Work in Canada as a Foreign National

For many people from outside of Canada, the possibility of moving to work in Canada can seem like an insurmountable obstacle, but it’s actually relatively easy if you have the right information about how the process works and what you need to do to get started. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about working in Canada as a foreign national.

Work in Canada as a Foreign National

If you’re not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, finding employment in Canada can be difficult, but it’s definitely not impossible. If you’re an ambitious and hardworking international who wants to start working in Canada, this guide will help you find the jobs that are available for foreign nationals and answer your questions about what it’s like to work in Canada as a foreigner.

Every year, thousands of people from other countries choose to come to Canada in order to live and work. The prospect of working in Canada as a foreign national can seem intimidating, but there are multiple ways to do it. With the right combination of education, experience, and skills, you can work in Canada as a foreign national. You’ll need to get your credentials evaluated, learn about Canadian standards and practices, and pass an immigration test.

Moreover, you’ll also need to apply for Canadian jobs or apply to be sponsored by an employer or other party. There are plenty of options to consider, but one thing remains certain: working in Canada as a foreign national isn’t out of reach if you know what you’re doing! In this article, we will be providing answers to questions that are frequently asked by foreign nationals seeking to work in Canada.

How to Get a Job in Canada?

When considering working in Canada as a foreign national, you should know that Canada’s system is more open than most. Getting a job in Canada is quite a straightforward process, as long as you get used to how it works. In some cases, it’s easier to work in Canada for foreign nationals than it is to work for Canadian citizens. Meanwhile, here are a few tips to help get a job offer from Canada.

1. Do your research

Of course, moving to another country can be an incredibly exciting prospect, but it's important that you're well informed on how you will live and what sort of job opportunities are available in your home. Research the sector in which your occupation falls, and how it operates, and also connect with some Canadian employers within that sector. This will go a long way in providing you with valuable insight into job prospects as well as building rapport with recruiters.

2. Choose a destination

Choosing a proper province for your occupation is another important aspect of how to get a job in Canada you should make sure of. Each province in Canada has its own requirements and in-demand jobs. Moreover, the province you choose to work in is also one of the major deciding factors on getting a job and visa allowing you to live and work in Canada.

3. Localize and send off your resume

Your resume is the primary way you will present yourself to potential employers. You will need to submit your resume directly to several Canadian companies in order to get your foot indoors. Ensure your resume is clear, up to date, and verifiable. Once your resume is complete, it's time to contact potential employers and present your resume. An excellent place to start is on some of the many Canadian job sites such as Monster or Indeed.

What are the Most In-demand Jobs in Canada?

Not every job is created equal. Some jobs pay better, some come with higher levels of security and some are just plain easier to fill. With an unemployment rate of around 7 percent (which is lower than average for developed countries), there are still plenty of opportunities for foreign nationals to work in Canada if they know what and where to look.

Currently, the most in-demand positions in Canada are:

  • IT and Support Desk Specialists;
  • Administrative Assistants;
  • Cyber Security Specialists;
  • Web Developers;
  • Mobile Application Developers;
  • Big Data Scientists and Data Analysts;
  • Digital Marketing Specialists;
  • Logistics/Transportation Managers;
  • Early Education Workers; and
  • Health Care Support Workers for Seniors.

This doesn't mean that there aren't any other types of jobs in the country. However, these are the highest-earning and in-demand positions in Canada. Moreover, the most in-demand jobs also differ from province to province. 


Is it Possible to Move to Canada Without a Job Offer?

Certainly, there are several Canadian immigration programs that allow foreign nationals to move to Canada without a job offer. However, the three most popular of these programs are:

1. The Express Entry Program

Express Entry is an online immigration application system. It allows foreign nationals to submit a profile and be considered skilled immigrants. Candidates with the highest rankings are invited to apply for permanent residency. The Express Entry program considers factors such as age, marital status, education, and work experiences, and then scores them based on Canada's Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Applicants with the highest CRS scores are presented with an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency. Moreover, there are a few other immigration programs under the EE Program. The following Express Entry programs do not require a job offer:

  1. The Foreign Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): This program is specifically for applicants with a university degree.
  2. The Canada Experience Class (CEC): This is for applicants who have already been living and working in Canada for the last 12 months.

2. Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is the second leading way to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker after Express Entry. It offers a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for individuals interested in immigrating to a specific Canadian province or territory. Nearly every province and territory operate the PNP to welcome skilled workers from all over the world to help strengthen their economies.

Each Canadian province and territory operates its own PNP designed to meet its specific economic and demographic needs. Successful Provincial Nominees get an extra 600 CRS points, meaning a provincial nomination will almost guarantee you a CRS score to get your ITA. You must prove you can make a significant contribution to the culture and economy of your chosen province.

3. Family or Spousal Sponsorship

Family Class Sponsorship enables immigrants to sponsor some family members or relatives if they become Permanent Residents or Citizens of Canada. Provided that you are at least 18 years old and you will provide for their needs upon arriving, also you should be a Citizen or a Permanent Resident. The sponsor must be over 18, cannot be receiving or need any social assistance, and has to prove they can financially provide for the applicant’s basic needs.

What is an LMIA, and do I Need to Get One?

An LMIA, or Labour Market Impact Assessment, is not an assessment at all; it’s simply an official document from the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that you need to get your employer to apply for before you can legally work in Canada. It’s meant to make sure there aren’t Canadian citizens available for your position.

What is an Open Work Permit in Canada?

There are two types of work permits in Canada: Open and closed work permits. A closed work permit or Employer-specific work permit is issued to a foreign worker to work in a specific position and for a specific employer that is listed on the LMIA. An open work permit, on the other hand, lets foreign workers work in any position, for any employer, anywhere in Canada.

How Can I Get a Working Visa?

Getting a Canadian working visa is a relatively simple process as long as you know how to get a job offer in Canada. However, you can get a Canadian work permit in three steps.

  1. Choose your work permit: You must choose to apply for an open or closed work permit
  2. Check your eligibility: You must fulfill the following criteria to be eligible to get a work permit:
    • You must prove you will leave Canada once your work permit expires.
    • You need proof of sufficient funds to both support yourself (and dependents) in Canada and return home.
    • You must have a clear criminal record.
    • You must submit the results of a medical exam to prove you’re in good health.
    • Show your employer has the means and need to employ you.
  3. Submit your application: Submit all the necessary documents required on the government checklist to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) web portal.

Final Thoughts

Working in Canada requires much more than an employer willing to hire you. The two key requirements are a Canadian Work Permit and proof of your ability to work and live in Canada. A work permit is valid for a specific job, company, and location. It will be granted only if Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) determines that no Canadians or permanent residents are available to do that job. To get a work permit, you must have an offer of employment from a Canadian employer who has first offered it to qualified Canadians or permanent residents. Proceed with the link below to learn more.