Post-Graduation Work Permit applicants now allowed to work after travelling outside Canada

International student graduates who are waiting on a Post-Graduation Work Permit decision may now leave Canada and maintain their eligibility to work full time once they return.


International student graduates will no longer need to remain in Canada while their Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is in process.
As of February 21, graduates who are eligible to work full time without a work permit will be able to maintain their ability to work legally in Canada even if they leave and re-enter the country.
International students must apply for their PGWP before their study permit expires in order to be allowed to work full time.
It can take upwards of 90 days for a PGWP decision to go through.
In order to work in Canada without a work permit, PGWP applicants must satisfy the following requirements:
  • They held a valid study permit at the time of the PGWP application.
  • They have completed their study program and obtained a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • They were full-time students enrolled at a designated learning institution in a post-secondary, vocational or professional training program of at least six months in duration.
  • They did not work more than 20 hours per week during their study program.
If the federal government refuses the application for a work permit, the graduate must then stop working as soon as he or she is informed by the immigration ministry.

PGWP and Canadian permanent residence

After completing a study program, certain international students may be eligible to stay and work in Canada with a PGWP.
If their application for a work permit is approved, international student graduates can work in Canada for a period of eight months to three years.
If the ultimate goal is to settle in Canada, work experience gained through a PGWP can greatly facilitate a graduate’s path to Canadian permanent residence through the Express Entry system.
Express Entry is an application management system for Canada’s three main economic class immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker ProgramFederal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.
Immigration candidates who are eligible for an Express Entry-managed program are ranked according to factors deemed to determine their success in the Canadian labour force. A candidate’s age, official language proficiency, education, and work experience all go towards their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.
Those with high CRS scores are more likely to be selected for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence through regular Express Entry draws.
Canadian work experience is highly valuable towards a candidate’s overall CRS score.
Source: CIC news

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No more Guaranteed ITA Scores and a lot of B.C. Tech Pilot draws

B.C. provincial nominee program round-up for February 2020

By  And 

The month of February was a popular time for the B.C. Tech Pilot, and the province also nixed their Guaranteed ITA Scores.
The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) issued a total of 221 invitations through its Tech Pilot so far this month.
Immigration candidates who are applying for Canadian immigration through one of B.C.’s existing streams, and who have job offers in one of 29 eligible occupations may be considered for an invitation through the Tech Pilot program.
So far B.C. has sent out 806 invitations to Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC candidates this year.
“The BC Provincial Nominee Program Tech Pilot is a priority initiative that supports economic growth and helps the tech sector recruit top international talent,” a spokesperson from B.C.’s economic development ministry wrote to CIC News in an email. “We continue to support the tech sector’s continued growth through weekly draws.”
The BC PNP said that the frequency of invitations is based on the annual nomination allocations from the federal government and the program’s processing capacity.
The Tech Pilot was launched in 2017 to provide the technology sector in B.C. the ability to attract and retain international talent. This was due to the fact that demand in the tech sector was continuously increasing. The initiative was extended to June 2020.
In order to qualify for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) through the Tech Pilot, candidates must be enrolled in a BC PNP immigration category such as Skills Immigration, or Express Entry BC.

No more Guaranteed ITA Scores

As of February 19, candidates who score over certain points thresholds on the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) are no longer eligible to be guaranteed an invitation for a provincial nomination.
Candidates in the Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC immigration categories are ranked based on economic factors and human capital factors. Points are awarded based on the skill level of the job offer, wage, and the regional district of employment, as well as a candidate’s work experience, education, and language ability.
The Skills Immigration pathway is for skilled and semi-skilled workers that are in high-demand occupations within the province. Hopeful Express Entry BC candidates must qualify for one of three federal economic immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker ProgramFederal Skilled Trades Program, or Canadian Experience Class.

Source: CIC news

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6 Tips to Improve Your IELTS Academic Writing Score

