pre-immigration tips

Here, you will find helpful tips that should be considered before you arrive in Canada. First, it is important to identify if your occupation is regulated or non-regulated.

Regulated occupations are controlled by provincial and territorial (and sometimes federal) laws and governed by a professional organization or a regulatory body. If you intend to practice in a regulated trade or profession, you need to be aware that your education and work experience will be evaluated by the provincial regulatory association.

Find out how to register to work in your profession in Alberta visit Regulated Occupations page

To learn more about Certification and Registration Requirements for Employment in Alberta, visit CERTinfo.

In addition, certain trades are required to be certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn more visit

Non-regulated occupations do not require special licensure and can range from those requiring extensive education and training, such as a university degree (computer analysts and biologists) to those that require little in the way of formal training and involve little risk to the public (salespersons, and housekeepers). There are also many apprenticeable trades for which licensing or certification is voluntary rather than compulsory in various provinces and territories.


Important Steps

Step 1.

Visit the Occupational Profiles on our website to determine what the requirements are to become accredited in your field.

If your occupation is not on our list, please see occupational profiles listed on the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS). These profiles, which represent 2,000+ occupational titles, provide detailed information on a broad sampling of occupations that exist in Alberta.

Step 2.

Visit the website of your future professional or trades association to develop an understanding of how to apply for membership and what documents you need to bring. See listings of associations and requirements for various occupations and trades: Certification and Registration Bodies for Professions and Occupations in Alberta

Step 3.

Pay careful attention to the document requirements for each regulatory body or professional association. The most common document requirements include:

  • degree, diploma, or certificate, plus a copy of your transcripts that can demonstrate your academic experience.
  • an updated copy of your resume (curriculum vitae). Ensure that you have a complete list of your past employers, educational institutions and references (contact name, address, telephone, e-mail and fax).
  • reference letters from past employers in your country and in particular if you plan to practice in a regulated profession such as engineering, geology or geophysics you need to ensure that your educational institution can send your official transcripts directly by mail to the association. For example, APEGA requires official transcripts to be mailed directly to APEGA in a sealed envelope by your university, polytechnic or technical institute.

Step 4.

Try to learn, or improve your knowledge of English. It is useful to dedicate some time to learn the English language before coming to Canada as it plays a critical role in the licensing processes and the ability to find a job. Most jobs are competitive and demand strong command of the English Language. Take the online assessment to help you determine your proficiency levels. Visit

Step 5.

In January 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) launched a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence in certain economic programs. Visit the Immigrate to Canada website to learn about the new Express Entry system


Pre-Arrival Resources

Before arriving in Canada, you can access resources to prepare for your settlement and job search in Alberta such as the Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA).

The Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) is a network of Canadian settlement agencies, represented in Alberta by the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS), which helps pre-arrival immigrants develop their job search and communication skills in order to give them a head start on finding and retaining employment. SOPA is funded by the Government of Canada through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Click here to watch the Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) Alberta video.

Click here to watch the Arrive Prepared with SOPA video.