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Diploma certificateChecklist 6: Professional documents you can’t forget

Some of the most important documents you need to bring to Canada are related to your professional background. Finding a job is most likely your primary goal after coming to Canada, and you will be faced with many challenges.

After immigrants land in Canada, they are often surprised by how many barriers they face in getting hired, even though they are approved to come to Canada based on their education and professional experience. Immigrants who can’t seem to find a job in their field are often given the excuse that they have “no Canadian experience.” And many immigrants then turn to survival jobs like taxi driving or flipping burgers just to support their families.

You might think that this won’t happen to you; but the only way to ensure you won’t have the door to good opportunities closed in your face is by entering Canada ready to deal with these realities of the Canadian labour market. Part of that is bringing the right professional documents with you from your country of origin. Many immigrants forget to bring these along, making their professional integration into Canada much harder than it needs to be.

1. Copies of all post-secondary diplomas, degrees, licences and even academic transcripts

(You may need to show proof of your educational credentials and even get them evaluated by a professional evaluation service, academic institution or professional association. Such evaluations can help you more easily find work or upgrade your training and may be necessary to work in regulated occupations or attend post-secondary schools in Canada. Many professional associations, universities, colleges and assessment agencies require your academic documents to come directly from the institution you attended in order to evaluate them and will not accept original or copied academic documents that you may come with. Find out how the professional association, academic institution or credential assessment agency requires documents to be received before coming to Canada as this will save you time and money.)

2. Reference letters with contact details from former employers

(You will need these when applying for work in Canada.)

3. Samples of your professional work or achievements

(These may be helpful when applying for work in Canada.)

4. Bring your resumé or curriculum vitae, too, but note that you will have to likely use it only as a foundation and create a completely new resumé that fits Canadian standards.