How to Get a Job in Canada: A Filipino’s Ultimate Job-Hunting Guide


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Are you one of the millions of Filipinos whose ultimate dream is to work–and eventually settle–in Canada?

If you are, please don’t feel bad about it. It’s common knowledge that our country is plagued with too much politics while very few job opportunities are left for those who really do the hard work.

Canada, for most immigrants, is the land of milk and honey. And it’s never wrong to ensure a good future for you and your family.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn how to get a job in Canada from the Philippines plus tips and tricks to help you get one step closer to your Canadian dream.

Let’s get started.

Related: How to Immigrate to Canada: An Ultimate Guide for Filipinos

 

Filipinos in Canada: An Overview.

Since the 1930s, many Filipinos have decided to call Canada their home.

As of April 2018, there are a total of 901,218 Filipinos in Canada (or 2.6% of Canada’s national population) who came to the country as temporary foreign workers (TFWs), permanent residents, or naturalized Canadians¹.

The statistics show significant growth as it was only 2 years earlier when the census reported 837,130 people identifying themselves as having Filipino ethnic origin (see image below).

filipinos in canada

Today, the Philippines continues to be a leading source of immigrants to Canada, followed by India, China, and Iran.

Most Filipinos initially work in Canada as temporary foreign workers, and then apply for a permanent resident status once they get the opportunity.

As a Canadian citizen/permanent resident, you have plenty of privileges under your belt. These include the ability to sponsor your family members–including your parents and grandparents–for Canadian immigration.

Not only are you helping to improve your social status by working in Canada but also indirectly saving the Philippine economy. In fact, in 2017 alone, remittances from Filipinos in Canada increased by 12.6% (from USD 572,820,000 in 2016 to USD 644,754,000 in 2017).

 

Why work in Canada?

Canada has consistently ranked among the best countries in the world for immigrants because of its outstanding healthcare system, spectacular natural beauty, stable economy, plenty of job opportunities, and overall great quality of life.

The country is also ideal for Filipinos who prefer to study before finding a job. Unlike its neighboring country the US, Canada allows its students to work 20 hours a week either on or off-campus.

In addition to that, you can also bring your spouse with you and let him/her work full-time for the duration of your studies, something that international students in the US with F-2 status aren’t allowed to do.

Most importantly, working in Canada as a temporary foreign worker gives you the once-in-a-lifetime chance to upgrade to permanent resident status.

Aside from living in a country that truly values your hard work, you’ll also gain Canadian citizenship with a passport that can take you anywhere in the world without applying for a visa.

Related Article: How to Get a Philippine Passport: An Ultimate Guide

 

How to Work in Canada: A Step-by-Step Guide for Filipinos.

1. Know your options and eligibility.

how to work in canada 1

Two things may hamper you from finding a job in Canada: It’s either you (1) don’t have the necessary qualifications, skills, and employment background or you are (2) “inadmissible,” meaning you are not allowed to come to Canada under Canada’s immigration law².

If you don’t fall in the second category, you may have the chance to work in Canada assuming that you have the right skills to do so.

Canada offers different programs for immigrants, and it will be up to you if you prefer to be a permanent resident upon arrival in Canada or be employed as a temporary foreign worker.

 

a. Express Entry.

If you want to work and move to Canada permanently, you must be a skilled worker qualified in one of the three Express Entry programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program which requires Filipino applicants to have the education, language ability, and skilled work experience in any of Canada’s 300+ eligible occupations³. This is a point-based system so once you make it into the Express Entry pool, you’ll be ranked according to the number of points you earn. The highest-ranking applicants are usually invited to apply for permanent residence.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), launched in January 2013, puts more value on one’s practical training than formal education. To qualify for FSTP, the applicant must have at least 2 years of work experience within the last 5 years in one of the eligible skilled trades.
  • Canadian Experience Class is for those who already have skilled work experience in Canada.

In addition to the three Express Entry programs above, you may also be picked through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which is for people who have the qualifications and have been nominated by a specific Canadian province/territory to immigrate to Canada.

To find out if you’re eligible in any of the three Express Entry programs above, you can fill out this form.

Based on your answers, the system will determine if you’re qualified for any of the programs and what you need to do next in case you are. You will also be added to the pool of candidates for immigration and possibly get an invitation to immigrate.

Now here’s a caveat: If you apply for any of the above-mentioned programs, it may take ages before your application can be approved–especially if you have no qualifying job offer.

This is when the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program comes to the picture.

