What’s Your Trade? Get Canadian Permanent Residency as a Trade Worker

October 31, 2023


Wesley Allan

Reviewed By: David Allon

Imagine waking up in a country that values your skills as a tradesperson, where opportunities abound, and the government actively encourages you to build a life of prosperity and success. Welcome to Canada, a haven for tradespeople across the globe! But how can you turn this dream into reality? The process may seem daunting but fear not. This guide will be your north star, navigating you through obtaining permanent residency. But hurry, Canada is calling, and there's no better time than now to answer.

In recent years, Canada has positioned itself as a welcoming destination for immigrants, particularly those skilled in trades. The growing economy and the increasing need for skilled labor have led to the establishment of various immigration programs that specifically target skilled trade workers. These programs aim to fill the gaps in the Canadian labor market and contribute to the economy.

The good news is that these programs offer skilled trades workers a chance to work in Canada and an opportunity to secure PR. This means you can live and work in Canada indefinitely, have access to social benefits like healthcare, and have the ability to apply for Canadian citizenship.

What are Trade Jobs in Canada?

Trade Jobs in Canada

Trade jobs in Canada encompass a broad range of professions. These are typically hands-on jobs that require specialized training and skills. Notably, they form a significant part of the Canadian economy and are in high demand. Examples of trade jobs in Canada include but are not limited to, electricians, plumbers, welders, carpenters, chefs, bakers, and hairstylists, among others.

Trade jobs are not strictly limited to manual labor. They also include roles in the service sector, like chefs and hairstylists. These roles require a combination of talent, skill, and formal training. These vocations' potential for growth and advancement is significant and often well-compensated.

Moreover, the demand for these jobs is continually growing. Canada is witnessing a surge in infrastructure and development projects, creating a high demand for skilled trades workers. This demand is not just limited to big cities but is widespread nationwide.

Trade jobs in Canada are a means to earn a livelihood and a pathway to permanent residency. Canada has several immigration programs designed to attract skilled trade workers worldwide. These programs recognize the value that skilled trades workers bring to the Canadian economy and provide a streamlined pathway for these workers to become permanent residents.

The process begins with obtaining a temporary work permit in Canada. This permit allows foreign skilled trades workers to live and work in Canada for a specific period. During this time, they can gain valuable Canadian work experience, which can be used to apply for permanent residency through various programs.

The journey from a temporary work permit to permanent residency is not always straightforward. It requires careful planning and understanding of the immigration programs and their eligibility requirements. However, with the right guidance and preparation, it is certainly achievable.

How to Get PR in Canada as a Trade Worker

How to Get PR in Canada

As a trades worker, there are several routes you can take to attain a Permanent Residency in Canada. These include the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and Provincial Nominee Programs and Pilot Programs. Each program has its requirements and processes, which will be discussed in detail in the following sections.

The Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is an immigration program for skilled workers in a particular trade. This program is part of the Express Entry system, an online system managing applications for permanent residence from skilled workers.

The FSTP is for individuals who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade. To be eligible, you must plan to live outside the province of Quebec (the province has its system to select skilled workers), meet the required levels in English or French for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing, and listening), have at least two years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade within the last five years, and meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC), except for needing a certificate of qualification.

The Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is another popular immigration program under the Express Entry system. It is designed for skilled workers with Canadian work experience who want to become permanent residents.

To be eligible for the CEC, you must have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada, have had legal status while working, and can meet the language levels needed for your job in each language ability (speaking, reading, writing, and listening). This experience must be gained while working legally in Canada after graduation.

To qualify for the Canadian Experience Class, you must have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada. This can be gained through working on a temporary work permit. However, work experience gained while you were studying or self-employed will not count.

You can gain work experience in Canada by applying for jobs in your field of expertise. You can also participate in various work experience programs and internships. These programs allow you to work in Canada and gain the experience required for the CEC.

Top Canada Provincial Nominee Programs for Trade Workers

The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are immigration programs run by individual provinces in Canada. They are designed to meet the specific needs of each province’s labor market and economy. Each PNP has its criteria and streams, some dedicated to skilled trades workers. Here's a breakdown of some of the top programs:

  • British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP): The BC PNP International Post-Graduate stream is an excellent option for trade workers who have recently graduated from a BC institution. It does not require a job offer and prioritizes workers in high-demand occupations.
  • Alberta Opportunity Stream: This stream is part of Alberta's PNP and is meant for workers with a full-time job offer from an Alberta employer. It covers many occupations, including trade workers.
  • New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program: The Skilled Worker Stream under this program is ideal for trade workers with a genuine job offer from a New Brunswick employer. It prioritizes workers who can contribute significantly to the province's economy.

All these programs require a certain level of skills, education, and work experience and aim at workers who can contribute to the economy of the specific province.

Top Canada Pilot Programs for Trade Workers

Besides the Federal and Provincial programs, Canada has several Pilot Programs for skilled trades workers. These programs are experimental and designed to address specific labor market needs in certain regions or sectors. If you're a trade worker wanting to move to Canada, here are your most suitable pilot programs:

  • The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP): This program is designed to attract and retain foreign-skilled workers in rural and northern communities across Canada facing labor shortages. Applicants must have a job offer from a designated employer in one of the participating communities.
  • The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP): This program aims to attract skilled immigrants to the four Atlantic provinces of Canada - New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. It targets workers in sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, and the skilled trades. A job offer from a designated employer in these provinces is necessary to apply.
  • The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot: This program focuses on the agricultural sector, specifically meat processing, mushroom and greenhouse production, and livestock raising. It offers a pathway to permanent residence for experienced, non-seasonal workers in these industries.

Best Trade Jobs in Canada for PR

Trade Jobs in Canada for PR

The demand for skilled trades workers in Canada is high and continues to grow. Some in-demand jobs include electricians, plumbers, welders, carpenters, chefs, and bakers. These jobs offer competitive wages, stable employment, and opportunities for career growth.

Various factors, including infrastructure development, population growth, and technological advancements, drive these jobs' demand. As a result, skilled trades workers have a high chance of securing employment and achieving permanent residency in Canada.

Canada offers great opportunities for skilled trades workers, providing a promising career and a pathway to permanent residency. By understanding the various immigration programs and their requirements, you can plan your journey toward becoming a Canadian permanent resident. Remember, the journey requires careful planning and patience, but your Canadian dream can become a reality with determination and guidance. Learn more about the top in-demand jobs in Canada:


What is the Processing Time for PR Applications for Skilled Trades Workers?

The processing time for PR applications varies depending on the program and the individual applicant's circumstances. However, the Express Entry system processes most applications within six months. Learn more about Canada's processing times.

Can I Bring my Family to Canada if I get PR as a Skilled Trades Worker?

Once you receive your PR, you can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, dependent children, and even your parents or grandparents to Canada. Learn more about Family sponsorship in Canada.

What Happens if my PR Application is Denied?

If your PR application is denied, you can appeal the decision or apply again. It's recommended to consult with an immigration lawyer or consultant to understand the reasons for the denial and to improve your future applications.