How to Immigrate to Canada as a Teacher

June 1, 2023


  • Shireen Fisher

Canada is experiencing an ongoing skills shortage due to its large retiring population and low birth rate. The education sector has not escaped this crippling shortfall, which means the teachers in the education system are under tremendous pressure. Fortunately, with impressive immigration targets for newcomers, the door is wide open for skilled foreigners to teach in Canada. So if you want to be one of 365,000 new permanent residents this year, now is the perfect time to make your move. This article will break down how you can immigrate to Canada as a teacher.

Canada Needs Teachers

As mentioned above, Canada needs skilled professionals to ensure that children receive the education they have the right to. Whether a preschool educator or teaching older children, you'll find many teaching jobs in Canada.

According to Canada's Job Bank, the next ten years will see:

  • 121,000 teaching jobs in Canada for Elementary school and kindergarten teachers
  • 52,100 teaching jobs in Canada for Secondary school teachers
  • 11,000 teaching jobs in Canada for School principals and administrators of elementary and secondary education

Types of Teaching Jobs in Canada

While there are many different types of teaching jobs in Canada, the categories below are perhaps the most sought-after.

Elementary School and Kindergarten Teachers - NOC 41221

In Canada, Elementary school and kindergarten teachers educate learners in various basic subjects. These include reading, writing, mathematics, and the country's official languages - English and French.

Job title under this occupation can include:

  • English as a second language elementary school teacher
  • French as a second language elementary school teacher
  • French immersion teacher
  • Kindergarten teacher
  • Primary school teacher
  • Remedial teacher
  • Special education teacher
  • Special education teacher
  • Supply teacher
  • Teacher-librarian

Secondary School Teachers - NOC 41220

Secondary school teachers in Canada teach at high school level. They prepare lessons and teach and facilitate learning efforts. Subjects on this level of education become more academic, technical, vocational and specialized.

  • English second language (ESL) high school teacher
  • English teacher
  • French as a second language teacher
  • Adult education teacher
  • Biology teacher
  • Commerce teacher
  • History teacher
  • Librarian-teacher
  • Remedial teacher
  • Secondary school department head
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Special education teacher
  • Supply high school teacher
  • Trades instructor
  • Vocational teacher

School Principals and Administrators of Elementary and Secondary Education  -NOC 40021

School principals are responsible for planning, organizing, directing, controlling, and evaluating the teaching staff they are in charge of. They are employed at all school levels. Administrators do the same but are placed by school boards.

Job titles under this occupation can include:

  • Board of education administrator
  • Chief superintendent
  • Director of education - correctional facilities
  • Director of school for the hearing-impaired
  • District school superintendent
  • Private school headmaster/mistress
  • School principal
  • School vice-principal
  • Secondary school principal
  • Superintendent of elementary education
  • Superintendent of secondary schools
  • Superintendent of special education

How to Immigrate to Canada as a Teacher

Canada has over 100 immigration programs and visas to make your immigration dreams a reality. Here’s how you can immigrate to Canada as a teacher.

Step 1: Check Your Eligibility

Before applying to immigrate to Canada, make sure you first check whether you qualify for this move to avoid disappointment. Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has several factors that they look into to check. This includes:

  • Your nationality
  • Your age
  • Your language proficiency
  • Your family members
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Your income and access to settlement funds
  • Employment offers

Step 2: Find the Right Immigration Program

Canada has over 100 different immigration streams, programs, and categories to apply for. The ideal programs for teachers, though, are the Express Entry System's Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Provincial Nominee Program.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is designed for people with qualifications, skills, or work experience who want to live and work in Canada. If you're applying through the FSWP, you must show that you meet the minimum visa requirements, which include:

  • Having work experience in a managerial occupation
  • Professional occupation or
  • Trade or technical skilled occupation

What's great about taking this path to work as a teacher in Canada is that the FSWP offers permanent resident status to skilled workers if your application is successful.

To apply for your FSWP, you must meet the requirements, which include the following:

  • You must have at least one year of skilled work experience in the last 10 years before submitting your application for permanent residence
  • Work experience must be full-time or part-time work that is equivalent to the working hours required
  • The skilled occupation must be listed in the National Occupation Classification (NOC)
  • You must prove that you meet or exceed the language requirement of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 7) with test results from an IRCC-designated language testing organization
  • You must provide either a Canadian educational credential or a foreign credential
  • You must prove that you have enough funds to support yourself and your family while you settle in Canada
  • You must be allowed to legally enter Canada

If you meet all the minimum requirements, your application will be assessed according to selection factors in the federal skilled worker points grid. Take a closer look at this program.