 

b. Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program.

Under this program, Filipinos are hired by employers who are able to prove that there’s a shortage of people in Canada with the skills and experience they’re looking for.

Hard-working Filipinos consider the TFW program as a stepping stone to becoming a Canadian citizen. This is because after gaining enough experience, they become eligible to apply for permanent resident status through the Canadian Experience Class.

 

2. Search for a job.

how to work in canada 2

At this point, you’ve probably decided which path to getting a job in Canada is the best fit for you. Of course, the next step would be finding an employer who is willing to hire you.

If you’re eligible for the Express Entry programs and you want to become a permanent resident in the shortest amount of time, I encourage you to apply at the Job Bank.

The Job Bank is Canada’s official job site which matches Express Entry candidates with the eligible employers. Express Entry candidates with job offers earn higher points, not to mention the convenience of arriving in Canada with a job already waiting for you.

For Filipino caregivers and blue-collar workers who want to go to Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program, you can find jobs at recruitment agencies accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

In fact, a 2018 notice from the website of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Vancouver reveals that the direct hiring of Filipinos has been put on hold and only those that have been hired by the members of the diplomatic corps, international organizations, or high-ranking government officials are exempted from this ban.

As a result, the only way to get a job in Canada is through a POEA-accredited recruitment agency.

To find out which agencies in the Philippines have a valid license, go to this link and click “All Agencies With Valid License.”

how to get a job in canada 1

Take note that the license has a validity period of 4 years. The list of recruitment agencies with a valid license may change without prior notice so make sure to check this link before you apply to any job opening.

For the latest job vacancies in Canada, go to this link and choose Canada from the “Select Country” drop-down menu. You can sort the results by agency, position, or the date the job order was approved.

Click Submit to show the updated list of Canada job orders available for Filipinos.

how to get a job in canada 2

Some of the in-demand jobs in Canada that recruitment agencies in the Philippines are offering include, but not limited to, the following:

  • Caregiver
  • Hairstylist
  • Butcher
  • Food Service Supervisor
  • Welder
  • Fast Food Restaurant Staff/Manager
  • Assembler
  • Nanny
  • Apiary Worker
  • Mechanic
  • Machinist
  • Cook
  • Cleaner
  • Seamstress
  • Sawmill Operator
  • Laborer
  • Farm Worker
  • Plater

The list above only shows some of the active job orders at the time I was writing this article. POEA doesn’t guarantee if the job orders are still active or not so make sure to verify the job’s availability with the agency.

After ensuring that the recruitment agency has a valid license, reach out to them via their website or Facebook page. Otherwise, call them and let them confirm if the job order is still available before you personally submit your application.

In case you encounter illegal recruiters, you may report it to POEA through the following:

POEA Hotline: 722-11-44/722-11-55
Email address: [email protected]
Office address: Blas F. Ople Building, Ortigas Ave. corner EDSA, Mandaluyong City

 

3. Wait for the documentary requirements to arrive.

how to work in canada 3

After finding a prospective employer who is willing to hire you, all you need to do is wait for the necessary documents to arrive.

In Canada, employers who were not able to find any Canadian available for the position they offer are required to apply for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

A positive LMIA means there’s no Canadian available to do the job and there’s a need for a foreign worker (in this case, a Filipino) to fill the job vacancy. A positive LMIA is also called a confirmation letter.

Once the employer receives a positive result, he/she will send you the LMIA along with the job offer and contract.

As for the job offer, make sure to review specific details as soon as you receive the document. Important sections that you need to review include Salary and Benefits, Job Description, and Working Hours. 

Never accept a job offer from someone who is asking you for money or your credit card information.

After receiving the required documents from your employer, you can now apply for a work permit (and temporary resident visa, if required).

Did you know? Not all employers are required to obtain LMIA. To verify if your job offer needs LMIA, check this link for the Labor Market Impact Assessment exemption codes. In case you’re exempted from the LMIA application, note the exemption code that applies to you and include it in your job offer. 

 

4. Apply for a work permit.

how to work in canada 4

Now that you already have the LMIA and the job offer from your employer, you can now apply for your work permit at designated visa application centers.

To apply for a work permit, you will need all of the following:

  • Contract
  • Job Offer Letter
  • Copy of the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
  • LMIA Number

Take note that not all jobs require a work permit. For a complete list of jobs that don’t need a work permit, please refer to this link. In case you don’t need such permit, you are still required by law to apply for a visa before going to Canada.

