Everything about working in Canada: Foreign Students and Professionals

As a foreigner in Canada, you may be wondering what are your alternatives to work here. Especially, if you came to learn the language, you have already mastered it and you would like to have new opportunities.

Also, if you have been living in Canada for a while, you may know the importance of having everything in order before venturing out to look for a job.

That’s why we want to help you discover how you can work in Canada, what types of permits exist, how to find your first job, and much more. Shall we start?

How to get a work permit in Canada

working in Canada
To begin with, you should know that the most viable way to obtain a work permit in Canada is through study programs.

This is mainly because the Canadian Government and Businesses recognize high education and are looking for people trained in key areas that will contribute to their economic growth.

For instance, programs and permits have been created to make it easier for Foreign Students and Professionals to work if they are studying an academic program in Canada.

So, there are several programs that you can study in Canada to obtain a work permit such as:





Co-op Programs

By taking one of these programs, you can obtain a work permit and easily enter the Canadian Labor Market.
list of institutions to study in canada

Types of work permits

To identify which work permit is ideal for you, you should know that work permits in Canada are divided into 2 categories:

  • Open Work Permit: authorizes you to work with any employer for a specified period.
  • Work Permit specific from the employer: authorizes you to work only for the employer who has decided to hire you. This is a permit that you obtain when you have very specific skills required by a specific company.
guite to work in canada
After being introduced to these categories, we will talk about open work permits. These are more popular among Foreign Professionals and Students because there are more alternatives to obtain them.

Student work permit

working in Canada
To obtain this type of work permit, you must complete a program with a duration period of  more than 6 months at an accredited institution. Remember that language courses in Canada do not give you the opportunity to work.

Student work permits authorize you to work 20 hours a week during academic periods and 40 hours a week during holidays.

This is a great way to cover your basic living expenses. Many international students also take advantage of this income to visit tourist places in Canada.

Post-graduation work permit

working in Canada
If you are already a professional or would like to maximize your future working experience in Canada, you should know this alternative. This is a permit that allows you to work full time in Canada.

Applying to the Post-graduation Work Permit is an excellent option for those seeking work experience in a Canadian Company, and for those who wish to settle permanently in the country.

To obtain this permit, you must complete a program with a duration between 8 months and 2 years at a Public college in Canada. Thus, you will be authorized to work for a time equal to the duration of your program.

list of public college in canada
In other words, if you completed a 2-year Diploma, you can have a Post-graduate Work Permit for 2 years. Also, this work experience is valid to apply for Canadian residency (different from having work experience with a student work permit).

Work permit for couples

working in Canada
On the other hand, if you are in Canada and your partner is in your home country, this alternative may sound very interesting.

The work permit for couples is designed so families can live in Canada and cover their expenses. To obtain it, you must enter a study program at a public college, in this way your partner can apply for a visa and obtain a full time work permit  in Canada while you study.

Tips for finding your first job in Canada

As soon as you obtain your work permit, you will have a new challenge: finding your first job in Canada. Therefore, we have decided to share some tips that we hope will be helpful in this process.

1. Prepare your CV in the Canadian format

working in Canada
This is an indispensable point, the Canadian resume is usually very different from what international students are used to. Keep in mind that you should not include your photograph, or very personal information such as your marital status or nationality, in Canada you will be evaluated only by your profile.

A common mistake is to believe that less formal jobs do not require a. In this country you must present your CV for any job and you will even have an interview, no matter if it is to work as a waiter or in an office position.

college publico

2. Networking

As in many places in the world, here in Canada contacts are very important for any professional and for all positions. If you are looking for a job, your network can be the bridge to that opportunity.

Therefore, our advice is that you start meeting people from your first day in Canada. You can do all kinds of activities to meet new people, attend events or frequent places that allow you to build relationships.

3. Use digital platforms

working in Canada
There are multiple platforms that will be very useful when looking for a job in Canada. You can find offers in different areas, both unskilled jobs and professionals jobs. Some of the most used are:

You can also take advantage of social networks. On Facebook you will find job groups in Canada and on LinkedIn you can translate your profile into English and find offers in different companies.

4. Volunteer

working in Canada
Canadians have a strong culture of volunteering, and participating in these types of activities will be of great asset when looking for a job. It could be a differentiating element on your resume, which can give you some experience.

In addition, it is an ideal scenario to meet Canadians and to meet new people. As we discussed before, this will be of great help in your search for job opportunities.

5. Keep a good attitude

Finding a job in Canada is relatively easy, but this does not mean that it will happen overnight. At this point, we recommend that you keep a positive attitude and encourage yourself to live the full experience of studying, working and living in Canada.
budget to live in canada

Jobs in Canada for International Students

If you have a great interest in working, you must be wondering what kind of jobs you can apply for as an international student.

First of all, you should know that in Canada the minimum wage varies according to the province, its range is between 11 CAD and 15 CAD per hour. Although, it is common to find student jobs which are hourly paid between CAD $18 and CAD $24.

Here are some jobs you might consider:

  • Barista
  • Waiter
  • Sales Associate
  • Tutor
  • Babysitter
  • Dog walker
  • Translator or interpreter

As an international student, covering your living expenses may seem like a big challenge, but having one of these jobs will go a long way.

presupuesto vivir en canada

Jobs for foreign professionals

If you are a professional graduate, and you are in Canada with the objective of acquiring a higher level of education and giving a boost to your career, you must know the type of jobs and professions that will help you achieve it.

At this point, you may already know that in Canada there is a high demand for some key professions in demand, here we introduce you to  the most popular professions:

  • Project Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Human resources Manager
  • Business Administrators
  • Marketing Professionals
  • Engineers

These are just a few of the many jobs in Canada for professionals.

Remember that these are positions for which it is highly rewarded to have an academic education in Canada that complements the knowledge acquired in your home country.


We have shared everything you need to know for your professional success in Canada if you already have an excellent level of English.

Remember that the most important aspect when working in Canada is to have everything in order, obtain the work permit that best suits you according to your situation. If you already have this permit, get ready for your job search with all the advice we have shared with you.

Many international students who come to this incredible country are encouraged to complement their professional experience by working in Canada. Do you want to be one of them? Take the next step!

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