It is no secret that employers in Canada have a hard time finding qualified skilled tradespeople to fill positions. To help Canadian employers, the Government of Canada introduced the Temporary Foreign Worker stream that allowed the hiring of foreign workers by Canadian employers. The program allows Canadian employers to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), with a positive LMIA allowing the employer to hire foreign workers.  Some of the trades are in such high demand, that the ESDC promises expedited 10 days processing for these applications.

While this stream allowed some of the qualified workers to apply for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Trades Program as part of the Express Entry application system, it appears that the recent changes in the Express Entry score calculation can negatively affect those who planned to immigrate to Canada under the Skilled Trades Program.

The gist of the problem is this: before the November 19, 2016 changes, a positive LMIA would have given an applicant 600 points for their Express Entry profile, making the applicant a shoe-in to qualify for the next Express Entry draw and be invited to apply for Permanent Residence to Canada. The November 19, 2016 changes, however, downgraded the scores granted by an LMIA-supported job offer to 200 for NOC 00 positions, and to 50 for any other NOC A, B, or 0 jobs.

Given that many applicants under the Federal Skilled Trades Program are middle aged, rarely have any post-secondary degree or diploma, and have low English test scores, they had the most to lose under the new scoring systems. Now, at best, a skilled tradesman can get about 350-400 points in their Express Entry profile. Given that the lowest Express Entry qualifying score in recent years was 453 (back in 2015), it is highly unlikely that applicants under the Federal Skilled Trades Program will be selected for Permanent Residence, unless the Minister issues a stream-specific draw (In November 2016, the Minister, for example issued a PNP-specific draw).

There are a number of ways one can improve his or her Express Entry profile, including submitting higher IELTS scores and obtaining more skilled experience. An additional way to qualify for the Express Entry is to obtain Canadian Work Experience.

Legally Canadian is excited to offer an opportunity for our clients to locate an interested Canadian employer to offer them a job in Canada.

If you would like to enter our database of the qualified workers and you meet the minimum qualifications to apply to Canada under the Federal Skilled Trades Program, we invite you to submit your resume to Please indicate in your subject line: FSTP worker. If we have an interested employer, we will connect you and the employer directly.

Please note that Legally Canadian continues to act as an immigration law firm only and it is not our purpose to locate an employer for our potential clients. However, given that our business directory is growing we find ourselves often in the position to assist the Canadian businesses with their search of a qualified skilled worker.