There are two types of work permit in Canada:

  • Employer-specific work permit which prohibits you from working for other employers except for the one who initially hired you. This states the name of the specific employer you will work for in Canada, how long you’ll work, and the location/place where you’ll be employed.
  • Open-work permit, as its name suggests, allows you to openly work for any employer in Canada. However, an open-work permit is only given to a limited number of candidates. Check out this list to know if you’re eligible to get this type of work permit.

Not sure which type of work permit you’re qualified for? Answer the questions on this page to find out.

Take note that you can’t use a work permit to immigrate to Canada. It will only give you the right to stay in Canada temporarily as you fulfill your contractual obligations.

If you want to work in Canada as a permanent resident, check if you qualify as a skilled worker under the Express Entry programs (see step 1).

 

How to Apply for a Work Permit for Canada in the Philippines.

a. Submit your application.

You have the choice to apply either on paper or online.

However, online application is recommended not only because it’s quicker and cheaper (no need to pay for courier fees), but it also ensures that you can submit additional documents quickly should they request for them.

In addition to that, you can get real-time updates on the status of your application through your online account. To start applying for a work permit, go to this link.

b. Provide your fingerprints and photo (biometrics).

After submitting your application and paying the required biometrics fee, you’ll receive an instruction letter with details on how and where to give your biometrics (fingerprints and photo).

You only have up to 30 days to give your biometrics in person at designated application centers in the Philippines.

As of this writing, there is a Canada visa application center (CVAC) in Manila and another one in Cebu where Filipino workers bound to Canada can provide their biometrics. You can visit this website for more info.

c. Undergo a medical exam.

Once they’ve confirmed that the documents you’ve submitted are complete, you may be asked to go to an interview with Canada’s representative in the Philippines.

For some candidates, a medical exam is required. In case you’re one of those who need to go through a medical examination, you’ll be instructed by the representative who’ll interview you about where and how the medical exam will take place.

d. Wait for the approval letter.

If your application is approved, you’ll receive a letter that says you can work in Canada within the time frame specified in your contract.

Remember, this letter is not your work permit. Bring this letter when you travel to Canada. The work permit is only issued to Filipino workers upon arrival in Canada.

 

5. Prepare to become an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).

how to work in canada 5

Now that you have the work permit, the only thing standing between you and your dream job in Canada is the Philippine government.

As a soon-to-be overseas Filipino worker (OFW), you’re required to undergo the Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS). This free service is offered by the POEA to teach aspiring OFWs about overseas job application procedures, the documents/costs involved, as well as ways to prevent illegal recruitment.

All Filipino workers bound to Canada are also required to apply for an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) which is a document you show to the Philippine immigrant officials on your departure date so they can allow you to leave.

Related: How to Get Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) Through BM Online

 

6. Arrive in Canada.

how to work in canada 6

When you arrive in Canada, don’t expect the border services officer (BSO) to give you the work permit right away.

You’ll go through a meticulous screening procedure to help them ensure that you’re the same person who has been approved to work in Canada.

After the initial identity check (during which your fingerprints are checked and compared against their records), you’ll be asked to present the following entry requirements:

  • Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction.
  • Your passport.
  • Your visa (if applicable).
  • Travel documents like airline tickets, etc.
  • Supporting documents such as a copy of your employer’s positive LMIA (if requested), proof of work experience/education, or offer of employment number (which your employer received after submitting the offer of employment through the Employer Portal). The offer of employment number is applicable only to those who are exempted from submitting LMIA and arriving in Canada to work for a specific employer.

Related Article: How to Renew Philippine Passport in Canada: An Ultimate Guide

As soon as the BSO confirms that you can enter Canada, they will now print your actual work permit. The BSO will also stamp on your passport and inform you how long you can stay in Canada.

Make sure you give honest answers when interviewed by the BSO. Filipino workers under the TFW program may be denied entry if they’re unable to prove to the BSO with their answers and documents that they’re going to leave Canada at the end of their approved stay.

 

Frequently Asked Questions.

1. How can I work as a caregiver in Canada?

2. How much is the salary of a caregiver in Canada?

3. How can I become a permanent resident in Canada as a caregiver?

4. What are the pros and cons of living/working in Canada?

5. What are the different pathways for immigrating to Canada?

6. Is it too cold in Canada?

7. Which city in Canada is the coldest?

8. What are winters like in Canada?

9. How much snow does Canada get?

10. What is the warmest place in Canada in the winter?

11. How long does winter last in Canada?

12. What are the most in-demand jobs in Canada for Filipinos?

13. How much does it cost to live in Canada per month?

14. How much money do you need to immigrate to Canada?

15. Can I go to Canada without a job offer?

 

References.

