3 Pathways to Move to Canada as a Welder

Canada is a booming and ever-growing centre of industry. Being the second largest country in the world, the harsh weather conditions and the constantly growing population has meant the need for skilled technical tradespeople is at an all-time high. As a result, skilled technical professionals are not only in high demand but are well-paid and provided with fantastic benefits.

Because of this, Canada is a fantastic place to live and work as a welder. But how does one take advantage of the attractive opportunities that Canada has to offer? Below, we have broken down the three best ways to move to Canada as a Welder to help you have the best possible idea of how to start your journey to Canada.

The Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades Program is one of the three programs under Canada’s Express Entry system for permanent residency. The Express Entry system is Canada’s primary means to present skilled foreign workers with permanent residence. Applicants for Express Entry enter all their necessary details like their age, occupation, level of education, marital status and work experience into the Express Entry portal on the Canadian government website.

These factors are then calculated through the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to determine the applicant’s CRS score. This score is out of 1200 and entered into a pool of other applicants called the Express Entry pool. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does an Express Entry draw every two weeks, choosing all applicants with a score higher than a set number. This number changes every draw based on the size and strength of the applicant pool.

The three Express Entry programs are as follows:

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)


This program is specifically for those who work in professional occupations that usually require a degree, such as a doctor, lawyer or accountant. Here’s a quick breakdown of how the program works:

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)


As a welder, this will likely be the best program for you. This is specifically for skilled tradespeople, usually with a trade diploma or job-specific training with a Canadian job offer. Here’s a quick breakdown of the program:

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)


This program is for skilled workers who have already been living and working in Canada for the last 12 consecutive months. This program is also a solid option for welders as it allows you to gain permanent residency if you’ve been working in Canada under a temporary permit like a Canada work permit for a year and are looking to make Canada your permanent home. Here’s a breakdown of this program:

How to Apply

Applying for any Express Entry program is the same process. The primary difference between programs is the criteria for entry.

Before You Start

You must ensure you meet the criteria for the program before you begin the application process. If you do not fulfill the requirements, your application will not be accepted so it's important to ensure you fulfill all of them. The minimum requirements for the FTSP are as follows:

FTSP Requirements
A job offer of at least one year from a Canadian employer OR a certified qualification from a provincial, territorial, or federal governing body
Level 4 in reading and writing. Level 5 for listening and speaking in the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score for French or English.
2years of full-time work experience within the last 5 years
Demonstrate your ability to meet your trade's job requirements
Sufficient funds to settle in Canada with your family unless you have a valid job offer.

If you’re unsure if you’re eligible to join the FTSP, click the button below to talk to a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant who can interview you and evaluate your details to see if you qualify and help you to ensure your application process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Step 1: Collect Your Documents

The FSTP requires several documents to complete your application. It’s vital that you have all of these documents together when you submit your application. They are as follows:

  • Passport
  • Language test results
  • Education credential assessment report
  • Provincial nomination
  • Written job offer from a Canadian employer

Step 2: Create Your Express Entry Profile Online

Once you’ve gathered your documents, you can apply for Express Entry on the Canadian Government website. Be sure to select the option to apply via the FSTP and enter in all of the necessary details. Make sure your details are correct as any incorrect details can lead to delays or even a full rejection of your application. Once all of your details are entered, your CRS score will be calculated.

Step 3: Get Your CRS Score

Once your CRS score is calculated, it will be sent to you. If you’re looking to improve your CRS score to give yourself your best possible chance of being selected in the next Express Entry draw, have a look at this article. Once you have your CRS score where you want it, keep up-to-date with every express entry draw to see if you’ve received your Invitation To Apply (ITA) for permanent residency.

Step 4: Receive Your ITA

If you’re selected in an Express Entry draw, you will be sent an ITA. You will be notified of this on your online profile, so ensure you check it regularly. Once you’ve received your ITA, you will have 60 days to submit all of your documentation and pay your processing fees.

Step 5: Pay Your Processing Fees and Submit Your Application

You must cover all of the necessary processing fees to have your application. They are as follows:

For you:

  • Application processing fee (CAD$850)
  • Right of permanent residence fee (CAD$515)

For your partner:

  • Application processing fee (CAD$850)
  • Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF) (CAD$515)

For dependent children

  • Per child (CAD$230)

Once your fees are paid, you can submit your application online. If everything goes smoothly, you will receive your Canadian permanent residence within six months.

