Are you new to Canada, or thinking of immigrating here for a job? You need to know how to get a job in Canada. Also you should know that employers here might ask if you have “Canadian Work Experience.”
This may sound like an odd question. There you are, coming from outside our country. You may have years of work experience and proper credentials from your homeland. Yet that may not be enough to convince Canadian employers of your worth.
So what is “Canadian Experience” and how can you get it (or get around it)? Read on for more.
What Do Employers Mean By “Canadian Experience?”
According to Jeffrey Lee, Employment Specialist /Practicum Coordinator at CDI College in Burnaby, British Columbia, “Employers look for Canadian workplace experience so that employees are familiar with workplace culture, social cues, and expectations.”
Since different cultures may have different ways of handling situations, “newcomers with ‘Canadian workplace experience’ are seen as being more capable of getting along with the workgroup,” adds Lee. He also notes that having your professional credentials and education authenticated here is important too.
There are other aspects to Canadian experience as well. Peter Dudka, Acting Program Manager, Transition to Employment Programs at Polycultural Immigrant & Community Services in Toronto, Ontario, points out that employers favour the following:
– Fluent English or French, depending on what province you are in. This is crucial. Accent is not an issue, but clear expression of ideas and understanding local terminology are what matter
– Local certification. Not necessarily a two year diploma or a Bachelor’s degree, but even the shortest course here that is relevant to the job will help you stand out from other job seekers
– Narrow specialization. Many newcomers instead offer (in resumes or during job interviews) wide experience and education, from which it is difficult to extract whether they can do that particular job or not.
Dudka adds to this list “the art of selling yourself, which is foreign to many newcomers in Canada. It is related to the previous point: you need to be able to clearly highlight your strengths in one particular field.”
How To Get “Canadian Experience”
No Canadian experience, no job. No job, no Canadian experience. It’s a conundrum that many thousands of newcomers face each year. Fortunately there are ways to overcome this obstacle.
Jeffrey Lee, who has helped internationally-trained professionals find employment, offers advice. “Many recent immigrants can start by volunteering with various charitable organizations, offering their expertise for a variety of projects.”
As well, Lee recommends attending a professional mentoring group where skilled immigrants are paired with local professional peers, to talk about how to prepare for entry into their desired occupation. One such program in B.C. is from MOSAIC. He also suggests volunteering at businesses related to your profession, if they are open to this.
Peter Dudka suggests connecting with local agencies in Canada that offer free employment assistance to immigrants. “Through our agency, for example,” says Dudka, “we offer advanced English classes, work placements in Canadian companies, interview preparation courses and networking events with local employers.
If you happen to live in Quebec, you can get Canadian experience working in something called a Practice Firm. These are specially made businesses that only interact with one another. No actual money or salaries are involved. Practice Firms are training facilities that let you do specific jobs as if for real. There are 30 of these Firms in Quebec, and one in Ontario. A list of these is available at the Canadian Practice Firms Network (CPFN).
Taking A Lower Level Job To Get “Canadian Experience”
To get your start in Canada, you may want to consider taking a lower level job here than you are used to. It could be quicker for you to get initial employment that pays less. While it may be a step down, it translates into Canadian experience. The truth is that this is a common approach for a good percentage of newcomers.
However be careful not to get stuck in a menial job that is hard to move upward from. It would be smart to consult directly with one of those local newcomer agencies mentioned above. They can advise you personally based on your circumstances and needs. Meanwhile, read Monster.ca articles on Working for Less: When It’s OK to Take a Pay Cut, and Should I Apply To A Job If I’m Overqualified?.
More About “Canadian Experience”
According to Jeffrey Lee, some industries such as IT (Information Technology, e.g. computing, software, telecommunications) may be less strict about where your experience is gained. Therefore this field might be easier to penetrate in Canada. At present, European-trained engineers may also have an easier time to get their credentials acknowledged than ones trained in Asia or the Middle East.
