As a global recruitment consultancy, MPA are delighted to offer opportunities to candidates to travel and explore multiple geographies including, Canada. Particularly for those interested in the healthcare sector. As someone who has personally made the move to Toronto from Ireland, I have put together 7 considerations below to help those that are debating a relocation to this beautiful country.
1. Immigration. Canada is known for their welcoming approach to immigrants,
It is estimated that in 1 and 4 people that live in Canada are immigrants or have been previous permanent residents. There are currently multiple programmes to explore that offer temporary and permanent visa authorisation dependant on your circumstances. The programme that I have taken advantage of was the IEC Working Holiday Visa which offers a two year open work permit to travel and work nationwide across Canada.
The Working Holiday Visa is a great pathway to explore Canada. Citizens of most European countries are eligible alongside Australia, Hong Kong, Korea Republic and Japan. Alongside other programmes such as the Federal Skilled Worker programme, Express Entry, Young Professionals and Provincial Nominee Programmes
2. Research. As the old saying goes, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. This statement rings true in most walks of life, but it couldn’t be more prevalent when considering travel and/or relocation. Canada is the second largest country in the world by land mass, and each province offers a different experience with a varying way of living. Therefore it’s important to research which province appeals the most to you in order set yourself up for initial success.
For instance, if you are into outdoor living then Edmonton or British Colombia may be for you or if you prefer the bright city lights then perhaps Ontario. Aside from living style there are other factors to consider when deciding which Canadian province or city you wish to live in.
Cost of living:whilst the costing of living is somewhat linear nationwide across Canada however you can expect in the major cities a higher cost of living opposed to some of the rural areas.
Access to affordable housing: the competition for accommodation in major cities can be fierce now that Canada has ramped up on immigration.
Career Opportunities: research which city will give you a platform to accelerate your career to the next level.
Friends & Family: find out if you have friends or family in a particular city this will ease culture shock and minimise being homesick.
Climate: Canada is known for its cold winters and hot summers, winter seasons can be more severe in some provinces than others.
3. Budget + Finances. The finance system in Canada is referred to as one of most secure and established finance networks in the world, with multiple banks to choose from. As your visa is processing, I advise creating and following a budget to ensure that you have financial runway in preparation to your arrival in Canada.
It is required for the Working Holiday Visa to have a minimum of $2,500 upon entering Canada.
4. Job Search. I recommend starting the job search immediately from when your work authorisation is approved. The major cities are large in demographic with access to large corporations and opportunities. This may mean adjusting your CV into a Canadian format in line with the norms of the job market, a guide to creating a professional resume for your job search can be found on our website.
If you would like advise on securing your first job in Canada or would like to explore some of our other international opportunities please get in touch with one of our recruitment consultants today.
5. Find somewhere to live. Asbriefly mentioned, the competition for accommodation in major Canadian cities is fierce therefore it’s important to get an early start on the search for housing. As competition for housing continues to rise, it may be asked by realtors and landlords to extend several months rent upfront in lieu of a Canadian Credit Report/Landlord References.
There are multiple sources online in the form of groups and forums that can help find accommodation within Canada, for example on Facebook there is “Toronto Home Zone”, “Toronto Housing, Rooms, Apartments, Sublets” and “Newcomers looking for long term apartments/houses in Toronto”.
Another great way to seek accommodation is through the diaspora of your home country, it is often said that immigrants will look after their own away from home therefore seeking out cultural settlements, organizations or groups is a great way of finding housing alongside the opportunity to meet likeminded individuals. Whilst it’s advised to begin housing search early, it’s also important to be vigilant especially online as scams and fraudsters have increased to take advantage of newcomers.
6. Healthcare. Canada has a robust healthcare system with each province offering their residents provincial healthcare free of charge for medical emergencies and non cosmetic healthcare services. In most cases, to be eligible for provincial healthcare in Canada you must be in full time employment for over 6 months and provide proof that you will be in full time employment for the next 12 months.
Medical expenses for non-residents is high within Canada therefore it is essential to register for private healthcare insurance to protect yourself in the case of an emergency, accident or unexpected illness in your first 6 months in the country. For immigration, it is often a requirement that you hold travel insurance for the duration of your intended stay in Canada.
In my instance, I was required to provide proof of two years travel insurance upon my entry into Canada and there are multiple insurance providers that can be found online that provide health insurance for the Canadian working holiday visa.
7. Settle and Network. Once you arrive in Canada it is also important to settle in socially, most of the cities will have neighbourhoods that can help give travellers a sense of home through food, people, and religion. For instance, the City of Toronto boasts over 10 different ethnic neighbourhoods like Koreatown, Chinatown, Little Italy, Little Tibet, Little India, Little Poland, Little Portugal and Greektown. So, there is always a taste of home found somewhere in Toronto and the other cities are no different. “Your net worth is your network,” networking can not only open career opportunities but open up social circles with likeminded individuals so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there as the outcome can be life changing.
Wishing you all the best of luck on your travels!