Interested in migrating to Canada from Singapore? Our guide covers ✓ Salaries ✓ Taxes ✓ Cost of Living and more. Read on.
Canada is a hugely attractive destination for people all around the world. A vibrant and welcoming country, it boasts superb cities and opportunities galore – including for people looking for work.
So if you’re tempted to leave Singapore behind for a new place to live and work, Canadian cities like Vancouver and Toronto may well be near the top of your list. Finding a new job is never easy, though. Here are a few tips on how to find work as a Singaporean moving to Canada.
Before we get started, a quick note. Wherever you move to, you’re going to end up facing a lot of international bills, with your finances spread out between Singapore and your new home country. Wise can ease the burden here, by offering you international money transactions at the real mid-market rate, so that you don’t have to worry about the costly markup you usually get charged by the banks. But more on that later. For now, here’s how to find a job.
As with any country, anywhere, there are plenty of different routes into employment – although no guarantee of success. Here are a few of the ways most likely to work for you.
Canada is more helpful than a majority of countries when it comes to finding work, because the government runs Job Bank. This is a free-to-use site for people looking for work, as well as employers looking to hire, with huge numbers of job listings as well as additional advice and resources. It’s probably the best place to begin your search.
Job Bank may be the best established, but it’s not the only show in town. Here are a few more job listings websites that you might find useful:
- Hot Jobs
- Area-specific sites like Toronto Jobs or BC Jobs (British Columbia Jobs)
For some careers, a recruitment agency can yield great results. If you’re after something in business, engineering or IT, for instance, a recruiter might be able to set you up with your dream Canadian company.
You might want to look for one with a strong local presence in the city you’re targeting, or else go for some international recruitment specialists operating across the country, like Hays Recruitment Services, Drake International or Michael Page. There are loads to choose from, though: consider finding an agency that specializes in your own area of expertise.
In the bigger cities, you should also be able to find networking events to attend. But you will need to be in Canada already for that.
It might sound daunting, but it can yield spectacular results. If you know what you want to be doing in Canada, find the companies you most want to work for, and put together your own application – whether or not they’re actively looking for new staff.
You shouldn’t expect success every time, but if you have a clear idea of what you want to be doing, then a specially tailored speculative application to an organization you actually care about can go a surprisingly long way.
If you hold Singaporean citizenship, you’ll need what’s called an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada by plane. You can get it online but it may take a few days. If you are arriving by train, bus or boat, you don’t need one, and you don’t need a visitor visa either – but you do need valid travel documents.¹
That’s just to get into the country, though. If you want to work in Canada, you may well need to get a work permit. It depends on what sort of work you’re planning on doing: some job types don’t require a work permit, for instance short-term work as a researcher or work in the clergy.²
A majority of jobs, however, will require a work permit, and you should apply for one before you move to Canada.³ There’s an “Express Entry” program which speeds up the process for workers in particular areas – it could be worth a look.⁴
Whatever your situation, you should check long before you need to be in Canada. Take a look at the official Canadian government pages for detailed information about your potential visa requirements.
Here are a few further tips to prepare you for what might be a pretty big cultural change.
Don’t forget that Canada isn’t only an English-speaking country. The province of Quebec is majority French-speaking – in fact, French is the sole official language. So, even if you expect to be getting by in English, French would be a considerable extra string to your bow, and might be a big boost in terms of employability.
Do have plenty of money set aside for your relocation: moving is always expensive, especially if you’ll need to get stuff shipped over from Singapore to Canada.
On the upside, the cost of living is generally lower in Canada than it is in Singapore – by as much as 24%, according to Expatistan. Although, as you’d expect, when you look at major Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver, the difference is somewhat less than that – just 8% in both cases.
One thing that’s always true when you move to a new country is that you’ll need a new bank account in your new place of residence. But that won’t solve all your problems: moving is always an expensive business. You may well find yourself having to juggle finances between Singapore and Canada. And every single time you do that, you might end up losing out through a bad exchange rate.
That’s where Wise can help. Through offering international money transfers at the real mid-market rate, Wise could prove up to 8x cheaper than sending money using a bank. A borderless account can be even handier, letting you hold money in a range of international currencies and protect yourself against exchange rate fluctuations.
You’ll have plenty to think about while moving country, without wanting to worry about losing money via a bad exchange rate. Wise could take a little bit of the stress out of the process for you.
Good luck with the move to Canada: it’s an exciting country, and full of great opportunities.
Sources used in the article:
- Information about visas when visiting Canada
- Jobs that don't require a working visa in Canada
- Eligibility and other information about requesting a work permit in Canada
- Eligibility for Express Entry program.
All sources accessed 12 August 2019
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