Top Ways to Get Jobs in Canada Without PR

Are you not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident (PR)? Still want to work in Canada and be part of one of the strongest economies in the world? You still can! Canada’s effective work permit system allows foreign workers to fill various jobs throughout the country. Somewhat 400,000 foreign workers were issued Canadian work permits in 2019.  

A great deal of in-demand jobs in Canada, such as truck drivers, farmworkers, and trades are filled by skilled workers from overseas through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Other occupations that serve Canada’s broader cultural and economic interests are filled by international workers through the International Mobility Program (IMP). These programs are designed to help foreign workers obtain work permits and at the same time, they are used by job providers in Canada to recruit international talent and fill labor shortages.   

In this blog, we look at the top 3 ways to get jobs in Canada without PR (permanent resident) status!     

3 Ways to Make a Career Move to the Great White North

Businessman with Canadian flag in office

1. Get a Work Permit: TFWP VS IMP

The first step in the process of working in Canada as a non-resident is to discover for which work permit you qualify. There are certain foreign workers who don’t need work permits to legally work in Canada but the majority do. If you need to apply for a Canadian work permit there are two broad options: an employer-specific work permit (closed) under the TFWP and an open or closed work permit under the IMP.     

The key difference between the work permit programs is that the TFWP requires foreign workers to have Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) documents whereas work permits under the IMP are exempt from this requirement. Another important distinguishing factor is that open work permits are only available through the IMP.  

Open work permits allow foreign workers to work anywhere in Canada and for any employer. This means workers don’t need to secure employment in Canada first before applying for their work permits. Popular examples of open work permits are the Working Holiday Visa and the Post-Graduate Work Permit.  

Key Differences Between the TFWP and IMP
Temporary Foreign Worker ProgramInternational Mobility Program
LMIA requiredNo LMIA required
Work permits are closed (employer-specific)Work permits may be open or closed
Labour market-based (to fill shortages on a temporary basis)To advance Canada's broader economic and cultural interests
Based on specific labor needs that are based on occupation and regionBased partially on international reciprocal agreements (e.g. IEC, NAFTA, CETA)
The two-week processing standard is only available for certain occupations and top 10% wage earners, otherwise, the process can run too many monthsMany IMP streams have a two-week work permit processing standard

Jobs in Canada Under the TFWP 

Truck driver man sitting in cabin giving thumbs-up

Work permits in Canada issued under the TFWP are labor market-based. This means that if you want to work in Canada then your occupation must be in-demand. How do you prove that your job is in-demand? With a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. To help you get started, we’ve compiled lists of in-demand occupations in Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. Keep in mind that even if your occupation features on one of the lists you still need to satisfy the requirements of applying for an employer-specific work permit through the TFWP.     

Good to know: Securing an in-demand job in Canada and working in the country for 6-12 months may allow you to qualify for a few immigration programs; such as Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP) and the Canadian Experience Class.     

5 In-Demand Jobs in Canada For 2020
OccupationAverage Salary in CAD
Registered Nurse$76,342 - $129,781
Long Haul Truck Driver$44,850 - $75,770
Farm Worker$22,620 - $35,687
Software Engineer$92,450 - $157,165
Welder$40,938 - $69,595

Jobs in Canada Under the IMP

Pretty mexican mature adult woman working at computer at home

Work permits under the IMP are based partially on international reciprocal agreements, such as the IEC, CUSMA, and CETA, and serve the country's broader economic and cultural interests. For example, the Canada United States Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) is designed for eligible workers, traders, and investors from the USA and Mexico to work in Canada without LMIAs.  

Types of Jobs Under the IMP
Intra-company transferee
Interns with international organizations recognized under the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act
Television and film production workers

Working Holiday Visa

Backpacker in Yosemite National Park overlooking the river

A popular work permit issued under the IEC of the IMP is the Working Holiday Visa. It’s designed for young adults between the ages of 18-30/35 from eligible countries to work in Canada while exploring the country for up to 2-years! The best part is that these foreign workers don’t need job offers or LMIAs to apply! 

Want to know for which Canadian work permit you qualify? Apply with Canadian Visa today to get your online eligibility assessment. Start your journey with professionals you can trust.   

2. Get to Know Canada’s Immigration Pilots

Long, winding road overlooking the ocean in autumn

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) were designed for one purpose: attract foreign workers to Canada’s smaller, and less popular regions, i.e, the four Atlantic provinces and participating communities in Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. These regions have labor shortages in various industries. 

Foreign workers who manage to secure jobs from participating employers of the Pilots can apply for permanent residency in Canada if they meet the additional requirements of the programs, such as work experience and English or French language proficiency. 

Good to know:

  • No LMIA required
  • Skilled (doctors, accountants) and intermediate skilled (truck drivers, farm workers) foreign workers may be eligible for immigration through the Pilots
  • The foreign worker must plan to live and work in the province/community through which they are hired
  • Foreign workers applying through the Pilots may be able to start working for their employer with work permits issued under the IMP while their permanent residency applications are being processed

3. 5 Tips to Secure Employment in Canada

Two people high five

If you need a job offer to work in Canada and you don’t have a list of designated employers to reach out to then you may want to consider the following 5 tips to help simplify your job hunting process. 

1. Canadian Job Sites

We’ve previously discussed the top 5 Canadian job sites to apply for jobs in Canada. The trick is to find jobs that make it clear that international applicants are welcome to apply for the position. More often than not it means that the employer already has a positive LMIA to hire you.

2. Enlist Professional Help

When looking for a job from overseas, you need all the help you can get. A headhunter or recruitment agency knows more about the Canadian job market than you do, especially if they specialize in foreign recruitment. 

3. Highly Skilled Workers

If you possess niche skills in a high-caliber occupation such as a computer network technician or software engineering and designing then you may be eligible for 2-week work permit processing through the Global Talent Stream of the TFWP.

4. Study in Canada

If you study a program that’s at least 8 months long in Canada then you may qualify for a Post-Graduate Work Permit that allows you to work anywhere in Canada for the same duration of time as your study program. For example, if you completed a 3-year degree then you can work in Canada for 3 years.

5. Narrow Down Your Job Search to a Specific Location

Use the Canadian Job Bank tool to discover in which province and city your job is most in-demand. This should help narrow down your job search to a specific location, especially in a country as big as Canada! At the same time, you will increase your chances of finding employment by looking in the right places.

How We Can Help You Work in Canada Without PR

As one of the leading immigration and visa agencies in Canada, Canadian Visa offers comprehensive eligibility assessments to provide you with a wide range of new opportunities and possibilities to get a job and work in Canada without PR.    

We take time to understand your needs to ensure world-class service. Our Canadian immigration specialists provide personalized guidance and advice to each and every client and take care of the entire visa application process on your behalf.   

All you have to do is complete our application form to receive your eligibility assessment today. It's just that simple.