What do I need to know about work before I come to Canada?

Many newcomers are surprised at how hard it can be to find work in their profession when they first arrive in Canada. Unfortunately, many newcomers end up working in "survival" jobs that are below their level of experience and often are unrelated to their expertise.

It may take you a long time to find work in your field at a similar level as what you did in your home country.  Many economic immigrants are invited to immigrate to Canada based on their (high) ranking in the Express Entry system, which is partially based on Canada's labour market needs; therefore the difficulty of finding appropriate employment can be a shock.

Although there are many supports for you as a job-seeker in Ontario, government or employment agencies cannot guarantee you a job. You must find work on your own which can take a lot of time and effort. It could also mean that you may have to upgrade your skills and credentials.

Finding appropriate work in Ontario often requires doing a lot of research on the labour market in the city where you plan to live, the requirements for your profession and Canadian norms for the job-search process.

Below are some typical steps in finding employment:

You may want to get support from a settlement or employment agency, your family and friends or your faith group while you are looking for employment.  Looking for a job can be a difficult process and it is important to take care of your mental health during this time.

Once you do find employment in Ontario, make sure to find out about your workplace rights and responsibilities.  Some employers take advantage of newcomers who are not aware of Ontario’s employment laws.

For More Information

  • Access to Professions and Trades (APT) Guide -  This Settlement.Org guide provides information to help internationally educated professionals or tradespeople access their occupations.
  • Alternative Jobs – This section of Settlement.Org provides information about unregulated careers that utilize similar skills as regulated professions.
  • Services Near Me - An interactive map with a listing of employment, settlement and other services in Ontario.
Last updated: July 14, 2016 4001189