Canada welcomes newcomers: opportunities to work in Canada



Every year, tens of thousands of newcomers create new economic opportunities for themselves and for Canada by joining this country’s labour force. Many come to stay in Canada permanently (as permanent residents) through Canada’s immigration programs for skilled workers, or through the Provincial Nominee Program operated by many of Canada’s provinces and territories. Other newcomers come to Canada to start their own business or to work temporarily to help Canadian employers address short-term requirements for employees in specific occupations. If you decide to apply to come to Canada through any of the programs described below, all the information and forms you need are available at no charge on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website at www.cic.gc.ca.

Come to Canada — One of the best countries in the world!

Canada is consistently ranked as one of the best countries in the world to live. It is easy to understand why thousands of people choose Canada every year. From its strong, stable economy and vibrant, cosmopolitan cities to the breathtaking beauty of its natural environment, Canada offers newcomers opportunities and a quality of life that are second to none.

Skilled workers

If you have skills and experience that meet Canada’s labour market needs, you may qualify for permanent resident status in Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Other factors, including education, the ability to speak English or French well, and whether you have an offer of employment are also considered. The CIC website has an interactive tool that will help you determine whether you meet the basic requirements. If you answer a few simple questions, the website tool will let you know whether you may be eligible for this program, and what other options may be available to you. You can find the interactive tool at www.cic.gc.ca/cometocanada.

It is important to remember that your application as a skilled worker will be assessed according to the eligibility requirements that are in effect at the time your application is received. Please visit the CIC website at www.cic.gc.ca/skilled to see the current eligibility criteria.

Please note: The Federal Skilled Worker Program is for people who would like to come to any part of Canada except the province of Quebec, which is responsible for selecting its own skilled workers. If you plan on living in Quebec, please visit www.cic.gc.ca/quebec for more information.

Provincial Nominee Program

As part of the Canadian immigration system, most provinces and territories of Canada have agreements with the federal government that allow them to nominate immigrants who have the skills to meet their specific economic and labour market needs. One of the standard requirements of the Provincial Nominee Program is that applicants intend to settle in the province that nominates them.

To qualify for this program, you must apply to the province or territory where you wish to settle and complete its provincial nomination process. The provinces and territories have different requirements and each has its own application process. If your application is accepted by the province or territory, you then have to make a separate application to CIC for permanent residence. A CIC officer will assess your application based on Canadian immigration regulations. For more information on the Provincial Nominee Program, including links to provincial and territorial government websites, visit www.cic.gc.ca/pnp.

Foreign credentials assessment

Before applying to immigrate to Canada, it is important to consider the requirements to work in Canada, including the steps you may need to take to have your training, qualifications and experience as a professional, technical or skilled worker recognized in Canada. It’s also a good idea to learn more about labour market trends and how to look for employment in Canada.

Canada’s Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) is a good place to start. The FCRO’s website has information you will need to have your credentials and other qualifications assessed and recognized, based on where you plan to live in Canada. You can use Planning to Work in Canada? An Essential Workbook for Newcomers, available at www.credentials.gc.ca/immigrants/workbook, to gather information about living and working in Canada. In addition, you can use the occupational fact sheets, available at www.credentials.gc.ca/immigrants/factsheets, to learn more about the general requirements in your occupation or sector.

You can also use the Working in Canada Tool on the website to produce a report on job descriptions, wages, skill requirements, language training and job opportunities based on your occupation and where you are considering living in Canada. By allowing you to research different occupations and different locations, the tool can help you make settlement decisions that are right for you and your family.

You will find the FCRO website at www.credentials.gc.ca.

Business Immigration Program

If you are a businessperson, an investor or someone with self-employment experience, you may be eligible for permanent resident status in Canada through the Business Immigration Program.

This program is designed for newcomers who have financial resources to invest in Canada, as well as businesspeople who will own and operate businesses that can contribute to Canada’s economic prosperity and create jobs for Canadians. People with self-employment experience in farm management, the arts or athletics may also be eligible for permanent resident status through this program.

There are three categories for business immigrants to Canada:

  • investors;
  • entrepreneurs; and
  • self-employed people.

There are different experience and financial requirements for each category. Visit www.cic.gc.ca/immigrate to learn more about the Business Immigration Program.

Immigration representatives, consultants and lawyers

There are people who offer immigration advice or assistance to visa applicants. They usually charge a fee for their services. You do not need to hire an immigration representative. If you do hire a representative, your application will not be given special attention. If you decide to hire an immigration representative, choose carefully, and make sure you hire one who is authorized by the Government of Canada. CIC will not deal with anyone who is not an authorized representative.

There is more information about choosing an immigration representative on the CIC website at www.cic.gc.ca/antifraud.

Working in Canada temporarily

Every year, thousands of people enter Canada to work temporarily through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Temporary workers help Canadian employers address shortages of people with particular skills or work experience. As a temporary foreign worker, you may eventually become eligible to apply for permanent resident status in Canada. In fact, the Canadian Experience Class was created in 2008 to offer some temporary foreign workers the opportunity to stay in Canada on a permanent basis.

In order to work temporarily at most jobs in Canada, you need a work permit. You may also need a temporary resident visa. To find out whether you need a visa, and how to qualify for one, you can view the requirements at www.cic.gc.ca/visit.

As part of your application, you will need to include some documents that will be provided by your employer in Canada, including a detailed job offer. Your employer may also have to obtain permission from the Government of Canada to hire you. If this is required, your employer will also give you a copy of a document called a Labour Market Opinion to include with your application for a work permit. The Labour Market Opinion is just one of the factors that will be assessed as part of your application. You will find more details on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program at www.cic.gc.ca/work. More information on what employers need to do to hire a temporary foreign worker is available at www.cic.gc.ca/employers.

Staying in Canada — The Canadian Experience Class

If you are a temporary worker in Canada, you may already have the knowledge, skills and experience you need to qualify for permanent resident status in Canada under the Canadian Experience Class.

Under this program, temporary workers in certain occupations can apply for permanent residence after gaining experience in a Canadian workplace.

In addition, applications through the Canadian Experience Class can be made while you continue to live and work in Canada. For more information, please visit www.cic.gc.ca/cec.

Your rights as an employee in Canada

Canada has laws that protect every worker, including temporary workers from other countries. Among other protections, these laws set standards for fair pay, hours of work, rest periods and workplace safety. Your employer cannot take your passport or work permit away from you. Every province and territory in Canada has an office that deals with labour and employment laws. If you have concerns about fair pay, your hours of work, rest periods or other questions, talk to someone at the employment or labour standards office near you. You do not need your employer’s permission to contact an employment or a labour standards office, or to visit its website. They cannot punish you or have you deported for doing so. To find a list of provincial and territorial labour standards offices, and for more information on your rights as an employee in Canada, see www.cic.gc.ca/work.

Entering Canada — The basic requirements

Whether you are coming to Canada to study, visit, work or live permanently, everyone must meet basic requirements. For example, you must not pose a threat to the health, safety or security of Canada. As well, any record of criminal activity could prevent you from being allowed to come to Canada. This includes convictions for shoplifting or driving while impaired. You also must not provide false information or fraudulent documents, or withhold information that could be related to your application.

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