Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Canadian immigration successfully integrates newcomers says expert

May 27 2009 by Ranjan Chakraborty
Canadian immigrants

Canada, idealistic melting pot?

William Kymlicka, a leading expert on Canadian immigration and the research chair of political philosophy at Queen’s University, says that Canada has been more successful than most countries at integrating immigrants into society.

Kymlicka points out that most immigrants who move to work in Canada become citizens and their children outperform non-immigrants’ children in education, a trend which is unique among Western democracies.

He also argues that visible minorities, both first and second generation, claim to feel a great sense of pride in Canada, which is on par with that felt among white Canadians.

Political integration is also an area where Canadian immigration is succeeding. Kymlicka says that political parties try hard to reach newcomers and the political system makes it easy for them to become involved in politics and the democratic process.

Social integration is also, generally speaking, succeeding, with the vast majority of Canadians feeling comfortable with immigrants as neighbours and co-workers. According to research, Muslims feel more welcome in Canada than in other countries, says Kymlicka.

He defends the fact that immigrants often chose to live within their own communities, arguing that, unlike in other countries where such areas are becoming ghettos, the behaviour does not lock people into poverty or breed anti-Canadian feeling.

Canada's 10 hottest jobs:

Find out the trades and professions that are most in demand, PLUS websites to get you started on your new job search.

By Yuki Hayashi
Canada's 10 hottest jobs: skilled trades, pharmacist, finance, dental hygienist and more

From the skilled trades to college professor, check out our list of top 10 hot jobs and discover the positions that are in demand across Canada. If you're stuck in a part-time job and want a real career, are deciding what to study, or are even considering a change in work, read on! These trades and professions are booming, so if you have the training and aptitude for one of these gigs, you can expect good money, a relative amount of job security and the knowledge that companies are vying to hire you (you hot commodity, you!). And remember, the average worker changes careers -- not jobs, but careers -- three to seven times. So don't be afraid to take the plunge into something new.

1. Financial manager
Demand for money managers is increasing as the private and government sectors are looking for whizzes who know the complexities of financial management.

What to expect: An unemployment rate half that of the Canadian average.

Tip: If you have knowledge of foreign finance or are fluent in a foreign language, consider yourself doubly attractive -- and pack your bags for a potentially jet-set international career.

Getting started: Visit the international Financial Management Association's website at fma.org.

2. Skilled tradesperson
If you don't want an office job, but do want a salary that pays above the national average, this is the sector for you. Unfortunately (or fortunately for you, depending on how you look at it), the skilled trades have suffered stigmatization for a generation. As a result, a shortage of tradespeople is looming in the service (chefs, horticulturalists), construction (electricians, carpenters, plumbers), transportation (aviation technicians, automotive service technicians) and manufacturing (industrial mechanics, tool and die makers) sectors.

Tip: In the next two decades, 40 per cent of new jobs are supposed to be in the skilled trades and technologies.

Getting started: Visit careersintrades.ca for information on training (including paid apprenticeships).

3. College or vocational school teacher
The boom in skilled trades means there's also a need for instructors at community colleges, Quebec's CEGEPs, technical institutes and other vocational schools.

What to expect: The number of job openings exceeds the number of candidates, especially with retirements expected over the years to come, plus increased government funding.

Tip: If your discipline is new technology or the skilled trades, your prospects are particularly good.

Getting Started: Go to Service Canada's website, jobfutures.ca, for more info.

4. Dentist or dental hygienist
Dentistry is a field you can really sink your teeth into, whether you've got the stamina to stick it out through three years of undergrad university studies plus four to five years of dentistry school or want to get working in this field sooner by becoming a dental hygienist.To obtain a diploma in dental hygiene, you can attend a private educational institution for a minimum of 16 months, or a 2 year program at a community college, or at the University of Manitoba and Dalhousie University. Also, dental hygiene degree programs are offered at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta. For more information on how to become a hygienist in your province, check out the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association's website.

What to expect: There are currently more job openings than there are qualified people to fill them, in both positions.

Tip: the industry will continue to grow as Canada's aging population requires more care, more Canadians enjoy dental coverage, and the booming demand for adult cosmetic dentistry continues (thank you, Hollywood!).

Getting started: The Canadian Dental Association's website has lots of info on the profession.

5. Computer and information systems managers
The 2001 slowdown in the computer industry didn't put a dent in this field. Wage growth is still better than average, as are actual wages (almost double the national average), while the unemployment rate is well below the national average.

