Immigrate to Canada as an Athlete

Immigrate to Canada as a an Athlete

Immigrate to Canada as a an Athlete

Athletes are in demand right across Canada and you may be able to secure a Canadian Permanent Residency Visa either with or without a job offer.


There are thousands of Athletes just like you moving to Canada. Find out how to join them.  Canada needs more Athletes.  If you are thinking about moving to Canada as an Athlete, all the information you need is right here.

Moving to Canada as an Athlete

Moving to Canada as an Athlete

Athletes are wanted in Canada

Did you know that Athletes are one of the most in-demand jobs in Canada? Athletes are in high demand in all 11 of Canada’s provinces and territories, and as a highly-skilled professional, you can expect to earn between $64700 and $104500 per year.


When considering Canada as your new home, there are not only numerous immigration options for you to choose from, but plenty of job opportunities too.

Jobs in Canada for Athletes

One of the biggest questions when moving to Canada is “will I be able to find work as an Athlete in Canada?”. The simple answer is Yes, you will!  (Of course each Athletes level of training and experience is a core factor, as is the case in any country.)


Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about jobs in Canada for Athletes.

Is There Really a Demand for Athletes in Canada?

Yes there is! As mentioned previously, you can immigrate to Canada as an experienced Athlete with a high chance of finding employment in any of Canada’s 11 provinces. These job opportunities can be found in:


  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan


Over the next few years, it is estimated that there will be 27000 new jobs created due to expansion and a need for replacement as well as 34000 new positions for graduates and immigrants to fill who want to live and work in Canada.


This is why Canada needs Athletes.  You really can be moving to Canada as an Athlete

How Much Do Athletes Earn in Canada?

Salaries in Canada are very competitive and, as an experienced Athlete, you can expect to earn between $64700 and $104500 per year.

How do I search for Athlete positions in Canada?

Most Athlete jobs in Canada are advertised online on jobs sites.  Often, a code is used to identify Athlete jobs.  These codes are used across Canada to identify all kinds of occupations.


The codes are called NOC codes.  The NOC code for Athlete is 5251.  There are a range of positions that are associated with Athletes.


These are occupations many Athletes also participate in.  If you work in or are employed as any of the following positions, you are covered by the overarching noc code of 5251 for Athletes


Athletes participate in competitive sports events on an amateur or professional basis. They play team sports such as hockey baseball football and lacrosse; or compete in individual sports such as skiing figure skating boxing or track and field; or in games such as poker or chess. They are employed by professional team organizations or they may be self-employed.;


Further Positions within the term of Athlete include:


  • Amateur athlete
  • Archer
  • Athlete
  • Automobile racer
  • Badminton player
  • Baseball player
  • Basketball player
  • Billiard player
  • Bowler
  • Boxer
  • Canoeist
  • Chess player
  • Chuckwagon driver
  • Chuckwagon racer – stampede
  • Competitor – chess
  • Competitor – gambling
  • Coxswain
  • Curler
  • Cyclist
  • Demolition driver
  • Discus thrower
  • Diver – olympic sport
  • Fencer
  • Figure skater
  • Football player
  • Footballer
  • Gamer – video games
  • Golf player
  • Golfer
  • Gymnast
  • Hammer thrower
  • Handball player
  • Harness race driver
  • Harness racing driver
  • Helmsman – sports
  • Hockey player
  • Javelin thrower
  • Jockey


If your position is on the above list, you have found your relevant NOC Code, it is 5251

How Do I Move to Canada to Live and Work as an Athlete?

Step 1 : Determine you are eligible to immigrate

The simplest way to do this is to take our free visa assessment.  There are more than 80 visa pathways to Canada.  Once you take your visa assessment we will be able to guide you as to which is the best path for your particular circumstances.

Step 2: Have Your Qualifications Accredited for Canada

In order to live and work in Canada as an Athlete, you will need to have your qualifications that you earned outside of Canada accredited and ensure that it is recognized in Canada.


An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) confirms that your degree, diploma or certificate is both valid and equal to Canadian standards. This is vital as it will allow you to claim the Permanent Residency points for your education and training and might also be required for employment, professional registration within Canada and Canadian immigration services.


