How to Immigrate to Canada as a Truck Driver

Fancy making your move to the Great North? Well, then stick around because this article is for you.

Canada is currently striving to fill the worker to retiree ratio by welcoming an influx of 431,645 newcomers in 2022, while 2023 expects to see a whopping 447,055 new immigrants.

Moving forward in 2024, we can expect 451,000 foreign nationals set to fill the labour market and strengthen the Canadian economy.

Why Consider Being a Truck Driver in Canada?

If you’re an experienced skillful driver, wondering how to become a truck driver in Canada, I kid you not, you’re on the right track.

Did you know that from 2019-2028, there will be 119,900 new job openings, leaving 96,600 new job seekers that are predicted to fill these trucker positions?

Now is the time to make your way up to the North and enjoy low cost of living with a high quality of life, free universal healthcare and an abundance of opportunities. You get to earn a decent wage and afford yourself the opportunity to flourish in a country where there’s a shortage of truckers - this increases the demand for your skills as a transport driver.

In this article, we highlight some in-depth steps that explain how to become a truck driver in Canada, along with the suitable programs to give you and your family the kick-start you need to live and work in Canada.

What are the Next Steps to Become a Truck Driver in Canada?

Step 1: Know Your NOC and the Employment Requirements

Ideally, you want to ensure you have a job offer, with the right National Occupational Classification (NOC) lined up before you apply. But don’t sweat it - Canada makes this fairly simple since there are over 100 immigration programs and visas to choose from.

To work in the trucker industry up in the North, you need to know the required criteria for your occupation. Below is the requirements for truck drivers in Canada according to Canada Job Bank:

  • You should have completed secondary school.
  • You can expect to have on-the-job training.
  • You should have completed a driving course of three months from a designated school or college.
  • For a truck with a straight body, you may require a Class 3 or D licence.
  • For longer combination vehicles, you may require a Class 1 or A licence.
  • You may need to have an air brake endorsement: this allows the driver to operate vehicles with air brakes.
  • You may be required to present a Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) certification if you’re going to transport hazardous, dangerous goods.
  • Any other additional licensing that may be required, depending on the type of truck.

As per Canada Job Bank, the table below represents the provinces in Canada that are regulating the truck driver occupation:

Location           Job title     Regulation  Regulatory body
Alberta      Oil And Gas Transportation Services     Regulated  Apprenticeship and Industry Training Office, Government of Alberta
British Columbia      Driver (oil And Gas Industry)     Regulated  Worksafe BC
Ontario      Propane Truck Operator     Regulated  Technical Standards and Safety Authority
Ontario      Tractor-trailer Commercial Driver     Regulated      Ontario College of Trades
Québec      Line Truck Driver     Regulated         Emploi Québec
Québec      Truck Driver     Regulated  Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec

Source: Canada Job Bank

Please note that the requirements may vary for each province and your eligibility depends on what the province requires, or the shortfall of your skills set. As a way forward, we advise that you check if the occupation is regulated in the chosen province before applying.

Step 2: Research the Job Prospects in the Province

Ultimately, you want to avoid ending up in a province that lacks employment opportunities in your field. Avoid this by conducting the necessary research on the provinces that are waiting to fill the gap of truckers in the labour market. Additionally, you would want to be knowledgeable on the current economic and social state of a province before you decide to settle.

While you’re at it, we strongly advise that you research the program requirements as well. Bear in mind that the program criteria and employment requirements are two different aspects - the applicant is required to meet both sets of criteria.

Step 3: Which Immigration Programs are Available for Truck Drivers?

Suppose you meet the criteria for both the program and the trucker job you’re applying for, you would have to select a province or territory of your choice, or the province in which you’ve secured your job offer. Your next step would require you to find out what the available programs are for truck drivers.

Below are the available programs for truck drivers looking to live and work in Canada:

1. The Express Entry System:

This is a points-driven online system that comprises three immigration options that are highly accommodating towards the various needs and circumstances of immigrants. Below are the programs under the Express Entry system:

  1. Canadian Experience Class
  2. Federal Skilled Program
  3. Federal Skilled Trades Program

Because the system is driven by points, candidates with the most points will receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) before they can apply directly to the Express Entry programs. Let’s at how you can apply for the Provincial Nomination Program through the Express Entry.

