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Skilled Trades Stream


If you have Ontario work experience in an eligible skilled trade, this stream may be for you. A job offer is not required for this stream. Eligibility criteria include having a valid profile in the federal Express Entry pool, indicating interest in Ontario, receiving a Notification of Interest (NOI) from Ontario, and meeting specific work experience, language proficiency, and settlement fund requirements.  This stream provides skilled trades workers a pathway to settle and work in skilled trades Ontario.

How to apply for Ontario’s Express Entry – Skilled Trades Stream: Eligibility Requirements and Application Process

If you have work experience in Ontario in one of these 84 Skilled Trades, you may be able to become a Canadian permanent resident through Ontario’s PNP Program. The best part is that out of these 84 trades, only 23 are compulsory i.e. they require you to have a trades license. For rest of the 60 or so trades, your work experience counts even if you didn’t have a red seal or didn’t write the certification exam, as they are non-compulsory trades.

They are about 156 trades in Ontario, but 84 of them are in-demand for Ontario’s PNP also called OINP.


Minimum Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible under the OINP Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream, candidates must have the following:

  • You need to have a valid express entry profile.

  • Within the last 2 years of your OINP application submission, you must have at least one year of full-time paid work experience in Ontario in one of the 84 trades. I will leave a link to the trades in the description. The work experience can be part time, but it must add up to at least 1,560 hours.

  • This experience must be in an occupation that you’ve listed in your express entry profile. And if this occupation is a compulsory trade, only the experience you gained after getting your certification counts.

  • Also, if you’re applying for OINP nomination through a compulsory trade, you must have a valid certification of qualification at the time you apply.

  • Btw, if you’re wondering how can I gain this experience, there are two main pathways. If you’re already an experienced tradesperson e.g. an electrician, a plumber, etc, you can go through the process of trades equivalency assessment, where ontario college of trades will review your experience and then allow you to write the qualification exam. If you don’t have trades experience, you’ll go through the apprenticeship pathway, e.g. if you’re already on an open work permit in Canada or you want to study skilled trades in Canada. And after completing your apprenticeship you can write the C of Q exam.

  • IF you’re experienced in a non-compulsory trade,, things becomes easier. For example, If you’re a welder, you don’t need a C of Q for some jobs. Whereas others will require a red seal.

  • Another important condition is that you must be living in Ontario with a valid work permit or be on implied status at the time you apply for this stream. You don’t necessarily need to have a job when you apply though.

  • You must have scored CLB 5 or higher in a language exam like IELTs, CELPIP or the French language exams.

  • You must also have enough settlement funds based on your family size. You can combine your savings, your annual earnings from your current employment or a job offer to meet this criteria.

    As with all streams of OINP, you must have the intention to reside in Ontario.

Valid certificate or licence (if applicable)

If you are claiming work experience in a compulsory trade, even if you are no longer working in the trade, you must have a valid certificate or licence in Ontario at the time you apply and you must have held a valid certificate or licence that covers the period of work experience that is being used to meet the minimum one year of work experience in an eligible skilled trades occupation.

Currently, there are 23 compulsory trades in Ontario, which are listed below:

  1. Alignment and Brakes Technician 310E
  2. Auto Body and Collision Damage Repairer 310B
  3. Auto Body Repairer 310Q
  4. Automotive Electronic Accessory Technician 310K
  5. Automotive Service Technician 310S
  6. Electrician — Construction and Maintenance 309A
  7. Electrician — Domestic and Rural 309C
  8. Fuel and Electrical Systems Technician 310C
  9. Hairstylist 332A
  10. Hoisting Engineer — Mobile Crane Operator 1 339A
  11. Hoisting Engineer — Mobile Crane Operator 2 339C
  12. Hoisting Engineer — Tower Crane Operator 339B
  13. Motorcycle Technician 310G
  14. Plumber 306A
  15. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic 313A
  16. Residential (Low Rise) Sheet Metal Installer 308R
  17. Residential Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic 313D
  18. Sheet Metal Worker 308A
  19. Sprinkler and Fire Protection Installer 427A
  20. Steamfitter 307A
  21. Transmission Technician 310D
  22. Truck and Coach Technician 310T
  23. Truck-Trailer Service Technician 310J


There are 144 non-compulsory skilled trades, listed here. Out of these, 60 have certificates of qualification to confirm that you have passed the required certifying exam for your trade. The others may require apprenticeship but not an exam. 

