May 17, 2024


Canada’s Express Entry system has long been an instrumental pathway for skilled immigrants seeking permanent residency in the country. In a historic move, the Canadian government has recently introduced the first-ever category-based selection for trades occupations in the Express Entry program. This initiative aims to prioritize and streamline the immigration process for skilled tradespeople, ensuring that their valuable contributions to the Canadian workforce are recognized and appreciated. In this article, we will delve into the significance of this milestone and its implications for trades professionals looking to start a new chapter in Canada.

Understanding the Category-Based Selection:

The Express Entry system was initially designed to select candidates from three main categories: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). While the FSTP caters specifically to tradespeople, candidates in this category often faced challenges in obtaining invitations to apply for permanent residency due to the different Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores required for trades occupations.

In a bid to address this issue and promote the integration of skilled trades professionals into the Canadian workforce, the Canadian government introduced the category-based selection for trades occupations within the Express Entry system.

Benefits for Skilled Tradespeople:

The introduction of category-based selection is a game-changer for skilled tradespeople aspiring to immigrate to Canada. Some key benefits include:

Enhanced Prioritization: Skilled trades professionals will now be prioritized within their category, leading to improved chances of receiving invitations to apply for permanent residency.

Streamlined Pathway: By creating a separate pool for trades occupations, the immigration process becomes more tailored to the unique skill sets and labor market needs of tradespeople.

Recognizing In-Demand Skills: The move underscores Canada’s recognition of the critical role played by tradespeople in various sectors and its commitment to addressing labor shortages in these areas.

Economic Growth: The entry of skilled trades professionals into the country bolsters economic growth and productivity, ensuring that industries have access to a diverse pool of talented workers.

How the Category-Based Selection Works:

Under the new category-based selection, skilled trades professionals create an online profile within the Express Entry system, indicating their occupation and relevant qualifications. Candidates with work experience in specific trades listed in Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) system are assigned points according to the CRS.

The CRS scores of trades candidates are then compared with one another within the FSTP-specific draw. Consequently, these candidates can be selected independently, distinct from the general Express Entry draws that include candidates from all categories. The result is a more targeted and efficient process that recognizes the unique contributions of skilled tradespeople.


Canada’s first-ever category-based selection for trades occupations in the Express Entry system marks a significant milestone for skilled trades professionals seeking opportunities in the country. By prioritizing and streamlining the immigration process for tradespeople, Canada not only meets its labor market needs but also strengthens its reputation as a welcoming nation for skilled workers from diverse backgrounds. This groundbreaking initiative emphasizes Canada’s commitment to embracing a wide range of talents and ensuring a prosperous future for both newcomers and the nation as a whole.

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