2020 was a game-changer of note. We all had to make changes and adapt to survive (quite literally). We had time during lockdown to self-reflect and decide if our lives were truly on the paths that we wanted them to be – for some of us that answer was yes and for others it was a resounding no. If your time of self-reflection has lead you to consider working in Canada, here are 8 important things you need to know about working there:
1. You’re Not Alone
Up to one fifth of Canada’s population is foreign-born. Canada is a country of opportunities and 22% of people who work and live in Canada were not born there. Canada prides itself on its welcoming and multicultural vibe. Almost 300 000 immigrants arrived there in 2020, even with our current pandemic climate, so you certainly won’t be alone. Canada has been a land of immigrants since the first European colonizers back in the 16th century.
2. Check If You’re Eligible for A Work Visa
Just because you and your spouse want Canada to be the country that you start the next chapter of your lives in doesn’t mean that it’s guaranteed. You need to check if you’re both eligible for Canadian work visas. With the right help, this process can be straight-forward and relatively painless but it is still a massive task. Make sure you have all the required documents before you apply, like a valid passport, educational qualification certificates and proof of work experience.
3. Canada Is Searching for Educated People
If you have recently graduated from a university, trade school or college – Canada is looking for you. Canadian employers are looking for educated folks who can contribute to their thriving economy. Being the most educated country in the world (almost 60% of its adult population have some form of a tertiary qualification) with an impressive 99% literacy rate, Canada has a wide range of immigration options for skilled foreign workers to work there.
4. Canada Is Huge and Filled with Gorgeous Scenery
Canada has a population of almost 40 million people. Each year, Canada welcomes in immigrants from around 200 different countries. Luckily it has plenty of space for all those people to live, work and love. Canada has more surface area covered by lakes than any other country in the world, with 563 lakes larger than 100 square kilometres! There are so many beautiful places to spend your downtime in, away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Finding accommodation in Canada is not a difficult task but you do need to look in advance so you aren’t left taking whatever fits into your budget when you get there.
5. Be Prepared for The Costs
Moving isn’t cheap, even in the same country, and moving abroad is even more expensive. To work in Canada, you will need to have proof of funds as a skilled immigrant for an Express Entry into the country. Be prepared to need at least 20 thousand Canadian dollars just for your proof of funds and work visa application fees for you and your partner. The amount you will need as proof will increase for every family member you add – I’m not suggesting you leave Grandma behind, just that you need to factor in all the costs in when you’re thinking about making the transition between two countries. This amount doesn’t include the actual relocation costs or accommodation costs on the other side.
6. You Can Fast Track Immigration If You’re Skilled
Canada has an express immigration program for skilled workers. This special program aims to process new immigrant applications in 6 months or less. Before you complete such an application you can check if you’re eligible, if you qualify you can complete your application and pay the relevant fees involved. You will need to take a language test and your education credentials and work experience will be assessed. Once you have been accepted into the Express Entry pool of candidates you could be invited to apply to become a permanent resident of the country.
7. Pay Day Could Be Different
A lot of Canadians receive their pay check twice a month – at the beginning of each month and again in the middle of a calendar month. This is something to take note of, especially if you are used to having one pay day. Sadly, this doesn’t mean you’ll get two salaries, just that it is split into two payments. Canada has a vastly different set of rules than most developing countries, with specific laws surrounding labour, pay equity, pay transparency and diversity requirements for all industries.
8. Lunch Breaks Are Shorter
Most Canadians have a half hour lunch break, as opposed to the 1 hour break that most countries offer. The other half an hour doesn’t vanish, it is just split into 2 shorter 15 minute breaks that are taken throughout the day. These “extra” breaks can be a great time to stretch your legs or go for a short walk outside.