Are you one of the millions of Filipinos whose ultimate dream is to work–and eventually settle–in Canada?
If you are, please don’t feel bad about it. It’s a common knowledge that our country is plagued with too much politics while very few job opportunities are left for those who really do the hard work.
Canada, for most immigrants, is the land of milk and honey. So is it a sin to ensure a good future for you and your family? I don’t think so.
Filipinos in Canada.
Since the 1930s, many Filipinos have decided to call Canada their home. And as of 2012, an estimated 700, 000 to 800, 000 Filipinos are now working in Canada either as temporary workers or permanent residents (Source: Mr. Kent Francis, Deputy Program Manager for Visa and Immigration of the Embassy of Canada).
Most Filipinos initially work in Canada as temporary workers, and then apply for a permanent resident status once the opportunity comes in. As a Canadian citizen/permanent resident, you have plenty of privileges under your belt. These include the ability to sponsor your family members–including your parents and grandparents–for Canadian immigration.
How to Get a Job in Canada – 6 Steps You Need to Know
As an aspiring Canadian citizen, you have a long way to go. But as long as you’re determined to achieve your goal, anything is possible.
The first step, of course, is to find a job in Canada. The whole process can be overwhelming, but we’ve worked hard to simplify the steps for you.
Here’s now the ultimate guide to getting your dream job in Canada–especially written for Filipinos like you!
Step 1: Know your options and eligibility.
Two things may hamper you from finding a job in Canada: It’s either you (1) don’t have the necessary qualifications, skills, and employment background or you are (2) “inadmissible,” meaning you are not allowed to come to Canada under Canada’s immigration law.
If you don’t fall in the second category, you may have the chance to work in Canada assuming that you have the right skills to do so.
Canada offers different programs for immigrants, and it will be up to you if you prefer to be a permanent resident or a temporary foreign worker.
There are 4 popular paths to Canadian permanent residency, namely: The Federal Skilled Worker, the Federal Skilled Trades Workers, the Canadian Experience Class, and through the Provincial Nominee Program.
Canadian Experience Class is for those who already have skilled work experience in Canada while the Provincial Nominee Program is for people who have the qualifications and have been nominated by a specific Canadian province/territory to immigrate to Canada.
Another option for permanent residency is the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) program which requires applicants to have at least 1 year of work experience in any of its 50 eligible occupations. On the other hand, the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)–which was launched in January 2013–puts more value on one’s practical training than formal education. To qualify for FSTP, the applicant must have at least 2 years of work experience within the last 5 years in one of the 90 eligible skilled trades.
Now here’s a caveat: If you apply for any of the above-mentioned programs, it may take ages before your application can be approved–especially if you have no qualifying job offer.
This is when the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program comes to the picture. Under this program, a Canadian employer will hire you for a short period of time. Once the requirements are met by your employer, you will then be issued a permit to work in Canada–as simple as that.
Thanks to TFW, you can now work in Canada while waiting for your permanent residency application to be approved.
Step 2: Search for a job.
As of March 2014, the most in-demand occupations in Canada for Filipinos include registered nurses, computer engineers, welders, specialist physicians, general practitioners, accountants, software engineers, and machinists among others (Source: GMA News).
When looking for a job, you can either rely on referrals or submit your resume in various online job portals.
If you have friends, former colleagues or relatives living in Canada, let them know that you’re looking for a job so they can refer you once there’s a vacancy. Some job search seminars being conducted for new immigrants in Canada reveal that only 20% of job vacancies are posted online, the remaining 80% of which are posted on company bulletin boards.
Now, if you don’t know anyone living in Canada or have limited professional networking skills, you can still rely on online job portals. Simply enter on the search box your job title and the specific region in Canada where you want to work. Some of the recommended websites are the following:
If you prefer to work in Saskatchewan, a province in Canada, you can make use of the following websites:
If you are directly hired through these processes, then you are a “name-hired” worker which means you didn’t require the assistance of a recruitment agency to secure an overseas employment.
