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Migrating to Canada - Post landing advise

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Jul 9th, 2005, 12:50 PM
  #1
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Migrating to Canada - Post landing advise

I am from India. My family (4 members)have applied for permanent resident visa and is in its final stage of processing. Ontario is our destination. I have entrusted Can-Asia Immigration Consultancy Services Ltd. with the processing of our application.Does this agency has office in Ontario? Is it a well established firm? For our stay they are asking $500 per month. Is it reasonable? What mode of accommodation is economical - hotels, rented house or appartments? Regarding the education of my child (elder is in pre-primary), when does the academic year begin? I am a physical education teacher and my wife is a geologist. Is these professions in demand in the job market? Expecting valuable advice.
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Jul 9th, 2005, 02:25 PM
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Hello Anil,

Please tread very carefully. I had never heard of Can-Asia Immigration Consultancy Services Ltd., so I did an Internet search for them. According to their web site, they have an office in Surrey, which is a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, which in turn is a 5-hour flight from Toronto. I did not see any evidence on their web site that they had an office in Ontario.

It's possible that Can-Asia Immigration provides a good service when it comes to assisting an applicant with his/her application for immigration. As I said before, I'd never heard of them prior to this, so I don't know that they do provide a good service in that regard, but that part of their claim is at least plausible.

The rest of their claims, for example, that they help an immigrant to find a job in his/her field is complete and utter crap, in my opinion. I'm sorry if I'm sounding brutal and rude. However, I'm adopting that tone deliberately. I would rather disabuse you of unrealistic ideas about immigrating to Canada now than have reality hurt you after your arrival in this country.

Eighty percent of the jobs that new immigrants to Canada find are obtained by the immigrants getting out and selling themselves by every means possible. You need to get out into the community, meet people, "network" as we say in Canada, and find a job by word-of-mouth. Only twenty percent of the jobs that new immigrants find are through responses to job ads in newspapers or on the Internet, through employment agencies (head hunters), and so on. Those figures come from the Canadian government, not from me.

Many immigrants find that, just to get a job that puts food on the table, they initially have to accept much more junior positions than the ones they held in their countries of origin. Their are hundreds of immigrant taxi drivers in Canada who can attest to that fact. One of my current colleagues is a man who was a chemical engineer for over ten years in China. Now he works as a packer in a factory that packages snack foods.

I feel somewhat qualified to address these topics because I'm an immigrant myself. When we got to Canada my husband, who is an electrical engineer, did a menial job in a nasty factory for some time. Later he was able to move on to better jobs, but it didn't happen overnight.

Why in God's name is this company going to charge you $500 a month once you're in Canada? What on earth are they going to do for you in return for that fee? It sounds like highway robbery to me.

Ontario may be the most suitable destination for you, but on the other hand it may not be. You say your wife is a geologist. The best destination for her may depend partly on the area(s) of geology in which she has had experience to date. For example, if she has experience in environmental geology (ground water studies and so on), Ontario may indeed be a suitable destination for her. If her experience has been in mining, there may be several suitable destinations, including British Columbia and Ontario. If she has had experience in the petroleum industry (although I'm not aware of a significantpetroleum industry in India), Alberta may be the best destination for her.

There are many phys ed teachers in Canada. There is not a shortage of them as far as I'm aware. Besides that, it's my understanding that most foreign teachers have to earn Canadian accreditation.

And, by the way, your wife also will need to earn Canadian accreditation if she wants to become a Professional Geologist in the Canadian province in which you end up living. If the professional body in your province accepts her university degree as being equivalent to a Canadian one, she may only need to get a certain amount of Canadian work experience in her field before being accepted as a P. Geol. If the professional body does not recognise the equivalency of her degree, she may need to pass some courses. She would be able to work as a geologist while she was qualifying, but she would not be allowed to call herself a Professional Geologist.

When you first arrive you may need to stay in a hotel or in a furnished apartment for a few days until you get longer term accommodation sorted out. Then you could find an apartment in which to live and eventually a house.

Generally speaking, the more space you occupy, the more expensive the rental will be. A yard (garden) will add to the price, not only because you'll need to pay for the space it occupies, but also because you'll need to invest in a lawn mower and other equipment with which to maintain it.

The amount of space you rent or buy is not the only factor in the price equation. Some locations in Canada are in higher demand, and therefore more expensive, than others. Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are way more expensive than smaller cities like Regina, Saskatchewan.

I suggest you move into an apartment first, and then study the housing market before making any further financial commitments.

The academic year starts at the beginning of September.

If you can find an Internet discussion forum on which Indian expats compare notes, that would be the best place for you to get advice. As an interim measure, until you can find such a forum, I suggest you read the posts in some other expat forum. The one with which I am familiar is:

www.britishexpats.com/forum

As you can probably tell from the name, that forum is frequented mostly by British expats, but much of the information that you will read there is relevant to immigrants from any part of the world.

I would make the general observation that an unskilled worker who manages to make his/her way from a developing country to a developed country in many cases will experience an improvement in his/her standard of living.