Below is a list of designated organizations that are  licensed to do your assessment:


  • Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies;
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada;
  • World Education Services;
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS); and
  • International Credential Evaluation Service.


Educational and experience requirements for Athletes include:


  • Demonstrated ability in a particular sport or type of game is required.
  • Extensive training under the supervision of a coach is required.
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .


You may be required to provide a range of documentation and references to prove your abilities and experience during your evaluation process for Canadian Immigration.

Start Your Evaluation

Step 3: Start the Migration Process, apply for your Canada Visa

There are many routes you can take when moving to Canada as an Athlete but we’ve listed the top 4 ways that will give you the greatest chances of success in the application process:


  1. Express Entry system
  2. Provincial Nominee Program
  3. The Rural and Northern Immigration Program
  4. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot


1. Express Entry

The Express Entry (EE) system is our top choice for moving to Canada as an Athlete. Not only is it the fastest but it is also one of the simplest ways to immigrate to Canada. With the right age, language skills in French and/or English, qualifications and other criteria you could be moving to Canada fast, you could be on your way to Canada in 6 months.


The first stage in your Canadian Express Entry immigration process is to calculate your Canada Immigration points for Express Entry using the Canadian Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).


Some of the elements that CRS Points are awarded for include:


  • Age
  • Qualifications
  • English ability
  • French ability
  • Your partner’s skills
  • Work experience


Take our free online visa assessment for an up to date report on whether you have enough points to move to Canada as an Athlete from both an Express Entry and Immigration points perspective.


2. Provincial Nominee Program


The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows skilled and semi-skilled immigrants to live and work in Canada. You will need a valid job offer in Canada of at least 1 year for most immigration streams. 11 provinces and territories have their own PNPs, each with their own with specific labor needs.


If your skills match what your chosen province or territory is looking for, you may receive a provincial nomination, which is worth 600 extra Permanent Residency points which means that you’re practically assured of an offer for Canadian permanent residence.


3. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot


Seeing as Athletes are in-demand you may be eligible to immigrate to Canada through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP). There are 11 participating communities currently participating in the pilot program. You will need a valid job offer in one of the participating communities to be considered eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residency through the RNIP.


4. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot


The Atlantic Immigration Pilot allows intermediate to highly and semi-skilled foreign workers to move to Canada’s Atlantic provinces and seeing as Athletes are in high need in the 4 Atlantic provinces, you may be eligible to apply if you have a valid job offer for at least 1 year.

Step 4: Apply for an Athlete Job in Canada

As a highly skilled worker, it is not a requirement that you have a job to be able to immigrate to Canada but it will make it faster. It will help with the immigration process as you can earn between 50 and 200 PR points for a valid job offer.  This moves you ahead in the pool of candidates, as the more points you have the more chance you have of receiving an invitation in one of the many offer rounds made within the Canada Visa System.


Athletes in Canada are described as doing the following:



  • Train under the direction of a coach or trainer to qualify for competition
  • Attend scheduled practice and training sessions
  • Participate in local regional provincial national or international competitions and sporting events
  • Assess performance after an event to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Identify and recruit developing athletes for professional sports teams
  • Observe and evaluate prospective athletes’ skills and performance and review their past records



You can expect to see these terms in Job ads in Canada for Athletes along with the following common tasks, duties and responsibilities of Athletes in Canada.


There has never been a better time to get moving to Canada as an Athlete.

If you are looking to apply to move to Canada in a different occupation, you can find the information on our Canada Skilled Immigration Guides page.

If you are looking for a job in Canada – you can find a guide on each occupation and the job application procedure for Canada on our Canada Job Guides index.

As mentioned above you will need to attend the Canadian Embassy nearest you during your application process to live in Canada as an Athlete.  You can find the complete list of all Canadian Embassies Worldwide here.

Jacqueline Chow is an international immigration and visa expert with over 15 years of experience in the field. With a background in law and a passion for helping people, Jacqueline has built a reputation as a trusted and reliable source of information and advice on all aspects of immigration and visas. She has worked with clients from all over the world, including high-net-worth individuals, professionals, skilled workers and families. As a sought-after speaker and commentator Jacqueline has been featured in various media outlets and has given talks on immigration and visas at conferences and events around the world.