Language Requirements

It is very important for you to be able to communicate easily in English or French. It will help you to find work and settle in Canada more quickly.

Speaking a language other than English or French can be an asset for tourism jobs that involve communicating with foreign guests. However, you may also want to improve your English or French language skills.

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) is a free for new immigrants to Canada. To be accepted into the LINC program, you must:

  • Be a permanent resident of Canada (landed immigrant) or Convention refugee; OR be a newcomer who is allowed to remain in Canada, to whom Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plans to give permanent resident status, and who is not yet a Canadian citizen; and
  • Be older than school-leaving age (an adult 17 years of age or older); and
  • Get your language ability tested at a Language Assessment Centre.

If you are working in Canada as a temporary foreign worker, LINC classes are not available to you.

Some LINC schools also offer childcare services. Language classes are available for every adult in your family, not just the person who may be looking for work. Classes may be full-time or part-time so that you can work while studying if necessary.

To learn more about LINC programs, visit the Canadian government website on Language Training. For literacy training, look in the Yellow Pages under “LEARN,” contact your local board of education or visit ABC Canada to download a directory of literacy programs across Canada.

In some cases, employers arrange for English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) courses to be taught at the workplace. Most universities and community colleges, as well as some private language schools and community organizations, offer language classes, including for temporary foreign workers. Contact these groups directly for more information. Remember to ask about fees, since these courses may not be free.

Some language instruction programs in Canada are also designed to help you improve your language proficiency for a specific job or profession. These courses are generally called occupation-specific language training, or Enhanced Language Training (ELT). If you are a temporary foreign worker, you or your employer may need to pay for ELT training.

To learn more about ELT programs, visit the Canadian government’s website on Language Training.

Become a member of the Tourism HR Canada Online Community (free of charge) for a list of organizations offering language and support services specifically for temporary foreign workers; please not that this is not a complete listing.