Other skilled immigrants can benefit from a program offered by the not-for-profit Allies, says Peter Dudka. Allies has created a National Mentoring Initiative in various cities across Canada. Mentoring offers a connection between a skilled immigrant and an established Canadian professional in the same or related occupation. It’s a way of helping skilled newcomers integrate into the workforce faster.
Working in this great country can be marvelous. There are all sorts of challenges and rewards for immigrants.
Getting your start here can be difficult, no doubt. It will make things easier if you’re prepared when the interviewer asks: “Tell us about your Canadian experience.”
While I completely understand that it’s a daunting task of waiting impatiently for your PR, so why not utilize this time and be prepared for the upcoming challenges, like landing procedures, finding a Job without Canadian Experience and settlement services in your dream country.
Anyways, first let’s talk about the various stages from eAOR to PPR in Express Entry for PR in Canada. Although timelines may vary based on Country and Stream, below is a basic summary:
– Electronic Acknowledgement of Receipt- A letter saying that your application is submitted with the application number mentioned;
2. Medicals Passed
– Medicals Pass and file is initially opened to check for R10 satisfaction at the CIO (Central Intake Office);
3. BG IP (1)
– Background Check In Progress for the 1st time – This usually happens on the same day your Medicals are Passed. At this stage, immigration officials check for all documents and also whether the applicant is missing any documents. They do not scrutinize the documents at this stage, except for Police Clearance Certificate. Additional documents like Schedule A, Travel History, Family Info, Proof of Something, etc.) may be requested at this stage.
4. BG NA – Not Applicable
– This usually happens between 1-3 months from eAOR. This is when applicants’ first phase of A11.1, Eligibility and Documents are checked by the CIO. At this stage, the agent checks the following:
if the points match are above the round’s ITA points,
eligibility under the stream is met,
points are claimed genuinely and if there are no irregularities in the documents or work experience, NOC, etc.
After this, the application is sent to the Local Visa Office (LVO) for finalization and second checks.
5. BG IP (2)
– Back Ground Check In Progress for the 2nd time – This is the stage wherein the LVO opens the file and check’s your entire application and also confirms the notes and insights written by the CIO agent.
This usually happens after all the security, criminality and eligibility is passed and most likely around the 4-5 month mark from the e-AOR.
– Passport Request mail – Ready for Visa – This is the mail which every applicant anxiously waits for, and is often referred to as The Golden Email. This means that the officer is satisfied and has approved your application and has requested your passport (if needed) or photocopy of passport (if it is from visa-exempt country) along with 2 photos and annex A form to stamp the Immigrant Visa and Issue the CoPR – Confirmation of Permanent Residency (a letter serving proof that you are a PR). This letter is used for “landing” at the border and in officially becoming a Permanent Resident. This letter may later on be used for Citizenship Application (if applicable).
If your PPR is delayed and you reach the 7th month mark, learn how to get more information regarding your application by Requesting GCMS Notes.
2. How to find the stages in Express Entry Online Application
Generally messages will be like below in IP1 status:
3. What documents should I bring with me when landing in Canada as a New Immigrant?
When you come to Canada, you must show your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and Canadian immigrant visa to a Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) officer at the Port of Entry.
The IRCC officer will check that your documents have not expired. You cannot use expired documents. Canadian immigrant visas cannot be extended, so make sure you arrive in Canada before it expires.
You must bring a valid passport with you.
You need to have 2 copies of a detailed list of your belongings that you are bringing with you and their value in Canadian funds. You also need a list of the items that are arriving later and their value in Canadian funds.
You may be asked to show proof of funds. If you are carrying more than C$10,000, you must tell a border official.
What other documents should I bring with me?
Make sure that you have the following documents:
Birth certificate or adoption papers
Family records (such as, marriage certificate or divorce papers)
Medical records (such as immunization records)
Official school records for children
Diplomas, degrees and transcripts
Academic credentials evaluation report (if you had your education assessed before coming to Canada)
Reference letters from previous and current employers
Professional or trade licences or qualification certificates
Up-to-date résumé or summary of work experience
Valid driver’s licence or other identification documents
Vehicle registration documents (if you are importing a vehicle into Canada)
For More Information
Canada Border Services Agency – CBSA is responsible for border services (port-of-entry services), customs and enforcement of some immigration laws in Canada.