1. Conchas, A. Filipinos in Canada. Retrieved 22 October 2019, from https://ottawape.dfa.gov.ph/index.php/2016-04-12-08-34-55/filipino-diaspora

2. About inadmissibility. Retrieved 22 October 2019, from https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/inadmissibility.html

3. Find your NOC. (2019). Retrieved 22 October 2019, from https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/eligibility/find-national-occupation-code.html

 

About the Author.

Luisito E. Batongbakal Jr. is the founder and chief content strategist of FilipiKnow, a leading online portal for free educational, Filipino-centric content. His curiosity and passion for learning have helped millions of Filipinos around the world get access to free insightful and practical information at the touch of their fingertips. With him at the helm, FilipiKnow has won numerous awards including the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs 2013, the 2015 Globe Tatt Awards, and the 2015 Philippine Bloggys Awards (nomination). Connect with him on Linkedin.

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49 thoughts on “How to Get a Job in Canada: A Filipino’s Ultimate Job-Hunting Guide

  1. Hi!mam,sir I’m vita apolinario I’m currently work now here in Kuwait almost 6 years as a domestic helper I want to work there in Canada as a domestic helper,cleaner or fruit picker.thank you so much for your responds.Godbless!!!

  2. Gudpm sir/man,I’m joselyn Nicolas Sausa 37 yearold,I’m a highschool graduate,and I’m studying in tesda.food and beverage I have a NCll. I have a working expirience before I’m a service crew,the name of company is Wendy’s I’m a finished contact,and my resently job is household in here Saudi Riyadh,but iwant to applying to your company.thankyou.

  3. Hi sir / ma’am,good day to all ! I am willing to apply a job in Canada as a caregiver. Please give an update ! From Philippines.

  4. Hi!
    Is there still a big opportunity to work as a skilled worker like, to work in a factory, a nanny and etc.?
    I am really interested to apply but I’m looking for a free process. ^^

  5. Hi FilipiKnow. does an LMIA really needed kahit i will apply for an express entry? Coz as what i have understood, lmia is only needed for TFW applying for work permit right? Or???? An i plan to apply as an immigrant through express entry…

    Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!

    1. With a few exceptions, employers in Canada who are hiring foreign nationals are required to support their valid job offers with a positive LMIA, regardless of whether the foreign national will be hired via Express Entry or TFW.

      A valid job offer with positive LMIA give the applicant under Express Entry additional points in the Comprehensive Ranking System. You also need to provide your LMIA number when creating your Express Entry profile to prove that the job offer you received from the employer is valid.

      1. Thanks for your reply. So you mean regardless if with or without a positive lmia, i can still apply and get approved? Unless i have bigger points right?

      2. Yes. But again, it’s much better if you already have a job offer before you go to Canada. And you can’t have a valid job offer without it being supported by a positive LMIA. Unless, of course, that jobs doesn’t require LMIA. For more info, please visit this URL on your web browser: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/documents/offer-employment/lmia-exempt.html

      3. Hi. I already have a prospect employer. Should i inform them that they need tO provide me a job offer with a positive LMIA? And knowing the immigration process is quiet long, when should I have the job offer with positive LMIA? Before starting the express entry process or during the process?

  6. Hi Im from philippines, just want to know if I can go to canada even there’s no job offer for me, just want to go there to work and become a permanent residences cause I also have a boyfriend there. What should I do? cause we’re not yet ready for marriage but we want to be in the same country, Looking forward for ur response. Thankyou

  7. Hi have a good day everyone! I am Agustine N. Caramonte,30 years of age,undergraduate for the course of bachelor science information technology,i am looking for a vacant job in canada as a service crew,i’ve been working in the restaurant at benis falafel express as a comissary,supervisor,cashier and dining staff for almost 4 years,i’ve been working also as a sewer machine operator at headway cups company,cashier at venture shell station and crew at korean restaurant.

    I am hoping for you to give me a chance to work for the best and beautiful country like canada.

    Thank you so much,waiting for any response regarding my application!

    Canada is my dream place!

    1. Here is my #09566741389 for additional contact information,thank you!Godblees everyone!

  8. hi i am a teacher is there a job waiting for me in canada?or what other jobs would fir me.I am a bachelor’s degree with maters units.please inform me through my email.

