For Indians hoping to settle in Canada, a Canadian job offer can considerably improve eligibility for various immigration programs and bring you closer to your dream of getting permanent residence (PR) in Canada. If you’ve already received a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), you may be keen to find a job in Canada before you arrive to make your settling-in process smoother.
Many Indians also choose to work in Canada temporarily on a work permit. This can be an opportunity to add global professional experience to your resume, work in a multicultural environment, expand your horizons, and gain a fresh career perspective.
That said, landing a job in Canada before you arrive isn’t always easy and can take time. This article will provide guidance and tips on how to get a job in Canada from India.
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||Note: Salaries in Canada are generally higher than in India, but so is the cost of living. If money is your primary motivator for working in Canada, use the Arrive Cost of Living in Canada calculator to compare the cost of living in Canada and India before starting your job search.
How can Indians work in Canada?
Before you start looking for a job in Canada, it’s important to understand under what conditions newcomers (including Indians) are allowed to work in Canada. Indians are legally allowed to work in Canada either as permanent residents, work permit holders, or international students studying in the country.
Working in Canada as a permanent resident
Indian citizens who become permanent residents of Canada can work in the country without any restrictions. You can begin your job search in Canada while still in India, but can only start working for a Canadian employer after you land and get a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
After you receive your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR), you can access the Canadian government’s Job Bank and apply for jobs in Canada. If you’re applying for PR through the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) or the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), you’ll get access to provincial or regional job portals to help you find a job with a local employer.
Get a job in Canada without PR
As an Indian, there are two ways you can qualify to work in Canada without being a permanent resident—with a work permit or a study permit. Here’s how that works:
Get a Canadian work permit
Most non-Canadian residents require a work permit to work in Canada. Canada offers two types of work permits: open and employer-specific.
An open work permit allows you to work for any eligible employer in Canada. However, you can only qualify for an open work permit under certain conditions, such as if you are an international student who recently graduated from a Canadian designated learning institution and are eligible for a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), a permanent residence applicant or their dependent family member, or a spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student in Canada.
An employer-specific work permit allows you to work for one particular employer at a single location in Canada. To qualify for an employer-specific work permit, you must first get a job offer from a Canadian employer. In most cases, your future employer will need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before hiring you for the role. If you work for a multinational organization with a presence in both India and Canada, you may also qualify for an employer-specific work permit through an intra-company transfer.
Applying for a Canadian study permit
If you’re moving to Canada to study, your study permit may allow you to work part-time without a separate work permit. International students can work on-campus or off-campus to fund their education and gain Canadian work experience. Usually, you can only work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week, however, until December 31, 2023, this time restriction has been removed.
||Tip: Although it is possible to start looking for part-time student jobs before arriving in Canada, it’s best to wait until you have your class schedule and can realistically estimate how much time you’ll have available to work.
After graduating from a Canadian university or college, you may be eligible to apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), provided your study program is at least eight months long. A PGWP is an open work permit that allows you to work for an eligible Canadian employer in any industry.
How to get a job in Canada from India
Preparing for your job search before sending out job applications will help increase your chances of success. It’s not always easy to get a job in Canada from India, but if you spend time learning about the Canadian job market, perfecting your resume, and upgrading your skills to meet employers’ needs, you may be able to get your dream job offer. Here are some essential steps before beginning your job search in Canada:
Understand the Canadian job market for your industry
The job market in Canada is different from that in India. You’ll need to learn who the employers in your industry are, how the recruitment process works, and what skills recruiters value in your field. A large part of Canada’s job market is hidden, and only a fraction of open positions are advertised publicly. Consequently, you’ll need to understand where to look for jobs and be prepared to network with Canadian professionals.
Bridge skill gaps to improve your employability
Even if you’ve been working in India for several years, you may find that employers in Canada are looking for candidates with additional or different skills. By carefully researching the job market and reviewing job postings in your field, you can identify in-demand skills in your industry. This will allow you to build new skills and upskill to position yourself as an ideal candidate. Whether you plan to spend time learning a new technology on your own or sign up for a certificate course, showcasing in-demand skills on your resume will improve your chances of getting hired.
