Finding a Job in Canada—Understanding Wages and Other Requirements for a Valid Job Offer

Finding a Job in Canada—Understanding Wages and Other Requirements for a Valid Job Offer

Finding a job in Canada is the first step a foreign worker can take towards a happy and prosperous life in Canada. But just any job offer will not help you work and settle in Canada. Finding a Valid Job Offer in Canada can be challenging. Read ahead to learn more nitty-gritty details.

The job position must fit into one of the categories defined by the NOC Matrix, which you can read about in this post. Further, the job offer must fulfill some additional requirements.

Duration and Seasonality

Your job offer must be for a full-time position i.e. for at least 30 hours per week. Further, the offer must be for a non-seasonal position to be valid for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Canada Experience Class (CEC) program.

Seasonal job offers are valid under the low-wage stream but the permit is issued with a validity of maximum 180 days.

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If you want to plan a future in Canada—through Express Entry or TFWP—then you must look for a full-time—30 hours per week or more—and permanent non-seasonal job in the country. What is a permanent job has not been defined but the FSWP and other programs require an employment contract for at least one year.

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Wage-Related Requirements

Exemptions to the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process are very restrictive, which means your Canadian job offer will be valid only if it is supported by an approved LMIA.   

There are very specific rules about wages that must be paid for job positions requiring a positive LMIA. Your employment contract must offer an hourly wage rate or annual wages that meets these requirements.

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The wages must be higher than:

  1. The minimum prevailing wage for the occupation and for the job location where you will be working.
  2. Wages within the wage range being paid by employer to existing employees in the same location and occupation.

Prevailing wage is defined as:

  • For unionized positions, the wage rate in the collective bargaining agreement
  • For non-union positions, the median wage for your occupation and location as detailed Canada’s official Job Bank website.
  • If the Job Bank does not contain the median wage, then the provincial/territorial wage rate. If there is no provincial/territorial wage rate, then the national wage rate.

Simply put, you cannot be paid less than the prevailing wage rate applicable to your occupation and to the location where you will be working in Canada.

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Further, if your employer is paying a higher wage rate to existing employees in similar occupation and location, then LMIA approval is possible only if you too are offered this higher wage rate.

You cannot get a work permit without a job offer. A job offer is not mandatory for applying for permanent residence, but it becomes compulsory if you don’t have enough funds to support yourself and your family in Canada.

So, for all practical purposes, a valid job offer in Canada is the most important part of your Canadian dream. Make sure you start celebrating your Canadian job offer only after making sure it meets the requirements related to NOC, duration, seasonality, and wages.  

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