- 1 How to Immigrate to Canada as a Lawyer
- 2 How to Immigrate to Canada as a Lawyer?
- 3 Immigration Programs for Lawyers
- 4 Immigration from Other English-Speaking Countries
- 5 Work as a Lawyer in Canada
- 6 How to Find a Job in Canada
- 7 Where to Find Help with Immigration?
How to Immigrate to Canada as a Lawyer
As a lawyer, you’re likely aware of the increasing demand for legal professionals in Canada. With a booming economy and an ageing population, Canada is facing a shortage of skilled workers, and lawyers are among the most sought-after professionals. If you’re a foreign national who’s studied law and looking to practice in Canada, you’ll be pleased to know that Canada offers a straightforward immigration process for lawyers.
In this article, we’ll explain how to immigrate to Canada as a lawyer and the opportunities that await you in the Great White North.
How to Immigrate to Canada as a Lawyer?
Since Canada wants to welcome foreign-trained lawyers, immigration for these professionals is relatively easy. Let’s have a closer look at how it works.
Immigration Programs for Lawyers
There are several immigration pathways to Canada open to lawyers:
1. Express Entry
Canada’s Express Entry program is a popular immigration program for foreign nationals looking to move to Canada. While this system was initially created to fast-track applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program, it has also become a great option for the Canadian Experience Class. However, it’s worth noting that the Express Entry system is also available for lawyers and other skilled workers, including nurses.
Interested applicants who meet the qualifications need to create a profile online and select their program of choice. The profiles are ranked and scored based on:
- Education (In and outside Canada)
- Work Experience (In and outside Canada)
- Arranged employment
- Language proficiency (English and French)
- Provincial Nomination achieved
- Siblings living in Canada as permanent residents/citizens
- Spouse’s profile (if married)
With work experience, nurses are likely to rank high in the Express Entry system. This is because there is a growing demand for healthcare professionals in Canada, and nursing is among the in-demand occupations in the country. Additionally, nurses who have studied in Canada or have a significant amount of work experience in the country may receive additional points in the ranking system, which can further boost their chances of being selected for permanent residency.
2. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is an excellent immigration option for foreign nurses looking to settle in a specific province in Canada. This program is designed to allow Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals who have the skills and experience needed to fill labor market gaps in their regions.
Each province in Canada has its own PNP requirements and streams, so foreign nurses interested in the program need to first determine where they want to live and work in Canada. Once they have decided on a province, they can review the different streams available to see which is best suited to their needs. For example, British Columbia has Skills Immigration and Express Entry B.C. streams, while Ontario has Human Capital and Employer Job Offer streams.
The PNP pathway can be a quick and efficient way for foreign nurses to immigrate to Canada, provided they score well when applying. If they receive a provincial nomination, they will eventually receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from IRCC for permanent residency in Canada.
One of the benefits of the PNP program is that it allows foreign nurses to apply for permanent residency while having a job offer in Canada. This can be an advantage as it shows that there is a need for their skills and experience in the province they wish to settle in. Additionally, some PNPs may prioritize certain occupations, such as healthcare, and offer specific streams for these professionals.
3. Atlantic Immigration Pilot
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) is an immigration program designed to address labour shortages in the Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. This program is very similar in theory to the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) but is specifically targeted towards addressing the unique labour market needs of the Atlantic region.
Foreign nurses who are interested in the AIP program can apply through one of three designated employer streams: Atlantic High-Skilled Program, Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program, and Atlantic International Graduate Program.
To be eligible for the AIP program, nurses must first receive a job offer from a designated employer in one of the participating Atlantic provinces. The employer must then apply to be designated under the program and submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Once the employer is designated and the LMIA is approved, the nurse can apply for a work permit and temporary residency in Canada.
After working in Canada for at least one year, the nurse may be eligible to apply for permanent residency under the AIP program. One of the benefits of this program is that it offers a pathway to permanent residency for foreign nurses who may not meet the requirements for other immigration programs.
The AIP program also offers additional support for foreign nurses and their families, such as settlement services and support for language learning. This can help make the transition to life in Canada smoother and more successful.
4. Canadian Experience Class
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration program designed for foreign workers who are already living and working in Canada and have gained valuable Canadian work experience. The program is ideal for foreign nurses who have already been working in Canada on a temporary work permit and are looking to transition to permanent residency.
To be eligible for the CEC program, nurses must have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada within the last three years. The work experience must be in a skilled occupation listed under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A, or B.
One of the advantages of the CEC program is that it prioritizes individuals already living in Canada. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been focusing on issuing invitations to individuals who are already in Canada. Therefore, foreign nurses who are already working in Canada may have a higher chance of being selected for permanent residency under the CEC program.
To apply for the CEC program, nurses must first create an online profile through the Express Entry system and meet the eligibility criteria. They will then be assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on factors such as age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability. The highest-scoring candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency.
