Immigrate to Canada as a Graphic Designer
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Immigrate to Canada as a Graphic Designer And Illustrator

Do you have a strong flair for designing or do you enjoy making creative works or are you already a professional designer-particularly in the area of graphic design? If you do and are looking for a dynamic work environment, then immigrating to may be the right choice for you. This article features how to immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer and illustrator.

Recently, there is an increased demand for graphic designers in many industries in Canada, including marketing, manufacturing, advertising, publishing, and other specialized fields, qualified and talented designers are constantly sorted.

From movie posters and magazine ads to billboards and cereal boxes, we’re surrounded by carefully produced visual art every day.

Obviously, these visuals are meant to grab people’s attention, deliver information, and motivate them to take action. And, graphic designers are the ones that come up with these eye-catching combinations of images, colors, and text.

Consequently,  if you intend to immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer,, you are making the right decision; however, there are certain things you must know about immigrating to Canada as a graphic designer to help you transition from your dream to reality.

So, this article will equip you with everything you need to know about immigrating to Canada as a graphic designer.

What Do Graphic Designers and Illustrators do in Canada?

Like other jobs requiring creative thinking, graphic designers are saddled with the task of creating graphic art and visual materials to communicate information effectively for publications, advertising, films, packaging, posters, signs, and interactive media such as Web sites and CDs, while Illustrators design and create illustrations to represent information visually.

They use elements such as shapes, colors, typography, images, and other visual elements to communicate ideas to an audience.

Specifically, they work for advertising and graphic design firms, businesses with advertising or communications departments, and multimedia production companies, or they can work for themselves.

Sometimes, graphic designers can work in-house, creating designs for a single brand, or as a freelancer or at an agency, working with a variety of clients.

Examples of works under Graphic Design and Illustrator

According to the Canada NOC code 5241 there are many job titles included under the graphic designer and illustrator position. Therefore, you can choose any of them if you immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer and illustrator.

Thus, the following are examples of graphic designer and illustrator jobs;

  • Advertising artistAdvertising designer
  • Advertising layout designer
  • 3D animation artist
  • advertising designer
  • animator – animated films
  • banknote designer
  • cartoonist
  • commercial artist
  • graphic artist
  • graphic designer
  • illustrator
  • graphic designer – multimedia
  • layout designer
  • medical illustrator
  • multimedia illustrator
  • scientific illustrator
  • Advertising art director
  • Advertising art supervisor
  • Animated cartoon artist
  • Animated cartoon colourist
  • Animation artist
  • Advertising illustrator
  • Advertising illustrator chief
  • Animation layout designer
  • Animator – animated films
  • Art layout designer
  • Artistic illustrator
  • Animated cartoon artist – visual arts
  • Assistant animator – animated films
  • Background artist
  • Bank note designer
  • Biological illustrator
  • Business forms designer
  • Calligrapher
  • Calligraphic artist
  • Caricaturist
  • Cartoon film artist
  • Cartoonist
  • Cartoonist sketch
  • Catalogue illustrator
  • Cell animator
  • Character animator
  • Colour artist – cartoons
  • Colourist – cartoons
  • Commercial artist

Works excluded from graphic designer and illustrator in Canada

However, there are work titles that are not included in the graphic designer and illustrator under NOC code 5241 as stated above. That is because those work titles are excluded from the job of graphic designer and illustrator in Canada. The jobs excluded are:

  • Advertising managers (See 0124 Advertising, public relation managers and marketing )
  • Graphic arts technicians (See 5223)
  • Interior designers and interior decorators (See 5242 )
  • Painters, sculptors, and other visual artists (See 5136)

Main duties of a Graphic Designer and Illustrator  in Canada

Graphic designers perform the following listed  duties;

  • Consult with clients to determine the overall look, graphic elements, and content of communications materials that will meet their needs.
  • Determine the best medium for producing the desired visual effect and the best vehicle for communication.
  • Create graphic elements that meet the needs of the clients.
  • Prepare sketches, layouts, and graphic elements of the subjects to be rendered with traditional tools, multimedia software, image processing, layout, and design software.
  • Estimate the cost of materials and time required to complete graphic design using existing photo and illustration banks and typography guides, or hire an illustrator or photographer to create images that meet clients’ communication needs.
  • Use existing photo and illustration banks, as well as typography guides, or hire an illustrator or photographer to create images that meet the communication needs of the clients.
  • Create guidelines for illustrators and photographers.
  • Coordination of all aspects of print, audio-visual, or electronic materials, such as Web sites, CDs, and interactive terminals
  • Coordination of subcontracting
  • Supervise other graphic designers or graphic arts technicians in a multidisciplinary environme


  • Consult with clients to determine the nature and content of illustrations that will best meet their communication
  • Create realistic or representational sketches and final illustrations for printed materials such as books, magazines, packaging, greeting cards, and stationery by hand or with computer-assisted design (CAD) software.
  • Contribute to the creation of storyboards for electronic productions such as multimedia, interactive, and digital products, as well as television advertising and productions.
  • Create two-dimensional and three-dimensional animated drawings or computer illustrations.
  • Existing illustrations may be adapted.

N/B Illustrators may specialize in a specific field, such as children’s illustrations or advertising illustrations.

Employment requirements to immigrate to Canada as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator

Basically, before you plan on immigrating to Canada as a graphic designer or illustrator, there are certain employment criteria you have to fulfil. These requirements are in two categories which are general and specific requirements.

Therefore, any immigrant who wants to work in Canada must meet the general requirements below.

General requirements to work in Canada

As earlier mentioned, there are general requirements you must meet before you move to Canada as a worker. Therefore, to immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer or illustrator, you must meet the following requirements.