Looking ahead: Overall, our reliance on computers at home and at work will continue to grow, meaning job security and continuous opportunities for training and growth.

Fun tip: Single gals, there are more men than women in this field, so industry conferences practically guarantee your BlackBerry will be full of new e-mail addresses of eligible bachelors.

Getting started: If you have experience as a programmer and a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related, field, you're in the running. Visit the government's CanLearn website for more info.

6. University professor
The Ivory Tower is also experiencing increased government spending on education and research, coupled with workplace demand for a highly trained and educated workforce.

What to expect: With below-average unemployment and above-average wages, plus a wave of retirements on the horizon, prospects are strong.

Getting started: Unless you've already got a Ph.D. in the closet, go online to research the post-grad university degree programs you'll need to embark upon if your heart is set on being a university professor.

7. Human resource specialist or manager
Demand for human resources specialists and managers is increasing and expected to stay strong, as companies place greater emphasis than ever before on human resources issues such as recruitment, training, employee relations and retention.

What to expect: There are more job openings than job seekers in this field, so prospects are great. Just like you always thought, being a people person does pay off.

Getting started: HR.com has lots of industry information with a North American perspective. Visit the sites of business schools for MBA programs with a special focus on human resource management.

8. Pharmacist
A growing and aging population means more prescriptions needing to be filled. From hospital pharmacists to your friendly local pharmacist, there's greater demand for them than there are qualified grads or trained immigrants to fill the positions.

What to expect: Good pay, and many pharmacists are self-employed -- they own the pharmacies they work in.

Getting started: You must attend pharmacy school at a Canadian university and hold a Bachelor of Science degree. Check out the Canadian Pharmacists Association website at pharmacists.ca for info.

9. Registered nurse
Canada's aging population means this sector's a dynamic place to be. A combination of factors will ensure a wealth of opportunity for nurses with college or university nursing degrees.

Looking ahead: You'll be in high demand: there are more jobs than registered nurses due to retirement, enrollment in nursing programs is declining and there's a strong need for nurses internationally.

Tip: It's a great job if you love the idea of working in the U.S. or farther abroad, as well-paid international opportunities abound.

Getting started: Check out the Canadian Nurses Association website at cna-nurses.ca.

10. Retail manager
OK, OK, we all remember doing a McJob. But as the retail sector continues to grow, consumer spending is holding strong, and because there are more openings than there are job seekers in this field, finding employment is still relatively easy.

What to expect: If you're not hung up on high wages (managerial positions pay only slightly above the national average) but like flexible hours and love helping people, and you have transferable skills but perhaps no post-secondary education, this is the field for you.

Bonus: Expect great employee discounts.

Getting started: Apply to stores you think you might like working at, stressing your team skills, practical computer skills and passion for retail.

Source: Canadianliving.com

Sunday, May 24, 2009

If you immigrate to Quebec. by Zhu (Correr es mi destino blog)

Quebec is a province of Canada. As such, it shares immigration laws with the federal government of Canada. However, the province signed an immigration accord with Canada. Quebec is responsible for selecting the workers wishing to settle in Quebec, to achieve certain immigration objectives. But the federal government of Canada is still responsible for admitting the immigrants.

So what does it mean for a prospective immigrant who wish to settle in Quebec?

It means that when your permanent residence application will have to follow two major steps:

* Being selected by the provincial government of Quebec. Your educational and work background will be assessed, as well as your ability to integrate into Quebec. You will need to apply for and obtain a CSQ.
* Being accepted by the federal government of Canada. It is responsible for your medical examination and your security check. It will grant you permanent residence if you are successful.

If you apply in the skilled worker category and wish to settle in Quebec

The first thing you need to know is that Quebec is different than the other provinces. The most obvious difference is linguistic: the official language in Quebec is French, not English and French. The population is 80% francophone, and even though they are some English communities, the importance given to French is huge.

The government of Quebec emphasizes the fact that the province has a very distinct culture. Indeed, you need to research the specific of Quebec before you consider settling there.

You may want to start with a general idea of Quebec’s core values. Don’t forget to research the job market: Canadian laws may be different in Quebec, where certain professions and trades are regulated, which means your credentials may not be recognized. Finally, get the facts about daily life in Quebec.

