Three tools to start looking for jobs after receiving an ITA from IRCC


There are many ways that recipients of an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence can start looking for jobs in Canada.

Foreign nationals often seek to immigrate to Canada through the popular Express Entry application management system operated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Note: Express Entry is the application management system for three of Canada’s top economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

Learn more about Express Entry here.

Get a Free Express Entry Assessment

In short, successful Express Entry candidates are invited to submit an Application for Permanent Residence (eAPR) after they receive an ITA from an Express Entry draw.

Applicants are given 60 days to submit their eAPRs to IRCC, after which there is a service standard that determines how long IRCC is expected to take to process eAPRs. At the time of writing, IRCC expects to process 80% of eAPRs within its service standard of six months.

During this six-month waiting period, applicants who have submitted their eAPR and have a good degree of confidence that their application will be approved can start looking for a job in Canada using the following three strategies:

Online Networking

Establishing a network is important because having a strong network is crucial for effective job performance and accessing employment opportunities that may not be publicly advertised.

Networking is the practice of “sharing … information and ideas [with] individuals who share a common profession or special interest, typically in a casual social setting.”

This practice can be used to help a prospective immigrant to Canada broaden their connections (or network) in Canada, even before they arrive. This is because networking can be done through many online mediums, including social media sites like X (formerly Twitter) and professional web platforms such as LinkedIn (more on LinkedIn later).

Networking is a way to discover potential job prospects within the industry you hope to work in when you arrive in Canada, while also being a valuable tool for staying updated on news and trends in a particular industry or in general.

Although building a network might seem overwhelming, especially for a new immigrant to Canada, online resources such as this dedicated webpage can be a great tool for understanding the importance of networking, understanding how to build and maintain professional relationships and finding resources for effective networking.

Government of Canada Job Bank

The Government of Canada Job Bank is a national employment service run by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) as both a website and mobile application. Operated “on behalf of the Canada Employment Insurance Commission, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments”, ESDC says that this job bank “helps Canadians find work and plan their careers, [while making] it easier for employers to recruit and hire across the country.”

Providing access to over 150,000 job postings, which can be filtered by the name of the position, the location, the job type (remote, part-time) and more, the Canada Job Bank provides prospective immigrants* with job search and career planning resources they can avail even before they come to Canada.

*The Job Bank is not for temporary foreign workers. ESDC and the Government of Canada have a separate tool designed to help temporary workers in Canada find employment.

Note: The Job Bank also allows users to filter and sort available postings by “best match” and “date posted”, which is ideal for immigrants looking for recently available positions.

LinkedIn

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, one of Canada’s top employment-related web platforms*, can be leveraged in many ways to help ITA recipients find employment in Canada.

*In a 2023 study conducted by Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), LinkedIn was the second most popular tool among newcomers looking for “information about work prospects before coming to Canada.”

Through its job search tools, including a platform that allows users to navigate through thousands of job postings through similar filters as the Canada Job Bank, and its proficient networking capabilities, LinkedIn can be a valuable resource for ITA recipients who are job searching before they arrive in Canada.

The same TMU study indicated that within the information search stage of the pre-arrival process, “LinkedIn was found to be the go-to information source for three of these information types – job search advice, job interview advice and salary information.” LinkedIn also appeared among the top three information sources for newcomers looking for information related to “further education or skill training.”

Proof of social media’s effectiveness, including LinkedIn, as a job search tool can be found in the positive post-arrival labour outcomes outlined by the TMU study. Specifically, this study indicated that:

  • Roughly 75% of survey respondents who said they used social media before arriving in Canada said the work they obtained “was either ‘very’ or ‘quite’ related to their skills”
  • Almost four in every five “immigrants who secured high-paying jobs” were pre-arrival social media users*.

*Meanwhile, the study indicated that, on the other hand, nearly 75% of immigrants “who gained precarious, low-paying employment” did not take advantage of social media before coming to Canada.

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