Your Guide to Working in Canada as an Immigrant

Working in Canada as an immigrant is a dream for many, and it's a dream well within your reach. Canada is renowned for its welcoming immigration policies and diverse job opportunities, making it an attractive destination for those seeking a better life and career prospects.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of becoming an immigrant worker in Canada, covering essential aspects such as work permits, job prospects, and the immigrant experience.

Navigating the Canadian job market can be complex, but with the right information and guidance, you can turn your aspirations into reality. Whether you're a skilled professional seeking to enhance your career, a student aspiring to gain international work experience, or simply someone looking for a fresh start in a vibrant and inclusive country, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and resources needed to embark on your journey of working in Canada as an immigrant.

Join us as we explore the opportunities and challenges that await you in the Great White North.

Get A Work Permit

If you dream of working in Canada as an immigrant or temporary worker, obtaining a work permit is a crucial step toward making that dream a reality. Lets guide you through the essential steps and eligibility requirements for securing a work permit in Canada. Whether you're applying from inside the country or abroad, understanding the process is key to your successful journey to work in the Great White North.

Eligibility Requirements

When applying for a work permit in Canada, you must meet specific eligibility requirements, which can vary depending on your circumstances and where you apply. Regardless of these variables, you must satisfy the following criteria:

Eligibility Criteria Description
Intention to Leave Canada You must demonstrate to the immigration officer that you plan to leave Canada when your work permit expires.
Financial Capability You should have enough financial resources to support yourself and any accompanying family members during your stay in Canada and for your return journey.
Clean Criminal Record You must not have a criminal record, and you may be asked to provide a police clearance certificate as proof.
No Threat to Security You must not pose a threat to Canada's national security.
Good Health Depending on the nature of your work and your country of origin, you may need to undergo a medical examination to prove your good health.
Employer Compliance You cannot work for an employer who is listed as "ineligible" on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions.
Prohibited Employment You cannot engage in employment that involves striptease, erotic dance, escort services, or erotic massages regularly.
Documentation You must provide any additional documents requested by the immigration officer to demonstrate your eligibility to enter Canada.

Eligibility requirements if you apply from outside Canada

If you plan to apply for a work permit from outside Canada, you should be aware that specific requirements may apply depending on your country or territory of application. It's crucial to follow the instructions provided for your particular situation carefully. Additionally, you may want to explore whether you can benefit from the Global Skills Strategy, which offers expedited processing for certain applications.

Eligibility requirements if you apply from inside Canada

If you are already in Canada and wish to apply for a work permit, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • You have a valid study or work permit.
  • Your spouse, common-law partner, or parents have a valid study or work permit.
  • You are eligible for a post-graduation work permit; your study permit is still valid.
  • You possess a temporary resident permit valid for six months or more.
  • You are awaiting a decision on an application for permanent residence from within Canada.
  • You have claimed refugee protection.
  • You have been recognized as a convention refugee or protected by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
  • You are authorized to work in Canada without a work permit but require one for a different job (excluding business visitors).
  • You fall under the categories of a trader, investor, intra-company transferee, or professional under the Canada – United States – Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

Check the List of Non-Compliant Employers

If you plan to work in Canada as an immigrant, it's important to be aware of the status of your potential employer. Employers who hire temporary workers may undergo inspections to ensure they meet their obligations under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or International Mobility Program. If an employer is found to be non-compliant, they may face one or both of the following consequences:

  1. Monetary Penalty: Non-compliant employers can be subject to a financial penalty.
  2. Hiring Ban: Employers found to be non-compliant may be banned from hiring temporary workers for a specified period.

Before accepting a job offer or working with an employer in Canada, it's advisable to verify their compliance status to protect your rights and ensure a smooth immigration process.

Choosing the Right Visa Program to Work or Live in Canada

Choosing the Right Visa Program to Work or Live in Canada

Canada is known for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse culture, and robust economy, making it a dream destination for many foreign nationals looking to work, study, or visit. However, navigating the Canadian immigration system can be a complex and daunting task, especially when choosing the right visa program. To help you make an informed decision, this blog post will guide you through the various options available for foreign nationals seeking entry into Canada.

Temporary Visa Programs

Foreign nationals looking to work temporarily in Canada have several options to consider:

Work After Graduation Options

Canada is passionate about not only educating people but making sure that those who’ve studied in Canada and would like to stay and work, have the opportunity to do so. There are two main ways to do this: through the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program or a PNP graduate program. The main difference between these two options is that one is temporary, whereas the others are permanent solutions to living and working in Canada.

