Thinking about moving to another country and embarking on your dream career is always an exciting process. The long list of countries to choose from, working out what each city has to offer, the variety of companies in search of tech talent, the new friends you’ll make, the new cultures you’ll experience — you get the idea. If you work in software as a developer or an engineer and Canada is high on your list of countries you plan to relocate to, then we have made this guide just for you, so you know how to get hired here, relocate and grow your career. So, here it is: Your Guide to Get Hired and Relocate to Canada as a Software Engineer

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Why Use VanHack to Get Hired and Relocate to Canada?

We’re one of the most respected and experienced tech recruitment companies for software engineers who are eager to relocate to and work in either Europe or North America. We can vouch for just how incredible it is to work in Canada because we’re based in Vancouver, British Columbia ourselves.

So far, we’ve helped over 1,600 software engineers and developers get hired and relocated — and we’ve been there every step of the way from profile set-up to visas and relocation.

We reach much wider than other recruitment companies, too. While some hone in on one particular country or region, we don’t box ourselves within certain borders. We have candidates from all over the globe, but most come from India, Africa and Latin America. Even if you aren’t from these areas, we can help you get hired and begin a new life.

So, if you’re a software engineer or developer and you want to get hired and relocate to Canada as a software engineer, continue reading this guide.

Another benefit of using VanHack to find your dream job in Canada is that our platform is completely free for job seekers. Unless you’re eager for more tips and want to sign up for our Premium Academy, as a tech professional, you don’t have to pay us anything at all to participate in the hiring process.

You can set up your profile, record videos to help recruiters get to know you, take English verification tests and complete code challenges. All of these services are free on VanHack. We’ll promote your profiles among our hiring partners without you worrying about the costs that come with it.

The only ones who’ll pay are the companies who use our platform to find skilled tech professionals and handle any interviews with you.

Now that you how VanHack can help you every step of the way in moving to Canada for your dream role, let’s dive into the specifics about the demand for software engineers, what the market currently looks like and the cities we recommend you add to your shortlist.

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The Number One In-Demand Career

Analysis by recruitment specialists, Michael Page, has revealed that software engineering is the most in-demand professional on the planet. In total, 24 countries highlighted the need for software engineers in their organizations.

Looking over the occupation shortage list in the OECD Better Life Index, software engineers are in need the most across developed countries. They took into account the average salary, work-life balance and overall happiness scores to come up with their results.

The same applies in Canada — it’s the number one in-demand career in the country.

Although you instantly assume Silicon Valley is where all of the action is, Canada is forcing itself into the conversation as a real tech powerhouse, emerging as a genuine technology hub people need to consider when looking to move abroad.

There isn’t any surprise why software engineers are in-demand in the Canadian job market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has revealed that software engineering positions will grow much faster than any other occupation. 21% faster from now until 2028, to be precise.

A Groom & Associates report has also backed these claims, with software engineering topping the list of the most in-demand tech careers in Canada, with DevOps engineers, software architects, full stack developers and front end developers rounding off the top five.

Top Tech Skills in High Demand Right Now

Why are Software Engineers in High Demand

It seems as though tech-based roles such as software engineers are the only ones that were truly left safe following the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, software engineering is now thriving more than ever and the number of vacancies has increased worldwide.

Everybody is now comfortable with hybrid and remote working models. It’s why candidates are now in control, rather than the other way around. If they don’t like something, they can easily find another role, in another company and in another country. This leaves organizations scrambling to either quickly fill these gaps or get ahead by offering high salaries and enviable perks to beat the competition.

That’s another reason why software engineering is in-demand — there’s a global skills shortage. There are niche skills the everyday person doesn’t possess and companies need people with these impressive skills. It’s why they’re ready to add more zeroes to salaries and continue adding to their list of benefits.

If you want to get hired and relocate to Canada as a software engineer, this is the best time to do it.

What Makes Canada A Worthy Contender?

Canada isn’t a random country we’ve pulled out of a hat. Some of the biggest companies ranging from Amazon and Apple to Google and Meta have made their way into Canada as they realize the country’s potential. However, what else makes Canada high on many lists is the Global Talent Stream.

It’s an immigration strategy that has been designed to allow Canadian businesses to expedite the hiring of global workers, so they can fill specialized job roles if Canadians aren’t available, which they aren’t. It’s the country’s response to the drastic need for highly-skilled workers, such as software engineers.