by Roshan Patroo

For many students, the writing section of the IELTS test can be one of the most challenging. The good news is that careful preparation will go a long way in helping to get the band score you need. Use the six tips below to maximize your chances of success in the writing section of your upcoming IELTS test.
  1. Plan your time effectively.
Since the number of words you need to write for part two of IELTS (250 words) is longer than part one (150 words), make sure you plan your time to reflect this. This is particularly important because approximately two-thirds of your mark is given to task two. Therefore, you want to spend about two-thirds of your time (approximately 40 minutes) in this section.
  1. Read the question carefully.
Many test-takers rush into answering the writing question without reading it carefully. Do not do this! For part one, the task usually asks you to summarize, select, and make comparisons. If you see these words, underline them—they are important! When you are completing the task, go through your work and make sure you have summarized the information, selected key points and made comparisons.
For task two, cover all parts of the task.  For example, if the task asks you to give advantages and disadvantages, ensure that you have given both. Similarly, if you are asked to give your opinion, make sure you have done so and that it is clear.
  1. Include an “overview” in part one.
An overview is a summary of information that doesn’t include every single detail. For part one of the academic writing section, you are usually required to write an overview (that is, summarize the information). This is an important part of the task and can be included at the beginning or end.
  1. Keep it simple in the part two essay.
Grammar and vocabulary are important factors in assessing your writing band, but some students believe they must write extremely long sentences or use very complicated vocabulary in order to get a higher band. This is not true! The important thing is that your ideas are easy to understand.
Don’t try to use complicated words that you may spell incorrectly; replace these words with ones that you are more confident using.
Also, remember that the quality of your English is what is being assessed. Don’t spend too long thinking about whether your ideas are “smart” or “intellectual” enough. Think of ideas that are easy to explain; then concentrate on the grammatical forms and vocabulary you need to express these ideas on paper.
  1. Be realistic.
Becoming proficient at any language takes effort and time. If you score a band or two lower than you would like (for example you need a band 7, but you get a 5 or 6), it is not advisable to take the test again immediately because you will most likely score a similar band. Take the time to practice your writing skills before you take the test again.
You can even take a practice test (for a small fee), which will be marked by an official IELTS examiner. Your practice test will include a band score and detailed feedback. This exercise will help you know how ready you are to take the test and get the band score you need. This service is called IELTS Progress Check.
  1. Help is available.
In preparation for your IELTS academic writing, you need to have a plan. There are a host of free online practice materials to help you practice. If you need more help, invest in a teacher who will be able to tell you where you may be going wrong and what to improve on.
Practice for the test as much as you can. You can never be too overprepared.

For information on IELTS practice materials and courses, visit the British Council IELTS Canada prepare page. Good luck with your IELTS preparation!


Finding Canadian Education Programs and Scholarships

by Kevin Kamal

Contrary to some perceptions, Canada is not equal to the winter season! Actually, all Canadian cities experience four seasons throughout the year. With its vast, beautiful geography, rich history of indigenous people, and a national policy for multiculturalism, Canada is a gem for prospective international students.
Canada has a formalized immigration policy and annually welcomes approximately 250,000 immigrants. Canada is one of the few countries with a well-established pathway from being an international student to becoming a permanent resident and a Canadian citizen.
Canadian international student tuition fees and living expenses are one of the lowest among popular English-speaking countries. Additionally, the country has many internationally renowned universities. According to one report, a total of 26 Canadian universities ranked within the top 800 universities worldwide. Of these, three top universities in Canada are ranked within the global top 50, and a further 10 in the top 300.
These numbers must be looked at based on the total number of universities in Canada. With about 36 million in total population and 13 provinces and territories, there are about 100 universities and over 125 publicly funded colleges to choose from.
If you are considering studying in Canada, you should familiarize yourself with the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) and its Student Centre. You will find CBIE’s Search Canadian Programs and Scholarships tool very handy for gathering essential information on universities and colleges in Canada.

This online tool allows you to search Canadian universities and colleges by name, the program of study, undergraduate- and graduate-level programs, and, yes, available scholarships. Just like the country itself, the tool is bilingual and it is available in French and English.

The IELTS Test Day Experience

by IDP

In the final installment of our three-part series we will share what to expect on the day of the test.
Following the International Education Language Testing System (IELTS) overview and IELTS preparation information we shared in parts one and two, we want to make sure you are ready for the big day. Keep in mind that the purpose of IELTS is to measure your English language level. If you have gone through the necessary steps to prepare for the test, then your experience should go smoothly with the support of the professional test day staff and examiners.

What can I expect when I arrive to take the test?

IELTS is a high stakes test and the staff who administer it take it very seriously. The test day staff have been trained to make your IELTS experience as comfortable as possible. Because the results are highly regarded by so many institutions and organizations, it needs to be very secure. There are many security protocols to follow which includes:
  • Personnel have been specifically trained in facial feature recognition, so they will carefully examine your face with your identification photo.
  • Finger scans will be taken at the entrance of the test room and will be matched each time you leave and return.
  • Your photograph will be taken by IELTS test day personnel and it will be shown with your test report form to receiving organizations
The reason for such high-security measures is to maintain the validity and integrity of the test scores by ensuring against fraud and cheating. Images of the finger scans are not stored and photographs will be used only for the purpose of the IELTS test. You can be assured that the security procedures are in place for your benefit as they allow for test results to be highly regarded by the receiving organization.