The importance of French can not be stressed enough, as it is both a practical and a political issue. You may need to speak both French and English in some positions, but knowledge of French is almost a pre-requisite. Quebec also has language-laws requiring kids to attend school in French in most cases. Politically speaking, let’s just say it’s a touchy issue…

Like if you were settling in other provinces, you need to be selected as a skilled worker. There is also a certain number of criteria and a pass mark. You can evaluate your chances of being selected online for free, with the Preliminary Evaluation for Immigration.

The most important criteria are:

* Education
* Work experience, especially acquired training and occupational skills
* Knowledge of French, or willingness to learn the language. English is an asset.
* Age: ideally, the younger the better!
* Financial capacity: you must show that you can support yourself for the first few months following your arrival in Quebec
* Your immigration project

If you pass the preliminary test, you can prepare your application.

* Download the application for a CSQ,fill up all the paperworks and pay the fees.
* Your application will be reviewed and assessed by a Bureau du Quebec. An interview is sometime required. The interviewer will check your credentials (education, degrees, work experience…). He may test your knowledge of Quebec, your language skills and ask about your immigration project.
* You can check the processing time for a CSQ, it depends on the countries where the Bureau du Quebec is located.
* If your application is accepted, it will be forwarded to the federal government of Canada, which will assess your medical background and do the security check.

If you apply in the sponsorship category and wish to settle in Quebec

You will have to submitted your sponsorship application to the federal government of Canada, as described in this article.

But, since you will settle in Quebec, you must add two extra steps.

* After the federal government approves the sponsorship, you must submit an undertaking application to the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles. It is a contract that binds the sponsor with the person being sponsored and the provincial government of Québec. It establishes that the sponsor has sufficient financial resources to provide for the person you sponsor.
* Then, the person sponsored must obtain a CSQ.

How much does the CSQ cost?

For the principal applicant, it cost CA$390. For the spouse and each dependent child, it’s CA$150.

Note that if you immigrate as a family, each person must apply for a CSQ, regardless of if you will be working or not (i.e even kids need their CSQ).

To the cost of the CSQ, you still have to add the cost of applying for permanent residence in Canada.

What if I wanted to settle in Quebec and changed my mind?

Whether you apply to live in Canada or in Quebec, the result is the same: you obtain, if successful, the permanence residence in Canada. Sure, the two processes are a little bit different, but your permanent resident card is the same.

Having the permanence residence in Canada gives you the right to live and work anywhere you like. Therefor, even if you apply for permanent residence in Quebec, no one can force you to stay there.

However, when applying for permanent residence in Quebec, you do declare that you wish to live in Quebec.

What if I applied for permanent residence in Canada and want to settle in Quebec?

Well, that is a bit more difficult… which is kind of weird actually. Permanent residents in Quebec can move wherever they want, but permanent residents in other provinces have to take several steps to live and work in Quebec, even though they have already immigrated.

You must submit an application for a CSQ (even if you are already a permanent resident in Canada) and pay the fees. Then, you will likely have to come back for an interview.

What if you applied for permanent residence in Canada but will land in Quebec?

In a word: don’t. Yes, it may be easier for you for whatever reason, but it’s a big pain.

If you land in Quebec but have proof on onward travel to another province (plane connexion, bus or train ticket), you are fine.

If you don’t, the immigration officials will very likely refuse to validate your landing documents. You will have to submit an application for a CSQ and pay the fees, and have an interview. If successful, you will have to have the documents validated… before that, your travel documents may be confiscated.

So basically, if you apply to live in Quebec, arrive in Quebec, if you apply to live in other provinces, arrive wherever you want but in Quebec.

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Occupations Pressure List Posted for the Alberta Provincial Nominee Program - US Visa Holder Category

Alberta Employment and Immigration and Immigrate to Alberta Information Service have announced that the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program - US Visa Holder Category will be assessed pursuant to a new Occupations Under Pressure List. The current list is significantly shorter than the previously listed Occupations Under Pressure (OUP) List for the US Visa Holder Category.