Required Documents:

When applying to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) through the Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream, it is essential to ensure that all the necessary documents are ready. These documents must be scanned and uploaded with the application.

Here’s a summarized checklist for the Ontario Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream of the OINP application:

  1. Notification of Interest from Ontario

    • Scan and upload the Notification of Interest (NOI) letter from your IRCC account.
  2. Identity Documents

    • Photograph: A scanned, clear, high-quality photo meeting passport or visa requirements.
    • Passport: Scan and upload the personal details page and pages with Canadian visas/entry stamps.
    • Family Members’ Passports: Scan and upload the personal details page for each dependent family member.
  3. Status Documents in Canada

    • Scan and upload current and previous Canadian status documents (e.g., work/study permits, temporary resident visas).
  4. Language Test Results

    • Scan and upload English or French language test results (IELTS/CELPIP for English, TEF/TCF Canada for French).
  5. Work History Documents

    • Employment/Work Experience Reference Letters: Detailed letters from previous/current employers.
    • Proof of Compensation: Pay slips, bank statements, income tax documents, or employer letters.
    • Canada Revenue Agency Statements: Official T4 statements and NOA statements.
    • Work Contracts (Optional): Contracts for Ontario work experience.
    • Other Work-Related Documentation (Optional): Any relevant supporting documents.
  6. Trade Certification

    • Include copies of any required licences or certifications.
  7. Settlement Funds Requirement

    • Funds: Recent bank statements and/or investment account statements.
    • Ongoing Employment in Ontario: Recent pay slips and original job offer.
    • Job Offer in Ontario: Job offer letter with details of the role.
  8. Resumé

    • Current resumé outlining work experience, education, and contact details.
  9. Intention to Reside in Ontario Documents

    • Evidence of ties to Ontario (e.g., job offers, education, lease agreements) or a statement of intent to reside in Ontario.
  10. Other Optional Documents (If Applicable)

Remember to scan all documents clearly and redact sensitive information like Social Insurance Numbers or credit card details.


Application Process:

Here are the steps to apply for the Ontario Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream:

  • Create an Express Entry profile
  • Secure a Notification of Interest (NOI) from Ontario through your IRCC online account. Candidates in the Express Entry pool may not apply directly to the OINP under the Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream.
  • Receive a NOI letter from the OINP.
  • Once you receive an NOI, you have 45 calendar days from when the NOI letter was issued to submit an online application to the OINP. Applications are submitted online through Ontario’s unique application management system.
  • Gather all relevant paperwork and supporting documentation required for an application. Any document not in English or French must be translated, certified, and notarized if required.
  • Pay the application fee of $1,500 CAD.
  • After submitting your application, it will be reviewed by the OINP. If successful, you will receive 600 additional CRS points and an Invitation to Apply (ITA) at a subsequent draw from the Express Entry pool.
  • Once the application for permanent residence has been submitted, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to process the application to completion within six months.

Draw Updates:

2,552 applicants invited with scores ranging from 350-424 in January, 2024

In 2023, there were 6 rounds of invites, where 7500 applicants were invited in more than 50 different occupations. The scores ranged from 250 CRS points to 516.

The Ontario Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream offers a pathway for skilled trades workers to settle and work in Ontario. Candidates must secure a NOI from Ontario, meet the minimum eligibility requirements, and follow the application process to be considered for permanent residency in Ontario.

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I’m Rashid Ali, a Licensed Canadian Immigration Consultant, having a designation of RCIC (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant) from the College of Citizenship & Immigration Consultants of Canada or CICC (Previously known as ICCRC). CICC is the official regulator of immigration consultants in Canada. I’m also a member of the Canadian Association for Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC).

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