What do I need to bring on test day?

  • The exact same valid ID you used to book the test—your passport or permanent resident card
  • Your confirmation email
  • 2 HB or #2 pencils
  • Clear bottle of water with the label removed (optional)

What items are not allowed into the test room?

  • Any electronic device—watch, calculator, etc.
  • Your cell phone—even if it is turned off!
  • Additional pieces of paper
  • Food
  • Any item that is not on the approved list

Am I allowed to leave the test area?

Yes. You will be allowed to go to the restroom during the test. You will also have a break before the speaking part of the test. The length of the break will vary depending on the scheduled time of your speaking exam.

Who will be with me during the test?

  • The test-day personnel are there to support you if you have any questions on test day.
  • The listening, reading, and writing portions of the test are conducted in a group setting.
  • The invigilation staff (those staff members who are there to watch those taking the exam) will give you instructions and lead you through these sections.
  • The speaking portion of the test is done one-on-one with a professional speaking examiner (the speaking examiner will give you instructions and ask you questions during this portion of the test).
What can I expect during the speaking portion of the test?
  • Professionalism—speaking examiners have undergone a rigorous training process.
  • Friendliness—speaking examiners will be neutral, but will be polite and friendly.
  • Your speaking interview will be recorded for monitoring purposes.
  • The speaking section is 11-14 minutes long—examiners are required to adhere to the time limits for each of the three sections.
    • In part one, you will be asked questions about yourself.
    • In part two, you will be required to speak for two minutes on a topic chosen by the examiner.
    • In part three, you will have a conversation with the examiner.
  • Examiners will remain neutral about your performance and cannot give you feedback about how you did.

How will I get my results?

  • Unofficial results are available online 13 days after the test.
  • Centres will also mail your results 13 days after the test.
  • Test results may also be picked up in person with your passport or permanent resident card.
  • If someone is picking up the results on your behalf, they must have your original identification and a letter from you specifying that they are authorized to pick up the test results.
  • Results are listed on a Test Report Form (TRF).
  • TRFs list sub-scores for listening, reading, writing, and speaking as well as an overall score which is the average from the four sections.
  • You will receive one TRF, but you may request a second copy if you are using the results for immigration purposes.
  • For tests that have taken place within the last 30 days, up to five additional TRFs may be sent to recognizing organizations at no cost.
  • A fee may be charged for additional TRFs to be sent out if the test occurred outside of the 30-day limitation.
  • TRFs may be sent by courier at an additional cost (contact your centre for more info).
  • You may request a review of your scores within six weeks of the test date at an additional cost.
The IELTS test is exactly the same around the world. There should be no surprises as long as you have a good grasp of the English language, prepare well in advance, and follow the instructions for test day.
Reading this blog post series, checking the links, and visiting the preparation section of indicates that you have a great attitude toward success.

Good luck on test day!


Vernon, British Columbia launches Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

North Bay is finally in the immigration game.

Working in construction jobs in Canada


Are you thinking about working in construction jobs in Canada? If so, Canada needs your skills and experience for many great skilled trades jobs!
Canada has a high demand for skilled tradespeople for many large-scale building and infrastructure projects. So to understand what’s happening in construction, we’ll look at four important things to know about the industry including:  
  1. An overview of the industry
2. Construction credentials and certifications required in Canada
3. The job outlook for construction jobs
4. Labour market conditions for construction jobs in Canada: 2017 – 2026
The outlook for construction jobs is strong with many possibilities. And, the industry is growing so you can build a great career in skilled trades.
In fact, the industry is facing a labour shortage. And that’s because it’s expected that 21% of construction workers will retire over the next decade. As a result, the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is working with the federal government to invest in programs to attract new Canadians. So, skilled trades are an excellent career opportunity for new Canadians.
To work in construction jobs in Canada, it’s important to understand what’s required before you arrive. When you know what’s required, you’ll be in a better position to land a construction job. 
For example, if your trade is regulated in the province or territory where you plan to live, you will need to:
  • Get a license or certificate
  • Register with the provincial or territorial regulatory body to work in your trade-in Canada.

Register Now for Construction Career Updates

If you want a Construction Career in Canada, we will keep you up to date with the latest information about the Canadian construction job market. You will also receive a free ebook.