This change affects to all individuals who hold a US visa, such as an H1B, and who intend to apply for Canadian Permanent Residence through Alberta’s Provincial Nominee Program for US visa holders. While this program offers expedited processing, no English language examination requirement and limited conditions, this recent change in the OUP List renders it very exclusive. Applications submitted on or before May 19, 2009 will be assessed based on the previously posted list. Applications submitted after this date will be assessed based on the current list, which follows:

Management Occupations
NOC Code Description
0211 Engineering Managers
0212 Architecture and Science Managers
0213 Computer and Information Systems Managers
0611 Sales, Marketing and Advertising Managers
0621 Retail Trade Managers
0711 Construction Managers
0721 Facility Operation and Maintenance Mangers
0811 Primary Production Mgrs (Except Agric)

Business, Finance and Administration Occupations
NOC Code Description
1111 Financial Auditors
1235 Assessors, Valuators and Appraisers

Natural and Applied Sciences and Related Occupations
NOC Code Description
2111 Physicists and Astronomers
2112 Chemists
2113 Geologists, Geochemists and Geophysicists
2121 Biologists

As always, listed occupations are based on the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. The NOC is the nationally accepted organizational framework of occupations in the Canadian labour market.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Opening residency to foreign student grads

By Edward C. Corrigan
Thursday, May 21, 2009

On Sept. 5, 2008, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley announced that certain temporary foreign workers and students could apply for permanent residence under the newly created Canadian Experience Class (CEC) starting September 17, 2008.

The Canadian Experience Class is a new program of immigration for qualified temporary foreign workers and foreign student graduates with professional, managerial and skilled work experience in Canada.

Unlike other programs, the program allows an applicant’s experience in Canada to be considered a key selection factor when immigrating to Canada.

WHO CAN APPLY?

To apply for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class the minimum requirements are as follows:

*
plan to live outside the province of Quebec.
*
be either a temporary foreign worker with at least two years of full?time (or equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada, or a foreign graduate from a Canadian post?secondary institution with at least one year of full?time (or equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada
*
have gained their experience in Canada with the proper work or study authorization apply while working in Canada B or B within one year of leaving your job in Canada

There are two streams for the Canadian Experience Class:

TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKER STREAM

Under this category an applicant must have two years of full-time equivalent, skilled-work experience at the National Occupational Classification (NOC) System O, A or B level. (i.e. managerial, professional, or skilled and technical) acquired in Canada within the three years preceding the date the application is submitted in a complete form.

Lower?skilled workers cannot apply under the Canadian Experience Class. However, Provincial Nominee Programs may be available to lower?skilled workers. These are workers in jobs classified at skill levels C and D under the NOC System.

Work experience gained in Canada while waiting for a decision on a refugee claim is not eligible for an application for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class

POST-GRADUATION STREAM
Requirements for graduates from a qualified Canadian educational institution.

There are two requirements specific to graduates:

* Work experience
* Education

WORK EXPERIENCE
As a graduate of a Canadian post?secondary educational institution, applicants must have one year of full?time (or equivalent) work experience in Canada after graduation. The work experience must be gained within two years of applying under the CEC program.

Co?op terms and apprenticeships completed before graduating do not count as skilled work experience as they are considered part of an educational program. Co?op terms and apprenticeships are counted as part of the minimum two?year educational program requirement.

Applicants can get qualified work experience by applying for the Post?Graduation Work Permit after graduation. Under this program Work Permits may be valid for up to three years with no restrictions on the type of work preformed. However, to qualify under the Canadian Experience Class for permanent residence, at least one year of work experience under the permit must be at Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B under the National Occupation Classification or (NOC). The work experience must be gained within two years of the time the application is made.

EDUCATION
Education is only assessed if you are applying as a graduate of a Canadian post?secondary educational institution under the Post-Graduation stream.

To qualify the applicant must be either a full?time Canadian post?secondary educational program of at least two years or a one?year Master’s program (certificates and diplomas cannot be counted) and an additional year of education, obtained in Canada, before admission into the one?year program (for a total of two years).

Applicants also must complete a required program of study in Canada and obtain a Canadian educational credential (e.g. a degree, diploma or certificate). Some categories of education are excluded from this program. These include English or French ESL studies; on-line programs completed outside Canada and studies in Canada taken under an award or scholarship program which stipulate return to their home country.

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
All applicants are required to be able to communicate and work in one or both of Canada’s official languages.

Applicants must prove their ability in English or French to qualify for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class.

The occupation category will determine the language abilities required to immigrate under the Canadian Experience Class. The requirements vary according to job classification under NOC.

The completed application will undergo a detailed review by a Visa Officer. The officer will consider all the information and documentation provided, and will assess it against current selection standards.

Unlike many other Canada Immigration programs there is no residency requirement for landing. If the applicant has temporary resident status when their application is approved, they can be landed in Canada at their local Citizenship and Immigration Canada Office. If the applicant is approved while outside of Canada they will present their visa at a Port of Entry and get landed through that office.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Finding a job a challenge for immigrants, study reveals

By Meagan Fitzpatrick, CanWest News ServiceSeptember 24, 2008


OTTAWA — Canada lives up to the expectations of most immigrants, a new study reveals, but finding a job remains the biggest challenge for new residents.

