Coming to Canada

Thinking of coming to live and work in Canada? This section of the website has information and links you may find useful for immigrating, settling and working here.

Immigrating to Canada

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Before you can come to Canada to work, you must first apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

IRCC offers a number of programs for those wishing to enter and work legally in Canada.  You can find more information on their website. 

IRCC has an electronic method of application called Express Entry for the following federal programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class.  For more information on Express Entry, and to see if you could be eligible under one of these programs, check HERE.



Working in a Regulated Profession

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Approximately 20% of the careers in Canada are regulated, which means that you must obtain a license before you can legally work in that field. It is illegal to practice or use the titles without a licence from the proper provincial or territorial organization. Collectively, these organizations are known as regulators, and are often referred to as “Colleges”. Local provincial and territorial regulatory “colleges” are responsible for reviewing your education and work experience, and determining if you are eligible for licensure. The immigration process is separate from the licensure process. Information on regulation in Alberta and a list of professions that require a license to practice can be found HERE. For example, teaching in elementary, middle and secondary schools in Alberta is a regulated profession. More information on the licensing process and links to the appropriate regulatory college can be found in the Attaining Your License section.

Before You Leave Home

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If you are planning to pursue licensure and/or work in a regulated profession in Canada, it is important to contact your provincial regulator before you leave your home country. Please note, that the immigration and licensing processes are separate; being accepted to immigrate to Canada does not automatically mean that you have a license to practice in your profession. 

You may consider the recommendations listed below to better prepare you for life in Canada.

Pre-Arrival Services:

  • You can access “pre-arrival” services before you leave home. These services are offered online or in-person for people who have been approved to immigrate to Canada. You can access most pre-arrival services if:
    • You have received a Confirmation of Permanent Residence letter (COPR), or have been contacted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with a positive decision on the eligibility of your application, and
    • You currently live outside of Canada.
  • Pre-Arrival services are offered by the Government of Canada free of charge and can help you to:
    • Prepare for your move to Canada
    • Connect with employers to find a job
    • Connect with free services after you arrive in Canada
    • Learn about housing, education, health, economic trends, job requirements, occupational demands, foreign credential assessment and licensing processes, workplace culture, and job search techniques
  • A list of pre-arrival services is available on the IRCC website.


  • Check with your educational institution(s) and former employer(s) that they are willing to send certificates, transcripts and professional references directly to institutions in Canada. Canadian credential assessors, regulators and other organizations often require documents to be sent directly for application, assessment and/or licensing purposes.
  • Gather both originals and notarized copies of all your academic records and transcripts from high school and post-secondary education. These will need to be translated (by a certifed translator) into English if they are written in another language. Some organizations, especially in the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, will also accept documents written in French. If in doubt, check with the relevant organization first. In addition, translation requirements vary depending on the purpose and/or institution; make sure to check the requirements prior translation.


  • You will need to be able to communicate well in English (or French) to be successful in the workforce. It is a good idea to start practising or take lessons before you arrive in Canada.


  • Be prepared for a number of fees and costs associated with immigrating to Canada and finding employement (credential assessments, translation of documents, registration/licensure exams, educational courses, language tests, etc.).

Click here to download a checklist that will help you prepare for your move, settlement and employment in Alberta.

Settlement Services

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Immigrant serving agencies, also known as settlement agencies (like the Bredin Centre for Career Advancement), provide help and advice to newcomers. They offer a wide range of services including:

  • Helping with interpretation and translation of documents
  • Assistance with filling out forms and applications
  • Arranging English as a second language (ESL) classes for you and your family
  • Career advice and help finding  jobs or training programs
  • Information about other community services, schools for your children, and health care for you and your family

In most cases, these services are offered free of charge. Many settlement agencies have staff who can speak languages other than English and French. If you go to a settlement agency and they do not have the service or language you need, they will help you find another agency that does. IRCC offers a list of newcomer services in each province and territory including Alberta (see: HERE).

Financial Assistance

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A low-interest loan of up to $15,000 CAD may be available to you through Servus-Bredin Microloans to help you pay for licensure exams. Additional information and eligibility criteria are provided HERE

To apply for a Servus-Bredin microloan, please contact the Bredin Centre for Career Advancement at or phone them toll-free at 1.877.273.3461.

Clients of the BredinWorks for Internationally Educated Professionals program in Edmonton may be eligible for support in paying expenses related to foreign credential recognition. These costs may include:

  • Qualification assessment
  • Licensure fees
  • Books and course materials
  • Professional association fees