Craft a Canadian-style resume and cover letter
The resume you used in India likely won’t work in Canada. Before you start sending out job applications, you’ll need to create a Canadian-style resume. There are three types of Canadian resume formats: reverse chronological, functional, and hybrid. The ideal resume format for your application will depend on how many years of relevant experience you have, and whether you’re changing industries, or have any gaps in your employment history. It’s also good practice to include a cover letter (even when the job posting doesn’t require one) to elaborate on some of your skills and achievements, and make a case for why you’re the right fit for the job .
In India, the work experience section of your resume typically includes a description of the tasks you performed in different roles, whereas employers in Canada prefer to see your accomplishments and achievements under each position. Moreover, it’s illegal for Canadian employers to base hiring decisions on gender, ethnicity, and relationship status, so you should avoid including personal details such as your photograph, age, or marital status on your resume.
Build your network in Canada
Networking plays a crucial role in the Canadian workplace, and many recruiters rely on their network to fill open positions. As an Indian, your professional network in Canada can help you access the hidden job market and learn about your industry, including skills that are in demand and the hiring process of various employers. You can start building your Canadian network before you arrive through LinkedIn, virtual networking events, and online coffee chats. Once you’re in Canada, you can opt for an in-person or hybrid networking approach.
Be sure to optimize your LinkedIn profile before you start networking, as it will often determine the first impression you make on potential employers. You can also look for a mentor who can guide you through your job search and help you better understand the Canadian job market.
Explore job listing websites
Many job portals you may have used in India, such as Monster, Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor, are also popular in Canada. You can additionally sign up for the government’s Job Bank (if you have an open work permit or PR), and Canadian job listing websites such as GrabJobs. Some job portals allow you to sign up for personalized daily or weekly job alert emails to reduce the time you spend actively searching for listings that meet your criteria.
Sign up with Canadian employment agencies
Many Canadian employers hire employment agencies, such as Robert Half, Randstad Canada, and Hays Canada to shortlist candidates on their behalf. When you register with these agencies and submit your resume, you’ll receive relevant job alerts and their team will contact you for any suitable job openings their clients are looking to fill.
Apply for jobs in Canada
Once you’ve identified job openings you’re interested in and crafted your Canadian-style resume, the next step is to apply! Be sure to customize your resume and cover letter for each job and include keywords from the job description to ensure your resume passes the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) many employers use.
The recruitment process in Canada typically includes several interviews to ascertain your skills, experience, and cultural fit. You can use the Prepped Resume Scanner to ensure your resume is ATS-friendly and practice your interview skills using the AI Interviewer.
Which jobs are in demand in Canada for Indians?
Canada faces a shortage of skilled workers in many industries, and provinces and territories periodically publish lists of in-demand jobs. It may be easier to find a job in Canada or qualify for a work permit if you’re in an in-demand occupation.
Jobs are abundant in the manufacturing and construction industries. Opportunities also exist in information technology (IT) for software engineers, web designers, and AI and development professionals. Skilled professionals are also in demand in the services sector, such as in financial services, human resources, marketing, sales, hospitality, and administration.
There’s also high demand for educators at all levels as well as healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, and healthcare assistants. However, most jobs in the healthcare and education sectors are regulated and thus require a provincial or territorial license to practice in Canada.
Documents needed to get a job in Canada from India
In addition to the paperwork you submit while applying for permanent residence or a study or work permit, you also need the certain essential documents to work in Canada. You may still be able to get a job offer from Canada without some of these documents, such as Social Insurance Number, but you’ll need to provide them before starting your employment. Here’s a list of paperwork you need to work in Canada:
- Proof that you can legally work in Canada: You must have a Canadian permanent residence card or COPR, a Canadian work permit, or a study permit that allows you to work in Canada.
- Social Insurance Number: Regardless of whether you’re a permanent or temporary resident, you need a SIN to work in Canada. If you landed a job while still in India, you’ll need to move to Canada and get a SIN before you start working. Employers need your Social Insurance Number to deduct income tax and contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (or Quebec Pension Plan) and Employment Insurance (EI) from your salary and remit it to the government on your behalf.
