What you need to know to work in Canada: for foreigners

by Basma Ihmaidan
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As an international student, if you are wondering what are the processes to work in Canada for foreigners, you are in the right place. 

guite to work in canada

Either to make your budget better by combining studies and employment or to stay working in the country, in today’s content we will reveal everything you need to know.

Types of work permits

Work in Canada for foreigners

In order to work in Canada as a foreigner, it is essential to have a work permit. In Canada, there are two types: the open work permit, and the specific employer permit.

Open work permit

This is a work permit that allows you to freely employ yourself in any Canadian company (as long as it does not have any government sanction that prevents you from hiring foreigners). There are several types of open permissions.

Among those that may affect you, is the one that allows you to work part-time while you study, or the post-graduation permit that enables you to stay working in Canada full time.

Employer-specific work permit

On the other hand, it is also possible to apply for a work permit that allows you to take a job at a specific company.

This type of permit is usually requested by people who work a few months on farms to help with harvesting, and other types of specific jobs, for which Canadian companies use foreign labour.

Of course, it is not an exclusive permit from the agricultural sector, although we also do not recommend it, since it conditions your stay in the country to maintain a specific job. If you had an open permit, you could look for any other job, with one closed it is “hold there” or leave the country.

How to get a work permit in Canada

Work in Canada for foreigners

There are different ways to get a work permit in Canada. Some of them depend on your nationality, your professional level or certain special circumstances such as being a refugee, diplomat or military family from certain countries stationed in Canada. 

However, we have decided to choose three ways of how to work in Canada within the reach of anyone, and they are the ones that we explain below.

Work permit for international students

As an international student you can get three types of work permit in Canada:

  • Part-time work permit. It allows you to combine your studies with a part-time job. For this you must be studying in an eligible institution, a professional or vocational study program of certain characteristics (that is full-time, of more than a certain duration … etc). In turn, there are two possible partial work permits:
  • Post-graduation full-time work permit. In certain cases, you can also apply for a full-time post-graduation work permit. We explain it more fully in the next section.

Completing a study program in Canada

If you have completed your studies at an eligible public institution (private ones do not count towards obtaining this permit), you can choose to apply for a post-graduation work permit that enables you to develop a full-time job in a Canadian company

In this way, you can extend your stay, and even choose in the future to apply for Canadian residence, if it is something that interests you.

Your partner has a study permit

When you study at a public institution you also have the possibility that your partner has a work permit in Canada. Similarly, if your partner is studying in a public institution, you can apply for the work permit for yourself

Once again, the key is that it is an eligible public educational institution, the study programs of private institutions do not count for this either.

Another advantage if you are in Canada with your partner, and one of you is studying in a public institution, is that your children can study also in the Canadian educational system.

Most requested jobs in Canada

Work in Canada for foreigners

Although Canada is a country with job opportunities of all kinds, there are especially 4 sectors with more jobs for Latinos. These sectors are the most used by foreigners since they tend to have more opportunities when it comes to finding employment, especially as international students. 

At this point, you may wonder which jobs are most in-demand in Canada. Stop asking yourself! Here are some ideas to help you find a job, either as a student or as a professional.


jobs Student jobs are designed to be able to be done within the part-time allowed by the student visa. At the same time, they are jobs that generate an income with which to better yield your budget and maintain your stay in the country

The jobs easiest to get within these characteristics are:

  • Jobs on campus as a librarian, assistant teacher, part-time at specific events required by the institution, among others. The options available vary from institution to institution.
  • Barista, waiter or kitchen assistant
  • Customer service and sales
  • Child and elderly
  • caregiver Dog walker
  • Monitor of sports and leisure activities
  • Translator or Interpreter
  • Teacher of support classes
  • Transporter (if your driving license is approved in Canada)
  • Receptionist

Professional jobs in Canada

Work in Canada as a professional if possible! An important requirement to achieve this is to manage the language, this will allow you to operate efficiently in the Canadian labor market. Without a doubt, a Greater command of English will make it easier for you to communicate at the time of a job interview.

If you already practice a profession and you are in Canada perfecting your training with a higher course, it is also possible to find more qualified jobs related to your field

Some of the most demanded, according to various sources, are:

  • Nursing and physical therapy
  • Education
  • Business
  • Manufacturing, especially welders
  • Software Engineering
  • Accountancy

Tips for working in Canada

Finally, we didn’t want to finish this article without giving you some tips quick for working in Canada:

  • Prepare your Canadian-style resume
  • Take a study program in Canada, give you more opportunities
  • Use virtual platforms to apply
  • Consider submitting your resume personally, if you are looking for student employment
  • Open a bank account 


The easiest way to work in Canada is through the study path. Either because you can combine your training process with a part-time job, or because after completing your training you can stay working in the country. 

However, remember that there are certain study programs, and certain educational institutions that allow you to do this, are not all worth it. Be very careful with this when choosing!

The next step you should take now is to be clear about what you want to do in your present and future in Canada, and thus choose the study program and institution that best suit what you are looking for. Since you are clear, go ahead with your projects!

guide to work in canada
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