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Organizations across Canada benefit from the talents, qualifications and experience of having skilled immigrants on their workforce.

However, as a newcomer to Canada it can be difficult finding employers who will hire you. It can be especially hard getting the same kind of job you had in your home country. You may face challenges with the lack of recognition of your foreign education and work credentials.

If you are a newcomer, your main obstacle may be having enough Canadian work experience or accreditation to meet Canadian standards.

There are programs and services that encourage employers to recruit newcomers. This guide outlines strategies for finding companies interested in hiring new immigrants.

Finding an Employer to Sponsor You

Tip: If you are thinking of immigrating to Canada while living in your home country, remember:

  • many employers who hire foreign workers may already be actively recruiting in your country

To find potential employers before coming to Canada:

  • check with the nearest Canadian embassy to see if there are any job fairs held by Canadian businesses in your region
  • search for any industry associations in your area that may host job fairs or trade shows that include Canadian businesses
  • check with universities that have degree programs in your industry to see if they host career fairs that include Canadian companies

For certain professions, Canadian businesses will target specific countries that are known to have a large pool of experienced candidates. For example:

  • Australia is a target for tourist-related jobs because Australian students are on summer break during Canadian winters
  • home support workers are often found in the Philippines and India

Express Entry

Immigration and Citizenship Canada launched a new electronic system called Express Entry. Canadian employers can hire Express Entry candidates to meet their labour needs when they are not able to find Canadians or permanent residents to fill job vacancies. Employers can hire workers abroad or already in Canada.

Qualified foreign workers already in Canada could include you if:

  • you are about to complete a job contract with another employer, or
  • you hold an open work permit that allows you to work for any employer in Canada

Employers can normally hire a foreign worker for up to four years.

To see if you meet the criteria to qualify for the Express Entry program use this online tool:

For more information on Express Entry see:

Finding a Company that Hires Newcomers

Tip:  Employers who have hired recent immigrants in the past are likely to hire newcomers again. Talk to people in your personal and professional networks to see if anyone knows of companies that have hired newcomers. Contact these companies directly to check for possible positions.

There are specific programs that promote and encourage Canadian companies to hire newcomers. Initiatives that provide you with Canadian experience through internships and mentorships are also available.

Some programs and resources that can help you connect with potential employers include:

  • Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants Program
    Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants connects you to jobs in B.C. You can get help to build an action plan, get your credentials assessed and receive financial support to help you upgrade.
  • Hire Immigrants
    Hire Immigrants provides businesses with the resources they need to better recruit, retain and promote immigrants.
    Tip: look under “success stories” to find specific examples of companies who have hired skilled immigrants. Some of the many companies that have developed programs or initiatives to attract newcomers include:
    • RBC
    • Enbridge
    • Scotiabank
    • BC Hydro
    • KPMG
    • Providence Health Care
  • Immigrant Employment Council of BC
    Helps businesses find skilled immigrants to fill vacancies. Current initiatives include:
    • BC Job Connect
      customized online tool connecting BC employers to job-ready newcomers; designed to help employers fill their workforce needs while offering newcomers in BC an effective way to showcase their talents and gain meaningful employment
    • MentorConnect
      Brings together skilled immigrants and established professionals in occupation-specific mentoring relationships. The program provides for 24 hours of mentoring over a four month period and meetings take place in person, online and by telephone. Employer Partners in the program include:
      • Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC
      • City of Vancouver
      • TELUS
      • TD Canada Trust
  • ISS of BC – Immigrant Services Society
    Employer Relations Specialists from various ISSofBC programs and locations receive job leads from accredited employers who are looking for the right candidates. ISSofBC can match you with these employers.
    see also: ISSofBC: Find Work
  • S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
    S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Employment Services is a culturally diverse service team providing career development guidance services for all job seekers
  • Federal Internship for Newcomers Program
    The Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program provides newcomers with valuable temporary Canadian work experience and training opportunities with federal government departments and agencies and private sector organizations.
  • Canada’s Best Diversity Employers
    An annual list of Canadian companies that regularly hire: a) Women; (b)Members of visible minorities; (c) Persons with disabilities; (d) Aboriginal peoples; and (e) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered/Transsexual (LGBT) peoples.

Additional Resources

Still looking for more information? Try looking at the following resources:

More books and resources are available at the Vancouver Public Library: