The second largest country in the world, Canada has always been a bit in the shadow of its southern neighbor, USA. It ranks 15th in the world in terms of GDP, but costs much higher in quality of life. So, according to experts from Economist magazine, the largest cities in Canada - Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver - are more convenient than American cities. Life expectancy here is slightly higher than in the United States, and prices are lower. True, salaries are not so high, and the climate is more similar to the Russian one. Life around learned how to study, work and do business in Canada.
There are many first-class universities in Canada, four of which are in the top 100 universities in the world according to QS. For admission, you need to choose a program, collect the necessary documents and send them to the university on time. There are different requirements for different programs: they expect publications from PhD applicants, and a portfolio from future artists. Those applicants who have not studied at Canadian colleges and schools should also confirm their level of knowledge of the language by sending the results of the TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson or CAEL tests.
Education for foreign students here is cheaper than in the USA, and the quality of education is not much inferior. In the most prestigious university in Canada, McGill University, a bachelor's degree for foreigners costs $ 15 thousand per semester, and a master's degree - about 8 thousand. Residents of the province of Quebec, where the university is located, pay $ 2,000 per semester for a bachelor's degree and a thousand for a master's semester - so if you can get a residence permit in Canada before entering a university, you can get a very good and cheap education. The state provides many scholarships to students, some of which cover not only the cost of tuition, but also living expenses.
To study in Canada for more than six months, you need to get Study Permit. It gives the right to be in the country not only to the student, but also to his close relatives. To receive it, you must submit a document on admission to the Visa Application Center, a certificate confirming that there are no problems with the law, and account statements confirming that you have money to study, tickets, and life in Canada. According to the Canadian Visa Application Center, application processing time is now two weeks. In some cases, an applicant may be invited to an interview.
Vladimir Ponizovsky, a graduate of the Department of Psychology at McGill University (Montreal):It is important to say that in Canadian (and generally Western) universities, candidates are selected not only and not so much by estimates. The best universities want to train leaders, scientists, people who will achieve something in life. Therefore, first of all, those who have clearly expressed interests and a history of occupations that confirm them are selected. A school wall newspaper and a personal blog will look good in an application for journalism, and participation in olympiads and summer schools will be good for a chemical journal. Of course, achievements are most valued: if an applicant has an asset in winning prestigious competitions or publishing in real media, this will add points and can easily outweigh the not-so-high grades in non-core subjects.
For almost any program, among the required documents there is a motivation letter - this is one of the most important documents in the application, in it a future student talks about why he wants to enter his chosen program, why he needs it and why he is better for this program than other students. The answer "to get a crust and then work on a well-paid job" does not fit.
Students, especially bachelors, have more freedom of choice than in Russia. Bachelor's programs, as a rule, have a small number of compulsory courses and a large list of courses that a student can choose for himself. To obtain a diploma, you must successfully pass a certain number of courses - for undergraduate studies, as a rule, 40. Most courses last four months - one semester. Thus, fewer courses are taught at the same time than in Russian universities - on average, a student listens to five courses simultaneously. But the load on each of the courses is greater - often students are evaluated every week with the help of tests, homework, individual or group projects, so it will not work to freeze before the session.
People with education are needed in any country, and in many countries there are programs for university graduates. In Canada, this is the Post Graduation Work Permit Program, through which you can get a work visa and stay in Canada. Graduates tend to work in their field of study (86% of university graduates in Ontario, for example, say they use the knowledge gained at the university in their work; 91% were employed three years after graduation). In general, I lived in Canada for seven years and have never been unemployed - sometimes it was not quite the job that I wanted, but getting a job is simple, and a person with a work visa is no less attractive to employers than a Canadian.
The easiest way is to move to Canada to qualified specialists who can confirm their work experience in the desired specialty and knowledge of the language. You can find out what kind of people the country needs with the help of a job bank. To obtain a work visa, you can create a profile on the state portal, enter information about your specialization in it. Canadian officials evaluate candidates, form pools, assess the qualifications of each, select the best and send them invitations to obtain work permits.
To move to the country, you can also try to get a job in a large company - they are usually ready to deal with the relocation of candidates they like. In addition, it is worth paying attention to regional programs for skilled immigrants - as a rule, there are more lenient requirements for workers.
Alexey Iskrov, database administrator (Vancouver): Canada is probably one of the most affordable countries in terms of immigration. No wonder one third of the country's population are first-generation immigrants, that is, they themselves moved here to live. Moreover, if someone thinks that they immigrate only from Asia-Africa-CIS, then they are very mistaken. A bunch of people from Western Europe, the USA and Australia move to Canada and get citizenship here. Emigration is also present, mainly to the States. There are quite a lot of immigration programs to Canada, and they change quite often depending on the situation in the country. The most popular program is the Skilled Workers program, which allows specialists in different fields, having proved their professional level, to get a permanent residence permit and live with almost the same rights that Canadian citizens have. Moreover, having lived only three years, you can apply for citizenship and obtain it within a year or two after that. As a matter of fact, it was under this program that I came to Canada in 2008.