Send E-mail to: CPC-CTD-Ottawa@cic.gc.ca Subject: E000xxxx – Visa Office Body of the mail: Hello, I am trying to find out in which Visa office my application is being processed? Application number: E000xxxx Date of Birth: 19xx-xx-xx Last Name: xxx First Name: xxxx UCI: – Category of Immigration: Federal Skilled Worker
4. Notable JOB MARKETS in Canada:
Canada is a prosperous job market and suitable for shifting for professionals of different fields. The job avenues are based and allocated on the basis of qualifications and work experience. It is important that you dwell into research and basis ground work before applying for a job position so that employment can be achieved positively based on your credentials.
Job opportunities for Nurses: The job market for this profile is highly in demand in Nova Scotia.
Employment for Immigrant Dentist: It is a highly lucrative position in four provinces: – Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Manitoba.
5. Mistakes to avoid so that Canada PR is not rejected:
Some of the mistakes that a candidate makes while submitting their application for Canada PR are as follows:
Improper Signing of the documents – It is the most commonly occurring mistake in the application submission process. Candidates miss the places where signatures needed to be put. For example in case of Additional family application/form, a single page needs to be signed in 3 places. In most of the cases candidate signs in the bottom of the page and miss the other 2 places where signatures are also required, it depends whether the candidate is accompanied by a spouse or dependent child. Taking another example, there is a form where the signature is only required only in case if a translator is used and mostly candidates sign in that place also. These mistakes can get the candidate’s application returned and the candidate has to start all over again.
Incorrect fees paid – Every immigration program requires a certain amount of fees to be paid and each program have a different amount to be paid. This funds also need to be submitted via different modes of payment like demand draft, certified cheque etc as asked by the immigration program candidate have applied under. For example, if the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF) fees is paid by bank draft to the foreign visa office then it will be returned back to the candidate and it will delay your application as the mode of fee payment for RPRF is to be paid online. Immigration office around the world can accept the fees in the local currency of the country candidate is residing in but for that candidate first have to check online and confirm the exchange rate for the currency there only. Candidate needs to be extra careful when paying the fees and the specific amount that has to be paid.
Photo Dimensions – Candidates needs to upload or submit their photo in exact dimensions as provided by the Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in their instructions for specific type of immigration application such as medical forms for PR applications etc. If candidate is not able to submit the application with the proper size of the photograph, then the application will be returned to the candidate.
Submitting only the documents mentioned on the IRCC checklist – Sometimes candidates need to provide some additional documents other than mentioned by the IRCC. For example, if the candidate is moving to Canada with their common-law partner, then they have to provide with an affidavit from their friends and family members attesting to their relationship and stating that it is exclusive, committed and marriage-like. The candidate has to provide with some additional documents it all depend on the type of case, but phone records, bank records, lease records, correspondence, text messages etc. can be a very big help in moving the candidate’s application forward.
Supplemental Forms – In cases of certain countries, the candidate needs to provide with some additional forms and information that is not mentioned/obvious on the initial immigration applicant forms. For example Residency Questionnaire for people living in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. And Work Experience Questionnaire required by people living in Islamabad, Pakistan. Candidate needs to make sure that they submit their application with these supplemental forms as submitting them without these can get the application rejected and returned.
Providing with missing or wrong information – If a candidate has submitted their application with improper information or missing information, the whole application can be rejected as the IRCC depends on the information provided for selecting the application for Canada PR. The main consequence for providing the wrong information is the exclusion from Canada for at least 2 years or more. If the candidate’s application is missing any information than IRCC needs to know the reason why the information is missing and when it will be provided. Failing to do the same will get the application returned to the candidate.