The Post-Graduation Work Permit allows international graduates to work in Canada for the same length of time as their study program was, sometimes a bit longer. This allows graduates to gain enough work experience to potentially apply for permanent residency through programs like the Canada Experience Class, under the Express Entry system, or various PNP graduate programs.

PNP graduate programs offer permanent residency to graduates who would like to live and work in the province where they acquired their educational qualifications. For example, if you studied at a university in Manitoba, you can apply to stay and work in Manitoba through one of three programs under the International Education Stream managed offered by the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP).

Temporary Work Visa Options
Post-Graduation Work Permit ProgramFor international graduates who have completed their qualification, which was at least eight months or longer, at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada
PNP Graduate ProgramsEach PNP has at least one or more graduate programs offering permanent residency in the Canadian province/territory where the qualification was acquired

Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

If you have a job offer from a Canadian employer, the TFWP is designed for you. This program enables foreign nationals to work temporarily in Canada to fill labor shortages in specific industries. To apply, you will need a job offer and, in some cases, a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from your employer.

Work and Travel Options

The IEC program is perfect for young adults looking to gain work experience while exploring Canada. It offers three categories: Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-op (Internship). Depending on your country of residence, you can apply for one of these categories to work and travel in Canada for a limited time.

For those who want to work and travel in Canada, the only option is through the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program. The “Working Holiday Visa”, as it is more commonly known, has three different programs and allows people from 35 participating countries the opportunity to work and travel in Canada for up to two years. To qualify, you will need to be between the ages of 18 and 35 years old.

International Experience Canada Programs
Working Holiday Visa StreamFor those who want to be able to work for any employer in Canada while being able to travel and explore the country
Young Professionals StreamFor post-secondary graduates who want to gain Canadian work experience
International Co-op Internship StreamFor international student still studying at a post-secondary institution (in their home country) who want to gain Canadian work experience

Those applying through the WHV stream will get an open work permit. In contrast, Young Professionals Stream and International Co-op Internship Stream applicants will receive an employer-specific visa if successful.

Permanent Visa Programs

If you're looking to work and become a permanent resident of Canada, there are several permanent visa programs to consider:

Canadian Experience Class (CEC) - Express Entry

If you have already gained skilled work experience in Canada, the CEC through Express Entry might be your path to permanent residency. This program is designed for individuals who have worked in Canada and wish to transition to permanent residency. It considers your Canadian work experience, language skills, and education.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) - Express Entry

The FSWP through Express Entry is for highly skilled foreign nationals who wish to become permanent residents in Canada. It considers age, education, work experience, and language proficiency factors. There is also a specific eligibility stream for Ph.D. graduates, making it an attractive option for researchers and academics.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) - Express Entry

Skilled tradespeople looking to settle in Canada can explore the FSTP through Express Entry. This program caters to individuals with work experience in specific trades. Meeting the eligibility criteria and securing a job offer is essential for a successful application.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Each Canadian province and territory has its own PNP, allowing them to nominate individuals with the skills and experience needed in their region. If you want to settle in a particular province, check their specific PNP requirements and processes. Being nominated by a province can significantly increase your chances of obtaining permanent residency.

Choosing the Right Visa Program

Now that you know the various visa programs available for working or visiting Canada, how do you choose the right one for you? Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Step 1: Assess Your Eligibility: Start by determining which programs you are eligible for based on your qualifications, work experience, and goals.
  2. Step 2: Research and Prioritize: Research each program thoroughly, considering factors such as your long-term plans, job opportunities, and personal preferences.
  3. Step 3: Seek Professional Advice: Consult an RCIC to get personalized guidance on your immigration options.
  4. Step 4: Gather Required Documents: Collect all necessary documents and information to support your application once you've selected a program.
  5. Step 5: Prepare for Language Proficiency Tests: Many immigration programs require language proficiency tests, such as IELTS or CELPIP, so make sure to prepare for and take these exams if necessary. Our IELTS preparation course will help you get the highest language marks possible.
  6. Step 6: Submit Your Application: Follow the application process for your chosen program carefully, ensuring that all documents are complete and accurate.

Permanent Work Options

If you are looking to work in Canada permanently, the best option is to choose an immigration program. Below are some of the top Canadian immigration options based on your skill level and occupation.