Immigration from Other English-Speaking Countries
Immigrating to Canada as a lawyer from other English-speaking countries can be an attractive option for those seeking new opportunities in a different country. Canada offers a welcoming environment to skilled immigrants and has several immigration programs that cater to foreign lawyers.
Language can be a significant barrier when settling into a new country, and this is where Canada stands out. Being a bilingual country, Canada has a diverse and inclusive culture that values and promotes multilingualism. However, for foreign lawyers coming from English-speaking countries like the United States, United Kingdom, or Australia, language will not be a significant issue.
The process to practice law in Canada is slightly simpler for lawyers coming from these countries, as the educational systems are similar. However, foreign-trained lawyers must complete an application with the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA), which will establish their baseline qualifications and determine whether they can write equivalency exams or need to start from scratch.
There are five specific NCA exams that all foreign lawyers who wish to practice in Canada must write and pass:
- Principles of Canadian Administrative Law
- Canadian Constitutional Law
- Canadian Criminal Law and Procedure
- Foundations of Canadian Law
- Canadian Professional Responsibility
Once foreign lawyers receive their Certificate of Qualification from the NCA, they have to complete at least one year of articling and pass the Canadian Bar Exam. The process may take a few years, but it is not complicated, and it will help foreign lawyers become established as Canadian lawyers.
It’s worth noting that some global law firms with offices in Canada may waive some of the requirements for foreign-trained lawyers. However, studying and passing the appropriate Canadian exams are essential to succeeding as a lawyer in Canada, as laws differ from country to country.
Work as a Lawyer in Canada
So we look at how immigration to Canada works for lawyers. But why would a lawyer choose Canada? Let’s see.
Why Would Lawyers Enjoy Life in Canada?
Canada is a popular immigration destination for many reasons, including its welcoming immigration policies and plans to welcome over 1.2 million newcomers in the next three years. For lawyers, Canada offers a prestigious career with high earning potential, as some lawyers can easily make over $300,000 annually, while the average salary is around $135,000.
To practice law in Canada, foreign-educated lawyers must have their academic credentials recognized, pass language proficiency tests with a minimum IELTS score of 7 in English or French, and then pass the Canadian bar exam. The requirements for practicing law in Canada do vary by province, but with determination and effort, foreign-educated lawyers can successfully establish their legal careers in Canada.
How to Find a Job in Canada
Canada is a great destination for lawyers looking to advance their careers. If you are a foreign lawyer seeking employment in Canada, it’s important to know where to look for job opportunities. Here are some tips to help you find legal jobs in Canada:
- Network: Networking is an important part of job hunting in Canada. Joining professional organizations and attending industry events can help you make connections with other lawyers and potential employers. LinkedIn is also a great platform to connect with professionals in the legal industry.
- Check job boards: There are several job boards specifically for legal positions in Canada, such as the CBA Legal Career Centre. Recruitment firms like ZSA can also help you find legal positions suited to your qualifications and skills.
- Keep your paperwork in order: It’s essential to have all your paperwork in order when applying for jobs in Canada. Make sure your CV and resume are up-to-date and formatted in the Canadian way. If you need help, consider getting professional assistance to ensure your application is competitive.
- Get your foreign education credentials recognized: The first step to practicing law in Canada is to have your foreign education credentials recognized. Your academic transcripts will be required, and your language proficiency will also be tested. A minimum IELTS score of 7 is required in English or French.
- Impress during your articling: During your articling, work hard and make a good impression. Your law firm may have opportunities or contacts for you to pursue after articling.
- Seek guidance: If you have specific questions about your situation, consider contacting an immigration agency or a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) to guide you through the process.
Where to Find Help with Immigration?
If you’re considering immigrating to Canada as a lawyer, navigating the immigration process can be complex and daunting. It’s important to seek the right guidance and assistance to ensure that you have the best chance of success.
One option is to work with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). These professionals are authorized by the Canadian government to provide immigration advice and representation. They can help you navigate the immigration process and ensure that your application is complete and accurate.
To find an RCIC, you can visit the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) website, which provides a directory of regulated consultants. It’s important to note that only RCICs are authorized to provide immigration advice and representation for a fee.
Another option is to work with an immigration agency, which can provide a range of services to help you with the immigration process. Some immigration agencies specialize in helping professionals, including lawyers, immigrate to Canada. They can provide assistance with everything from finding a job to preparing your immigration application.
It’s important to do your research when choosing an immigration consultant or agency. Look for professionals with a proven track record of success and check their credentials and reviews. You can also seek recommendations from other lawyers who have successfully immigrated to Canada.
Other Related Articles:
- How to Immigrate to Canada as a Web Developer
- How to Immigrate to Canada as a Teacher
- How to Immigrate to Canada as a Nurse
- How to Immigrate to Canada as a Pharmacist
- How to Immigrate to Canada as a Construction Worker
- How to Immigrate to Canada as a Chef
- How to Immigrate to Canada as an Accountant
- How to Immigrate to Canada as an Investor
- How to Immigrate To Canada As A Geological Engineer