Jobs in Canada for Foreigners - Top 15 Canada in-demand immigrant jobs
jobs in canada for foreigners

How to get Canada work permit – Guidelines

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High demand for skilled immigrants

Did you know that there are plenty of jobs in Canada for foreigners and you can apply to live and work in Canada? There is a shortage of labour in Canada, particularly in certain skilled fields. Canadians are retiring at a fast pace especially among the baby boomer generation (i.e. people born between the years of about 1946 and 1965), leading to an anticipated labor shortage which the government is ready to mitigate by hiring immigrants. It is forecasted that by 2024, one in five Canadians will likely be 65 or older. Consequently Canadian federal government and provincial/territorial governments are actively seeking foreign workers and professionals to help grow their domestic workforce.

Canada to rely on immigrants for economic recovery from COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on the Canadian economy. The government of Canada has outlined how it will make immigration the cornerstone of Canada’s plan to get the economy moving again and accelerate recovery from the devastating economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. In October 2020, the government of Canada announced dramatic increases to Canada’s immigration levels for 2021 to 2023, to boost its economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Canada aims to welcome more than 1.2 million newcomers between 2021 and 2023: 401,000 newcomers in 2021, another 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023.

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In the Fall Economic Statement released on November 30, 2020, the government noted that Canada’s immigration intake, the most important source of Canada’s population and labour force growth, has been severely disrupted by travel restrictions and application delays due to COVID-19. See Canada to spend Millions on immigration to spark economic recovery.

Top 15 In-Demand Canadian Jobs for Immigrants

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

On this page we list and discuss the top 15 in-demand Canadian jobs for immigrants, with their approximate salaries (in Canadian $) in 2020 and their respective NOCs (National Occupational Classification) codes. Later in the post we show you how you can apply for Canada permanent residence as a skilled worker in any of these 15 top in-demand jobs or any job. Certain jobs in Canada may require a person to know their National Occupation Classification Code (NOC Code). This code is used to classify all types of employment by Canadian standards.

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We also provide a link after each listed job to search for a job in that field in Canada. Thereafter we summarize how you apply for Canada work permit from outside, and also how you can apply for Canada permanent residence as a skilled worker in any of these 15 top in-demand jobs or any job.

COVID-19 is affecting applications to visit, work or study in Canada. You can travel to Canada only if you are exempt from the travel restrictions and are coming for an essential purpose. If you meet the criteria for the travel exemptions, and you want to apply to come to Canada, there are changes to the application process. Learn more.

The top 15 jobs for which immigrants are in high demand span across a variety of fields from administrative jobs to blue collar skilled trades to white collar professions. Some jobs are in higher demand in some Canadian provinces/territories than others, depending on their labour needs, but there is a general booming demand for the following sectors.

Randstad Canada reports that these are also expected to be the fast-growing occupations as the Canadian economy and job markets surge in recovery from the coronavirus pandemic downturn. And with the increase adoption of working remotely, foreign skilled workers will have increasing opportunities for jobs related to e-commerce, computer science, security and healthcare.

1. Registered nurse

Canada’s elderly population is growing, putting strain on its healthcare system. The healthcare sector in Canada is chronically understaffed. Almost 500,000 workers are 55 years old or over, with many retiring in the next decade. Canada is looking to immigrants to help fill these important jobs. See Canada aims to fill health-care workers retirements with immigrants. The coronavirus pandemic continues to underscore the importance of immigrants to Canada’s economy and their essentiality to recovery from the pandemic-related economic downturn. That has led to a desperate need for medical professionals, including nurses.

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Registered nurses fill the gaps in Canada’s healthcare system, providing general support for patients, assisting doctors and ensuring patients receive a high level of care.

To qualify as a practicing nurse in Canada, you will need a degree or diploma as a registered nursing. You will also need to take some professional courses and management studies. You will also need to register with a regulatory body in the province or territory where you desire to work.

Average salary: $76,362

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NOC code: 3012

Find a nursing job in Canada

2. Sales Associate

Sales associates, or sales representatives, are the most in demand job in Canada in 2020. Sale associates and sales representatives are crucial, both in terms of selling to the consumer and selling to other businesses. Businesses count on talented salespeople to move products off shelves and into customers’ hands. B2B salespeople are also in demand. Innate sales ability and an outgoing personality will help you succeed in this field. .