2. Provincial Nomination Provincial (PNP):

Under this program, immigrants who want to become a truck driver in Canada should demonstrate the appropriate skills set, education and work experience for the job. This program is province-specific so your chances of being nominated under the PNP will depend on the province’s shortage of skilled workers. Furthermore, we urge candidates to double-check the availability of employment opportunities before deciding to settle.

Apply for the PNP as a Truck Driver under Express Entry - There are Two Options:

Option 1:

Reach out to the province or territory you want a nomination from under their Express Entry stream. If your skills are a match, the province or territory will send you a nomination and thereafter, you should create an Express Entry profile - if you do not have one, create one to show that you have been nominated. The nomination will occur electronically through your account.

Option 2:

Create an Express Entry profile which will indicate which provinces or territories you want a nomination from. You may get a notification of interest and in this case, you can contact the province directly to apply to their stream. The nomination will occur electronically through your account.

Furthermore, you can find out more about how you can improve your citizenship application here.

3. Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP):

This program is employer-driven and it enables Canadian employers to hire foreign nationals who are able to fill the skill shortage in a province or territory. Before seeking out foreign talent, employers are encouraged to first explore the local Canadian market to fill the labour gap. Foreign workers successful under this program may require an Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which proves that your employer is authorized to hire an immigrant as a temporary foreign worker.

We understand that all of this can be a lot to process so we’ve made it possible to get in touch with our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) to guide you throughout your immigration journey.

The Application process

At this point, you’ve ensured eligibility for the program and job you’re applying for. Now, see the steps below are the steps to apply for your trucker job irrespective of the program you choose:

Step 1: Find Your NOC (truck drivers: NOC 7511)
Step 2: Check Your Eligibility
Step 3: Find a Job and Secure a Job Offer
Step 4: Know Which type of Work Permit is Required
Step 5: Gather all Supporting Documents and Fill in all Required Fields

We urge candidates to fill out the information correctly on their forms and supply the necessary supporting documents that will validate the information on their application. Failure in doing so will result in a delay in processing times and your application will be returned to you.

An Interesting Fact for Foreign Skilled Workers…

Earlier this year, the Business Council of Canada (BCC) released a report comprising 80 businesses in Canada that were surveyed. These companies explained how they plan to use Canada’s immigration programs to its fullest potential when hiring foreign skilled workers.

The BCC further reported that two thirds of companies seek out global talent abroad through Canada’s immigration programs, while the remaining third hires foreign workers who are already in Canada.

And there you have it - this is all the more reason to apply as a truck driver in Canada.

Let Us Help You Move to Canada as a Truck Driver

You’d be delighted to know that the current wage as a trucker driver in Canada is between $16.00 and $33.08 per hour, depending on the province. Even though this article mainly focuses on how to become a truck driver in Canada, know that we have a wealth of information on other topics to help people immigrate to Canada successfully.

Not interested in immigrating as a trucker driver? No problem. Feel free to find out more about the 10 best careers in Canada that don’t require a degree and start an adventure of a lifetime today.

Still uncertain about the way forward? Get in touch with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant today to advise, support and guide you throughout the process.

Already Curious? Apply Now


1. Does Canada need truck drivers?

Yes. Canada currently has a shortage of truck drivers from 2019 to 2018 with 119,900 new job openings, leaving 96,600 new job seekers that are predicted to fill these trucker positions. You should be well on your way to Canada.

2. Is truck driving a good career in Canada?

Absolutely. Truckers can earn a wage from $16.00 and $33.08 per hour - this allows for a comfortable life, giving truckers the opportunity to build a long-term sustainable future for themselves and their families.

3. How can a foreigner become a truck driver in Canada?

There are a number of immigration programs you can use to become a truck driver in Canada. Programs such as the Express Entry with three other accommodating programs, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the Provincial Nominee Program make immigration to Canada fairly easy. However, foreign workers must ensure they have a job lined up from a designated Canadian employer.