Canada needs many skilled workers to fill the severe shortage in the labour market. One of these skilled professions is that of a lawyer, who can practice under a number of titles. However, before you can practice law in Canada, you must evaluate your current qualifications and apply for conversion with the appropriate authority, in this case the National Committee on Accreditation, which works in conjunction with the National Bar Association. For this conversion, you must also take the Canadian Bar Exam, but successful candidates may only practice in the provinces and territories, not in Québec.
Learn how to convert and immigrate to Canada as a lawyer through one of the various immigration routes. Canada is currently one of the most popular immigration destinations and has set a goal of allowing more than one million foreign nationals into the country over the next three years (including more than 400,000 immigrants in 2021 alone). However, if you are currently working in a semi-skilled or unskilled job, there are many other top jobs in Canada that do not require a college degree to work in.
Lawyers in Canada
Perks of Practicing Law
Being a lawyer in Canada has many benefits, starting with the salary, which averages $137,500 per year. There is also free basic education and public health care in every province and territory in Canada, and Canada is also known for its diversity and high quality of life. Lawyers are classified in skill level A (skilled worker) in the National Occupation Classification (NOC) and have many immigration opportunities in Canada.
Converting Your Qualifications
If you want to practice law in Canada, you must have a recognized license. For this recognition, you must pass the Canadian bar exam and go through an assessment process that shows local employers that you are suitable for employment. You can apply for the exam at any time, as it is considered a separate process from Canadian immigration.
Request the evaluation via the following procedure:
- Start an online application form and pay $400 CAD for processing.
- Academic transcripts;
- Membership certificates from local regulatory agencies;
- Certificates from local regulatory bodies showing results of examinations or other courses;
- IELTS score of 7 if the experience was in a language other than French or English.
This entire process should be completed within four to eight weeks and the results returned to you.
The best ways to immigration
There are a number of ways to immigrate to Canada. These include sponsorship by a spouse or family member who is a permanent resident or citizen in the country, study at an accredited Canadian university, or a temporary work permit in a chosen profession, preferably one that is in demand. Read on to find the most direct routes to immigrate to Canada as a lawyer through these major programs.
Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) was developed to address specific labour market crises at the community level. 11 of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories participate in this program, and each province offers its own pathways to permanent residency.
Express Entry System
The Express Entry system was created in 2015 to expedite the three federal programs – the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class. Applicants can have their applications processed in as little as six months.
To begin your application, create an online profile at Express Entry and select the program through which you wish to apply. Your profile will then be evaluated using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which consists of a set of criteria listed below that result in an overall score. The profiles with the highest scores are then issued Invitations to Apply (ITA) in drawings that usually take place every two weeks.
CRS criteria award points for:
- CLB Language proficiency (English and French)
- Level of Education (In and outside Canada)
- Work Experience (In and outside Canada)
- Arranged employment
- Provincial Nomination achieved
- Siblings living in Canada as permanent residents/citizens
- Your spouse’s profile (if married)