Finding out if the employee occupation requires a license

When your employee is moving abroad, it is important to have all the information about the paperwork that is related to the profession and licenses. Frequently, for the assignment or relocation to be successful, the employee’s spouse will want to work in the new country.  So,  any information related to hasten them to the point of successful job application is always a key for the adaptation process.

It is important to note that some regulated occupations require special certificates to work in Canada. Foreign credentials must be recognized before the employee can work and there is a cost for this service, but fortunately most occupations in Canada are non-regulated. This means that it doesn’t typically require any special license or certification.

If special certification is required, each province and territory can give licenses to those meeting their occupational standards. The guidelines and requirements can be different right down to a given city.

Is the employee’s spouse’s profession regulated in Canada?

The list of regulated industries is long, but to give you an idea of some of the occupations that require special certification are:

  • accountant
  • architect
  • carpenter
  • doctor or any medical practitioner that is in a regulated industry (i.e. optometrist)
  • electrician

When you are applying for a certification, the following documents are required: Degrees, diplomas, or certificates from: universities, colleges, secondary schools, trade schools, transcripts of grades, program descriptions, syllabi related to your studies, letters from professional and other regulatory bodies, professional certificates, letters of reference (former employer), performance reviews, and work descriptions for jobs you’ve done.

They may need to send official documents directly from schools or other organizations (employees, regulatory bodies, etc.) to Canadian institutions.

It is fundamental to translate their documents

It might be required to have the documents translated into English, French or both. Contact the regulatory body authority to find whether you are required to use a certified and paid translation service (very often this is the case) or whether you’ll need a lawyer to notarize copies.

After the assessment

Once the employee’s spouse has completed the assessment, they will know whether they: need to upgrade their skills or education to work in their occupation, should consider looking for a different job in their field, or should look for a job in a different field.

Upgrade your skills

It will be easier to find work if the spouse levels up their skills. In order to do this, they can go  to school, complete a training program, or get a training in a new field.

Looking for training opportunities in Canada can certainly help them to qualify to work in the job they want. You can look up their occupation or job in the Job Bank (hyperlinked to:

The Education and Job Requirements section lists the institutions you can attend to get the required training.

Success story:

Since Canada is always looking for reliable and talented employees, there are always ways to get the employee’s skills recognized and to upgrade them. As a case study we can mention Victor Xiao who immigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2005 from China, where he worked as a manufacturing engineer. After applying for dozens of jobs in Canada without any responses, he registered with E-MAP – the Engineering Matching and Placement Program – an on-line technical job matching program managed by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).

The E-MAP Program facilitates the employment of internationally trained engineers in BC’s growing manufacturing sector by helping them to put their knowledge and skills to work sooner.

E-MAP led directly to Victor finding a job placement with EaglePicher Technologies, LLC in March 2008. In the spring of 2010, he moved to Westport Innovations, and was promoted after working there for less than a year. He now works with the company as a program manager.

You can read more success stories by accessing here.

As a summary, these are the documents that will help them in their search for a job in Canada including those that prove:

  • Work experience
  • Educational record
  • Professional training

Requesting Documentation and Validation Support

Happy spouses are a key to successful assignments and relocations.  Supporting them through this process (and yes, it really is a process as you can see) is important. Talk to your Relocation Company, in order to smooth the Documentation Process and to get an International Credential assessment.

Relocation expert

Michael Deane

Michael Deane

Helping companies relocate employees & recruits seamlessly, whether it is domestically, cross-border or globally.

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