Sunday, October 06, 2013

Migrating via Student Visa - Part 2

DECLARATION and DISCLAIMER: The following is my personal opinion. I am not any way qualified to give education and/or migration advice to anyone, and thus any content from me shall be construed as a sharing of personal opinion, not advice. I do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided by me. Under no circumstances will I or anyone related to this content be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from any reliance on the information or other content posted or linked by me.

This post will cover some "Factors to consider when selecting an education programme for the purpose of immigration".

Note: I am not going to cover common student concerns such as financing your studies, choosing a school with the right cultural fit, etc. These I will leave to the readers to do their own research. This section focuses on specific considerations relating to the eventual goal of immigration.

1. Check the CIC requirements for PGWPP and CEC

Some graduates who apply to stay in Canada after graduation do so under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) CEC (Canadian Experience Class) visa. Note: PGWPP is only a temporary work visa. It does not give the visa holder Permanent Residency status.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is only after gaining "at least 12 months of full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada" that the PGWPP visa holder can apply for Permanent Residency under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) visa.
For details on eligibility, please check the CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) website for "Determine your eligibility — Work after graduation". See below for a paraphrased summary of the requirements. Note: ALL requirements must be met, i.e. AND, not OR situation.
  • Have a valid study permit when you apply for the work permit.
  • Completed full-time studies of at least 8 months. IMPORTANT NOTE: If your studies is less than 2 years but more than 8 months, then you'll only get a work permit for a period no longer than your study period. E.g. If your studies is for 9 months, your work permit (in the best case) will only be for 9 months; and IMHO that sucks because the processing time for Permanent Residence applications for the Canadian Experience Class within Canada is around 9 months to 1 year for 80% of the cases to be processed in the best situation. Sometimes it can be worse due to un-forseen circumstances. E.g. CIC workers going on strike from 11-Jun-2013 to 07-Oct-2013. Thus, if you can, please aim for 2 years or more program, so that you can get a 3 year work permit. [Note: This suggested approach is also shared by Anonymous on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 5:53:00 PM in my previous blog post on this series.]
  • Post-secondary programme from a public-institution, OR a private institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as a public institution, OR a private institution for a program of study leading to a degree recognized by the province. Therefore, it is important that if you go for a program from a private institution, you shall check with the relevant provincial ministry on whether that specific program is eligible for migration application BEFORE you commit to the program. [Click here for the Ministry of Advanced Education, BC.] Plus, you'll have to take the risk that a program that was previously recognized may be dropped from the "recognized list" when you personally complete the program. In short, if you want to minimize your risk, I suggest sticking with the publicly funded institutions.
  • Apply for your work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation (for example, a transcript or an official letter) from your institution indicating that you have met the requirements for completing your academic program.
  • Other conditions apply. Please click here for details.
    2. Check CIC for other ways to immigrate with your skills

    Check CIC website for the Federal Skilled Workers Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. In case you cannot qualify for CEC, it is wise to have done an education programme leading to skills that are wanted under either of the above schemes.

    The only catch is that the list of skills wanted and the quota of visas allowed for each skill changes from year-to-year. Thus, it is a risk that you'll have to calculate. E.g. Nursing was dropped from the wanted skills list in May-2013, despite having been there for the longest time ever.

    Currently (as of today 06-Oct-2013), FSWP is applicable for the following job codes.
    0211   Engineering managers
    1112   Financial and investment analysts (Cap reached)
    2113   Geoscientists and oceanographers
    2131   Civil engineers
    2132   Mechanical engineers
    2134   Chemical engineers
    2143   Mining engineers
    2145   Petroleum engineers
    2144   Geological engineers
    2146   Aerospace engineers
    2147   Computer engineers (except software engineers/designers) (Cap reached)
    2154   Land surveyors
    2174   Computer programmers and interactive media developers (Cap reached)
    2243   Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
    2263   Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
    3141   Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
    3142   Physiotherapists
    3143   Occupational Therapists
    3211   Medical laboratory technologists
    3212   Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants
    3214   Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
    3215   Medical Radiation Technologists
    3216   Medical Sonographers
    3217   Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists
    Currently (as of today 06-Oct-2013), FSTP is applicable for the following job codes.
    Group A – Jobs with sub-caps of 100 applications each (and their corresponding 2011 NOC code)
    7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
    7204 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
    7205 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
    7271 Carpenters
    7301 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
    7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
    8211 Supervisors, logging and forestry
    8221 Supervisors, mining and quarrying
    8222 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling services
    8241 Logging machinery operators
    8252 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
    9211 Supervisors, mineral and metal processing
    9212 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
    9214 Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing
    9231 Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing
    9241 Power engineers and power systems operators
    9243 Water and waste treatment plant operators
    Group B – no sub-caps (2011 NOC code)
    7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
    7233 Sheet metal workers
    7235 Structural metal and plate work fabricators and fitters
    7236 Ironworkers
    7237 Welders and related machine operators
    7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)
    7242 Industrial electricians
    7243 Power system electricians
    7244 Electrical power line and cable workers
    7245 Telecommunications line and cable workers
    7246 Telecommunications installation and repair workers
    7251 Plumbers
    7252 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
    7253 Gas fitters
    7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
    7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
    7313 Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
    7314 Railway carmen/women
    7315 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
    7318 Elevator constructors and mechanics
    7371 Crane operators
    7372 Drillers and blasters - surface, mining, quarrying and construction
    7373 Water well drillers
    8231 Underground production and development miners
    8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
    9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators
    Pay attention to the job codes (a.k.a. NOC codes) above. We will touch on it in the next section.

    3. Check your future employment prospects

    Working in Canada is a federal government funded website that lists job requirements, earnings, outlook, for each area of Canada. There are many ways to use the website; some suggestions below.
    • "Explore Careers by Occupation" helps you to discover the education and/or training requirements to enter a specific occupation/job-code (NOC code). See previous section for examples of jobs with shortage of qualified workers.
    • "Explore Careers by Education Program".
    • "Job Market Trends" for each specific area of Canada. 
      1. AB = Alberta
      2. BC = British Columbia
      3. MB = Manitoba
      4. NB = New Brunswick
      5. NL = Newfoundland
      6. NS = Nova Scotia
      7. NT = Northern Territories
      8. NU = Nunavut
      9. ON = Ontario
      10. PE = Prince Edward Island
      11. QC = Quebec
      12. SK = Saskatchewan
      13. YT = Yukon Territories
    That's all for Part 2 for now. Please feel free to drop your comments, feedback and ask further questions in the Comments section below.

    Footnote: See Part 1 here. See Part 3 here.

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