- Employment letters from past employers: You require documentation to prove any prior work experience you have, such as employment reference letters, joining and resignation letters, pay stubs, tax returns, etc.
- Educational credential assessment (ECA): An ECA verifies that your education credentials (degree, diploma, or certificate) are valid and equivalent to Canadian credentials.
- Identification documents: Employers may ask for your passport or other identity documents. You’ll also need these documents to apply for PR or a work permit.
How difficult is it to get a job in Canada from India?
Landing a job in Canada while you’re still in India isn’t always easy. Employers prefer to hire people who are already physically present and authorized to work in Canada. Recruiters are often looking to fill current or soon-to-be vacant positions and prefer candidates who are available immediately over candidates who will take months or years to go through the immigration system.
Canadian employers will usually only hire foreign nationals if they are unable to find a suitable candidate in Canada. This is because before offering a job to a foreign national, employers must prove that they tried to hire Canadian residents and get a Labour Market Impact Assessment that confirms there are no domestic candidates available.
It’ll be easier to get a job in Canada from India if you’re in an in-demand occupation. If you plan to settle in Canada, it may be a good idea to check your eligibility for PR, as becoming a permanent resident will improve your chances of landing a job in Canada.
Can I get PR if I have a job offer from a Canadian employer?
As an Indian citizen, you won’t automatically qualify for permanent residence in Canada if you get a Canadian job. However, if you’re in the process of applying for PR, having a Canadian job offer can increase your chances of qualifying. For instance, if you’re applying through Express Entry, you can get up to 200 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points for a valid job offer. In addition, many Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams only accept candidates who have a job offer from a Canadian employer in the province.
If you plan to work in Canada on a work permit, your Canadian experience can also make it easier to qualify for PR down the line. You can get between 40 to 80 CRS points, depending on how much Canadian work experience you have. In addition, after working in Canada for at least one year, you may qualify for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigration program.
Is your Canadian job offer real? Tips to spot a fake job offer
As an Indian looking for jobs in Canada, you may be unaware of standard recruitment practices in Canada, making you particularly susceptible to employment scams. Here are some tips to help you verify if your job offer is real:
- Did you apply to the organization and appear for interviews? Canadian employers typically follow stringent hiring processes involving resume screening and multiple interview rounds to select the best candidates. If you haven’t been through that process and spoken to the hiring manager and other team members, your job offer may not be genuine.
- Is the job offer on the company’s letterhead? If the job offer comes to you as a plain email or is on a letterhead that doesn’t appear authentic, it could be fake.
- Does the job offer have grammatical or spelling mistakes? Obvious language errors could be a sign that the job offer is not real.
- Are you being asked to pay a joining or training fee? If so, this may be an employment scam. Legitimate employers will cover the cost of any training you need since you’ll contribute to their business in the long run. Employers also cannot ask you to pay the LMIA processing fee, if one is needed to hire you.
- Are you being asked to share sensitive personal information about yourself or your references? This can be a sign that your job offer is fake. Beware of fake employers that ask you to provide sensitive financial or personal information, such as your credit card details. It’s important to note that your employer will need your Social Insurance Number, but only after you’ve been hired.
- Is an employment agency guaranteeing you a job or asking for a service fee? In Canada, it is the employer’s responsibility to pay their employment agency (unlike in India, where the employer and the employee often split the cost). If you’re contacted by an employment agency that asks you to pay for their services, it may not be a legitimate company. Moreover, an employment agency cannot guarantee you a job as the final hiring decision is made by employers.
If you’re unsure about whether or not a job offer you’ve received is legitimate, it’s a good idea to contact the organization directly to confirm. Avoid using the contact details mentioned on the job offer and instead, look for the company’s contact information on their website. (If you can’t find a legitimate website, that could be another red flag.) Reach out to their HR team to verify if they’ve made you an employment offer.
As an Indian citizen, working in Canada can help you broaden your professional horizons, gain global experience, or improve your chances of qualifying for permanent residence. Although it isn’t easy to land a job in Canada from abroad and qualify for a work permit or permanent residence, with sufficient research and preparation, you should be able to get your dream job in Canada from India.