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Work in Canada: FAQ

Do you have questions about work in Canada? At Immigration Direct, we have compiled this list of FAQs to address some of the questions we hear most often from work applicants just like you:

1) Am I eligible to work in Canada?

You are eligible to work in Canada if you are a citizen or permanent resident. If you do not belong to one of these categories, you may still be able to work in Canada if you have a work permit or authorization to work in Canada. If you are not sure you are eligible to work in Canada, the government has a website which can help you evaluate whether you need authorization.

2) What is a Work Permit and do i need one?

If you are not permitted to work in Canada because of your immigration status, you can apply for a work permit. A work permit is an authorization to work in Canada for a specific period of time, sometimes with specific restrictions. For example, you may have to remain in a specific job or in a specific area. Most permits allow you to extend your work authorization. You can apply for work permits in categories such as a business person, temporary worker, student, permanent worker, agricultural worker, or live-in caregiver.

3) What is a Social Insurance Number and how can I get one?

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a number given to every eligible Canadian, permanent resident, or a temporary resident who is qualified to work and get government benefits in Canada. You will need this number in order to work and pay taxes in Canada; employers will ask for this number. You can apply for your SIN online, by mail, or through your nearest Service Canada point of service. If you are a temporary resident, your SIN will begin with a “9”.

4) How can I find a job in Canada?

To get a job in Canada, you must have work skills or education, English or French language skills, and any requirements specific to your field. You will also need to apply for work and get a job offer. This is usually done by sending resumes, cover letters, or job applications to companies hiring workers or by working with a recruitment agency. You will generally be asked for at least one interview before a job offer is made. To get help with the job application process, including assistance with resume writing and job searches, you can work with immigrant-serving organizations near you.

5) How can I get employers to recognize my non-Canadian education?

If you apply to immigrate to Canada as part of the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, you will need to get your credentials assessed through Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs). This can be proof that your education is equivalent to a Canadian degree.

If you wish to work in Canada in a regulated job which must abide by provincial, territorial, or federal regulations, you can consult with the regulatory body of your trade or industry to find out which credential assessment agency you should contact. Even for workers in unregulated industries, getting assessments is important to reassure employers. A credential assessment agency can help with this and an assessment agency can help students in Canada get their past education assessed for college or school admissions.

6) How can I get work experience in Canada?

With proper work authorization, you can seek work in your field outright. You can also choose to volunteer or take part in a program such as the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program to get Canada-specific experience to help you land a job in your field.

7) How can I get work and immigrate to Canada as part of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program?

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is intended to match interested and qualified workers with work opportunities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. To qualify you must meet the eligibility requirements of the Atlantic High-skilled Program, the Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program, or the Atlantic International Graduate Program.

In addition to meeting the requirements for a specific program, you will need to take a language test to show you have the required skills and you will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report if your education is from outside of Canada. Finally, you will need to provide proof you have enough assets and money to support yourself and your dependents in Canada. Once you have met these requirements, you will need to get a job offer and file an Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Form (Form IMM5650) before creating a settlement plan.

8) I am a young person interested in working temporarily in Canada as I travel in the country. Can I get permission to work for such a trip?

The International Experience Canada (IEC) program allows youth who are citizens of participating countries to get an IEC work permit to take a working vacation in Canada or to get experience in Canada as young professionals. If your country does not take part, some organizations recognized in Canada allow you to apply for a work permit as well. You can also get an IEC work permit to live and work in Canada as part of an international co-op internship.

9) How can I become eligible to work in Canada through Express Entry?

If you are a skilled worker and meet basic requirements when it comes to language skills, you can apply to be part of the Express Entry pool. Once you have applied, you will be assigned points based on your job experience, education, skills, job offers, and other factors. Applicants with the highest points accumulated will then be invited to apply for permanent residency to live and work in Canada.

10) What are my rights in Canada as a worker?

You have the right to be paid for the work you perform and to have reasonably safe work environment. You cannot be forced to do work for which you are not qualified. Your employer must follow the terms and conditions of your employment agreement and must give you time off. Your employer cannot take your work permit or passport away from you, deport you, force you to work when you are injured or sick, or force you to pay them for your employment or for any costs they paid to give you employment.

11) How do I apply for a work permit?

There are three basic ways. If you have a job offer, your employer must send you a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) number or an offer of employment number. You can then apply for a work permit by using this number. If you are eligible for certain government jobs, you may not need such a number and instead must file an Application for a Work Permit Made Outside of Canada (Form IMM 1295).

If you are an eligible student, permanent residence applicant, dependent family member of a permanent residence applicant, spouse of a student or skilled worker, refugee or refugee claimant, youth in a special program, temporary resident holder, or under an unenforceable removal order and meet all eligibility requirements, you may be able to apply for an open work permit. This means you do not need to have a job offer to apply.

Do You Have Another Question About Work in Canada?

Immigration Direct has a free blog and other free resources to help you understand more about working in Canada. We also have resources to help you apply for a work permit right away, from the comfort of your home.

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