The Basics: Working in Canada and Ontario

Let’s take a look at some of the basic factors of working in Ontario. The topics we are discussing in this article are getting started, working in your field, evaluating your credentials, Ontario’s Immigrant Nominee Program and starting your own business.

The Ontario economy offers many different kinds of work, opportunities and information to help you prepare for your job search. We will provide resources for all your needs and some of the topics we will be covering in detail during future sessions include: building a resume, finding and applying for jobs, getting ready for interviews, improving your English or French language skills and much more!

Getting started

According to the government of Canada, the first really important thing you need in order to get started and find a job in Canada is a SIN or Social Insurance Number. You can get one from Human Resources and Social Development Canada. Normally you must apply for a SIN in person, or have someone else apply for you in person. However, there is no fee to apply for a SIN. Click here for more information on your Social Insurance Number.

You should also know that you don’t need a work permit to work in Canada if you’re a permanent resident although you do need a temporary work permit if you’re just staying and working in Ontario for a short time or seasonally. There are other reasons you may not need a work permit to legally work in Canada. Some students are able to work while studying and after graduation but if you are a student that plans on working, you need a work permit. Click here for more information on how to legally work in Canada and obtain a permit.

Legal rights in the workplace

It’s also important to look at your legal rights in the workplace. Ontario’s Ministry of Labour and Employment, as well as many other government agencies, offer information to help you understand everything from employment standards to health and safety laws to your rights at work — minimum wage, vacation time, public holidays, termination notice and pay, etc. All information provided is regulated under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

It is one of your employer’s duties under OHSA to provide specific instructions/information on how to stay safe while doing your job. New and young workers are three times more likely to get hurt during their first month on the job because they are unfamiliar with workplace hazards and safety concerns. This is where the law comes in. OHSA ensures safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

Working in your field

Once you understand workplace rights, it’s time to start considering what kinds of jobs you’d be interested in. A lot of newcomers wonder if they can find a job in their existing fields and put their knowledge and skills to work in Canada. Simply put, the answer is yes, and there are many resources in place to help newcomers find jobs in their fields.

One of the resources available is Ontario’s bridge training programs. Bridge training programs can help you upgrade your qualifications, get more skills, Canadian experience, and help you prepare for exams to get a job in your field, all without having to repeat what you already know.

Another resource available to newcomers is the Ontario Public Service (OPS). OPS has an internship program to give newcomers the opportunity to gain work experience in Ontario.

Another resource to consider is Employment Ontario, which provides personalized advice and services to help people assess their skills and experience, find work and start working on their skills.

Another resource available to newcomers is Global Experience Ontario, which helps internationally trained individuals and others interested in applying for a license and registration in 14 non-health regulated professions in Ontario (e.g. teaching, accounting and engineering).

HealthForceOntario helps internationally educated health professionals find information, advice and support on becoming eligible to practice in Ontario.

Career Maps is another resource available for newcomers. Global Experience Ontario has created a number of career maps. These maps will be essential tools in helping you to stay on track in your career path. They include detailed information on the steps and assessment process, examinations and costs involved and labour market conditions.

Evaluating your academic credentials

If you graduated from an educational institution outside of Canada, you’ll need to have your academic credentials assessed to find out how they are recognized in Ontario. If you plan on enrolling in any studies in Ontario, you will need to have your transcripts evaluated. You can contact the schools directly in order to find out what information they need.

Having your professional credentials reviewed is also important to ensure they meet Ontario’s standards. If you want to practice your profession in Ontario, you must apply to the organization that regulates/provides licensing for your profession.

Having your trade credentials reviewed is also an important element to consider. Certification is mandatory for many skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers, hairstylists and many more. Tradespeople who have enough experience to meet Ontario standards and pass a written exam receive a certificate of qualification. The government also helps tradespeople enter an apprenticeship.

The Trade Equivalency Assessment process assesses your skills based on one of the more than 140 Ontario apprenticeship programs. If you meet all the training requirements of that apprenticeship, you will qualify to apply for certification in your trade.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) such as the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) allow the province of Ontario to select workers and nominees in order to meet special work needs. If approved, the individuals that are nominated can receive their permanent residency (PR) faster. The OINP is for international students, employers and investors.

International students who are graduating or have recently graduated from a publicly funded university or college may qualify for PR. If you are a Master’s or Ph.D. graduate from Ontario, you do not need a job offer to qualify for the OINP. However, if you are graduating from an undergraduate or college program in Canada, you require a permanent, full-time job offer in order to qualify for the OINP.

Ontario employers may fill skilled, permanent positions with newcomers and immigrants, and with international students that may work overseas or in Canada on a work or study permit. Employers can begin the process by applying for positions they need to be filled by foreign nationals. The government must approve the position before employers can recruit.

Investors with long-term business projects in Ontario may use Opportunities Ontario to place key employees who, if approved, would obtain permanent residency.

Starting a business in Ontario

Ontario is an excellent place to start a business. Small business enterprise centres and Parsai Immigration services can help with detailed information and services such as:

  • creating a business plan
  • hiring lawyers and accountants
  • licenses and permits
  • finding business mentors

Doha Hanno Publicist, Parsai Immigration Services

If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review the form for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licensed practitioner. Disclaimer: This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not give legal advice. Do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. We cannot be held responsible for the content of these articles. If you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals, organizations, regions, or countries) is coincidental.

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Doha Hanno

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