It has already attracted thousands upon thousands of highly-skilled workers and the numbers of software engineers getting hired and relocated to Canada continues to increase. It’s a huge benefit to Canada but also to job seekers like you that want to make Canada their home. The country relies heavily on immigration as it’s critical to its economy.

This move allows Canadian businesses to remain competitive by filling these open vacancies for positions such as software engineers. You can find out more about the Global Talent Stream here.

Everything You Need to Know About Immigrating to Canada

Canadian Cities With High-Demand Software Engineer Jobs

Canada has kept up with the trends as it solidifies itself as a global tech powerhouse. Like many countries in the world, Canadian companies offer remote and hybrid working options. What’s also unique about Canada is the fact it’s immigrant-friendly, so relocation is not only a possibility but also a genuinely exciting prospect.

The nation is high on the list of many software engineers searching for a new career and life. It’s well-developed, it features unmissable attractions on many bucket lists, it’s full of friendly people and has some of the most picturesque landscapes you could imagine. Calling Canada home is a dream for many, but more are making it a reality with VanHack.

Trying to find the right city in Canada to embark on a career as a software engineer is difficult. But not for the reasons you might think. In fact, there are so many fantastic cities available, all offering something unique, that the hardest challenge you’ll have is deciding on the right one that you want to eventually call home.

If you’re scratching your head and struggling to decide on one city, here’s our breakdown of the Canadian cities you should consider.


You won’t be surprised to see Toronto high up on our list. It’s arguably the most must-see, must-experience and a must-visit destination in the country as it brings in the most visitors each year. Living here will mean exploring the widest range of cultures and constantly encountering new faces.

The Toronto lifestyle is relatively fast-paced yet still relaxed. There’s plenty of hustle and bustle if you prefer a thriving city, similar to the likes of New York and London. Nobody has a bad word to say about Toronto. It features many landmarks to visit, lots of art, unique culture, perfect for sports enthusiasts and much more.

It’s also a great option if you prefer a diverse community. Plus, who would get bored and enjoy a majestic skyline you can’t experience anywhere else? Software engineers should keep Toronto high on their list, as it has an average yearly salary of $94,053 CAD.

The city has a high demand for software engineers, especially since huge technology companies call Toronto home as their Canadian headquarters. Think Amazon, Google and IBM — companies that are always on the hunt for the best of the best.

Lei Yamin is a software engineer from Myanmar who got hired and relocated to Canada with VanHack. Check out her story:

From Myanmar to Japan to Canada – How Lei Yamin got hired in Toronto


Canada’s capital is another city tech giants have established a presence in and is perfect for software engineers. Like most cities in Canada, Ottawa is a thriving hub for culture, art, history and cuisine. Most would argue it has the broadest range of landmarks to witness and activities to get involved in, thanks to the city’s history.

Ottawa is also full of opportunities for software engineers, especially since 10% of its workforce is already working in the technology sector. Join that 10% and start a new life in a city featuring businesses such as Cisco, Shopify and IBM.

If you need any more convincing, the average salary for a software engineer in Ottawa is slightly higher than in Toronto, currently averaging around $94,695 CAD.

Welcome to OTTAWA


Amazon, Shopify, Microsoft and Electronic Arts. These are just a few of the many companies operating out of Vancouver, and for good reason. If you want to move to a city that has already established a thriving tech hub (along with beauty all around you), look no further than Vancouver.

Vancouver is another city on the hunt for talented software developers and is prepared to pay a high salary to land them. The current average for a software engineer salary in Vancouver is $95,965 CAD — the highest in the nation.

Luan is a VanHacker from Brazil. He talks about how to get hired and relocate to Canada as a software engineer:

Life after moving to Canada How Luan got hired in Vancouver as a Senior Software Engineer


While it isn’t quite a Toronto or Vancouver just yet, Calgary holds its own as an emerging tech hub determined to be the go-to destination for tech talent in search of a new life. The weather offers a great balance here, with plenty of heritage to soak in.

Morgan Stanley and Cisco are the types of companies already leaving their mark in Calgary, which proves to offer a superior quality of life. $81,168 CAD is the current average salary for a software engineer you should expect to be offered should you relocate to Calgary.

More Canadian Cities Every Software Engineer Should Consider

What’s fantastic about getting hired and relocating to Canada as a software engineer is the amount of choice you have. As excellent as the cities we’ve mentioned above are (and should be serious contenders), there are many more you might want to consider if you want to live in perhaps a lesser-known city or one with fewer people if you want a quieter lifestyle.