Two reports released by Statistics Canada on Monday examine immigrants’ assessments of life in Canada and the difficulties they face here.

Four years after arriving in Canada, the majority of new immigrants — 84 per cent — were positive about their decision to come here.

The study, using data from 2005, asked whether life in Canada is better than expected, about what they had expected or worse than they had expected.

About two-thirds said that life in Canada has lived up to their expectations.

When asked what the single-most important reason for settling permanently in Canada was, quality of life was No. 1. Thirty-two per cent cited it as the most important factor, followed by the desire to be close to family and friends (20 per cent), the future prospects for their family in Canada (18 per cent) and the peaceful nature of the country (nine per cent).

While most immigrants are happy they came, it’s not all smooth sailing once they get here, the survey showed.

New immigrants were asked what had been their biggest difficulties since arriving in Canada and finding an adequate job was the biggest challenge for 46 per cent, followed by learning English or French (26 per cent).

The majority of job seekers reported that they experienced a problem, often more than one, when searching for employment.

“New immigrants often experienced multiple problems when looking for work. For example, almost two-thirds of job seekers who reported a language problem also reported that lack of work experience was a difficulty,” Statistics Canada said.

In addition to language barriers and lack of experience, foreign credential recognition is a big problem and a lack of contacts in the job market was another difficulty faced by immigrant job-seekers.

But the percentage of employed immigrants did grow substantially over time, the data showed. For example, the employment rate of immigrants aged 25 to 44, the prime working-age group, went from 51 per cent six months after arrival to 65 per cent two years after arrival. Four years after arrival, it had reached 75 per cent.

The ability to speak English or French is considered a huge asset in looking for a job, Statistics Canada said.

“More specifically, immigrant's whose self-reported level of spoken English was good or very good were more likely to have a high-skill job, a job in the intended field, a job similar to the one held before immigrating and a job related to training or education,” the report said. “They also had higher wages, compared to immigrants whose spoken English level was not as good. This was true six months, two years and four years after immigrants' arrival in Canada.”

It’s a different story in Quebec however, where the level of French spoken by immigrants was not found to be related to their chances of having an “appropriate” job.

The survey covered about 7,700 immigrants who were interviewed for a third time since arriving in Canada four years earlier.
© Copyright (c)

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Brunswick urged to attract more immigrants. by Chris Fox

Senator Vivienne Poy says New Brunswick should welcome immigrants with open arms or face the consequence of losing one of its most valuable resources.

Poy, who became Canada's first Asian senator when she was appointed to the post by former Prime Minister Jean Chretien in 1998, made her remarks prior to a luncheon hosted by the Asian Heritage Society of New Brunswick recently.

The event was held in conjunction with Asian Heritage Month, an annual celebration of Asian culture that Poy helped pass into law in 2001.

"The province needs to be more accepting to immigrants," she said. "If they do that and they become more multicultural, immigrants will feel comfortable not just coming here, but they will stay and you need people who will stay.''

Poy, who is also the chancellor of the University of Toronto, said she has seen Canada take great strides in its acceptance of minorities since the country's first official Asian Heritage Month eight years ago.

But she said there are still areas that need improvement. She said public schools have a role to play in helping immigrants feel accepted.

"I call it intercultural education because we need to talk to everybody and it begins with curriculum. We must educate the young people of Canada on the fact that because of immigration the face of Canada has changed.''

The luncheon was held to discuss issues faced by New Brunswick's Asian population and how diversity can be better promoted in classrooms. Representatives from the Department of Education and various multicultural groups were on hand.

"We want to be an active part in policy making," said Madhu Verma, chairwoman of the New Brunswick Asian Heritage Society.

"The discussions and awareness shouldn't end after the month of May. We want to be able to continue on the theme of Asian Heritage Month in the schools and everywhere,'' Verma said. "The theme is the rich history of Asian Canadians we have right here in Canada, and celebrating their contributions because they have contributed to building our nation."

Barb Hillman, a social studies curriculum learning specialist at the Department of Education, attended the luncheon to get input into how the department could better promote diversity in its curriculum.

She said New Brunswick schools do well in educating children on multicultural issues and the different contributions made to the country by different cultural groups.

"I think if people would take a look at the curriculum they would actually be quite pleased and I do feel the department has done a very good job of addressing diversity."