw in Express Entry’s history.

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The FSTP is a pathway to permanent residence for skilled workers who are qualified in a skilled trade.

It launched in 2013 to help address worker shortages across many skilled trades occupations across Canada.

Candidates need to have at least two years of work experience in one of the following trades and occupations:

  • industrial, electrical and construction;
  • maintenance, equipment operation;
  • technical and supervisor jobs in natural resources, agriculture, and related production;
  • processing, manufacturing, utilities, central control operations;
  • chefs, cooks;
  • butchers or bakers.

Due to the program’s targeted nature, it accounts for the fewest number of ITAs issued under eligible Express Entry programs. In fact, just 1,000 out of the 85,300 ITAs issued in 2019 went to FSTP candidates.

One reason why the FSTP is so small is that candidates tend to have lower CRS scores than candidates who are eligible for Express Entry through the Federal Skilled Worker Program or Canadian Experience Class.

As such, IRCC holds rare FSTP-specific draws so that successful trades candidates can support Canada’s labour market needs.

Today was the first FSTP-specific draw of 2020 and the first one since October 16, 2019.

Express Entry is the system the federal government uses to manage permanent residence applications, including for the FSTP.

Candidates are given a CRS score based on their age, work experience, education, proficiency in English or French, as well as other factors.

The highest-scoring candidates are then invited to apply for permanent residence through bi-weekly Express Entry draws.

IRCC processes most permanent residence applications submitted through the Express Entry system in six months or less.

Who is invited?

The following is a hypothetical scenario of someone who may have been invited in the August 6 FSTP draw.

Tim is 29, has a three-year post-secondary certificate, and has been working as a welder outside of Canada for four years. Tim also holds a Canadian certificate of qualification. He wrote the IELTS and obtained a 7.5 in listening, a 7 in speaking and a 6.5 in reading and writing. Tim’s CRS score of 418 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA during the August 6, Express Entry draw.

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

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