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Business Info for Expats in Vancouver

Yearning for time as an expat in the True North? Working in Vancouver is often the number one choice for expats interested in experiencing a Canadian workplace. After all, the city is one of the country’s main economic pillars. Get a glimpse of what to expect of Vancouver in our guide!
Getting a workplace in Vancouver might be a task tackled differently than back home.

Your Professional Qualifications: Have Them Checked

An important piece of advice: just because you qualify to legally take up employment in or immigrate to Canada does not mean your education, work experience or professional credentials are automatically going to be recognized. The CIC has set up a subdivision specifically for the task of recognizing the credentials of foreign newcomers to Canada, the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO). The office assesses the quality of your education and work experience to see whether they meet Canadian standards.

As this assessment will both cost time and money, there is the possibility of tackling this task prior to relocating to Canada. Seeing how many employers might require assessed credentials with your application, it is surely a good idea to get right on it as soon as you have decided to go to Canada.

How to Find a Job in Vancouver

Landing a promising expat position in Vancouver might be somewhat more difficult, or at least different from what you are familiar with from back home. Of course, it is a good idea to start your search on the internet. Sites like the government-run Job Bank, the Vancouver subsidiary of Workopolis and the internet editions of local newspapers might be useful stepping stones.

However, as many companies do not want to invest time and money in advertising jobs online or in print classifieds, a large part of the job market is only open to those with good business connections and networks. If possible, ask friends, family members, or co-workers if they know anything about interesting new openings. It might also be a good idea to send your application to a company you’d like to work for.

Necessary Language Skills: English Yes, French Maybe

Obviously, fluency in English is an absolute must in the Canadian workplace, at least outside of Québec, and Vancouver makes no exception. While more than half the population of the city considers a language other than English their native tongue, a good grasp of the language is indispensable in any professional environment.

But because of the multilingualism that comes with the many highly represented minority groups in Vancouver, skills in additional languages are also a valuable asset. The role of French in Vancouver is negligible, though. While street signs, grocery labels, etc. are written in both English and French in all of Canada, a working knowledge of French is surely an asset — as many companies operate in both the English-speaking provinces and Québec — but not a necessity in Vancouver.

Business Etiquette: How to Do It Right

Of course, business etiquette in a new culture will share many traits with what you are already familiar with, but also feature some that are new to you. We have taken a detailed look into Canadian business etiquette in our article on working in Canada. In general, you will find that business etiquette in Vancouver is the same as in the rest of the country, however pronounced some regional differences outside of professional environments may be. To make sure you are fit and well-prepared for the intercultural side of working in Vancouver, please see the article linked above.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Andrey Vasilyev

"When moving to a huge city such as Vancouver, InterNations made it easy for me to find fellow expats and the network that I needed."

Amarilis Castillo

"InterNations make networking in such a large city so much easier with their events and extensive information."

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