Provincial Nominee Programs

If you have a specific idea of the Canadian province you want to live in, this might be the pathway for you. Canada's Provincial Nominee Program is a large immigration class that is managed by 11 Canadian provinces and territories, namely

Note: Quebec is not included in this list of Canadian Provincial Nominee Programs. Instead, it has its own unique immigration selection system, as well as a points system, that is different from other provinces.

Before applying for a PNP, you must check that you meet the requirements. Each PNP has its criteria, so to apply for any provincial nomination, you will need to meet the requirements of the PNP you are applying through for your Canada work permit.

Step 3: Apply Online

Once you know which immigration program you will use, create an immigration profile like an Expression of Interest profile for PNP and apply online. When you apply online, you'll be able to:

  • Handle the process digitally
  • Submit documents you need when you need to
  • Resubmit any incomplete documents if required needed

Provinces where Teachers Are In-demand in Canada

Vacancies for teachers in Canada remain spread across provinces and territories. Regardless of the path you are taking to immigrate to Canada, if you want to teach in Canada, it is useful to know where teachers are most needed in Canada. Below are the top five Canadian provinces where teachers are most in demand.


Ontario is a province in east-central Canada that borders the U.S. and the Great Lakes. Not only does the region have beautiful natural surroundings, but it is also known for its strong economy. This alone makes Ontario an excellent choice to consider working when you plan to work as a teacher in Canada. The average salary for teachers here ranges between 25 CAD and 54 CAD per hour


Alberta also offers natural beauty, such as vast forests and more than 600 lakes. It's the perfect place to work and catch a break in nature whenever possible. The average salary for teachers here ranges between 23 CAD and 53 CAD. per hour.

British Columbia

British Columbia is known for its refreshing coastline amongst its many other outdoor beauties. BC also offers healthy salaries to teachers in the province. The average salary for teachers here ranges between 25 CAD and 50 CAD per hour.


Saskatchewan is a glorious green province with great opportunities. If you are a teacher, you could earn between 25.64 CAD and 52.01 CAD per hour, depending on experience.


Manitoba is a peaceful place to settle, offering calming scenery such as lakes and mountains. However, that's not all. The province also provides excellent opportunities and an income to match. The average salary for teachers here ranges between 24 CAD and 52.88 CAD per hour.

Note: The salary per hour is an estimation from Job Bank. You may find that it differs from school to school.

Teach in Canada on a Work Permit

Finding a job in Canada before you immigrate is always a good idea. Not only is it generally a requirement to apply for a Canadian work permit, but it will also provide a sense of security, knowing that you have a source of income and can provide for yourself and your family. You will find two types of Canadian work permits - Employer-specific and Open Work Permits.

The Employer-specific Work Permit

An Employer-specific work will allow you to work in Canada, but this will have to be done according to the conditions set in your work permit, such as:

  • Who you can work for
  • Your period of employment
  • Where in Canada you work

Before you apply, you need to get the following from your employer:

  • A copy of your contract of employment
  • A copy of a labor market impact assessment (LMIA) OR
  • A job offer number (for LMIA-exempt workers). To get this number, your employer must use the employer Portal.

The Open Work Permit

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada. There are, however, some exceptions. You cannot work for an employer who:

  • Has been deemed ineligible
  • Has not complied with the IRCC conditions
  • Offers adult services

Find a Teaching Job Before You Immigrate

You can kickstart your job search in many ways before you press that immigration button. You will find many websites where you can search for exactly what you're looking for and where. These include:

Learn more about finding a job in Canada.


What are the Education requirements For Teaching in Canada?

According to Job Bank, teachers in Canada need:

  • A bachelor's degree in education, or
  • A bachelor's degree in child development
  • Additional training to specialize in special education or teaching a second language
  • A provincial teaching certificate
  • Membership in a provincial or territorial teachers' association or federation

I Have Qualification From a University Outside of Canada. How Can I Validate My Qualifications Before I Can Teach in Canada?

You will need an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) if you completed your studies outside Canada to verify that your qualification is valid and equivalent to Canadian standards.