As a skilled cook, the world is your oyster, as your occupation is always in-demand everywhere. With Canada's status as a top immigration destination, it is one of the best places to reroute your valued skills to, not only because the country has a great food culture but because it is the ideal place to take your career up a few tiers. So, whether you are looking to work in a restaurant or start your own business, let's look at how you can immigrate to Canada as a cook.
Does Canada Really Need Cooks?
Yes, the country does need cooks. Over the years, Canada has slowly increased the number of available jobs for qualified cooks. And thanks to the multicultural nature of this North American wonderland, there is every type of cuisine imaginable, including Middle Eastern, Mexican, Peruvian, Indian, Chinese, Filipino, and so much more.
Jobs For Cooks in Canada
According to Canada's Job Bank, there are currently around 8,227 Cook jobs in Canada. You'll find the most vacancies in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario.
Job Bank projections also show that the next ten years will bring forth around 73,300 cook jobs in Canada. Over this period, prospects for cooks look very good in Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Yukon. Job prospects also look good for this occupation in British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan.
What is the Average Salary For Cooks in Canada?
As a cook in Canada, you can, according to Talent.com, expect to earn an average salary of $31,200 per year or $16 per hour. If you're starting out, you can earn around $28,066 per year, while cooks at the top of their game can rake in as much as $40,950 per annum.
It is essential to remember that your salary will depend on the province you settle in. Cook salaries are the highest in Nunavut ($57,025), Northwest Territories ($44,850), and Yukon ($42,413).
How to Immigrate to Canada as a Cook
Step 1: Check Your Eligibility
The one thing you have to do before even applying for a Canadian immigration program is to check whether you are eligible to do so. You will have to answer several Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) questions about the following:
- Your nationality
- Your age
- Your language ability
- Your family members
- Your education
- Your work experience
- Your income and access to settlement funds
- Employment offer information
Step 2: Find Your NOC Code
Canada uses the National Occupational Classification (NOC) to organize job titles under certain leveled categories. In November 2022, the updated NOC 2021 came into effect, which means that the occupation "Cook" has moved from the group Cooks NOC 6322 to the group Cooks NOC 63200.
To help you understand if your job can be classified as a cook, here are some of the titles that it may fall under the following names:
- Grill cook
- Hospital cook
- Institutional cook
- Journeyman/woman cook
- Licensed cook
- Line cook
- Short order cook
- Apprentice cook
- Dietary cook
- First cook
- Second cook
Step 3: Apply to the Right Canadian Visa Program For You
Canada has over 100 different immigration streams, programs, and categories to apply for.
If you want to immigrate to Canada as a cook, you should look at the Express Entry System's Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). This program was set up for foreign trade workers with work experience in eligible trade occupations to immigrate here.
Under this program, you can immigrate within a few months. But again, you will have to meet the requirements. You must:
- Have at least two years of paid work experience as a cook
- Have scored at least a five on the Canadian Language Benchmark for speaking and listening, and a 4 for writing and reading
- Have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer for at least one year
- Have passed high school, and you must provide an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
- Have scored high enough on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to get an Invitation to Apply
- Have a clear criminal record
- Have sufficient funds to support yourself in Canada
- Be in good health, which can be proved through a medical exam
Note that meeting the requirements for this program is just the initial part of the Express Entry procedure. After this, you must create an online Express Entry profile that will give you a score for the additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) criteria. You will then go into an Express Entry draw, in which candidates with the highest scores receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian Permanent Residency.
Boxes to Tick Off Before You Can Cook Your Way to Canada as a Chef
Get an ECA
An ECA is used to show that your educational qualifications are at the same standard as Canada's. So if you studied outside of Canada, you must get an ECA. You must apply for this document on sites like World Education Services (WES), which will give you your completed evaluation within 20 working days.
Check Whether You Need Any Additional Certification
As a cook, you generally do not need to worry about trade certification, which is voluntary in all provinces and territories of Canada. But you can apply for a Red Seal Endorsement that allows qualified cooks to move and work between different provinces in the country. This happens if you successfully pass your interprovincial Red Seal examination.
Complete the Required Security Checks
One thing that all visa programs need is a Security Clearance Certificate. Generally, you can apply for this document in your local town or city. This document can be requested from your police station, embassy, or from a police commissioner. The certificate is used to prove that you do not have a criminal record that would make you inadmissible to the country.
Yes, something as simple as driving under the influence could significantly impact your application. This document will be requested after you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) if you apply through the Express Entry system.
Get a Medical Examination
A medical examination report is another document you will need during the application process. This means that you have to book an appointment with a Canadian-certified doctor from the Canadian Board of Physicians. If not, your report will be rejected.
NOTE: The results of your medical exam will only be valid for one year.
You can find your closest registered doctor on the IRCC's website, where their contact information, location, and names will be listed.
What is the Difference Between a Cook and a Chef?
A professional cook is a skilled technician who prepares food. In this occupation, most work is hands-on. You will transform the ingredients you are provided with into the dishes.
A chef (NOC 62200), on the other hand, is a trained professional with experience in a professional kitchen setting and usually occupies a more managerial role, either running a single-person department or leading a team of cooks.
Which Program Can I Apply to if I Want to Work in a Specific Canadian Province?
You can apply to Canada's Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). It is an excellent program for people who want to live in a specific Canadian province. The 11 participating Canadian provinces and territories have permission to nominate foreigners who wish to settle here.
So if you have the required skills, qualifications, and experience to contribute towards filling vacancies in provinces and territories in Canada, this could be for you.