It’s popular and also relatively easy as Canada has many systems in place to expedite work permits, along with the benefits of the Global Talent Stream we mentioned above. If you’re a software engineer, chances are you’ll get hired as you’d fill a skills shortage many businesses need.

Halifax on the east side of Canada should be a serious consideration, as major companies are moving in to leave their mark in this growing space. The current average salary in this city in Nova Scotia is $75,076 CAD. As more organizations continue to set up shop in Halifax, the more of a demand there will be for software engineers.

Another popular destination for tech talent, such as software engineers is Montreal. Not only is it a desirable place to live, but it also has plenty of opportunities for you to explore. The demand means you don’t need to be fluent in French, with the likes of Montreal and Gatineau being very inclusive and in need of software engineers.

Canada as a whole offers high average salaries for software engineers. Here are some more reported salaries for software engineers in cities you might want to consider adding to your shortlist of options:

  • Mississauga: $82,271 CAD
  • Markham: $77,388 CAD
  • Edmonton: $76,921 CAD

Check out the best cities to get hired and relocate to Canada as a Software Engineer

Best Cities for Software Developers In Canada

The Relocation Process: What You Need to Know

Now you know what Canadian cities have to offer and have hopefully narrowed your options. Now comes the important part — how do you relocate to Canada as a software engineer?

There isn’t one linear process to follow. Every story is different, so your situation might be different from another software engineer looking to move to Canada for a new life. In this section, we’ll offer the general process to expect and advice to follow to help make your relocation as seamless as possible.

You Can Relocate to Canada With a Global Talent Stream Visa

We’ve already mentioned the Global Talent Stream on several occasions, but it’s valuable in helping tech talent move to Canada. Think of it as a fast-track immigration program. 

But why was it created? Foreign tech talent were interested in moving to Canada. Canadian cities and businesses had skills gaps to fill and suffered from talent shortages. So, the Global Talent Stream was created as the answer to an economy that was facing a shortage of skilled workers.

This visa will allow Canadian businesses to expedite the process of hiring global tech talent for tech or engineering careers.

If this is the route you go down, the first part of the process is the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is tailored more towards the employer trying to hire you as a software engineer. It’s an assessment which decides whether that organization can employ you as a foreign worker.

During this assessment, the application will get evaluated and determine whether the business has a genuine position a Canadian worker can’t fill. If not, then the company needs a foreign worker — which is where you come in.

Traditionally, these applications used to take months to prepare, submit and process. Another benefit of the Global Talent Stream is it has removed many steps and is a faster application end-to-end.

The next stage is where we get involved. It involves applying for a work permit and our team will guide you in preparing your documents and keeping track of what you need at every stage. 

In Canada, there are immigration consultants that help organizations prepare for this assessment, which takes roughly up to three weeks. While this is happening, you must work on your work permit documentation. As you’re doing this, your LMIA should get approved, which means you can finally apply.

As mentioned at the top of this section, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach or rule here. There’s no official timeline for how long it’ll take to process your work permit, but we believe a general, safe time frame would be from three weeks up to four months. After your work permit has been approved, you’ll need to submit your passport.

This only applies to those who are from countries that require a visa. For example, if you’re a software engineer from India or Brazil and you want to relocate to Canada, you’ll need to submit a passport. If this applies to you, you’ll receive your passport with the visa in around a week. If you don’t need a visa, you’ll get travel authorization.

The process is almost complete. After this, you’ll receive a physical copy of your work permit at the airport when you’re in Canada. Then, you can begin your two-year status as a temporary foreign worker. Don’t worry; we have an expert immigration team on hand who’ll connect you with relocation support so you can understand Canada better and what it truly has to offer.

The Ultimate Relocation Guide

The Documents You Need to Relocate to Canada

For your relocation to Canada as a software engineer to go as smoothly as possible, it’s crucial to prepare your documents. Your most essential document is your passport, so make sure it’s valid for at least two years, so your move goes without any problems.

If you have family members moving with you, the same rule applies to them. We’ll dive into moving with your family to Canada in the next section.

When immigrating to Canada, you’ll also need to undergo a medical exam. This must be conducted by a doctor who the Canadian government in your country endorses. Otherwise, it’s void. For example, part of the process will include taking your biometrics, so your digital photo and your fingerprints.

If you’re relocating with your family, then you’ll need documents such as birth certificates and marriage certificates. We also recommend you have other documents to hand, such as qualifications, transcripts and educational qualifications. It’s also a good idea to have the most up to date resume, employment reference letters and if your documents are in a foreign language, make sure you have translated versions.

