Canada is looking for nearly 1500 financial staff to fill gaps in their labour force. Accountants, financial managers, accounting technicians, bookkeepers and financial auditors are all in short supply in Canada and are therefore listed as a scarce skill. Foreigners with enough evidence of their training and experience in a scarce skill can apply for a Canadian visa without a job offer.
Using the country’s Express Entry immigration system the government is able to target occupations that businesses are struggling to fill using local talent and is opening it up to foreigners.
Canada’s Department of Economic Development provides a list of positions which are available in Canada and can be filled by foreigners. The Job Bank matches employers with employees based on their respective needs and qualifications. Job Bank currently lists as many as 1475 openings in the Canadian job market for accountants. This list is updated daily and includes the job descriptions, salary and location.
More experienced finance professionals can expect a salary of around CAD $70,000 a year. That, if converted, would be similar to an annual salary of about R800,000 in South Africa.
Accountancy roles vary, but generally the job will require a bachelor’s degree at the entry level. The degree can be in accountancy, economics, or in a broader subject such as business administration. Candidates are also advised to consider a master’s degree if they are to pursue managerial roles. Your education credentials will have to be assessed and verified in Canada. Your immigration consultant will be able to put you in touch with an accredited assessor. The Canadian benchmark for assessments is the CPA, or Chartered Professional Accountant. For skilled worker immigrants, some will find the pathway to CPA status easier than others, with specific programs available to gain the Canada-recognized qualification.
Experience is important at every stage of the journey, from internships to placements and formal employment so make sure you list all relevant experience when applying for a position.
You will be expected to comply with at least Canada’s basic entry requirements before being invited to apply for a visa or residency. Typically you will have to provide proof of the following:
- You are in good health
- You meet the minimum language requirements for your visa / residency application
- You have a clear criminal record
- You have enough funds for you and your family to live on while you wait for your first paycheck
- Be awarded more than 450 points for a combination of your skills, education, age, experience
You can score extra points through one of the following:
• Scoring 7 or higher on the Canadian Language Benchmark Level (CLB) Max 25 points
• Scoring 9 or more on all four first official language abilities of the CLB Max 50 points (certain conditions apply)
• Canadian work experience and a post-secondary degree 13 points
• Canadian work experience and a post-secondary credential of 1 year or more Max 25 points
• One to two years’ foreign work experience and CBL score 7 and up Max 25 points
• Three or more years’ foreign work experience and CBL 7 and up Max 50 points
• Foreign work experience and 1 year of Canadian work experience Max 25 points
• Foreign work experience and 2 years or more of Canadian work experience Max 50 points
• Certificate of qualification & CLB 5 or more on all first official language abilities Max 25 points
• Brother or sister living in Canada (citizen or permanent resident) 15
• Post-secondary education in Canada - credential of one or two years 15
• Post-secondary education in Canada - credential three years or longer 30
• Arranged employment 50
• Provincial or territorial nomination 600