If you are on this page, it means you have your permanent resident application approved. Congratulations! You are now at the stage where you are researching about your potential new home in Canada. Since Canada is most likely different from your current country, there are so much more to learn about and explore. As you will soon find out, there are things you need to do before you arrive in Canada as a new immigrant.
The truth is that some of these things may look like herculean tasks but they will help to make your settlement smooth. This post will address these things to do before you arrive in Canada as a new immigrant
Deciding On Your Destination Province and City
The first you need to do when your Canada permanent application is approved is to decide on your destination city. This becomes necessary especially if you are not migrating to Canada through the provincial nomination program. If you are not sure how to go about this decision, you should read how to select the right Canadian Province and City. You can also review the Province and City immigration portals to get more information about your primary and alternative destinations and what to do as a newcomer.
Exploring Career Options
As a potential new immigrant, you will have to explore the requirements for your job and identify other career options. This includes exploring where your skill sets can also be utilized. We have listed some useful resources below to help you
- Job Bank: This job bank allows to search for jobs within your field. You can also use it to explore other career options.
- Career Cruising: This is a self-exploration and planning program that helps people achieve their potential in school, career and life.
- National Occupational Classification (NOC Code) Occupational Classification: This is Canada’s national system for describing occupations. You can search the NOC to find where an occupation is classified or to learn about its main duties, educational requirements or other useful information.
- Career Planning: This portal allows you to be able to plan your career. You will find some useful career planning tools like resume writing, finding a job and exploring careers.
Licensure – Certification
Licensure is required if your occupation is a regulated profession, such as engineering, accounting or a health-related career. Before you are allowed to work you must apply to the regulatory body for your profession. The regulatory body will assess your qualifications. You may be required to take examinations, to improve your English, to upgrade your education and to do work assignments.
So, before you continue, do the following:
- determine if my profession is regulated.
- identify the steps, how long they take and at what cost.
- compare provincial requirements for regulatory bodies for my profession.
- start the licensing process for my profession.
Most times, you will need to obtain original documents from issuing institution and arrange for them to be sent to the regulatory body for your profession.
Membership and Licensing Bodies
For some occupations, you need to become member of certain organization. Some of these bodies are
- Project Management Institute (PMI) – PMI is an international organization that focuses on providing resources for and certifying project managers. Look under Career Development for information on project management programs and certification requirements
- Canadian Association of Management Consultants
Some other professions require that you are licensed before you can practise. Check this list of licensing bodies for regulated professions in Canada.
Assess Your Credentials
The credential assessment process is to determine the Canadian equivalency of the education, training and experience you acquired outside Canada. This process will help you determine and demonstrate equivalency of your degree in Canada. It will also confirm document authenticity and store my credentials online securely. Even if you are not considering going back to school, you might need to begin the process of obtaining official credential evaluation for my non-regulated occupation.
Acquire Relevant Skills
As a next step, you need to ensure you have the ability to meet the technical skill requirements of your profession. This includes health and safety, climatic aspects, and ethical dimensions of your profession. Aside this, you need to have the ability to meet the non-technical skill requirements incl. Essential Skills of your profession. So, assess your transferable skills and enroll in a Bridging Program if one is available in your profession. You will find the resources below useful
- Literacy and Essential Skills: Understanding essential skills, definitions and tools
- Explore Careers by Essential Skills – select an occupation
- Colleges and Institutes Canada
- Universities Canada – an association of universities and university degree-level colleges
- Canadian Project Management Consultants
- Resources for Project Managers
Master The Art of Communication
You will need to take steps to ensure you have the ability to speak fluently including use of occupationally – specific terms. You will also need the ability to pronounce correctly; understand others, including socio-cultural communication and the ability to read and write well. The resources below will be useful
- Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program – English and French
- Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)
- Canadian Language Benchmark On-line Self-Assessment
- On-line English with CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)
Compensating For Experience
Most jobs expect you to have Canadian work experience. You can plan to compensate for this experience through volunteering, bridging programs, internships and mentorship. Check out the resources below
- How to get Canadian work experience
- Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs)
- Supporting the recruitment, retention and promotion of skilled immigrants
- Career Edge internships with Canadian employers for internationally qualified professionals http://www.careeredge.ca/en/home
- Canada InfoNet is a mentoring, information and networking services
- Connection to Canada’s volunteering community
- Volunteer match service www.getvolunteering.ca and BoardMatch
- Charity Village: find volunteer work to get Canadian experience
My Job Search / Self-Employment
Many people come into a new country without the right strategy. As someone, failure to plan is planning to fail. You need a very good strategy whether you are searching for job or you are looking to start a business.