Illegible handwriting – All the applications can be filled online and with the help of Adobe Reader – that is free software. But mostly candidates prefer to fill the applications by hand and that is never advisable. Handwritten forms cannot be verified. Verified forms, using Adobe Reader, creates a series of barcodes that can easily be recorded by IRCC in their computer systems. The hand-written form will take time to process as it requires the tedious transfer of information thus delaying the whole process.
Cover Letter not provided – Cover letter can help the immigration officer to process your application with less time as it establishes who is applying for what, and the main reason why the applicant qualifies for immigration.
Waiting for the criminal record checks – Mostly the candidates wait for the criminal record check before submitting their application which is not advisable. If the candidate is not applying for Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation – criminal record check is not required. Waiting for too long for the application submission in wait for the criminal record, may get the rules to change and suddenly the candidate can no longer qualify for programs like Federal Skilled Category etc.
Application Mailing – If the candidate is asked by the IRCC to mail the application to appropriate office for processing, then it is best to use registered mail or in some cases it is even better to use a courier service. Doing so helps the candidate to track the application and have proof that it has arrived at its destination.
6. No Money for Proof of Funds? Gift Deed is the solution:
GIFT DEED Format
I, Your Father Name, S/o Your Grandfather Name , R/o ADDRESS, do hereby on dated 00/10/2016 make a gift-deed for a gift made on dated of 00/10/2016, Rs. 000000/-
(Rupees Only) out of love and affection to my Son (Your Name), S/o Father Name, ADDRESS. I confirm that I am a resident of India. I, further confirm that this gift is
being made out of my own funds standing to the credit of my A/c No.- 000000000 in ABC Bank, Bank Address. I, further confirm that the consideration for this gift is
the love and affection for my Son (Your Name) and no other consideration.
I further confirm that the gift has been made by Cheque No. 000000 dated 00/10/2016 drawn on ABC Bank, BANK ADDRESS. This gift is irrevocable and I have no claim left
whatsoever on the said gifted amount and he is free to utilise it in any manner.
(Your Father Name)
The gift as stated above is accepted
I, Your Father Name S/o Your Grandfather Name R/o ADDRESS, do hereby state as under:
That I have gifted a sum INR Rs. 000000 (Rupees Only) through Cheque No. 00000 dated 00-10-2016 drawn on ABC Bank, BANK ADDRESS to my son Your Name R/o ADDRESS.
That I am an Income Tax assessee having PAN No. XXXXXXXX and this gift is being made from my own past savings.
That this gift is irrevocable and I have no claim left whatsoever on the said gifted amount and he is free to utilize it in any manner.
I, Your Father Name S/o Your Grandfather Name do hereby verify and confirm that contents of above deposition are true and correct and nothing material has been
LETTER OF EXPLANATION
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Subject: Funds Proof- Source of Funds
Application No. 0000000000
This is with regards the source of funds in my account. Please be informed that I hold savings account in following Indian Bank:
Bank Name Branch Account Number IFSC Code MICR Code
XYZ Bank bank address 00000000000000 000000000000 00000000
I received INR 00000 (Lac Only) as a result of my Father’s volition and a mark of his natural love and affection towards me. This deed is reflecting in transaction
dated 00/10/2016 via Cheque No. 00000 dated 000/10/2016 in my XYZ Bank account statement enclosed with this letter. I have also enclosed a Gift Deed letter, an
affidavit and a scanned copy of Cheque No. 00000 (drawn on ABC Bank, Account No. 0000000) signed by my father for your reference. If you have any further
clarifications, please call me on: +91-000000000 or email me at: 000000@00000
Thanks and Regards,
What exactly is Right of Permanent Residence Fee?
The Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF) is paid by permanent resident applicants when their applications are approved. Permanent residence status is not granted until the RPRF is paid. The RPRF can be paid at the same time as your application fees to help reduce delays during processing. If you don’t pay the RPRF up front, we will contact you with instructions on how to pay. If you paid the RPRF up front and your application is not approved, it will be refunded.
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