1. An overview of the construction industry in Canada

In Canada, the construction industry employs 1.4 million people, and it is one of the leading sources of employment in Canada. The industry has two primary sectors:
  1. Residential construction
2. Non-residential construction (institutional, industrial, commercial) 

Construction sectors in Canada

Residential construction sector

Work in the residential sector includes both new home building and home renovation. And, employers in residential construction are typical:
  1. New home builders and renovation contractors who hire tradespeople on staff
2. Trade contractors that specialize in a specific area such as plumbing contractors or heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) contractors. 
There are many opportunities in residential construction across Canada. But, some regions more active than others. So, it’s important to research job demand at the national, provincial, and local levels.

new home building and renovation

Non-residential construction sector (Industrial, Institutional & commercial, Engineering)

Industrial construction

Within industrial construction, there are many large, resource-based construction projects on the rise all across the country.
While industrial projects are planned in all provinces and territories, here are some examples of projects taking place across Canada:
Industrial projects in Canada

Institutional and commercial construction:

Institutional construction is an important type of building work. It refers to building structures that play a vital role in communities related to:
  • Healthcare
  • Public works
  • Education
  • Recreation
Construction workers in this sector can build anything from hospitals and elementary schools to athletic centers and universities.
Within commercial construction, some of the main activities include constructing:
  • Office buildings
  • Hotel and entertainment buildings (gyms, cinemas, and arenas)
  • Retail stores and shopping centers
Mainly, general contractors or project managers are responsible for new constructions, additions, maintenance and repair of commercial buildings.

shopping center construction

Engineering construction:

Engineering construction provides core infrastructure and essential services that keep communities running well. This includes building:
  • Bridges
  • Highways
  • Roads and mass transit systems

engineering projects in Canada

The engineering construction sector also installs essential services such as water treatment systems, and power and communication lines.

2. Training and certification to work in construction jobs 

The skilled trades are regulated by each province and territory in Canada. And, you may need a license or certificate to work in your trade in Canada. But, not all trades require a license. Find out what license you may need by clicking on the links below (see section: Find out how to get certified to work in your trade in Canada).
People start their career in the skilled trades by starting as an apprentice. An apprenticeship provides people who are interested in skilled trade with:
  • On-the-job training
  • In-class technical training
And, you get paid to take classes and learn the trade from an experienced worker. 
But, developing skilled tradespeople can often take years. So to meet the labour shortage, Canada will rely on experienced tradespeople from outside of Canada.

Canada needs your skills and experience 

If  you have experience in a trade from another country, you can complete a Trade Equivalency Assessment. The purpose of this assessment is to look at your:
  • past training 
  • work experience 
  • Level of education
  • Level of language ability
And, based on your previous work experience you may be qualified to write the Certificate of Qualification exam. This exam is a test of your knowledge, competence, and performance of important tasks in your trade. 

3. Outlook for construction jobs in Canada

Trades jobs are essential to the Canadian economy. And, construction is one of the leading sources of employment growth in Canada. As well, that growth is expected to continue over the next decade.
Many employers accept applications from experienced tradespeople from around the world. But, the outlook for construction jobs in Canada varies depending on:
  • the province or territory where you expect to land
  • And, your specific trade.
So, it’s important to research the job outlook for your trade. For example, the provincial job market for carpenters may be good in one province but limited in another province. 

Related Posts:

So, you need to find out where jobs exists, or where there may be a surplus of jobs. Also, research the trends in the construction industry and what they will mean for you. For example, do you need to upgrade your skills, or obtain additional qualifications?
To learn more about working in your trade in Canada, click on the links for information about wages, outlook, and requirements. The following are some of the trades jobs that are most needed in Canada.

4. Labour market conditions for jobs: 2017 – 2026

The outlook for construction jobs in Canada varies depending on:
  • the province or territory
  • Type of construction job

The Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) develops national labour supply and demand projections for different occupational groups. This labour market assessment identifies market conditions for the period 2017 – 2026 for various trades jobs in Canada. 
Definition of labour market conditions:
The COPS research predicts if the construction labour market will experience a: 
Shortage: number of job seekers is insufficient to fill job openings
Balance: number of job seekers and job openings are fairly even
Surplus: number of job seekers exceeds job openings

Summary of national findings for carpenter jobs

Among other findings, the COPS research revealed: 
  • The job demand for carpenters will be balanced from 2017 – 2026
  • Job demand will arise from growth and replacement of existing workers

To find similar information for over 50 different trades jobs in Canada, you can click this link, and type the title of your occupation in the search bar.

Find out how to get certified to work in your trade in Canada 

If your trade is regulated by the province or territory, you may need to get a licence or certificate to work. But, not all trades are regulated.
Provincial and territorial regulatory bodies: 
  • Set the licensing standards and requirements 
  • Assess workers’ qualifications
  • Issue licenses when standards have been met.

To find out if your trade is regulated in Canada, visit the provincial regulatory body where you intend to land: 



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