Notice: Job Opportunities for American Members in Canada

Follow the procedures listed below for union ironworker jobs in Canada.

The procedures on our Website in the "Job Opportunities for American Members in Canada" along with the form, "Ironworker Pre-Screening Online Resume for Canadian Work Permit Applications" can be completed online and forwarded to General Secretary Eric Dean's office for potential job opportunities for American workers in Canada.

Please be aware that recruiters are placing members in jobs in Canada that claim to be union. They are actually associated with the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC), which is a union of convenience. Members traveling within or to Canada should be aware that these jobs are not affiliated with any local union from the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers.

Fellow Union Iron Workers,

There are a growing number of job opportunities for American members across Canada. Please read the below for more information and fill out the Ironworker Online Pre-Screening Resume for Canadian Work Permits Applications and you will be contacted once your form is processed.

For the most part, the available work is structural (bolting, impacting, connecting, machinery and equipment rigging). It is on large projects such as power generation, oil and gas, potash, and exotic metals processing plants. These jobs include new projects and expansions to existing facilities. All projects include either living out allowance or camp housing for all employees.

At present, the Canadian government requires each employer wanting to hire non-Canadians to prove that there are no Canadian ironworkers available. This requirement slows down the hiring process by about six months.

IMPACT together with the International and our affected locals are working hard to expedite the process.

For the time being, the best thing to do is to provide you with the information for you to decide whether you are interested in working in Canada and the requirements you will have to meet to obtain a work permit from the Canadian government.

After you get a job offer from a Canadian contractor, you apply for a work permit as you enter Canada at the border. A work permit requires the border guard to decide if you are suitable for entry to Canada. For example, have you been offered a job? Are you qualified for the job?

At the border you will also be screened by border guards. By far the most common reason for denial of entry is a criminal record.

Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding Canadian employment. These FAQs are for general information purposes only. Laws and regulations continuously change and are applied in individual circumstances. The International cannot guarantee that you will be admitted to Canada.

Where is the work?
Where the jobs are depends on the contractors’ needs and economic conditions. Currently the most urgent need for American ironworkers is anticipated in Saskatchewan and in the Province of Newfoundland & Labrador, followed by British Columbia and Alberta in mid-2012.

What kind of employers would I be working for?
The employers are all fair contractors working under either a project or a provincial collective agreement. The Iron Worker agreements cover wages, subsistence allowance (if applicable), health and pension contributions. You would be paid the same as a Canadian ironworker.

How much could I earn a week?
Most of the work is performed on an extended shift basis of 10 hours each day and schedules can vary. For example: 10 days on, 4 days off (a 10-4) or 28 days on with 8 days off (a 28-8). See the Iron Workers' International magazine “Directory Issue” for wage scales of all outside locals. The exchange rate fluctuates between .95 and 1.03 to the US dollar.

You will have options according to Canadian and USA law about how your employer’s contributions for health and pension are reciprocated back to your home local.

Do I have to pay taxes?
Yes, in Canada. You will also have to file tax returns for both countries. Any Canadian taxes paid on the income can be used as a foreign tax credit on your US tax return and reduce the amount you have to pay in US taxes.

Can I return home for visits?
Yes but you would have to do it on your days off.

Is accommodation supplied?
Owners provide either a living allowance or camp housing for all employees.

Do I need a passport?
Yes. You can get one from the US Department of State.  Go to for the application information.

Do I need to get a medical examination?
Not unless you’ve lived outside the US for more than 6 of the last 12 months and you lived in a country that requires a medical examination.  If yes and in certain countries, you’ll need a medical examination before you can come to Canada. The list of countries is available here:

Some employers may require a medical examination to establish your fitness to perform the work.

Are there any trade requirements?
It depends on where your Canadian job is. Different regions have different requirements. You must be able to be certified in Canada for Fall Arrest, High Angle Rescue, Zoom Booms and Man Lifts. The local union and/or contractors in Canada provide the training and certificates.

Are there drug and alcohol policies in effect on these jobs?
In most provinces you must be able to pass drug and alcohol testing once you are offered a job and before you start.

I have a criminal record. What does that mean?
You may be denied entry to Canada. Generally, a criminal record will prevent you from coming to Canada but there are limited exceptions based on what kind of crime it was and how long ago it was committed.

Do parking tickets or speeding tickets count as a criminal record?

I was convicted of a crime when I was a juvenile. Does that count?
Generally, no.

I was found not guilty of a crime. Does that count?
A “not guilty” finding does not count as a criminal record. However, if the border guard is satisfied you’ve committed a crime (say if you were found responsible in a lawsuit for criminal behaviour) then you might be denied entry to Canada.

I’ve been charged with a crime, my trial is underway, or there’s a warrant out for my arrest. Am I admissible to Canada?

If I’ve been deported or banned from Canada, can I work there as an ironworker?

Can my spouse come with me to Canada?
Yes, if they meet entry requirements (see the questions about criminal records). They can’t work in Canada unless they have their own work permit.

If they want to work in Canada, they can apply for a work permit that will let them work for any employer in Canada, so long as you are authorized to be in Canada for more than 6 months.

Do common law spouses count?

Do I need a temporary resident visa?
No. You’ll be coming to Canada under a work permit.

Where do I apply for my work permit?
After you have received a written offer of work, you can apply at the border as you enter Canada for your job. The International cannot guarantee that you will be admitted to Canada.

When I go to the border to get a work permit, what documents must I bring?
You must have:
-your passport;
-your resume, any trade certifications, and any safety related training credentials;
-a copy of the job offer;
-a copy of the Labour Market Opinion from your future employer.

Why do I need a resume?
The border guard giving you a work permit will want to see a work history showing that you are qualified for your Canadian job. You should include in your resume all the appropriate trade certifications you have.

What do I do next?
The International has created the Ironworker Online Pre-Screening Resume for Canadian Work Permits Applications.  You should:
1. Fill out the form in its entirety
2. E-mail it to International Headquarters
3. Print a copy and attach all certification and training documentation for the work permit application process
Your information will be retained in a data pool of interested applicants for referral to contractors and/or Canadian local unions seeking additional manpower.  All offers of employment will come from the contractor, in writing, with a copy of the employer’s Labor Market Opinion.