Talent At Work: Recruitment and Career Blog

How to Work in Canada

Posted on October 13th, by Henry Goldbeck in Career, Career Development, Recruitment. Comments Off on How to Work in Canada

international-job-seekersWith recent world events like the refugee crisis and Brexit, it’s been a turbulent year for the Global economy. A long term trend even before this time of unrest is that many from around the globe are investigating the benefits of immigrating to Canada to find work. Our good fortune at being one of the most peaceful, civilized and prosperous countries in the world has been sustained during this trend and should continue to do so. Equally, Canada has been a great beneficiary of multitudes of hardworking and committed immigrants for many years.  But it isn’t simply a matter of arriving to Canada and handing out resumes. One must have permanent residence status in order to work in Canada for the long-term, and there are several paths one can navigate to gain employment and become eligible for permanent residency.

Here are some of the most common avenues:

Work Permits

Work permits are for those who want to work in Canada temporarily. Those candidates who are interested in temporary work permits can apply online.

In most cases, a work permit is required to work in Canada; however, there are some exceptions, such as business persons who are covered by NAFTA (The North American Free Trade Agreement), which is an arrangement between Canada, Mexico, and the US. The purpose of NAFTA is to provide entry to business persons within these three countries who are involved in the trading of goods or services. In these situations, a work permit is not required.

There are different types of work permits, such as an open permit (which allows you to work for any approved employer in Canada) or an employer-specific permit (which indicates who you can work for, where, and for how long).

The problem with work permits are that they are temporary and subject to the four-year maximum of cumulative duration rule. After four years of working in Canada with a work permit, the candidate becomes ineligible to work in Canada again for four years. During that time, they would need to work in another country besides Canada, or remain in Canada without working. One of the benefits of obtaining a work permit is that it can assist in the process of becoming a permanent resident.

Express Entry

The Canadian government can choose skilled immigrants to come to Canada under the express entry program. The candidate can apply by completing an online profile to gauge their skills, language ability, education, and other credentials. The highest ranked candidates will then be eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Express entry is highly beneficial for job seekers in that it offers quicker processing times and an easier way to connect with Canadian employers. However, it does not guarantee an invitation for permanent residence, and if after a year the foreign national does not have permanent residence, they will need to submit a new express entry profile. Express Entry does not apply to the province of Quebec, as they have their own skilled trade program.  

Provincial Nominee Program

The PNP program is a paper-based route to becoming a permanent resident in Canada through obtaining a provincial nomination certificate. It works by the candidate choosing the province in which they want to work in, following the instructions on the province’s website, and submitting an application. In order to be eligible, the candidate must have a job offer within the province. Once the candidate has been granted a provincial nomination certificate, they can apply for permanent residence.


Each foreign job seeker will need to determine the best path for them as everyone’s situation is different. The Come to Canada Tool on Canada’s government website is a great way to determine which path may be right for you.

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Henry E. Goldbeck, President of Goldbeck Recruiting Inc, is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) and founded Goldbeck Recruiting in 1997. Since then, Henry has built the company's reputation as a leading headhunter and recruitment agency in sales, marketing, operations, engineering, and executive level positions across a variety of industries.

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