The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, from how long you intend to stay in Canada, to who you will be teaching online, to most importantly, who you will be working for. Distance learning has become a necessity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and even as schools and universities across Canada begin to return to in-class teaching, many other institutions have adapted their infrastructure to favor an online learning system. The question we will look at is; what are the Canadian work visa requirements if you are intending to teach online from within Canada.
What is a Canadian Work Visa?
A visa is a document, typically in your passport, that allows you to travel to the country it’s issued for. The conditions of the visa will depend on what you intend to do in the country. So, for the purpose of this article, you intend to teach online in Canada. The type of visa you will require will depend on one of the following:
You Will Work in Canada, But for Yourself
If you don’t have a formal job offer from a Canadian learning institution, you cannot get a Candian work visa. However, if you work for an international company, teaching online, you could travel to Canada and stay for up to six months to discover the options for teachers in Canada.
You must meet the requirements for a tourist visa, be sure not to stay past your visa expiration date and most importantly, do not work in Canada without having accepted a formal job offer and applied for a work permit. If you are caught working under the table for any Canadian employer without following the proper channels, it may ruin any future you have planned in the country.
You will work temporarily for a school in Canada
If you want to teach in Canada, for example as a private tutor or through a TEFL program, there is the option of the Working holiday visa. A new requirement for this visa is that applicants must have a job offer. You must also be under the age of 35. Under the IEC working holiday category you will be granted an open work permit, valid for 12 months with an option to extend for another 12 months. You will be able to work for different employers in Canada, you just need an initial job offer to get you started.
You will also be able to apply for a regular temporary foreign work permit with a temporary job offer, the difference will be that your Canadian work visa will only be valid for that specific employer, which we will look at more in depth now.
You will work full time for a Canadian employer
If you have a full time job offer from an education institution in Canada, you will require a work permit to travel to and work in Canada. There are two types of temporary foreign work permits, the open work permit such the one granted under the IEC visa, and the employer specific work permit granted to applicants with job offers. Under this work visa you can only work for the employer that gave you the job offer, if you change employers you must apply for a new work permit, which you can do from inside of Canada.
You should also consider searching for au pair positions that require tutoring as part of the job description. Under the Child Care Provider Pilot you will be eligible for an open work permit, and once you have two years experience working in Canada as an au pair, you could be eligible for permanent residency.
Teach Online While You Study in Canada
One of the best pathways to becoming a permanent resident in Canada is to study here. While fees can become expensive for foreigners, you can teach online, tutor privately or even work as a tutor at your college or university. When you graduate you will be able to secure a job offer and apply for permanent residency through your provinces International Graduate Stream.
What are the Benefits of Working in Canada?
Canada has a low unemployment rate
Prior to the pandemic our unemployment rate was just over five percent. We are working hard and the economy is recovering quickly. From a low of 13.5 percent last year to eight percent at the beginning of March 2021, the economy is creating around 200,000 jobs a month. In the right provinces, and the right towns or cities, you won’t struggle for long to find a good job.
With over 100 different immigration and visa programs, Canada has one of the most extensive immigration systems in the world. One thing the majority of programs favor overwhelmingly is work experience in Canada. From the Canada Experience Class under the Express Entry System to the Provincial Nomination Programs, if you have evidence that you can function as a productive member of Canadian society, it’s just about applying to the right program.
The Cost of Living
Working a full time job in Canada at minimum wage will give an annual salary of at least $30,000. The average cost of living for a single person is estimated at around $22,500 a year, depending on your lifestyle. Compared to other developed countries, Canada has one of the lowest costs of living in the world, and that is just one of the reasons why we are ranked first for quality of life.
Canada is increasingly becoming a favourite amongst foreigners looking to start a new life. This year alone the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) intends to welcome over 400,000 new permanent residents into the country. The targets set for 2022 and 2023 are even higher.
Because of the future we are trying to build, the progressive government and the pro-immigrant attitude of the majority of Canadians, there is no room for intolerance, prejudice or discrimation of any sort in Canada. Inside or outside of the workplace.
From extra days off in the summer to extended paternity leave for expecting parents, Canadian workplaces have fair and progressive policies. More seriously Canada offers free public healthcare to all its permanent residents and citizens, as well as free education to their dependent children. But the cover is not comprehensive and often workplaces will provide extra cover for elements not covered, such as dental care.
Do You Need A Canadian Work Visa?
If you would like to teach online in Canada, you may require a Canadian work visa. If you would like to become a permanent resident of Canada in the long run, you will almost certainly need to get a job offer in Canada so that you can earn the necessary experience. If you can secure a job offer to teach in Canada, whether online or in person, it is important to ensure you have the right type of work permit, and to know what the best pathway to becoming a permanent resident is, if that’s something you want.