However, if you want to ensure your selection in the next express entry draw or are interested in living and working in one specific province, you can apply for a Provincial Nomination to increase your CRS score. To do this, you must add in an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the province of your choice when you apply for permanent residence. Receiving a Provincial Nomination will add 600 points to your CRS score, hugely increasing your chance of getting an ITA.

Only 11 out of Canada’s 13 provinces offer provincial nominations so be sure to investigate the province of your choice before applying for the FSTP. Below is a short breakdown of the Provincial Nomination process and you can find a full breakdown of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs here.


On top of the Provincial Nominee Programs, there are pilot programs catering to occupations that are in specific high demand in certain provinces.

Pilot Programs

There are two primary pilot programs that could be of huge benefit to welders. Each program is for a specific area in Canada but both can provide a wealth of opportunities as both present fantastic opportunities for welders in Canada.

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

The RNIP was started in 2019 with the intention of strengthening the economies of the smaller, more rural towns in Canada’s northern territories. Welders and machine workers are in high demand in most of these territories.

To apply, you will need to contact the community you plan on living and working in directly and have a valid offer for a job in that province. For a directory on the communities involved in the RNIP and the criteria for the RNIP, have a look at this page.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP)

This is a permanent pilot program specifically for skilled workers and foreign graduates looking to live and work in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. There are three primary programs under the AIP, the Atlantic International Graduate Program, the Atlantic High-Skilled Program and the Atlantic Intermediate Skilled Program. The Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program is generally most applicable for welders.

To ensure that you can apply for the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program, have a look at this page to find the requirements for both you as the applicant and your Canadian job offer.

However, if you don’t have the necessary experience to apply for one of these programs, you can live and work in Canada under a work permit.

Canada Work Permit

If you can land one of the many welder jobs in Canada, you will have to get a Canada work permit to be allowed to live and work in Canada. The process of gaining a work permit can be broken down into three simple steps:

Step 1: Get a Canadian Job Offer

To be eligible for a Canada work permit, you must have a job offer from a designated employer for a job within Canada. Once you get this offer, you will be eligible for an Employer-specific work permit meaning you will be allowed to work in Canada but only for the employer that has chosen to hire you and only for the length of the job. If you choose to leave the job, you will have to return to your home country.

The best ways to look for welder jobs in Canada are via Canadian job sites like:

  • Indeed.ca
  • Linkedin.ca
  • Jobbank.gc.ca

Once you find jobs you feel are a good fit for you, it’s time to apply for a job. You can find a handy guide on how to get your Canadian job offer here.

Step 2: Ensure Your Eligibility For A Work Permit

Once you’ve landed one of the welder jobs in Canada, you need to ensure that you, your job and your employer meet the necessary requirements to work in Canada. To be considered eligible you have to:

  • Prove you’ll leave Canada once your work permit expires
  • Have enough money to look after yourself and your family, as well as return home upon the expiry of your work permit.
  • Obey Canadian law and have no criminal record,
  • Be in good health, as shown through a medical exam
  • Not plan to work for an employer on the list of employers who do not comply with the conditions for hiring foreign workers
  • Not plan to work for a company that offers striptease, erotic dance, or escort services
  • Give any documentation required by the Canadian authorities.

Once you’ve ensured your eligibility, your employer will also have to ensure they have a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), proving that despite rigorous searching, they were unable to find a local Canadian who can fulfill your position.

Step 3: Submit Your Application

Once you’ve ensured your eligibility, you can submit your application to the IRCC online. Processing times for work visas can be as little as four weeks. However, before you submit your application, please ensure your job offer is legitimate. Here is a useful checklist to help you ensure you do have a job waiting for you in Canada.


How Much Do Welders in Canada Earn?

According to Glassdoor.com, the average Canadian welder earns approximately CA$61 669 per year with Lead Welders earning up to CA$78 170 per year. This is obviously dependent on your chosen province as salaries vary based on the cost of living of the province.

What Benefits Are Welders In Canada Entitled To?

Again, this is dependent on your employer and your chosen province but Canada has fantastic public healthcare and education systems as well as many housing and transport subsidies depending on your status.

How Many Hours Per Week Do You Work As A Welder In Canada?

This depends on your status as a welder but the standard work week for welders in Canada is around 40 hours. However, there are peak periods where you will be required to work overtime.

Take Your Welding Career To The Next Level

While there are many pathways for welders in Canada, you now have the tools to get started in the three most popular ways. If you have any further questions or want to see which of these pathways is best for you, click the button below to talk to an RCIC who will be able to effectively evaluate and advise you to ensure your journey to Canada gets its best start possible.