Essentials for working in Canada

A woman at her workplace in Canada smiles at the camera. BN.

Do you want to move to Canada, which offers many job opportunities, or have you recently arrived on Canadian soil? National Bank answers your questions to guide you in obtaining a future job, from administrative procedures to financial concepts.

What are the main steps to take?

• Hold a work permit

You must be legally authorized to work in Canada, either as a temporary or permanent resident. You must ensure that you are in order according to the visa that will be issued to you. The criteria for issuing a work permit or a permanent residence are detailed on the website under the heading immigration and citizenship.

• Ask for your Social Insurance Number (SIN)

This number is personal and confidential: it will be assigned to you at a Service Canada office.

• Open a Canadian bank account

To have easy access to your funds and simplify your new life, it is advisable to open a Canadian bank account as soon as possible. In particular, this will allow you to make transfers before your departure, to access your money as soon as you arrive and to save substantially on your bank charges. In addition, your new employer will be able to deposit your pay directly into your account using the specimen check provided by your Canadian financial institution.

• Have your diplomas and professional titles recognized

For certain professions, diploma equivalence agreements exist between certain countries and Canada. If you work in a regulated profession, contact the professional order and, when eligible, you can apply for a certificate of qualification in the Canadian province where you plan to practice. Finally, if you are immigrating as a skilled worker, you will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.

And your finances?

• Raise the necessary funds

If you are applying to immigrate as a Skilled Worker (Express Entry), the federal government will ask you to provide proof of sufficient funds to the Canadian visa office.

• Start building your credit report

An employer may, with your consent, check your credit report. This credit file could be a hiring criterion in certain organizations, hence the importance of building and maintaining it. The easiest way to do this is to get a credit card issued by your Canadian financial institution.

• Payroll calculation

Your future employer should present you with a contract that details your remuneration, whether on an hourly rate or a fixed annual salary. In general, Canadians work between 35 and 40 hours a week.

The details of your hours worked, the amounts earned and the various deductions can be found on the payslip (called pay stub in Canada) issued by your employer. It is advisable to check it to make sure there are no errors.

• Analyze all the benefits that come with a job

Beyond the salary, the social benefits must be taken into account during your job search: retirement plans, group insurance, drug insurance, vacation, etc. If your employer does not offer such benefits, you will need to provide individual solutions such as an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) or personal insurance. Sometimes it is better to accept a lower hourly rate if the benefits are numerous.

• The minimum wage in Canada

The minimum wage varies from province to province. But the law remains the same everywhere: an employer cannot offer you, and you should never accept a job that pays you less than the minimum wage established in your province. Tipped and commissioned wages do not fall into this category.

• Know if a job pays well

In this area, it is necessary to respond by comparing the different ways of life. In fact, while there are not insignificant differences in wages from one province and even from one region to another, this is also the case for expenses, particularly in terms of housing.

To properly judge a salary, it is advisable to carefully analyze the cost of living in the region where you are settling. The federal government’s search engine will allow you to find out the average salary by profession and by province.

What to know about employment?

• Choose salaried employment, self-employment or entrepreneurship

Being employed provides more security and financial stability, but being self-employed offers greater potential for growth and more freedom in your career development.

Many salaried jobs in Canada have advantages that you will have to meet on your own if you choose to be self-employed (self-employed). This is often the case for group insurance, the pension plan, paid holidays, etc.

Do you have more of an entrepreneurial streak? Consult this guide to find out how to immigrate as an entrepreneur.

• Sectors that are recruiting

The provinces regularly publish a list of openings in different in-demand industries. A program has been established by governments to facilitate the immigration of skilled workers in the following sectors:

  • Health
  • Agriculture
  • Computer science
  • Transportation
  • Digital, SEO and Web Analytics
  • Visual effects and video games
  • Construction
  • Specialized sectors: labourers, welders, drivers, electricians and mechanics

A great way to stand out in the job market is to acquire a specialization. Employers are often looking for candidates with specific expertise.

Of many resources exist to facilitate your arrival in Canadaand your integration into the labor market. Do not hesitate to call on experts to inform you, equip you, and above all, surround you. For all your questions, the National Bank of Canada is there

National Bank of Canada is not a licensed bank in France.

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