License to Work in Ontario

There are two types of occupations in Canada – regulated (licensed) and non-regulated (not licensed).

To work in a non-regulated profession most often it is enough to have a professional resumé, credential evaluation report and references.

To practice a regulated profession or trade, such as medicine, teaching, engineering, architecture, plumbing or cooking you will first need to receive an authorization – i.e. a license by a designated professional regulatory body in Ontario.

It is a law to practice certain occupations by license because they have direct impact on the well-being of others. Therefore the provincial and in certain cases federal government of Canada aims to ensure that professional standards are in place for security and accountability purposes. The license requirements for each occupation may vary from province to province.

To learn more about occupational regulations in Canada please check the Fact Sheet of the Canadian Information Center for International Credentials (CICIC).

There are 39 regulated professions and 20 regulated trades in Ontario.

Your path to your chosen regulated profession or trade should start from a research on the requirements and process of receiving a license. The requirements may entail evidence of satisfactory academic training, supervised work experience in Canada, language proficiency tests and professional qualifying examinations.

The Ontario Immigration Work in your Profession website developed by the Ontario Government will help you get started by providing detailed career maps outlining the steps to receive a license in each regulated profession and trade.

You should also contact your professional regulatory body for the most up-to-date information about requirements and license process. Contact information about the regulatory bodies can be obtained from the CICIC.

Please be aware that the process of obtaining a professional license in Ontario can be lengthy and you may not be able to practice your profession as soon as you arrive. There are alternative careers that you may consider while you are working towards your license.

It is also recommended that you start the process of licensing as soon as possible, even before arriving to Canada. The career map of your chosen occupation will indicate the certification steps that can be completed from your home country.

To facilitate internationally trained individuals’ transition to regulated profession or trade the Ontario Government also funds Bridging Programs, which provide targeted capacity building without having to duplicate what they already know.

To find out if there is a Bridging Program in your chosen profession or trade available in your area please consult the career map or your employment counselor.

In Leeds and Grenville region you can find assistance for obtaining your professional license, including understanding the certification process, document translation, English language assessment by contacting outreach settlement counselors at Cornwall Immigrant Resource Centre.

Additional Resources

A Guide for Foreign Trained Tradespeople and Pathways to Apprenticeship web-pages of the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities provide helpful information if you are interested in a career in trades.

Working in Canada occupation report cards based web-tool created by the Federal Government of Canada provides comprehensive information about license requirements, job description, wages, skills, language training and labor market demand for any specific job in all Provinces and areas across Canada.

Office of Fairness Commissioner – provides the Commission’s statement of commitment and actions taken to provide a fair opportunity to the internationally trained workers to obtain professional designation in their chosen regulated occupation in Ontario.