Saturday, November 24, 2007

Immigration Tips

There are regional differences in the economy!

Most newcomers to Canada choose to settle in the larger Canadian cities - most often Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto. Canada is an extremely large country and the economy differs in the various regions of the country. In some areas, resource industries such as mining, forestry, or fishing provide most of the employment opportunities. In other areas, however, financial services, high technology industries and communications are the growth areas. While Ontario is traditionally the engine of Canada's economy - and the city of Toronto is the economic centre of the country - there are regional differences here as well. Rural and northern Ontario is much, much different than Toronto or Ottawa or Windsor for example.

What this means for you is that while you may have heard that Canada has a need for aerospace engineers, for example, it may turn out that opportunities for aerospace engineers only exist in certain regions of the country - thousands of miles from where friends or family have settled. Don't make the mistake of assuming that the same kinds of opportunities exist all over Canada and all over Ontario.

English language skills are becoming increasingly important!

In virtually every profession, English language skills are becoming critical. Employers expect all employees to be able to communicate with clients or patients, write reports, contribute to meetings, and execute marketing plans. You may find that even if you are a highly qualified professional, your ability to find a good job will be affected by your level of English fluency.

It can take time to become established in Canada!

The process of having your professional and educational qualifications assessed, and finding a job can take time.

What you can do to make the transition to Canada easier?

Research Your Field - Find out what the labour market conditions are for the field you are interested in, within the region you are considering.

Find out what the requirements are to practice your profession in the province where you want to work.

For example: each regulated profession in Ontario has different requirements which you must meet in order to practice here.

Have your credentials assessed before you leave your country!

In most cases, you can begin the application process of becoming recognized in your profession in Canada before you leave. This is will save you time once you are here, since it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to find work in your field if you are not recognized. Request an application package from the occupational regulatory body for your profession. Depending on the profession, you will probably be told that you can send the required documents to the regulatory body for assessment immediately and will be notified of the results while you are still in your home country.

Remember - even if you have already had your credentials assessed for immigration purposes, this does not take the place of assessments done by the professional regulatory body in the province. To be certain that your education meets the provincial standards, you must have your credentials assessed by the professional regulatory body.

Bring the appropriate documents and contact information with you when you come to Canada!

If you have not already gone through the assessment process, you will have to do it when you arrive. Depending on the profession, you may be asked to submit to the occupational regulatory body:

  • A resumé.
  • A copy - usually an official copy - of your degree/diploma.
  • An official transcript from your university/college. (Usually directly from the institution to the occupational regulatory body.)
  • An official copy of current registrations, permits, licenses to practice in your field in your country of origin.
  • Letters or other documents which give details of your work experience.
  • Copies of letters of completion of continuing education (upgrading) courses.
  • The curriculum, or syllabus, of your college/ university program.
Collecting all of these documents can be time-consuming. If you come prepared, it will speed up the process.

Improve your english!

If you are not fluent in English, you should improve your English language communication skills as much as possible before coming to Canada. Most occupational regulatory bodies require some kind of proof of fluency. More importantly, employers are demanding a higher and higher degree of English language fluency.

Note: If you are French-speaking, you may meet the language requirements for your profession. Since French is one of the official languages in Canada, most occupational regulatory bodies accept French for licensing purposes. You may find, however, that some employers do not, since English is the most common language used in other provinces.

The job search process in Canada may be quite different from what you are used to.

Although many professional positions are advertised in newspapers, most are not. Instead, jobs are found through a variety of techniques and you will probably need to conduct a very active job search in order to be successful.
  • Resumé
  • References
  • Canadian Experience
Many professional regulatory bodies require you to have Canadian work experience in your profession before they will grant you a license. Gaining Canadian experience in your field can be very difficult. You will need to look for an entry level position in your field to gain the required experience. You may think you are over-qualified for these kinds of positions but in many professions - engineering and accounting, for example - it is necessary to gain the experience before you can gain a license and rise to the level for which you are qualified.

Networking

Networking simply means meeting others in your field. It is an increasingly important technique in searching for work. Many positions are not advertised. It is only through "word-of-mouth" that you will find out that a certain company is looking for certain types of professionals. You can network by joining associations, attending workshops, courses, and lectures, through family and friends, or by volunteering, for example. Networking does not often immediately result in a job but it will help you to become established in your field and find out about opportunities for employment.

Teamwork

Canadian workers - and especially professionals - increasingly work in small groups, rather than individually. Employers, therefore, are very interested in people who have good teamwork skills - people who participate constructively in meetings, cooperate, communicate and generally work well with others. These kinds of people are often called "team players" and if you can prove that you are that kind of person, you will have an advantage in the job market.

SOME GOOD ADVICE
  1. Always make certain that you have all the facts at your disposal.
  2. Always provide all information as requested by the authorities and in a timly fashion
  3. Never ever lie on any of the forms provided. Your application will be declined due to misrepresentation.
  4. Always follow through will all required steps.
  5. Always be persistent in your attempts. Persistence brings success.
  6. Always be respectful towards all immigration authorities.
  7. Always keep copies of everything that is sent to immigration authorities.
  8. Always check your representatives credentials and ask for references
  9. Once you have hired a qualified consultant / lawyer make sure you have an agreement in place

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