If you're a foreign citizen looking to work in Canada, navigating the Canadian job market can be a daunting task — especially as a non-resident. But never fear: we’re here to help. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about finding a job in Canada as a foreign worker — from the job-seeking process, to applying for a visa, to Canadian work permit requirements, and more.
We’ll start with an overview of the Canadian job market, including some key industries. We'll also offer tips for finding a job in Canada and making sure your application stands out from the crowd to give you the best chance of success.
Next, we'll look at the most in-demand jobs in Canada and give you some tips on how to break into these fields. We'll explain how to obtain a work visa for Canada and provide tips for having the best possible experience in the country. Perhaps you’re interested in going on a working holiday to Canada — we’ve got you covered, too.
Finally, we'll discuss the Canada work permit requirements and walk you through the visa application process. Whether you're from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, or elsewhere, this guide is designed to help you jump-start your career in Canada. So let's get started!
The Canadian Job Market
Canada is home to a strong and diverse job market that offers fantastic opportunities for both Canadian and non-Canadian residents. With a population of over 38 million people, Canada is the world's tenth-largest economy and boasts a variety of key industries that put it at the cutting edge of the global economy.
Some of Canada’s key industries include natural resources, manufacturing, and the service sector. Canada is blessed with abundant natural resources, and industries such as oil, gas, forestry, and mining make up around 10% of Canada's GDP.
Another major contributor to the Canadian job market is the manufacturing sector, which employs over 1.7 million workers. The automotive industry is especially important, making Canada the fourth-largest exporter of cars and trucks worldwide.
But the largest sector of the Canadian job market is services. Service industries such as finance, healthcare, education, and technology account for 80% of the country's economy and the overwhelming majority of newly-created jobs.
Current State of the Job Market
Although the Covid-19 pandemic caused an economic downturn, the Canadian job market has bounced back strong. As of February 2023, Canada's unemployment had fallen to 6.8% from a high of 13.7% in May 2020. Many sectors are unable to fill vacancies, so if you’re thinking of making a move, now’s the time to get looking.
Some sectors have rebounded after the pandemic, with healthcare, technology, and logistics experiencing a surge in demand. However, industries like hospitality and tourism were hit hard by Covid and are still struggling to recover.
Finding a Job in Canada
If you're a non-Canadian resident looking to work in Canada, you’ll usually need a job offer before you can get a work permit. However, with the right approach and some careful planning, it's possible to secure a job in Canada that matches your skills and experience. If you play your cards right, you can have a job lined up before you even arrive in the country. Here are some tips to help you find a job in Canada:
Job Websites and Networking
Online job search websites are one of the best ways to find a job in Canada. Sites like Indeed and Monster offer a range of job openings which will allow you to apply directly for opportunities across different industries and provinces in Canada.
Networking is also an important tool for any job seeker. Joining a professional association or attending industry events can help you connect with fellow professionals and learn about potential job opportunities. For online networking, LinkedIn is also a valuable resource for connecting with Canadian employers.
Applying for Jobs in Canada
When applying for jobs in Canada, it's important to tailor your resume and cover letter to suit the needs of the Canadian job market. This may involve adapting your resume to reflect Canadian standards, such as including a summary of your skills and experience at the top of your resume, and highlighting your relevant work experience and achievements.
It's important to research the industry and company you're interested in and tailor your resume and cover letter accordingly. Most of all, you need to demonstrate your knowledge of the Canadian job market and the skills and experience that Canadian employers value.
Work and Life in Canada
Average working hours:
The standard workweek in Canada is 40 hours, with eight hours worked per day, as defined by the Canada Labour Code. For overtime work, you can be expected to be paid 1.5 times your normal hourly rate.
Canada has a federal statutory minimum of two weeks’ vacation, with the possibility of three weeks after five years of work and four weeks after ten years. This can vary from province to province: for example, Saskatchewan offers three weeks of vacation from the start. Additionally, Canadian employees are entitled to paid public holidays, which can range from 6-10 days depending on the province.
Canada has both federal and provincial taxes. Each worker has a personal tax-free allowance of $14,398 CAD (approximately £8,584), with the federal tax rates starting at 15% on the first $50,197 CAD (approximately £29,927) of taxable income. Provincial tax rates vary depending on your province of residence.
If you're planning to work in Canada as a non-resident, you will typically need a work permit. Here are the different types of visas available for non-Canadian residents:
Temporary Work Permit:
This permit allows you to work in Canada for a specific employer, for a limited period of time. To obtain this permit, you will need a job offer from a Canadian employer, and in most cases, a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the Canadian government.
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs):
Some provinces in Canada have their own immigration programs that allow them to nominate foreign workers for permanent residency. These programs may have different requirements, so it's important to check with the specific province.
This is a system for managing applications for permanent residency for skilled workers. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can create an Express Entry profile and be invited to apply for permanent residency.
The requirements for obtaining a work permit in Canada can vary depending on your country of origin and the type of work permit you're applying for. For applicants from Britain, the EU, and India, there are some common requirements:
A valid job offer from a Canadian employer
Proof of your qualifications and work experience
Adequate funds to support yourself during your stay in Canada
A clean criminal record
A physical examination
Remember to carefully read the instructions and requirements provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If you are having difficulties, seek the assistance of a lawyer or an immigration consultant.
Remember, getting a work permit is not a guarantee of permanent residency in Canada, but it can be a first step. If you want to build a pathway to becoming a permanent resident, find out more here.
Working Holiday Visa
If you’re a young person who wants to earn some money while exploring Canada, a working holiday might be an excellent option. Here's what you need to know:
Working holiday visas
Canada offers working holiday visas to young people from countries that have a reciprocal agreement with Canada, including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and most EU nations. The program is designed to allow young people to work in Canada for up to two years, while also experiencing the country and its culture.
To qualify for a working holiday visa, you must be between the ages of 18 and 35, have a valid passport from a participating country, and have sufficient funds to support yourself at the beginning of your stay in Canada.
You’ll need to complete an online application, provide supporting documentation, and pay a fee. It can take up to 56 days to process your application. Once your application is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction that you can use to enter Canada. When you arrive in Canada, you will need to apply for a work permit, which will allow you to work legally.
As a non-resident, it can be challenging to get a foot into the Canadian job market. But hopefully, our guide has shown you that it’s not impossible. Understanding the job and tailoring your job search and applications to meet demand can boost your chances of success. For younger workers looking to explore one of the most beautiful countries in the world, a working holiday visa can be a life-changing experience. For more experienced workers, getting a Canadian work permit can open a whole new world of professional opportunities.
Nevertheless, it's important to recognise that obtaining a work permit in Canada can be a complex process. especially for British and Indian applicants. With the right preparation and guidance, however, you can navigate the process and find success in the Canadian job market. Don't give up on your dream of working in Canada - start researching, networking, and applying now!