Average salary: $50,255

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NOC Code: 6411

Find a sales associate job in Canada

3. Commercial vehicle driver

Drivers of all kinds are in demand in Canada. From long-haul drivers, to delivery drivers, to forklift drivers, if you know how to drive a commercial vehicle, your skills are highly sought-after by employers. Having a commercial vehicle driver’s license, or a certification to operate forklifts will make you in demand in this occupation.

Average salary: $44,836

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NOC Code(s): 7511, 7521, 7452

Find a driver job in Canada

4. Receptionist

Receptionists are in demand as the first face customers see at any business. Receptionists make the critical first impression at a place of business. Though customer service is clearly an important element of being a great receptionist, basic tech-skills are also in demand in this field. Knowledge of telephone systems and computer programs that log customer information are a key part of any modern receptionist job.

Average salary: $31,304

NOC Code: 1414

Find receptionist jobs in Canada

5. Welder

Yes Canada needs welders! In fact welders are Canada’s most in-demand skilled trade. This field is well worth considering if you are someone who likes working with their hands.

Average salary: $40,927

NOC Code: 7327

Find a welder job in Canada

6. Web Developer

The tech sector remains the fastest growing in Canada. So it’s no surprise that developers are one of the most in demand professions. Web developers are experts in code, building everything from websites to computer programs to apps on your phone. With Canada’s Global Talent Stream offering two-week processing, web developers have a sure pathway to a Canada work permit.

Average salary: $62,522

NOC Code: 2175

Find a developer job in Canada

7. Business development manager

Business development managers typically fall under the sales umbrella of jobs. They’re typically responsible for bringing in new business and developing strategies to help their organization’s salespeople close deals with new clients. They’re frequently involved in relationship building and big picture strategizing.

Average salary: $85,000

NOC Code: 4163

Find a business development job in Canada

8. General labourer

General labourers are in demand all over Canada. General labourers are the jack-of-all-trades in the Canadian labour market. They fill in gaps in the workforce, completing whatever tasks need to be done to keep businesses running. From cleaning, to moving materials, to general handiwork, being a general labourer requires hard work, determination and the ability to take on physically demanding tasks.

Average salary: $29,250

NOC Code: 7611

Find a general labourer job in Canada

9. Project manager

Canada needs project managers in a range of sectors, including IT, engineering and marketing. Project managers typically have a background in the field they’re working in, but also have project management expertise and the ability to juggle complex projects, effectively managing budgets and people. Project managers with a project management professional (PMP) certification are especially in demand in 2020.

Average salary: $90,000

NOC codes: 0211, 0213, 0711, 1221

Find a project manager job in Canada

10. Heavy-duty mechanic

Heavy-duty mechanics work with large machinery in maintenance and repair in several sectors vital to Canada’s economy, such as manufacturing, energy and construction. Heavy duty mechanics do exactly what it sounds like they do: they work with heavy machinery, ensuring it’s well maintained and repaired as needed.

Average salary: $70,000

NOC Code: 7312

Find a heavy duty mechanic job in Canada

11. Merchandiser

Merchandisers work for retail store deciding which new inventory to bring in and how it should be presented on the shop floor. If you’ve ever stepped foot into a retail store, you’ve experienced the work of a merchandiser. With the growth of online shopping, Canadian retailers are counting on merchandisers to build positive retail experiences that keep customers coming to brick-and-mortar stores.

Average salary: $48,610

NOC Code: 6222

Find a merchandizer job in Canada

12. Electrical engineer

Electricity is crucial to Canada’s economy as it is to any modern economy. Electrical engineers are responsible for designing products and systems that have electricity running through them. From designing electronics, to working in the energy sector, to telecommunications, the skills of an electrical engineer have countless applications in our modern tech-obsessed world. Though most engineering disciplines are experiencing workers shortages, electrical engineers are particularly in demand in 2020.

Average salary: $77,424

NOC Code: 2133

Find an electrical engineer job in Canada

13. Accountant

Accountants are money management experts. They oversee budgets and spending for either individuals and corporations, depending on their role. There are also many in demand specializations within the accounting field such as payroll, accounts payable and receivable, taxation, government, and auditing, among others. A CPA designation remains the gold standard in the accounting field in Canada and will all but guarantee you have employers lining up at your door.

