Would it be difficult to emigrate to Canada to get first developer job?

Hey all,

Bit of a strange question, I am from England and we can work in Canada with the working holiday Visa without much issue. I was wondering if an employer would be put off hiring someone who has moved without first getting experience in the field in his own country and also maybe the visa type would be a negative point. I’m 27 and work as a teacher in Spain, it wouldn’t be my first job but rather the first developer job.

I could try to get a job in London instead but I’ve been wanting to live in Canada for a while and would love to be able to mix both dreams of a new career and new life.

Any thoughts?

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You could move to London, Ontario and tell them you are from London.
Kidding aside, I don’t know. Good luck whatever you choose to do!


I know nothing about Canadian visas, but maybe you check out https://gonorthcanada.ca/ . It would appear that plenty of tech companies in Canada are recruiting internationally.


I don’t know the Canada situation specifically, but I have done a fair amount of research about immigration to other countries.

Usually work visas are given to people with special skills that will help the economy AND it is a job that there aren’t enough locals to fill. When I search for “Canada skilled jobs immigration” I come to this page:

I find that web developers are indeed listed under “Express Entry: Eligible Federal Skilled Worker Occupations:”.

Up above that I see that (among other things) there is a requirement that you’ve been working full time in that job for at least a year. I imagine that there is also a requirement that you have an employer willing to say “we need this guy and can’t find any locals to fill the job and we want this guy sooooo badly that we’re willing to fill out a bunch paperwork and pay the fees to get him and are offering him a job and promise to follow through on it.” A lot of employers don’t want to go to that hassle. But some will.

It seems that you need to:

  1. Get your experience.
  2. Document it.
  3. Find an employer willing to sponsor you.

Obviously, building your portfolio, etc. are all important steps too.

So, no, you don’t get to waltz through Canadian immigration in your Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses and when they ask for your passport you just show your “CSS3 for Dummies” copy and they gasp and say, “Oui! Bien sure! But of course! Here is your permanent residence card!” But it does look like the difficult process is a little bit easier for qualified web developers.

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Great answers! I’ve asked around on other places and the consensus seems to be that without experience it wouldn’t be the easiest option to convince someone to take you on. I thought maybe the working holiday visa would be a good entry point for them (lower risk, they wouldn’t have to sponsor you at first) but maybe not.

I’m distantly Canadian but not enough for it to matter in terms of citizenship ;).

Yeah, you might consider the working holiday option - get some experience AND put out feelers for potential employers. But it seems that as far as the Canadian gov is concerned, they will want that year of full time employment (among other things) before they consider you.

The other option is to consider becoming a digital nomad.