Its essence is very simple: if you are fluent in English or French (even better, both), you have a higher education and many years of experience, then you can apply for immigration. The rules are constantly changing, and in some years there was a limited list of professions, in some years there were no restrictions, and now they seem to even try to immediately find potential employers for you and, based on the search results, they may offer you to undergo an immigration procedure. One way or another, you should always look at the immigration service’s website for current requirements and follow directions. Most of the acquaintances in this program were in Canada.
Another common option is to get a work visa directly from the employer. Usually only large companies contact this and only for outstanding specialists in their field. Before immigration, I did not consider this option as a real way of immigration, but in recent years I have met quite a lot of people who got here this way. So do not discount it, especially if you are a highly skilled specialist in a particular field. Interestingly, in addition to the federal immigration program, there are also provincial ones. In particular, the province of Quebec can be accessed relatively easily if you are relatively fluent in French. There are many people who specifically study French for two to three years to go through this program. The threshold for passing through the Quebec program is quite low, and people who do not have a chance to go through the federal program can often get to Canada through Quebec. Naturally, after entering, no one restricts you from moving around the country, and you can live in any province.
Looking for work in Canada is easier than in many other countries, because there are a huge number of immigrants and employers initially do not have high expectations. Everyone understands that your English will not be perfect and you will speak with an accent. In many areas, they will not pay attention to where you graduated. For Canadians, Moscow State University, LGU and other best universities in Russia are no different from the university of any provincial town. If you can show your high professional level and at least above average knowledge of English, then you will not have problems finding a job. This, of course, does not apply to such professions as a doctor, lawyer or accountant, that is, to any professions where there is a local specificity and often requirements for certification of activities.
Good designers, programmers, engineers, scientists and representatives of other universal professions should not experience problems finding a job. But this does not mean that if you are a doctor or an accountant, then nothing at all shines for you. You just have to relearn under the local specifics. Moreover, for some specialties it can be one-year programs, and for some, such as the same doctors, it can be five to six years. That is, you need to know in advance what awaits you after immigration and what requirements do your profession have. You may suddenly find that getting an electrician without a local education is almost impossible.
Ira Yagzheva, graduate of Simon Fraser University (Vancouver): In Russia, I was educated as a teacher of Russian, literature and English, worked in an international company engaged in the development of mining deposits, as a translator-administrator. Then I got a study visa and moved. The conditions of this visa limit working employment to 20 hours a week, the first six months to work is prohibited. While studying, she worked part time in a pizzeria, in which she found herself through a friend.
My first office experience here was during the break between semesters (the only time when full-time employment is allowed no more than 40 hours a week). Through LinkedIn, I was contacted by a recruiter of a large corporation providing EPCM solutions (engineering, procurement, and construction management) to clients around the world. They needed an employee for a month mainly for technical translation. It was an interesting, well-paid experience, I worked almost all week without days off. After graduation, they did not succeed in getting there: mining and engineering companies are now stagnant, they practically do not hire, especially administrative staff.
Also, at the end of last year, I worked for some time in a company providing consulting services in the mining industry. It was also a temporary contract. I was pleased with the relationship with the employees and the atmosphere in the company. It was especially interesting to observe the reverse side of the extractive industry, to communicate with world experts, whom I had heard about at my previous place of work.
In the fall of 2015, I graduated from the curriculum (linguistics). I chose the program, of course, not with a focus on finding a job, but with an aim to enter a magistracy, where they did not accept me. Nevertheless, after that I gained the opportunity to get a work visa for a period of three years.
When working, we must not forget about taxes. This is a given, which must be taken into account in the planning of expenses, but, in any case, there is no feeling of throwing money into the void, paying tribute, which will not return in the form of social benefits. Tax payments vary by province. Tax on services and goods is usually not included in the price of goods. Self-filing a tax return takes place in April - another new life habit here. Depending on the range of income, different benefits and receipts are relied upon. For example, I received four checks for $ 100 over the past year, because I still have low income.
Now for me is not the easiest stage, but it doesn’t scare me. I’ve been looking for work for several months, job search has become my job. Vancouver is a large city with many job postings published daily on job boards, job aggregation sites (Indeed.ca, Monster.com, Craigslist). There is a very large competition for administrative positions, up to about 200 people per seat. To be noticed, you need a good cover letter, a well-edited resume. In addition, you must instantly respond to the vacancy (if you write to the employer after a couple of days, the probability of being in the pool of candidates is extremely low). The next step is an interview, which also requires preparation. Now, it seems, I finally found a job, discussing the terms of the contract.
Canada has a Start-up Visa Program, which allows you to move to the country and start a business. Those startups have such an opportunity, whose project was supported by one of the venture capital funds, business incubators or investors included in the list of the country's government. Up to five founders of the company can obtain the right to enter - it is important that everyone owns at least 10% of the company’s share. They will need to pass a test of knowledge of English or French, as well as show an account statement with at least 12,164 Canadian dollars - it is assumed that this money should be enough for the first time.
Register as individual entrepreneurs or create a business partnership in the country can only those foreigners who have a work permit and a permanent address. You can become a shareholder of an enterprise without permanent residence, but this will not affect the chances of getting it.
Natalya Shavkunova took part in the preparation of the material
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