  • Language requirements
  • Age requirements
  • Education requirements
  • Arranged employment
  • Adaptability
  • Work experience
  • Your partner’s ability

Specific requirements to immigrate to Canada a graphic designer

However, irrespective of the general requirements mentioned above, to immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer or illustrator, you will still have to meet the specific requirements for your job. Therefore, you must meet the following requirements stated below;

  • A bachelor’s degree in visual arts with a concentration in graphic design, commercial art, graphic communications, or cartooning is required, or completion of a college diploma program in graphic arts.
  • It is possible that experience or training in multimedia design at a post-secondary, college, or technical institution will be required.
  • Medical, technical, and scientific illustrators typically require training in biology, engineering, architecture, or a scientific field in addition to the arts.
  • Graphic designers and illustrators must have creative ability and artistic talent, as evidenced by a portfolio of work.
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Pathways to immigrate to Canada as a Graphic designer and illustrator

Basically, there are different pathways or programs through which you can immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer or illustrator.

Hence, the following options are available for you to choose from;

  • Express entry
  • Provincial Nominee Programs
  • In-Demand occupations

Express entry

One of the most common pathways to immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer or illustrator is through the express entry system pool. After your registration, you’ll need to wait for an Invitation-to-Apply (ITA) from Immigration and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Generally, once the CIC selects the top candidates from the Express Entry pool and sends them an invitation to apply based on their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points.

1200 is the perfect Comprehensive Ranking Score. A job offer in Canada or a provincial nomination certificate is worth a whopping 600 points.

To date, all draws for migration to Canada as a graphic designer or illustrator have exceeded 449 CRS Points.

However, using the express entry means that you must meet certain requirements. There are three programs under the express entry system which are:

  • Canada experience class
  • Federal skilled worker program
  • Federal skilled trades program

The FSWP is the ideal option for you if you want to immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer. Once you complete the basic requirements, you can apply for this program and gain easy entrance to Canada.

Provincial Nominee Program

The provincial nominee program allows you to move to Canada as a graphic designer. You must, however, choose to live and work in the province.

A provincial nominee program is a program run by Canadian provinces to attract workers who desire to relocate to their province.

Each Canadian province has its own provincial nominee program. Learn more about the requirements for various nominee programs in Canada.

Below are the nomination programs for each province and territory in Canada.

In-Demand occupations

Individuals with a certain job offer in one of the Canadian provinces can immigrate to Canada. In fact, NOC classifies certain jobs in Canada as In-demands jobs.

As a result, you may be able to immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer through this immigration pathway. You can see if your job title or position is on the list of in-demand jobs maintained by the NOC.

If it’s on the list, you can apply to work as a graphic designer in Canada, which is a high-demand job.

Steps to immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer

As with anything in life, following a step-by-step, tried-and-test process is often the best approach to get things. The entire immigration process can be simplified by following these four steps:

Step 1: Open a Valid Express Entry Profile

First, you must create an Express Entry profile in order to immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer.

However, creating an express entry profile is useless. Express Entry is when the real work begins; it’s the start, not the finish, of your immigration journey.

You must create the best possible Express Entry profile by meeting the Canadian Immigration criteria, which will offer you those all-important Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points.

Step 2: Decide on a program

Secondly, when you create your express entry profile, you should have a clear idea of the program you want to apply to. There are numerous options available. The following are some of the programs:

  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal skilled trade program
  • Federal skilled worker program
  • Provincial Nominee programs

Step 3: Obtain a job offer from a Canadian employer

Thirdly, finding a valid job offer from a Canadian company or firm is the next step if you wish to immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer. The Labour Market Impact Assessment will have to approve your employer’s request.

Furthermore, the company or firm must demonstrate that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is capable of filling the vacancy.

Step 4: Get an invitation to apply

fourthly, If you meet the requirements for any of the express entry programs, you will receive an invitation to apply. The Comprehensive Ranking System will be used to evaluate your profile.

Age, language, work experience, and other criteria are taken into account by the CRS. You must have your documentation and application on hand at all times.

This is due to the fact that you must apply within 60 days after receiving an invitation.

Step 5: Submit your supporting documents

So, once you have received an invitation to apply (ITA), you only have 60 days from the time you receive an invitation to apply to submit your application and supporting documents.

Job offer letter, language proficiency exam result, identity card, proof of funds, and work experience evidence are among the supporting documents.

In addition, there is a CAD $150 application fee to pay.

Step 6: Obtain your work permit

The processing of your visa to immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer takes roughly two weeks.

So, after you receive an email indicating that your visa has been approved, get ready to enter Canada. Your work permit will be issued at a Canadian port of entry.

Step 7: Welcome to Canada

Finally, once your application has been granted, you can enter Canada. Ensure that you pick up your work permit at a Canadian border crossing. You will not be able to work in Canada unless you have this.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I immigrate to Canada as a graphic designer?

Yes, You Can! Graphic designers are on the Canadian NOC List under code 5241 and are qualified to move to Canada.

Is graphic design a viable career option in Canada?

Yes, Graphic designers in Canada can expect to be well compensated for their work. The average graphic designer salary is slightly more than $40,000 per year. You can expect a starting salary of $32,000 to $35,000, and you can earn up to $75,000 per year after a few years of experience.

Is there a market for illustrators in Canada?

Over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (due to expansion and replacement demand) for graphic designers and illustrators are expected to total 21,500, with 23,600 new job seekers (due to school leavers, immigration, and mobility) available to fill them.


In conclusion, if you want to work as a graphic designer or illustrator in Canada, you may be able to do so with ease if you follow this guide. In any case, you must meet all of the necessary requirements.

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