Average salary: $57,500

NOC code:  0111, 1111

Find an accounting job in Canada

14. HR manager 

Human resources managers are highly in-demand in Canada. For the past few years, Canada’s companies have competed fiercely to recruit top talent. HR managers are responsible for setting the direction of their organization’s HR policies, and ensuring that current employees are happy and engaged, while bringing in a steady pipeline of talent to fill new roles. They have responsibility for recruiting the right talent in Canada’s competitive job market.

Average salary: $77,900

NOC Code: 0112

Find HR manager job in Canada

15. Financial advisor

Financial advisors are money specialists who work with individuals and families, helping them make decisions about how to make the most of their day-to-day finances and investments. Financial advisors typically work in banks. Since financial advisor is a fairly entry-level role in the finance sector, it’s a great job to get your foot in the door if you’re hoping to develop a career in finance.

Average salary: $57,410

NOC code: 0111, 1114

Find a financial advisor job in Canada

Interested in any of the top 15 jobs?

If you are skilled and interested in any of the top 15 in-demand jobs or any other skilled jobs, you have two broad paths to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker. First you may apply for the job and once you get a valid letter of employment and meet other conditions you may apply for Canada temporary work permit. Second you may apply for and work as permanent resident in your skilled job through the federal or provincial skilled worker immigration programs. Both of these paths are discussed below.

1. Immigrate as temporary foreign worker with job offer

Every year, the Canadian government issues some 200,000 open and closed work permits to Temporary Foreign Workers to help business meet their skilled labour demands, such as in the 15 top in-demand jobs listed above. These are foreigners who have secured jobs in Canada and have successfully applied for and obtained a work permit.

What is the difference between open work permit and closed work permit?

An open work permit is one that enables a foreign worker to work for any employer in Canada. Open work permits do not require the foreign worker to obtain a LMIA authorization or a job offer when applying to IRCC for a work permit.

Closed work permits limit a foreign worker to work for only the employer that obtained the LMIA authorization and provided them with a job offer. If a foreign worker is no longer going to work for this employer, they need to apply to change the conditions of their work permit if they wish to continue to legally work in Canada.

What do I need to apply for a work permit?

In order to work in Canada on a temporary basis, foreign skilled workers must have a temporary offer of employment from a Canadian employer and be granted a Temporary  Foreign Worker Permit by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. If you or a family member are applying for a PR card, you can also apply via an ‘Open Work’ permit.

There are four basic steps to getting a temporary Canadian work permit:

  1. Employer applies for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (if necessary)
  2. Employer extends temporary job offer to foreign skilled worker
  3. Foreign skilled worker applies to IRCC for work permit
  4. Work permit is issued

If the employer needs an LMIA, they must apply for one.

Once an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for a work permit.

To apply for a work permit, a foreign worker needs:

If the employer that is hiring you is in the province of Quebec, then you may also need to obtain a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ)in order to work temporarily in Quebec. 

A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer will issue the Canadian Temporary Work Permit at the point of entry when the skilled foreign worker arrives in Canada. Depending on the foreign worker’s country of citizenship, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) may also need to be obtained in order to enter Canada.

See more Canadian work permit questions and answers at Canadian work permit – frequently asked questions

Update on Canada Work Permits and Coronavirus:

Canada is still accepting work permit applications but you must apply online when you apply for a work permit from outside Canada.

The following foreign workers are now allowed to cross the border into Canada by land or air but please see Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Temporary workers for latest updates:

  • Temporary workers who hold a valid work permit or who are approved for a work permit but have not yet been issued the work permit
  • IEC participants who have not yet activated their work permits must have a valid job offer in order to enter
  • IEC participants who have already activated their work permits and were outside the country temporarily do not require a valid job offer in order to re-enter
  • If you’re travelling by air, you need to follow all airline requirements and pass a health check conducted by airlines before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.
    • Starting November 21, 2020, air travellers whose final destination is Canada must submit their information through ArriveCAN app before boarding. This includes travel and contact information, quarantine plan (unless they are exempt), and a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment.
  • When you arrive in Canada, they will assess your health before you leave the port of entry. You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada.
  • Only people who provide essential services, for example, truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods, are exempt from the quarantine requirements.

2. Immigrate as Permanent Resident under Skilled Worker programs

If you are qualified for any of the 15 top in-demand jobs or any other skilled jobs in Canada, you may also apply for Canadian permanent residence as a skilled worker in that job, through the Canada Express Entry system and any of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP).

