The Challenges of Moving Abroad and Starting from Scratch
Learn if you need to start over your career when it comes to immigrating to Canada
Many people dream on moving to another country looking for knowledge, immersing themselves in other cultures, meeting people, learning a language, trying different cuisine, etc. Others seek a better life, develop professionally and be better paid. There are also those searching for security and better life because they live in places with a high level of violence, social inequality, low economic development or even due to dissatisfaction with political leaders.
The reasons are diverse; however, the fact is that living abroad is definitely one of the most enriching ways to change someone’s life and live new experiences.
Many times, the desire to live abroad arises when one already has a consolidated career, a stable job, extensive academic background, and the first question that comes to mind is: do I need to start from scratch when it comes to immigrating to another country?
The answer is it depends. It depends on the country to which the person plans to immigrate and the public immigration policies in force for that nation.
When it comes to immigrating to Canada, most of the time, even highly qualified professionals with several years of education and professional experience, for being abroad, may have difficulty receiving a job offer from a Canadian employer, especially those whose profession is not in high demand in the country.
This is mainly due to government regulations dealing with the impacts of hiring foreign workers for the Canadian labor market. Companies need to make sure that, before looking for professionals outside Canada, all internal hiring resources have been exhausted and no Canadian workers were available or met the requirements for that particular job position.
Hiring a foreign worker might require employers to provide adequate and accurate information and documents in order to prove it will not have a negative impact on the Canadian economy. In addition to that, many companies concern about the costs involved and processing times.
Due to these factors, most employers prefer to hire professionals who already are able and authorized to work in Canada. Examples of workers with legal authorization to work in the country are those who have an open work permit received for completing a post-secondary program at a Canadian institution and those who hold a student permit and meet the requirements to work here.
Therefore, in most cases, the way to obtain a work permit and gain access to the Canadian labor market will be a study permit. Once on Canadian lands, the possibilities of rebuilding a professional career and quickly reaching the desired job position are numerous.
In addition to excellent quality of education and high academic standards, Canada offers to international students a variety of pro-immigration policies. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, approximately 260 thousand foreign students received a Canadian study permit and, those enrolled in educational institutions with approved readiness plan, were exempt from travel restrictions and able to enter Canada.
As part of the measures to assist international students during the pandemic, the government has also determined that even those who complete a post-secondary program at a Canadian institution via online can be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) and be allowed to work for any company in Canada.
In addition, several provinces offer permanent residency programs for international students who complete an eligible post-secondary program at an educational institution located in those provinces.
It should also be noted that wives and common-law partners of post-secondary international students may be eligible to receive an open work permit, and dependent children can study at no cost at a Canadian public school.
It is clear that Canada seeks to increase its workforce through education, offering to qualified professionals educated in its colleges and universities the choice to settle in the country, become a permanent resident and continue to contribute to the Canadian economy.
For those who do not have a job offer in Canada, it is also possible to immigrate through programs for foreign investors, purchasing or opening a business in the country. These programs require higher net worth and business management experience.
Qualified candidates can also apply directly to provincial and federal permanent residency programs, which usually requires a high degree of education (master’s or doctorate), advanced to fluent English and extensive work experience in qualified occupations in order to achieve the cut-off scores.
Therefore, for professionals who do not have a Canadian work permit or do not qualify to immigrate as investors or permanent residents, the study permit may be the most suitable way to make the dream of immigrating to Canada a reality.
Once the pathway is defined, it is time to choose the strategy and be properly prepared to take advantage of the opportunity to be allowed to work in Canada in the best possible way, in order to achieve the long-awaited job offer that matches your career goals.
Two determinant factors to consider during preparation will be language skills and costs. Certainly, higher positions, especially managerial roles, require an advanced to fluent level of English or French. It is also true that those who come to Canada better prepared to afford their living and school expenses, will be able to search for jobs that meet personal expectations and make a decision without worrying about accepting a proposal just to meet financial needs.
It is also important to know the characteristics of the city where the immigrant wants to live, considering aspects such as weather throughout the year, labor market, cost of living, leisure options, among other factors that can impact on the adaptability to the new location and quality of life.
What is important to keep in mind is, with or without preparation, everyone can have a chance to immigrate to Canada. The difference will reside in how smooth, fast, and efficient the process will be for those better prepared.
The country expects to receive over a million immigrants by 2023 and one of them could be you! Moving abroad is certainly not an easy option, but Yes, you CAN DO it!
 Source: www.statcan.gc.ca
Roseli Caires is a corporate lawyer in Brazil and Business Development Manager at CanDo Canadian Immigration Services.
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