The rules differ slightly if you’re immigrating to Quebec to begin your career as a software engineer. If so, you’ll need a Certificate of Acceptance, which a consultant can help with.


Relocating With Your Family to Canada

Thankfully, family applications are processed together when relocating to Canada. So, you don’t need to worry about delays or leaving them behind for a short while. Should you qualify for a work visa, your family members, such as your spouse, will get an open work permit.

It’s straightforward for children, too. If they’re under six years old, they’re eligible for visitor permits and children over six will receive study permits.


How Much Relocating to Canada Costs

The part everybody is usually concerned with — the cost. Thankfully, nobody has to pay over the odds as you would if you were relocating to another country as a software engineer. To help you plan your finances in line with every part of the process, here’s a quick overview of the government fees you’ll need to pay for yourself, your family and your work visa.

  • Work permit: $155 CAD
  • Spouse permit: $255 CAD
  • Study permit: $150 CAD
  • Biometrics payment: $170 CAD for families and $85 CAD for families
  • Child visitor permit: $100 CAD


Although these are the expected fees, there are some other additional costs you’ll need to plan for, such as:

  • Relocating your pets
  • The entire relocation process, such as hiring moving companies
  • Translations
  • Medical exams


How We’ll Help During the Relocation Process

Our platform is designed to help you stand out from the competition, attract employers and land your dream job. So, it would be unfair if we left you to it when it matters the most. We want every single one of our candidates to go through a seamless process when moving to Canada, so we offer more than the standard.

Whenever a VanHacker lands a job and is finally ready to move, we help with:

  • Paperwork guidance: There’s a lot to prepare, but you don’t need to try and do it by yourself. From passports to visas, we’ve helped so many VanHackers with the moving process; we’ll help you with any paperwork queries you have
  • City guides: Canada is full of thriving cities, beautiful landmarks and cultures waiting for you to experience. As each city is so unique, we offer city guidance, so you know what to expect when you land
  • COVID-19 guidance: The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way the world works. That doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy Canada; it just means there are specific guidelines and rules you’ll need to follow. We’ll make sure you’re up to date with the latest advice by the time you’ve moved
  • Special offers from providers: We have a fantastic relationship with many of our partners and providers. Thanks to our knowledge, we’re the first to know when there are special offers. When we know, you’ll be the first we tell you so you can benefit from the discounts from pharmacies, banks and realtors
  • Health insurance: You want to protect yourself and your family. We understand. It’s why we’ll help you find the best health insurance deals for you while you’re in Canada
  • Settling in: We know it isn’t easy to settle into a new country overnight. You might be nervous or feel homesick. This is completely normal. The VanHack team is on hand to help you settle in and begin enjoying Canada to its potential
  • Open a bank account: This process differs between countries. We know how important it is to get a bank account opened right away, so we’re on hand to help you do just that
  • Public transport: Nervous about using Canada’s public transport? It’s some of the finest in the world, and we’ll help you take the first steps to be confident in using the public transportation system
  • Enroll your children into school: If you’re immigrating to Canada with your family, it’s natural to want the best schools for your children. Thanks to our knowledge, we can help you identify the best schools and help your children get their place


Get Hired and Relocate to Canada as a Software Engineer With VanHack

More and more software engineers are turning to VanHack so we can help them not only find the dream career in an exciting company that they deserve, but also to lean on us to help them set up a new life in one of many of Canada’s beautiful cities.

So far, we’ve helped over 1,600 tech professionals find their dream job. Whether it’s fully remote, a hybrid or a relocation process, we’re with you every step of the way. You find the perfect job and also set up your new life in the process.

We’re so dedicated to helping you that finding a job is free using the VanHack platform. You can sign up, create your profile, film videos so employers can get to know you and land your dream role without paying a thing. The more you complete your profile, the higher your chances of landing an interview.

But that’s not all. We also offer free English verification and code challenges to enhance your profile so you can stand out even more. If you want extra help, the VanHack Premium Academy is the perfect option for interview tips, preparation, advice, training and much more.

If you’re finally ready to reach your potential as a software engineer and want to do it in Canada, sign up today and see how VanHack can transform your life.



🌎 VANHACK, LinkedIn Talent Awards Winner 2021, is Canada’s most respected recruitment company. With more than 1,700 hires, VanHack is on a mission of increasing diversity and creating a borderless world. So if you are a software developer looking for a job abroad, in Canada, the US, or Europe, join VanHack today. 100% free for candidates, plus you will get all the preparation you need when your profile is shortlisted.

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