How to Relocate to Canada as a Teacher

Canada is renowned for its world-class education system, and consequently, it presents an attractive destination for educators from around the globe.

However, Canada is experiencing a shortage of qualified teachers, particularly in certain provinces and territories.

This shortage is driven by factors such as retirements, population growth, and changing demographics.

Relocating to Canada as a teacher is an exciting and transformative opportunity that opens doors to new horizons both professionally and personally.

This article will provide you with essential insights and a step-by-step roadmap for embarking on this route.

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Express Entry Program.

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Express Entry program is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after immigration pathways for skilled professionals looking to make Canada their new home.

This program, which operates under the broader Express Entry system, offers a streamlined and efficient route to obtaining permanent residency in Canada.

What sets the FSW program apart is its focus on selecting candidates based on their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, rather than their specific occupation.

Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score

Your CRS score is a crucial determinant in your journey through the FSW Express Entry program. This score takes into account various factors, including:

  • Age: The younger you are, the more points you’ll receive.
  • Education: Having a higher level of education translates to a higher CRS score.
  • Work Experience: Accumulating years of relevant work experience in your field contributes significantly to your CRS score.
  • Language Proficiency: Proficiency in English and/or French is vital. Scoring well in language tests like IELTS or TEF can boost your CRS points.
  • Other Factors: Additional factors such as having a valid Canadian job offer, a provincial nomination, or prior Canadian education or work experience can earn you extra points.

Eligibility for FSW Program

To qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you need to meet certain criteria:

  • Skilled Worker Experience: You must have at least one continuous year of full-time experience as a skilled worker. This experience should be relevant to your field.
  • Language Proficiency: You need to score a minimum of seven levels on an English or French language proficiency test, such as IELTS or TEF.
  • Education: Your educational qualifications must be equivalent to or higher than a Canadian high school diploma.
  • Location: You should plan to live and work outside of Quebec, as this province has its own immigration program.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

Canada, known for its diverse landscapes and welcoming communities, offers multiple avenues for skilled professionals to obtain permanent residency.

One of the most prominent routes is through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), which provide a unique opportunity for immigrants to gain a pathway to permanent residence by receiving a nomination from a specific Canadian province or territory.

Many Canadian provinces and territories have developed their own PNP programs to address their specific labor market needs and demographic goals.

These programs allow provinces to nominate applicants who align with their economic and social priorities.

Depending on the province you wish to move to, you may have the option to apply for PNP directly or through the federal Express Entry program.

Teachers, like professionals in other fields, can benefit significantly from PNPs that align with their National Occupation Classification (NOC) code. Some provinces actively seek teachers with specific expertise or qualifications.

Therefore, your chances of qualifying for Permanent Residency (PR) may be higher if the province you are interested in is actively looking for teachers at your level of experience and expertise.

Provinces Offering PNPs

PNPs are available in several provinces and territories across Canada, including:

  • British Columbia
  • Alberta
  • Saskatchewan
  • Manitoba
  • Ontario
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Yukon
  • Northwest Territories

Eligibility Criteria for PNPs

While each PNP program has its unique requirements, there are common eligibility criteria that often include:

  • Job Offer: Obtaining a job offer from a designated employer in the province is a common requirement. This demonstrates your commitment to working and contributing to the local community.
  • Residence in the Province: Some PNPs require you to be living in the province on a temporary student or work permit. This provides provinces with an opportunity to assess their adaptability and integration into the local community.

Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

Canada’s Atlantic provinces, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, have long been recognized for their stunning landscapes and vibrant communities.

For skilled foreign workers and international students who wish to make these provinces their permanent home, the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) provides an attractive pathway to Canadian permanent residency.

The Atlantic Immigration Program is a federal initiative designed to encourage skilled foreign workers and international students who have studied in Canada to settle permanently in one of the Atlantic provinces.

While the AIP doesn’t inherently prioritize teachers over other professionals, it offers a valuable opportunity for educators seeking a new chapter in their careers and lives.

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for the Atlantic Immigration Program, aspiring teachers and professionals should meet certain criteria:

Work Experience: You must have at least 1,560 hours of paid employment in the last five years, which is roughly equivalent to working around 30 hours per week for one year.

  • Language Proficiency: Meeting language requirements in English or French is essential. Adequate language skills demonstrate your ability to integrate into the community and contribute effectively.
  • Job Offer: A significant requirement of the AIP is obtaining a job offer from an employer based in one of the Atlantic provinces. This job offer signifies your commitment to contributing your skills and expertise to the local workforce.
  • Provincial Licensing: You can only qualify for a teaching job in the Atlantic provinces after obtaining a provincial teaching certificate.

This credential is essential for educators and reflects your competence to teach in Canadian classrooms.

Teaching Requirements In Canada

Teaching in Canada is a fulfilling and noble profession, but it comes with specific requirements and certification processes that aspiring educators must navigate.

Whether you’re a Canadian resident or an international teacher looking to teach in the country, understanding these requirements is vital to kickstart your career in Canadian education.

Certification Process

Before embarking on your teaching journey in Canada, you must become certified as a teacher in your respective province or territory. It’s crucial to note that this certification process can be time-consuming, so initiating it well in advance is strongly recommended.

Educational Background

While the specific requirements may vary from province to province, a common prerequisite for most teaching positions in Canada is a bachelor’s degree in education.

This degree typically includes specialized coursework and practical teaching experience to prepare you for the classroom.

International Credentials and Experience

If you hold teaching experience or certifications from a different country, it’s essential to recognize that these credentials may not directly translate to the Canadian context.

To bridge this gap, consider enrolling in education-bridging programs offered by Canadian colleges.

These programs are designed to help international educators adapt their skills and knowledge to meet Canadian standards, making them better equipped to teach effectively in Canadian classrooms.

Exceptions to Certification Requirements

It’s worth noting that not all teaching positions in Canada require a teaching certificate. Here are some exceptions:

  • Early Childhood Educators: Teaching in early childhood education settings, such as daycare centers and preschools, often does not necessitate a teaching certificate.

However, specialized training in early childhood education is typically required.

  • Adult Education Instructors: Instructors who teach adult education, such as ESL (English as a Second Language) or adult literacy programs, may not always need a teaching certificate.

Relevant qualifications in the subject matter and adult education methods are usually sufficient.

  • Montessori Teachers: Montessori schools often hire teachers without traditional teaching certificates, as they require specialized Montessori training and certification.
  • Language Instructors: Teaching international languages or French and English as second languages may not always require a teaching certificate. Fluency in the language and expertise in language instruction is essential.
  • Music Teachers and Tutors: Music teachers and tutors, as well as tutors in other subjects, may not necessarily need a teaching certificate. However, subject expertise and instructional skills are crucial.


Every step you take, from obtaining your teaching certification to exploring job opportunities and navigating the immigration process, brings you closer to realizing your dream of teaching in Canada.

While challenges may arise along the way, your passion for education and determination to make a difference will be your guiding light.

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