Recently, I have been receiving many a queries regarding immigration to Canada and also regarding the Student Visas. Hence I am posting the very same article I posted on 15 February 2015. There has been no major change in the Canadian immigration policies despite the new Liberal Party government taking office.
Canada has the most educated and qualified truck and cab drivers and security guards in the world. Many of them are immigrants who hold postgraduate degrees in Medicine, Pharmacy, Engineering, Management and Law. These are the ones who could not qualify through the strict licensing regimes of Canada in their disciplines. They are well qualified and many held important job positions back home, but are less conversant with the demands of their profession in Canada. Many who qualified through the licensing procedure had either succeeded in erasing their (bad or wrong) experiences back home or have worked hard and learnt the Canadian requirements of their profession.
Canada’s education system produces enough highly educated and trained professionals to fill the entry level positions in engineering and applied sciences. There are some openings available in the Healthcare field like doctors, pharmacists and nurses, but the effort required to obtain a license is pretty herculean. The Canadian labour markets demand skilled trades (plumbers, electricians, and truck drivers), retail sector workers, and obviously caregivers to look after the very young and the very old. The engineers and doctors who immigrated in the past 20 years learned this bitter lesson after they landed in Canada.
Over the past 20 years, there are many cases of Canadian immigrants from Africa, Eastern Europe, and South Asia who claim to have been duped into immigrating to Canada. They found it extremely hard to find a job in any field, let alone pursue careers in which they were qualified back home. In fact, recent immigrants are the new face of urban poverty in Canada.
These immigrants themselves are to be blamed for their present status. Most of them applied for immigration to Canada without adequate research about their job prospects, licensing procedures, requirement of tests like IELTS, TOFEL, etc. Many in the healthcare field landed without exploring the licensing requirements to practice in Canada. They are the most vocal group among the disgruntled immigrants.
The Canadian government also shares the blame for the archaic point system it used to qualify applicants for immigration. Even when Canada faced serious shortages for truck drivers (the most common profession among immigrant Canadian males), the government was busy admitting doctors and engineers. Instead of prioritising younger applicants, the system brought in middle-aged workers, who were educated, but not necessarily skilled for Canadian needs. In addition, they were set in their ways and found it hard to change habits and work ethics.
For many students who arrived in Canada, it was a sure-shot thing for foreign student to graduate with a degree or a diploma, obtain a job and apply for permanent residency. The new immigration regulations have changed this sure-shot occurrence into a game of chance.
Today, most immigrant students take huge loans to finance their studies in Canada in hope for a permanent residency later. Most of them were lured by the big promises their agents made and also paid a hefty sum as commission to these agents. The catch here is that a student can only apply for residency and for those jobs for which no Canadian worker is available. The employer has to prove this by advertising in two local newspapers and then certify that no suitable Canadian is available for the job.
Many of these students were carried away by the often heard statement by these agents that Americans and Canadians do not study, they do not attend universities. etc. To add to this, in many countries there is a false propaganda that their people are doing real well in US and Canada. Please refer my earlier blog https://rejinces.net/2014/07/15/real-propaganda/
The parents of these students spread the ‘news’ around about the successful immigration of their wards to Canada and then about the job they are in and also claim that they did send a lot of money back. All these could be to improve their ward’s value in the marriage market. There are many students in Canada who married while being a student on a student visa and have brought in their partners too on a student visa. They make up a story that their residency application is nearly through and the only way to get their partner in is through student visa.
While the new regulations have added new challenges for foreign students in Canada, they have also improved the odds for highly-skilled professionals and trades. Instead of a ‘first come, first serve’ basis, the new immigration regulations fast-tracks those prospects whose skills are more in demand in Canada.
As per the new system, prospective immigrants can file an online application and the Canadian government will draw names from this pool, based on the current needs of the labour market. This ensures that only those prospects who meet a certain criteria will be invited to submit a formal application for permanent residency, thus cutting the processing time and overload of applications. By prioritising those applicants whose skills are more in demand, the system improves the odds for new immigrants to succeed in Canada and not be a burden on the state.
Candidates applying for permanent residency would have a higher chance in case they can provide a job offer letter from a prospective employer in Canada. Finding a job in Canada can take time and may be different from finding a job in one’s home country. Most employers look for Canadian experience and that can be achieved only by volunteering in a position in one’s field. The students in Canada do so during their education by volunteering and also in the coop opportunity the university offers in conjunction with the businesses around.
Acceptance by the Canadian Government for permanent residency in no way guarantees employment in one’s preferred profession or any other profession. Most got to start all over by volunteering in their field, attending courses to upgrade their skills to be at par with the Canadian requirement and passing various regulatory and licensing examinations.
Even if one has the language skills in English or French needed to immigrate to Canada, those skills may not be strong enough to work in the preferred profession. Most professions and trades require one to be fluent in English or French and to have a strong knowledge of all work-related languages.
Canadian employers often do not know how to assess education and work experience from other countries. They might prefer one with experience working in Canada. Getting that experience is one of the biggest challenges for newcomers.
Life in Canada of an immigrant will be different than in their home country. They may have to take a job with lower pay while one upgrades their skills or get experience working in Canada. This may result in change of financial status and life-style. Even if one earns a higher salary in Canada than one was earning in one’s home country, the cost of living in Canada may be higher than one is used to. All immigrants to Canada as a skilled worker, investor, entrepreneur or as a self-employed person, will have to provide proof that of sufficient funds to support the family after arrival in Canada.