Finding a job in Canada

Samuel Clennett

Canada’s a great place to live and work, wherever you’re from. Bustling, multicultural cities like Vancouver and Toronto are home to people from all around the world. Are there Australians in Canada? You bet.

Finding a job can always be a challenge, though, so it’s important to have a strategy for how to get one. In this article, you’ll find a few useful tips on how to get started in finding your dream job in Canada.

What is life like in Canada?

According to a 2019 quality of life survey, it’s pretty good. Canada actually came out on top: as the country with the best quality of life in the world¹. So that’s a good sign.

By area, it’s the second largest country in the world, but its population isn’t evenly distributed: most people are towards the south of the country, and of course most of all in the major cities. It’s renowned as a safe and friendly country. It isn’t cheap, but income levels are generally high.

It’s a spectacular country to explore, especially if you love the outdoors. You can get your fill of climbing, hiking, skiing, sailing… it’s all there.

Do you need a visa to work in Canada?

As an Australian, you don’t need a visa just to visit Canada, although you will need electronic travel authorization (an eTA) if you fly there. (You don’t need an eTA if you arrive by car, train, bus or boat.) But if you want to work there, the situation is different, and most of the time, you will indeed need a work permit.

While there are a few exceptions, most types of job do require a permit, and you should get your application in well before you want to move there³. The government’s “Express Entry” program could be worth a look to speed the process up⁴. If you’re young and looking to work there temporarily, there’s a special type of visa via the International Experience Canada scheme⁵.

Is there an age restriction to working in Canada as a foreigner?

Not in general: for a conventional work permit, there aren’t restrictions based on age³.

With International Experience Canada, though – through which you can get things like a Working Holiday visa – you need to be aged between 18 and 35⁶.

What about tax?

Expats always have to be a little careful about tax, so that they don’t end up paying tax in their home country as well as their place of residence. But most pairs of countries have double taxation agreements to ensure that that doesn’t happen. Canada and Australia have one, thankfully, so the tax should only come out of your paycheck once.

If you’re resident in Canada, you’ll have to pay taxes there. If you will still count as a non-resident, however, the situation may be more complex⁷. So the key is to check your residency status, make sure you’re registered with all the correct authorities, and of course seek advice if you’re unsure of anything.

Where to look for jobs in Canada

Here are a few of the best places to look for work in Canada.

Job Bank

Unusually – but very helpfully – there’s an official, government-run jobs site in Canada, called Job Bank. With over 100,000 postings at the time of writing, it’s a great place to begin your job search.

Other websites

Job Bank isn’t the only show in town, though. Here are a few other handy ones:

Don’t forget to look for more specific jobs sites too: there are region-specific ones like Toronto Jobs and BCjobs (for British Columbia). Specific sites for your particular industry may come in handy as well, if you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for.

Recruitment agencies

It’s sometimes worth checking out recruitment agencies, especially if you’re in a field like engineering or IT, with the potential for many jobs all over the place. There’s plenty of choice, of course. Hays Recruitment Services, Drake International and Michael Page all operate across the country, but do consider more region-specific agencies, and others that specialize in your own area of expertise.

Other methods

Finding a job is an area in which it always pays to be creative. Here are some further tips.

  • Network! Attend any useful events you can – in Canada or even in Australia. You never know who you might meet.
  • Call in favours from friends and family. If you know anyone who might have a way in to a job in Canada, now’s the time to smile nicely and ask for an introduction.
  • Apply speculatively. This doesn’t always work, but it’s often worth a shot. If there’s a company you’d particularly like to work for, just write them an email telling them so, and explaining why. What’s the worst that can happen?

Opening a bank account in Canada

Whenever you move country, you’ll need a new bank account there. Getting a Canadian bank account isn’t rocket science, but it’s always tricky for people moving abroad to sort out all the details before they get to their new home. Banks often require proof of address, which of course you won’t have until after you’ve actually moved there.

That means that there’s often an awkward period at the start of your move when all your money is in the wrong country. How to get around that? Wise is one convenient way. It lets you send money overseas at the real mid-market rate, without any of the hidden markup you get from most providers and banks. And it can let you hold money in foreign currencies, too, via a borderless account, which is free to set up and has no monthly fee. For getting money into Canada, it’s well worth considering. Also if you are looking for a way to send money to Canada, Wise could be an option.

Good luck with your move to Canada, and especially with finding a job. We hope you find the time to explore your wonderful new home country.








All sources accurate as of 27 September 2019

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