How Long it Takes to Get a Job in Canada



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Are you an immigrant to Canada or a Canadian citizen/permanent resident wondering how long it takes to get a job? In this article, we go over the Canadian job market and what it takes to find a job.

With the surge in the rate of unemployment around the globe as a result of the pandemic, the world is gradually trying to adapt to the new normal. Luckily for people living in Canada, the rate of unemployment is considerably low when compared to other countries. Currently, Canada has one of the highest rates of employment and is among the countries that allow the highest number of immigrants annually.

Canada takes in about 300,000 immigrants yearly, however, getting a job in Canada is a whole other ball game even though there is job availability. If you’re an immigrant to Canada, you must apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or a Canadian visa office before coming to Canada; this applies to persons who didn’t come in through a work visa or permanent residence visa. Getting a work permit is a compulsory process as a work permit allows you to legally work in Canada.

Getting a job in Canada could be quite a hassle as most employers factor in the following before considering a candidate:

  • Work Experience

Employers in Canada are more comfortable hiring people with local work experience. However, if you come in through a work visa, that is you have a job offer before you migrate to Canada, then you wouldn’t really need to bother yourself about this.

Having Canadian experience is so important that it can greatly affect how many callbacks you get. So how do you get a chance at gaining Canadian experience? Often times, the best avenue is taking entry-level or low paying jobs for a few months at least, to allow you to integrate into the Canadian work cuture.

  • Education

Depending on the type of job you will be applying for, your level of education also plays a role in how fast you will get the job. Some jobs are skill-based so you may not need a university degree to apply for them. While some might require that you get a degree or go through some training for a while before you are deemed eligible.

There’s also the ‘Canadian education’ factor! In fact for some professions, like Pharmacy, you cannot practice without getting a Canadian education to validate your education from a foreign country. Most new Canadians turn to certifications or bridging courses to gain some Canadian education.

  • Legal Paperwork

To start a job in Canada, you will need some necessary documents and you will have to go through some processes to be eligible for work in Canada. Some of these documents include:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) – You should apply for this as soon as you get to Canada.
  • Work permit

Job Availability in Canada

Depending on your skill or profession, you may or may not spend a lot of time job hunting in Canada. There are some professions and skills in high demand and if you are lucky to be in one or have one, then you won’t have a problem finding a job in Canada. According to, these are Canada’s 15 most in-demand jobs of 2020:

  • Sales associate
  • Driver 
  • Receptionist
  • Welder
  • Web developer
  • Business development manager
  • General labourer 
  • Project manager
  • Heavy-duty mechanic
  • Merchandisers
  • Electrical engineer
  • Accountant
  • HR manager
  • Financial Advisor 
  • Registered nurse

Tools to Make Your Job Search Easier

To ease job hunting for people, the Canadian government has some tools set in place to facilitate the whole process. Some of these tools include:

  • Job Bank

The Job Bank is Canada’s top source for jobs and labour market information. It offers information on jobs, wages, employment trends, education requirements, and the likes. It has about 2000 new jobs posted daily. Find out more about how to find a job on the Canadian Job Bank.

  • Immigrant-serving organizations

They offer services to help you find jobs such as résumé writing workshops and training sessions on job searches.

  • The website for newcomers in the province or territory you want to move to.
  • Employment Ontario
  • ACCES Employment
  • Welcome to Canada guide
  • Top 100 employers in Canada

Applying for A Job in Canada 

When you find a job you are interested in, you will need to apply for the job the usual way by sending your CV/resume and cover letter to the company or institution. You should ensure that your CV follows the Canadian format.

If your application is considered, you will be invited for an interview. In Canada, you would usually get an email or phone call first to discuss the role and your experience before being invited for an in-person interview.

If the interview goes well, you will get a formal job offer. It is good to know what you want before you decide to apply for a job. Evaluate your skills, experience, level of education, career path, salary range, etc. before applying for any job.


If you’re having a hard time finding a job, instead of letting your skills become rusty, you can also choose to work without pay, that is, as a volunteer. This will enable you to build your resume. You can also gain Canadian work experience from it. It is an avenue for you to meet and connect with indigenous Canadians and learn more about Canadian culture. 

Volunteering is a great way to put your skills to use. You can find a mentor to guide you through the entire process of job hunting or engage in things that can bring you closer to getting your desired job. While volunteering, you can run courses, get certifications, learn languages, skill assessments, etc. to better your employment chances.


Networking plays such a huge role when it comes to finding a job in Canada. You need to be open about your job search! A simple recommendation could land you the job of your dreams. Tell friends and family about your job search, reach out to your connection on LinkedIn. Stay active on local forums like Reddit where surprisingly, some Canadian employers scout for talent.

How Long it Takes to Get A Job in Canada

If you are switching from an old job to a new job, it takes quite some time to find a new job in Canada. Generally, it takes about 15 – 23 weeks to find a job in Canada if you have Canadian experience. New immigrants to Canada experience timelines anywhere from a few weeks to over 6 months! This timeline includes all the processing; from applying to attending job interviews, training and finally securing a job. 

If you have been offered employment before moving to Canada, then, your employer will be responsible for filing your application. The processing may take one or two months before it is completed and granted.

How to Earn an Income while Waiting to Land a Job

The exact timeline for finding a job in Canada varies from one individual to another. Two individuals with the same level of experience and skillset could have very different timelines. Whatever the case, bills in Canada, like in every other part of the world, are no respecter of employment status. They’ll keep pouring in.

You can take the pressure off by taking side jobs like Uber Driving or Grocery shopping with Instacart or doing freelance work online. Aim for a side job that doesn’t entirely distract from your job search.

Although getting into Canada is relatively easy, finding a job is quite an arduous task. Before you embark on what might seem like a stressful mission, you should research extensively on what it entails to be an employee in Canada. Know your rights, entitlement, and learn more about the Canadian labour market before you dive into it. 

Also, make use of resources that will make your job search easier and engage in activities that will boost your chances. It may not be easy but having a job in Canada provides you with a better lifestyle and a good standard of living. 

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Avid researcher, freelance writer, and personal finance enthusiast passionate about financial education and literacy.

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Kareena Maya

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.