  9. Hello! Thank you for this article. Very helpful! 🙂 One question though, should I get an IELTS certification first before I could apply for jobs online (linkedin, job bank, etc)? Or pwedeng to follow nalang yung IELTS kapag nahire na po? Ano po marerecommend niyo?

    Salamat in advance and hoping for your response. Godbless!

    1. Is the job you’re applying for requires IELTS? If yes, then you need to take one and meet the minimum required score. Hindi po sya pwedeng “to follow” as far as I know.

      1. Hi! FilipiKnow! As what you’ve said regarding a job doesn’t required IELTS.. May I ask if there is a job hiring in Canada that doesn’t need IELTS? Thank you so much

      2. It really depends on the employer. However, most jobs in Canada that don’t require IELTS belong to industries that put higher price on the person’s technical knowledge/practical training than his/her formal education. These include welders, waiters, store keepers, and majority of the engineers.

  10. Hello po. I am now living in Australia, 19 years old. Gusto ko po sanang mag apply sa Canada? Permanent Resident na po ako dito sa Australia. Pero ayon na nga gusto ko pa din mag work sa canada, ano ba dapat gawin? Wala naman kasi dito Overseas recruitment agency thing kaya hindi ko alam kung ano mga kailangan.

    1. Sorry but this article only covers the process of getting a job in Canada from the Philippines. You might wantto read this instead: https://filipiknow.net/how-to-immigrate-to-canada/

    2. hello, good day everyone! im mylen Lim 37 years of age, graduated in the university of Cebu, taking up Commerce major in Management. I am looking a job vacant in canada. I was working in Taiwan for morethan 5years as a factory worker.
      Hoping to give me a chance to work in your beautiful country and canada is my dream place
      Thank you so much, hoping for your response.

  11. I am alex vagelidad am high school graduate. it okey for me for apply for job as ofw in canada .last year i and came back from japan i stay for almost 30 year.as factory worker and fruit pickers I am 57 year old already.if ever can I work there in canada . pl.ease i need your respond

  12. Im a teacher.. Is there a job waiting for me at Canada? A have a college degree and units in my masters degree.

  13. Good day po, Sir/Ma’am…
    Itatanong ko lang po kung sa educational background ko na HS graduate and 1st year lang po sa college ay maaari po ba akong matanggap sa Canada? Maaari po bang ma assess ang school credentials ko kahit na hindi po ako bachelor degree? I have more than 10 years of experience in overseas worker dito po sa middle east. And I’m preparing to take an IELTS exam this coming December po. Your response is highly appreciated. Salamat po… 😊

    1. If you’re a skilled worker, you can apply through the Federal Skills Trade Program which has no education requirements (although having a degree can significantly improve your Express Entry score). To learn more about this, please check out this article: https://filipiknow.net/how-to-immigrate-to-canada/

  14. Good day ma’am/sir I am Ma Razel Alli graduate for 2years course hotel restaurant services looking for job that match to my course bound in Canada how you may help me?

  15. have a bless day.to.all. anyone can give me.some information when to apply a work in canada here in Singapore…. thank you

  16. Hi good day mam.. Im aris. 5 years mig welder in saudi arabia interesed to work in canada.. Please help me to find a welding job.

  17. Hi good day! Im aris, looking a welding job in canada. Im a mig/gmaw welder.. 5 years experienced in crane factory in saudi arabia.

  18. Hi, na deny po ang application ko sa express entry application (baka dahil wala akong IELTS). Pero nagbigay sila ng option na subukan ko daw yung Provincial nominee program. Ano po ba ang dapat na unahin? maghanap ng employer sa job bank o mag fill up ng application form?

  19. My son and son in law want to apply work in canada. At present my son in law is working in saudi arabia as a respiratory therapist in government hospital and my son is a medical runner. Please advise. Thank you.

  20. Good day! How many units in college it requires in applying for a work permit in Canada? I understand that Filipinos should have at least 72 units in college. Is this still unchanged?

    1. I dont have 72 units. Am i still eligible to go to canada? I am working as caregiver in UAE currently i am working as nurse nanny with spina befida baby.

    1. You’re welcome. It’s been our goal to provide the best how-to guides for Filipinos on the Internet.

  21. Hello!goodday madam/sir i visit this site to see if how to apply in canada i was an ofw here in saudi arabia for almost 4yrs..but im planning to apply another conutry and i like canada if im finish my contract here..i hope that u will reply soon i want to apply as a cleaner..thanks

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