Canada's Top Immigration Options
Federal Skilled Worker ProgramHigh-skilled professionals like accountants, lawyers, doctors, IT professionals
Federal Skilled Trades ProgramSkilled and experienced trade workers like welders, industrial butchers, chefs, and plumbers
Canada Experience ClassHighly-skilled professionals with at least 1 year of Canadian work experience
Provincial Nominee ProgramsJobs that qualify under these programs are province/territory specific based on the labour needs of the region
Atlantic Immigration PilotHigh to semi-skilled workers who want to work in one of 4 Atlantic provinces, namely: New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island
The Rural and Northern Immigration PilotForeign workers of all skill levels who want to work in 1 of 11 participating communities in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan
Home Caregiver ProgramsHome Support Worker Program - must have at least 24 months of experience as an in-home support worker to apply for permanent residency otherwise can apply for a temporary work permitHome Child Care Program - must have at least 24 months of experience as an in-home child care worker to apply for permanent residency otherwise can apply for a temporary work permit
Start-up VisaFor business people looking to start, invest in, or buy an existing business in Canada
Self-employed ProgramFor those who want to work in Canada as a self-employed person in one of the following professions: painter, dancer, journalist, writer, musician, designer, sports coach, athlete, referee, or a program leader
PNP EntrepreneurFor business people looking to start, invest in, or buy an existing business in a particular province or territory in Canada

Below are some of the most popular Canada work permit options:

  • Agriculture Worker Stream
    • For farm workers that want to work in Canada in a sector on the national commodity list in one of the following occupations:
      • Manager in agriculture or horticulture;
      • Farm supervisor or agricultural service contractor;
      • General farm worker;
      • Nursery or greenhouse worker; or
      • Harvesting laborer.
  • Seasonal Agricultural Worker Stream
    • For farm workers that want to work in Canada for up to 8 months during peak farming times from the following countries:
      • Anguilla,
      • Antigua and Barbuda,
      • Barbados,
      • Dominica,
      • Grenada,
      • Jamaica,
      • Montserrat,
      • St. Kitts-Nevis,
      • St. Lucia,
      • St. Vincent and the Grenadines, or
      • Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Global Talent Stream
    • For highly-skilled and experienced IT professionals in one of the following in-demand IT occupations:
      • Computer and information systems managers,
      • Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers),
      • Mathematicians and statisticians,
      • Information systems analysts and consultants,
      • Database analysts and data administrators,
      • Software engineers and designers,
      • Computer programmers and interactive media developers,
      • Web designers and developers,
      • Computer network technicians,
      • Information systems testing technicians,
      • Producer
      • Technical, creative and artistic director
      • Project Manager
      • Visual effects, video game, and Digital media designers.
  • High Wage Worker Stream
    • For workers earning the same as or higher than the median hourly wage for the province or territory.
  • Low Wage Worker Stream
    • For workers earning less than the median hourly wage for the province or territory.

Choosing the right visa program to work or visit Canada can significantly impact your future. Whether you opt for a temporary work permit, a visitor visa, or permanent residency, understanding the available options and assessing your eligibility is the first step towards achieving your Canadian dreams. With the right information and preparation, your journey to Canada can be a smooth and successful.

Prepare to Work

Prepare to Work

Preparing to work in Canada is a crucial step for immigrants looking to build a successful career there. First, you should research the provinces in demand for your skills and tailor your job search accordingly, ensuring you align your expertise with regional opportunities. Updating your resume to Canadian standards is essential to stand out to prospective employers, and considering professional resume templates can be a helpful start.

Find a Job

With over 800,000 jobs in Canada currently up for grabs and an average annual income of around 54,630 CAD, it's no wonder so many foreign workers choose Canada as their top destination.

But how can you ensure that with all these amazing job opportunities available, you’ll find the right job?

There are three key ways to find the right job in Canada:

Find Out Which Provinces Need Your Skills

Canada needs skilled and experienced foreign workers in almost every industry and almost every province in Canada. Each province has created a list of in-demand occupations based on specific labor needs. This will help make your job search a lot quicker and easier and help you determine which immigration and visa options will be best for you. For example, if you are a tech worker, it would be best to start your search in provinces like British Columbia or Ontario, as they have specific PNP streams dedicated especially to tech professionals.

Update your resume:

When applying for work in Canada, updating your resume to meet Canadian standards is a good idea. Your resume must include the following:

  • Contact information
  • Professional Career Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education

Prospective employers or recruitment agents receive hundreds of resumes daily. Be sure to make yours stand out in the pile by making it visually enticing with a modern design that is scannable and easy to read. You can find various free templates online to simplify updating your resume.

