How to Move to Canada as a Teacher

Are you a trained teacher? Do you want to move to Canada to teach? Then this article is just for you. Here we will outline the basics of what you need to know to become a registered teacher in the land of the maple leaf.

Check out these simple steps learn how to migrate to Canada as a teacher.

  1. Find your NOC code and job level on the CIC website;
  2. Choose which province or territory you want to move to;
  3. Check in with the local educational teaching board for international requirements for:
    • Required degree in Education;
    • Provincial teaching certificate;
    • Certification to teach a second language like English or French;
    • Membership to either a provincial or territorial teachers’ association; and
    • Work reference letter
  4. Apply for ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) if necessary;
  5. Look for a job in Canada before you immigrate

Find Your NOC Teaching Code

find your NOC code Canada

First, find out which NOC code your job fits under. You can check this on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.

You can apply as a teacher under the Express Entry system. Just remember that processing times vary from country to country and can be as short as four months or up to eight months depending on your case.

A teacher as defined by the Canadian government fits under these main categories:

  • Supply teacher;
  • ELS teacher;
  • Biology teacher; and
  • Librarian
  • Teaching assistant;
  • Remedial aid;
  • Educational resource assistant; and
  • Teaching aid
NOC Code Skill Level Category Examples
4032 A Elementary school and kindergarten
  • Primary school teacher;
  • English second language teacher;
  • French teacher; and
  • Special education teacher
4413 C Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants
  • Teaching assistant;
  • Remedial aid;
  • Educational resource assistant; and
  • Teaching aid
4031 A Secondary school teachers
  • Supply teacher;
  • ELS teacher;
  • Biology teacher; and
  • Librarian

Choose the Right Province

Second, you must know which province you plan to come to as a teacher. There are different educational boards in each country that control who can legally teach there.

One of the most common way to migrate to Canada as a teacher is under the Skilled Worker Stream, which is a federal program managed by Express Entry.

You could also try to qualify for a Provincial Nomination under one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Such a nomination almost guarantees you a spot in Canada.

If you successfully receive a nomination, you will get an additional 600 points under the CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) which is essential to get invited to apply for permanent residence in the country.

Find Your Teaching Board

The teaching board, College of Teachers or other similar institutions are in charge of who is allowed to teach in their province or territory, for example, the Teacher Regulation Branch is in charge of the British Columbia province. They decide who is a qualified professional according to strict regulations in the area.

Because each province is different, they will have their own set of requirement you need to pass. Some of these are that you must have:

  • Completed an education program that meets Canadian standards;
  • Completed a university degree that lasted at least three years;
  • Met all language requirements in either English or French;
  • Qualified for a Provincial teaching certificate
    • With a clear academic record that includes your areas of studies; and
    • Two years of work experience with children

Please note that if you have not completed an education program that is accepted by Canada, you cannot qualify for a Teaching Certificate.

To solve this problem, you can generally apply for a course under one of the many educational universities in Canada. Just make sure that you apply with accepted Canadian educational institutions.

This Teaching Certificate lets you teach from pre-school to k12 age groups. You should also know that if you qualify for a Teaching Certificate in one province or territory, it does not mean that you can teach in another province or territory in Canada. There are different regulations and rules for each of them.

Jobs that do not need a Teaching Certificate

day care teacher

The following teaching positions generally do not need a teaching certificate.

  • International language teachers;
  • Adult continuing education teacher;
  • Education assistants;
  • Early childhood daycare teachers;
  • Private school teachers may be certified by the College or Institution;
  • Community teachers generally have a Master’s degree if they teach full-time;
  • University lecturers do not need to be certified by the College but must have either a Master’s or PhD;
  • English or French second language teachers, you must have a TESL or TFSL certificate to teach in a university, college or non-profit organization;
  • Tutors;
  • Music teachers;
  • Private language instructors; and
  • Montessori teachers

Documents to Apply With

You will most likely need the following documents to apply for a teaching position. A Registration Form, this can normally be found on the Education Institute website for a province or territory of Canada.

Proof of identity, like an ID, passport or other form of identification.

Teaching certificate from your local province or territory.

Copies of your academic transcripts and qualifications this can also include any programs you have completed in Canada relating to teaching.

Canadian criminal record check this is done through the Canadian Mounted Police force and can be completed online with a set of fingerprints and recent passport photographs.

Results for valid language exams if it is required for your teaching position. These tests are generally IELTS and CELPIP for English. Just remember CELPIP can only be taken in Canada. Generally accepted language tests for French are TEF.

When you have handed in all the necessary documents to the relevant college or educational institution, the application process can take around 120 days to process.

Please note that all of the documents must be completed in English. Any documents that are not translated by an accepted legal translator will not be accepted during the application process, for example, Ontario will not accept applications that have not been translated by the Associations of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario or ATIO. Always ensure that you know who is an accepted translator before you go ahead with your application!

Find a Teaching Position in Canada

workpolis website

When applying for a job, you will probably need a Reference Letter. This is a document that proves your previous work experience and normally has recommendations from your previous employers.

You can also use this Reference Letter if you want to apply to a graduate school especially if you are applying for a grant or fellowship sponsor. Just remember to give your employer enough time to draft a letter that recommends your skills and work experience.

A job offer from a Canadian employer can really help to boost your visa application especially under the Express Entry system. Because most teaching degrees are at least NOC job level A, you can net 50 additional CRS points if you get a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.

Having a valid job offer also makes you seem more viable to the Canadian immigration office.

If you are on the lookout for job search sites for teachers, you can apply on any of the following sites.

  • Workopolis;
  • Education Canada;
  • Canadian Job Bank; or
  • Jobs in Education

How to Migrate to Canada as a Teacher

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