Job Search Resources
Below are some tools / resources that can help with your job search.
- Finding a Job
- Look for Jobs in Canada www.cic.gc.ca/english/newcomers/work/look.asp
- More Help with your Job Search www.jobsetc.gc.ca/categories.jsp?crumb=1&category_id=34
- The Hidden Job Market www.youth.gc.ca/eng/topics/jobs/looking.shtml
- Salary Wizard swz.salary.com/CanadaSalaryWizard/layoutscripts/cswzl_newsearch.aspx
- WhoPlusYou – Online Job Search and Job Matching https://whoplusyou.com/
Useful Resources on Resume and Cover letter
Below are some useful resources on Resume and Cove letter writing. These resources will give you tips on how to tailor your resume to Canadian norms. You will also learn about how to customize my cover letter for each job application. You can start working on this long before you arrive in Canada.
- How to write a Canadian resume: www.jobsetc.gc.ca/categories.jsp?category_id=201 and https://settlement.org/ontario/employment/find-a-job/resume/how-do-i-create-a-canadian-style-resume/ and
- www.bcjobs.ca/re/career-centre/career-tools/resume-advice/winning-resumes and www.optimalresume.com and www.cvtips.com
- Writing a Cover Letter: www.jobsetc.gc.ca/pieces.jsp?category_id=204&root_id=202 and www.youth.gc.ca/eng/topics/jobs/cover.shtml
- Cover Letter Template: www.yorku.ca/careers/cyberguide/downloads/new/Cover_Letter_Template.pdf
Preparing for Job Interviews
Irrespective of your career level, you will to learn how to prepare effectively for Canadian-style interviews. The resources below will come handy.
- Interview Preparation: http://www.jobbank.gc.ca/content_pieces-eng.do?lang=eng&cid=208&lang=en
- Use The STAR Technique to Ace Your Interview (Behavioural Interview): www.rightattitudes.com/2008/07/15/star-technique-answer-interview-questions/
- 100 Potential Interview Questions: http://career-advice.monster.ca/job-interview/interview-questions/100-potential-interview-questions-canada/article.aspx
- Typical Interview Questions
Some new immigrants are looking to start their business in Canada. So, we advise that you start exploring how to become self-employed / start your business. The resources below will help
- Canada Business Network www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/
- Industry Canada www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/icgc.nsf/eng/h_07097.html#anchorMenu
- Canada Business Network CYBF Newcomer Program
- Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/index.html
- StartUP Canada http://www.startupcan.ca
- Venture for Canada
In summary, below are some of the things to do before you arrive in Canada as a new Immigrant
- Decide on your destination Province and city
- Explore business opportunities
- Consider volunteering / internship opportunities
- Explore job opportunities in Canada
- Research the requirements to practice in Canada if you are in a regulated profession
- Conduct study on what is required to set up a business in the food industry
- Explore training and certifications for business managers ( Technology and ICT)
This post focuses on an individual migrating to Canada. We will use another post to share tips on what you need to do with your family before you arrive in Canada. If there are other things you want us to write about, please get in touch.
Editor’s note: You can now read the part 2 of things to do before you arrive in Canada as a new immigrant.