Federal Express Entry program

Canada Express Entry system is an electronic system that the Canadian Government established for purposes of expediting the selection and application process for various Economic Immigration Programs. It is not an immigration program in itself but rather an online system created to manage Canada’s immigration applications intake.  Canada Express Entry system facilitates online submissions of applications and documentations to ensure quicker processing times, which currently average 6 months.​

The following programs are processed by the federal Express Entry system:

In order to enter the federal Express Entry pool, candidates must first create an Express Entry profile. You must meet the eligibility requirements for one of the three programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Class; the Federal Skilled Trades Class; and the Canadian Experience Class.

A job offer is not required to enter or be selected from the Express Entry pool although additional CRS points are awarded to those who already have a job.

november 25 express entry

Canada’s Express Entry immigration system is competitive. Only a limited number of candidates with the highest CRS points in the pool are issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence through regular draws which typically take place every two weeks. A candidate’s CRS score is based on factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French.

Based on your personal information you will be given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Your CRS is a numerical value, out of a possible 1,200, determined by your core human capital. This is essentially your age, work experience, educational background, ability to adapt and language skills.

Once your profile has been completed and your CRS has been calculated, you will be placed into a pool of candidates ranked by their CRS score. Find out if you are eligible to enter the Express Entry pool. The Canadian federal government and the provincial and territorial governments regularly draws candidates from this pool to issue ITAs based on particular needs and shortages in the country or provinces.

Your invitation to apply

After you have created your profile under the federal Express Entry system, you may receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence through the federal government, or you may receive an invitation to apply for a provincial nomination. Under the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), Canada’s provincial and territorial governments are able to nominate individuals to reside in the province/territory as permanent residents in order to meet their economic needs. 

Candidates with the highest CRS scores get issued ITAs first. So once your CRS score meets the minimum cut-off point for a particular draw you will be issued an ITA.

See How to apply for Express Entry Program – Step-by-Step Guidelines

Can I obtain a temporary work permit while processing my PR application?

You can apply for a temporary foreign worker permit on its own as described in the previous section, or in combination with a permanent residence application. IRCC describes this scenario as the concept of “dual intent.”

Dual intent is present when a foreign national who has applied or may apply for permanent residence in Canada also applies to enter Canada for a temporary period as a

  • visitor
  • student
  • worker

Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs)

Under the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), Canada’s provincial and territorial governments are able to nominate individuals to reside and work in the province/territory as permanent residents in order to meet their labour needs. 

Candidates who have created a profile in the federal Express Entry system AND have also applied for and received a nomination from a province’s PNP, are awarded an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score at the federal level, on top of the points that they have in the federal Express Entry pool. The additional 600 CRS points virtually guarantee that the candidate will also receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence under the federal Express Entry system. Create your federal Express Entry profile.

Improve your Express Entry CRS score

Candidates with scores below the latest cut-off can improve their CRS scoring in a number of ways, particularly if they enroll in any of the provincial nomination programs that have Express Entry component. Express Entry candidates with a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 CRS points. If their provincial nomination is approved, the invited candidates will be issued an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. The additional points place them in a favorable position to receive a federal Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence in a future IRCC) draws.

See Tips for Improving Express Entry CRS Scores

​Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

​If you succeed in applying for a Canada work permit in any of the top 15 in-demand jobs or any other job, and you want to apply for permanent residence while you are still on the job in Canada, you may apply for the bridging open work permit (BOWP). BOWP is a way to keep a temporary worker in Canada working while his or her application for permanent residence is being processed.

​Individuals within Canada who have made an application to immigrate to Canada under either the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) may be considered for a bridging open work permit if their current work permit is due to expire (within four months).

A foreign worker legally working in Canada who has made, or will soon make, an application for permanent residence under one of these immigration programs may then continue to work until a decision is made on his or her application for permanent residence.

USEFUL RESOURCES

Job Bank

Job Bank has long been a valuable and resourceful platform that Canadians  find jobs online.  Job Bank is free for both employers and candidates to use. It is probably as close to an authoritative list of available jobs in Canada as you will be able to find online.  It is worth trying.

Manpower Group

Manpower Group is a trusted job consultant firm helping immigrants find the best Canadian jobs. Manpower Group is associated with 20+ Industries in Canada offering various jobs to immigrants from Production to Logistics to Industrial jobs.

Application to work in Canada — work permits including open work permits
Apply for a work permit — Temporary workers
Extend Your Work Permit

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You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

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