A professional person who relocates from a developing country to a developed country has a good chance of experiencing a decrease in his/her standard of living. That's because, with the cheap cost of labour in a developing country, a professional person may be able to afford household help that is beyond the reach of middle class people in a developed country.

From what I've witnessed a professional person from a developing country is motivated to make the lifestyle sacrifices that are entailed in moving to a developed country if he/she is escaping war and/or political oppression. That applies to my husband and me. We came to Canada from apartheid-era South Africa. Several of our relatives back in South Africa have tennis courts, swimming pools, etc. We have no expectation of being able to afford the luxuries that they have at any point in our lifetimes. To us, however, the freedom and decency that Canada offered during those oppressive years in South Africa were more important than luxuries.

So, Anil, good luck to you in your decision. But for your own sake, please do more research into this matter before you take the plunge.

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Jul 11th, 2005, 04:39 AM
  #3
nkh
 
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Hi Anil

There are two government-funded types of school board in Ontario - the public school system and the catholic school system. Non-private schools within a region are part of a "board" which covers a region (e.g. Toronto District School Board, York Region District School Board). All public/catholic school boards in Ontario and most of the private schools require that teachers be registered with the Ontario College of Teachers. You will need to provide various documents etc. to them to prove your professional qualifications. I would suggest that you should begin correspondence with them now because some of the documents may be easier to obtain while you are still in India.

The website for Ontario College of Teachers is www.oct.ca

Enter the site and look on the left bar under "main menu". There is a selection for "internationally trained teachers" where you can download the manual with information for how you apply to the College and what is required. My quick read shows you are a "general studies" candidate as opposed to a technological one, and the instructions seem pretty straightforward. My experiences with the OCT are that they are reasonably helpful with queries if you have uncertainties.

Schools in Ontario tend to be divided as follows:

The "cutoff" for student age is Dec. 31st so to start grade 1 you must turn 6 by Dec. 31st of the starting year (ie or be 6 when you start).

Elementary School: Grades 1-6 or 1-8 (depending) - children aged 5-14. Qualifications will be primary (gr 1-3), junior (4-6), intermediate (7-8).

Secondary School: Grades 9-12

Teachers usually have primary/junior or intermediate/senior qualifications out of initial teacher education and can extend their range of qualification through additional courses taken.

In addition to OCT membership depending on the level of school and the Board you obtain a job in, you will need to become a member of one of the unions OSSTF, QUECO etc. that deals with that board and that level.

When you have your OCT membership and are applying for jobs, the procedure varies depending on the school board. In Toronto you apply to the board directly and they have a "board interview" stage where they prescreen candidates. In other regions you send information to the board that is accessible to school principals or the board posts jobs that you specifically apply for. Some boards are growing and some are not, which greatly affects job availability. Toronto is NOT growing. The surrounding regions are, and you may want or need to consider areas that are further away from Toronto to settle in to find an area of expansion.

I do not know what age group you teach, but I do not think Phys Ed is in very high demand compared to math, science, french or technological studies - but in an expanding board you may be OK. Note that in secondary schools (grades 9-12 students ages approx 14-18) teachers will have two areas of specialty called "teachable subjects" so Phys Ed teachers may teach Phys. Ed. and math, or science, or computing or something else in demand.

If you decide not to come to Ontario, the different provinces all have equivalents of the OCT, unions etc. with their own requirements - they follow most of the same general rules, but you would need to look them up and determine their requirements individually.

This is getting really long, and I dont know if it is information you already know or not, so I will stop there for now. If you have specific questions after going through OCT and perhaps looking at board websites, I will be happy to help if I can.

Good luck and welcome to Canada (in advance )
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Jul 11th, 2005, 02:00 PM
  #4
 
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Ditto to everything that Judy says. My husband immigrated to Canada 14 years ago, from a developing country. He is a nuclear physicist, but since arriving here he has worked mostly as a pizza delivery driver and now as a long distance truck driver. Many of his fellow drivers are engineers, geologists, architects and accountants, mostly from developing countries in Asia and Eastern Europe. Maybe you and your wife will be lucky and will get jobs in your field, but please be aware that the odds are against it. I don't want to discourage you, but if my husband had known fourteen years ago what he knows now, I'm not sure that he would still have immigrated to Canada. The Canadian immigration officers may tell you that your skills are in demand in Canada, but you should take that with a large pinch of salt. In general, trades (electrical, mechanical, plumbing,welding and so on) are more in demand than professions.

Judy is absolutely correct when she writes "A professional person who relocates from a developing country to a developed country has a good chance of experiencing a decrease in his/her standard of living." My husband's standard of living fell drastically when he left Eastern Europe and even after 14 years in Canada it has still not reached the level that he left behind. Of course, there are many non-monetary advantages to living in Canada, but you don't ask about those so I won't explore that theme here.

Like Judy, I'm curious to know why Can-Asia Immigration is charging you $500 a month. What do they offer in return?
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