Once you become a permanent resident or if you have a work permit, you are legally able to work for pay in Canada. In fact, because one of your obligations to the sponsorship agreement is to become self-supporting, you are encouraged to get a job and begin earning some money.
If your sponsorship papers are still being processed and you do not have a work permit, then you are not able to get a job in Canada until your papers are approved.
Things to consider when you are ready to work:
Necessary Papers and Identification
In order to begin work in Canada, you will need a Social Insurance Number (SIN). To get this, you can either print out an application from here or go to your local Service Canada Centre to pick one up. You will need to show proof of your identity (who you are) and proof that you are legally allowed to be in Canada Further information can be found on the Service Canada website.
There are many ways you can look for a job. All local newspapers have a “Classified” section that includes work opportunities. There are also many websites on the Internet that provide information and job postings across the country. Often, you will see “Help Wanted” or “Now Hiring” signs posted in the windows of places that are looking for employees. You can also find help through immigrant-serving agencies in your area.
Applying for Work
How much, how often, and how you get paid depends on your employer and the job itself. In Canada, the government sets a minimum wage. This is the lowest amount of money per hour that an employer can pay you by law. Minimum wage is different in every province. For example, as of January 2013, the minimum wage in Alberta was $9.75 (Canadian) per hour while in Ontario it was $10.25 (Canadian) per hour. Many jobs, however, pay above the minimum wage. This depends on how specialized the work is and how much education is required to carry it out. It is generally up to employers to decide how much each employee will be paid.
How often you get paid also depends on your employer and the job. You can be paid daily, weekly, monthly, or every couple of weeks.
Often employers will pay you by cheque but being paid by direct deposit is also common.
Legally, your employer is required to deduct (take off) money from your pay for things like Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), Employment Insurance (EI), and taxes. This money gets sent to the Government of Canada as your contribution to country-wide taxes. Depending on how much money you make, you may be able to get some of that money back once you file your income tax return.
Remember that it is not legal in Canada to accept cash payment so that you will not have to pay taxes or make other contributions. An employer that is paying you “cash under the table” is involving you in illegal activity and, if discovered, this could affect your legal status in Canada.
There is no legal requirement for employers to give employee benefits to employees. That means that there is a wide range of benefits that you can expect. Some employers offer no benefits and some offer benefits but require you pay premiums. For example: some employers may pay for part or all of your medicare. Some employers may pay a portion of your premiums for dental care or life insurance. It is important to ask your employer if benefits are a part of your job offer.