Job Hunting in Canada

When looking for a job in Canada from abroad, you have two options: go it alone or use the help of a recruitment agency. Finding a job alone can be time-consuming and challenging, but it is achievable. You can use websites like:

  • The Canadian Job Bank
  • LinkedIn

If time is not on your side, the best option is to use a recruitment agency. They will not only have a large database to consult. Still, they can also offer advice on which provinces are currently hiring foreign workers in your particular field of expertise. Below are some recruitment agencies worth consulting:

  • Global Hire Placement Services
  • Hays – Recruitment Agency
  • Canadian International Recruitment Services Inc
  • Canadian Staffing Consultants Ltd.
  • ERSC Inc. (Employment and Recruitment Services of Canada)
  • Work Global Canada Inc.
  • Canadian Staffing Services
  • Global Hire Placement Services
  • Goldbeck Recruiting
  • International Labor Centre & Immigration Recruitment Services Canada Inc
  • Renard International Hospitality Search Consultants
  • QForce Canada, Employment Job Placement Agency
  • Island Recruiting
  • Angus One Professional Recruitment Ltd
  • TEKsystems
  • WorkVantage
  • Petro Staff International
  • Planet4iT Recruitment Agency

Get Your Credentials Assessed

Before you start working in Canada, it's essential to get your credentials assessed. The Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is a crucial step for immigrants to prove the equivalency of their foreign education to Canadian standards. It helps employers in Canada understand the value of your education and qualifications, increasing your chances of finding a job in your field.

Learn about Language Training

Proficiency in English or French is often a requirement for many jobs in Canada. Consider enrolling in language training programs to improve your language skills and enhance your employability. Our IELTS preparation course can be a valuable resource to help you achieve the language proficiency many Canadian employers require.

Understand the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

Understand the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

When hiring foreign workers in Canada, one of the essential steps employers need to navigate is the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. This critical document plays a pivotal role in determining whether hiring a foreign worker is justified and significantly impacts employers and potential employees.

What is an LMIA?

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that serves as official permission for Canadian employers to hire foreign workers. It is designed to ensure that hiring foreign workers will not negatively impact the Canadian job market and that there are no available Canadian citizens or permanent residents who can fill the positions in question.

The LMIA Process

Obtaining an LMIA can be a complex and time-consuming process. Here are the key steps involved:

Job Offer

First, an employer must offer a genuine job to a foreign worker. This offer should include job description, salary, working conditions, and benefits.

Recruitment Efforts

Before applying for an LMIA, the employer must demonstrate that they have tried to hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents. These efforts may include advertising the position on job boards and in local media.

Application Submission

The employer submits an LMIA application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The application must include all required documentation, such as proof of recruitment efforts, a detailed job offer, and a processing fee.

ESDC Assessment

ESDC reviews the application to determine whether hiring a foreign worker is justified. They assess factors like the labor market impact, the employer's compliance history, and the authenticity of the job offer.


Once ESDC makes a decision, the employer is notified. If the LMIA is approved, the employer provides the foreign worker with a copy of the positive LMIA, which is required for the worker to apply for a work permit.

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a critical step in hiring foreign workers in Canada. It ensures Canadian employers prioritize the local labor force and adhere to fair hiring practices. Understanding the LMIA process is essential for employers and foreign workers looking to work in Canada, as it paves the way for a smoother immigration journey and contributes to a fair and balanced job market in the country.

Apply For Permanent Residency

Now that you've worked in Canada for a while, you may be eligible to apply for Permanent Residency (PR). Gaining Canada PR status can be a significant milestone in your Canadian journey, offering you more stability and benefits, including access to healthcare and social services. It's a step toward making Canada your long-term home, and it's worth exploring the various immigration pathways available to transition from a temporary work permit holder to a permanent resident. Be sure to watch our video below on the three best ways to immigrate to Canada


How Hard is it to Get a Job in Canada as an Immigrant?

Finding a job in Canada can be quite challenging for an immigrant. Although there are ways to find a job, having the help of a recruiter is the easiest route to take. The great part about Canada is that there are opportunities to move to Canada without a job offer, particularly through programs under the Express Entry system.

What Jobs Are in Demand in Canada for Immigrants?

There are many jobs are in demand in Canada. Still, perhaps the most in-demand jobs can be found in the medical, farming, and tech sectors. But no matter what, Canada offers immigrants various opportunities to work in Canada, whether temporarily or permanently.

Can a U.S. Immigrant Work in Canada?

A U.S. immigrant can work in Canada with a valid work permit. If they are in the process of immigrating to Canada and would like to start working while their Canada PR status is still being processed, they can apply for a bridging open work permit.