Of course, you can also direct your application to trusted foreign or local placement agencies. They usually ask you to pay documentation fees ONLY after you have been hired. To make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate agency, verify its status with POEA.
Lastly, beware of bogus websites that claim to be affiliated with the Government of Canada or offer deals that are too good to be true. Most of these websites ask people for their private information. To avoid falling to the trap of these illegitimate businesses, never give any information unless there’s a padlock symbol in the browser window or “https://” at the beginning of the Web address of the page you’re visiting (see picture below).
Step 3: Securing a job.
After the finding a prospective employer who is willing to hire you, all you need to do is wait for the necessary documents to arrive.
In Canada, employers are required to get a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the government. The LMIA is a screening mechanism that employers need to pass in order to hire foreign workers. If the result is positive, your employer will send you the LMIA along with the job offer and contract.
However, some employers may no longer need to apply for LMIA, especially those who are hiring foreign workers under the International Mobility Program.
Don’t worry though because your employer will take care of the LMIA; I’m only providing explanation just to give you a clear understanding on what really happens during the employment process.
As for the job offer, make sure to review specific details as soon as you receive the document. Important sections that you need to review include Salary and Benefits, Job Description, and Working Hours. Never accept a job offer from someone who is asking you for money or your credit card information.
After receiving the required documents from your employer, you can now apply for a work permit (and temporary resident visa, if required) at the Embassy of Canada.
Step 4: Apply for a work permit.
Now that you already have the LMIA and the job offer from your employer, you can now apply for your work permit at designated visa application centers.
Take note that not all jobs require a work permit. For a complete list of jobs that don’t need a work permit, please refer to this link. In case you don’t need such permit, you are still required by law to apply for a visa before going to Canada.
For Filipino caregivers, you can apply to stay in Canada permanently through the Live-in Caregiver Program as long as you meet specific requirements.
As of April 14, 2014, the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines is accepting visa applications submitted online or through one of the Visa Application Centres (VACs) in the Philippines.
Here are the basic steps you need to remember when applying for a temporary work permit:
1. Review the documents and forms required for the issuance of work permit. For more information, please read Temporary Work Permit Checklist.
2. Download, print and fill out the work permit application forms.
3. Don’t forget to include the local form required by the visa office in Manila. For regular work permit application, please print and fill out the Work Permit Additional Information Form. For caregivers, please accomplish the Live-in Caregiver Additional Form.
5. Submit all the requirements either in-person or via mail. For more information about the application process, the visa fees you are required to pay, and how you can track the progress of the application, please go to this link.
Step 5: Register to POEA.
Name-hired workers or those that have been directly hired by Canadian employers no longer need to pay placement fees, but they still need to register with Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to earn the legal status of an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker).
Registration is done at the Name Hire Assistance Division, Landbased Center, 2nd Floor of the POEA main office. For a complete list of steps and the required documentary requirements, please read this.
Lastly, you will need to process your exit clearance or the overseas employment certificate (OEC) before you can leave the country.
Step 6: Arriving in Canada.
As a temporary foreign worker, you are required to work only for the job specified in your contract. You may change employers if you’re already in Canada, but you also need a new work permit to make this possible.
If you’ve been hired on a permanent basis, good for you. Look at it as an opportunity to get a permanent resident status in the future. For a complete list of documents you need to present and some important things you need to remember upon arriving in Canada, please go to this link.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
This section presents links to some of the most common questions asked by Filipinos who are preparing to work in Canada, as well as the corresponding answers to these queries written in a very detailed manner.
- Frequently Asked Questions about visa/work permit application.
- Frequently Asked Questions about job application and work conditions in Canada.
- Everything you need to know about Canada immigration, work permits, online applications, and many more.
About the Author: Luisito E. Batongbakal Jr. is the founder, author and editor-in-chief of FilipiKnow. He has a fetish for local trivia, unsolved mysteries, and all things creepy. For comments and suggestions, you can email him here.