How to Immigrate to Canada as a Truck Driver

Published on: September 20th, 2022
Last updated: February 2nd, 2023

Canada is experiencing a historic labour shortage across the country. Trucking is among the hardest hit and demand for truckers has never been greater. Are you considering immigrating to Canada as a trucker? Now may just be the best time to immigrate.

Truck Driving Careers In-Demand

According to Statistics Canada, the current vacancy rate in truck transportation is around 8%. In total there are about 55,600 vacancies for truck drivers across Canada. The labour supply forecast projects that almost 36,000 workers will retire between 2019 and 2023 and an additional 136,600 will leave their jobs for non-retirement reasons. In order to effectively support economic recovery in Canada, the trucking and logistics sector requires more support and programming to tackle the driver shortage.

Immigration minister Sean Fraser has confirmed that truck drivers will soon be eligible for participation in Express Entry with the implementation of the new NOC codes. The new NOC codes will take effect on November 16th, and will include a code for transport truck drivers. The new system will now change the occupation class from semi-skilled to skilled.  This is good news for people looking to immigrate to Canada as a truck driver.

 

Burning Glass Technologies, Labour Insight™, Ontario.ca

1. Non-Express Entry – Provincial Nomination Provincial (PNP)

Requirements to become a truck driver in Canada can vary depending on the province. However, they will typically include requirements such as completion of secondary school, demonstration of required driving skills, and appropriate licencing. Because the program is province-specific your chances of being nominated under the PNP depend on the province’s needs. Interested candidates should monitor related job posts in provinces they are interested in and stay up-to-date with provinces’ needs to ensure they move to a province with the most job opportunity for them.

Some provinces have their own programs specifically to encourage truckers to come to their province. One such program example is The Saskatchewan Long-Haul Truck Driver Project. The goal of the Saskatchewan Long-Haul Truck Driver Project is to target candidates who have a valid offer of employment from a Saskatchewan trucking company and who have already been working for the same Saskatchewan employer for 6 months prior to application on a valid work permit. Receiving this PNP would then grant applicants Canadian permanent residency.

2. Temporary Foreign Worker Program 

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) enables Canadian employers to hire foreign nationals, to fill provincial and territorial labour needs. A TFWP gives the holder temporary status and the opportunity to gain Canadian Permanent Residency in the future. In some cases, a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) could be required. An LMIA is a document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) assessing the impact of hiring a foreign national in Canada. In addition, with skilled occupations, spouses are eligible for work permits making the transition to a new life in Canada easier. 

3. Express Entry 

 Express Entry is an online system used by the Canadian government to organize and process applications for skilled workers who wish to immigrate to Canada and acquire Canadian permanent residence status. The system manages three main federal economic programs:

  • Federal Skilled Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

After applying eligible candidates will then enter the Express Entry pool where they will be assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Scores are based on a number of factors such as education, language ability, skills and more. Note that education will be less relevant for the NOC cut-off as it is less important in determining a person’s occupational skill set. If you are interested to know what your CRS score could be, we provide a free CRS calculator to estimate your score. After entering the pool of candidates, only the highest-ranking candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence.

There are two options to apply for PNP’s as a Truck Driver under Express Entry.

Option 1:

After doing your research on job vacancies and province needs, reach out to the province or territory you want a nomination from under their Express Entry stream. If you have the skill set matching their specific needs, the province or territory can send you a nomination. After that, you should create an Express Entry profile to show that you have been nominated. The nomination will then occur electronically once you have an account.

Option 2:

Create an Express Entry profile specifying which province or territory you want a nomination from. When you receive a notification of interest, simply contact the province directly in order to apply to their stream. 

Why Work in Canada as a Truck Driver?

One of the biggest draws to working as a truck driver in Canada is the fantastic wages. The average salary for a Canadian long-haul trucker is about $55,000 a year. Depending on your lifestyle and where you live, this is a relatively high salary with the opportunity to earn more. A comfortable salary is a big draw for many to immigrate to Canada as a truck driver.

Another benefit to trucking is variety and autonomy. You can deliver locally, regionally, nationally, or even across the border. These options offer flexible schedules. If you drive locally, you’ll probably work five days a week for six to eight hours. On the other hand, if you choose long-haul trucking you might have a more varied schedule. Either way, this will give you a lot of time and opportunity to see the wealth of nature and landscapes that Canada has to offer.

Trucking in Canada is evolving to meet local, and national demands. Presently, there’s a lot of opportunity in Canada, and it is projected that demand for this industry will only continue to grow.

If you are interested in learning more about immigrating to Canada or would like to see if you meet eligibility requirements, take our free online assessment to learn more! 

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