Sunday, October 20, 2013

Migrating via Student Visa - Part 3

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 odds-and-ends relevant to the issue of migrating via Student Visa. See links to previous posts on this series at the footnotes.

1. Popular sources of information on Canadian university rankings

Those interested in pursuing education in Canadian universities can check out the various popular sources of information on Canadian university rankings.

The Maclean's university ranking website is a well-known and popular source of information for Canadian high-school students heading to universities here. However, its university ranking is not without controversy. That said, it also publishes university rankings done by others, seen from a Canadian perspective. Thus, it is a useful website to read consolidated information related to Canadian universities. E.g. The 2013 Shanghai Jiao Tong University [上海交通大学] (China) annual Academic Ranking of World Universities is reported by Maclean's here.

[15-Aug-2013 Maclean's report of SJTU's Annual Ranking of World Universities]

The Globe and Mail (a well-established newspaper in Canada that was ever unsuccessfully sued by one old-man in a little red dot) reports on Education in Canada. E.g. 23-Oct-2012 Canadian University Report 2013: Student satisfaction survey results.

Of course, one can hardly forget the world-famous Time's World University Rankings.

2. Consider the option to transfer university

My understanding from speaking with the locals is that the 1st year of undergraduate studies here is usually a broad-based education (i.e. course credits from various fields). In order to sign up for these courses from such a wide variety of fields, it is not uncommon that one ends up having to do extra courses/certifications prior to entering the university in order to meet the course pre-requisites.

I have met students from China who do some preparatory courses (e.g. 1 year of studies) at, e.g. SFU, in order to gain admission to undergraduate courses in their target universities.
  • For a guide on your transfer options in B.C., Canada, check out
  • As mentioned previously in Part 1, to search on your post-secondary education options in B.C., Canada, check out
  • Finally, to understand more about post-secondary admissions and transfers in B.C., Canada, check out (BC Council on Admissions & Transfers). The BCCAT runs both Education Planner and BC Transfer Guide websites.
3. Consider the weather and economy of the region/city

Please check out the weather and economy of the region/city where you plan to study before making a decision. You don't have to travel to Canada to do so, but at least do some online research (e.g. Google, Wikipedia, region's tourist information, etc). In a country as big as Canada, it can be "too hot" in one city and "too much snow" in another on the same day. Understanding of the local economy will also help the potential students to consider what skills they may need (i.e. training, certification, and/or preparation) to help them clinch part-time work near their schools.
Note: When looking for a job B.C., Canada, employers will typically ask for "2 Canadian work reference". Therefore, it is important to have regular (e.g. once weekly) part-time work and/or volunteer assignments while studying so that one can get one's managers' and/or volunteer co-ordinators' references* to support one's job application after graduation. *That is, get their names, contact numbers (cell/mobile and work number), and their consent/agreement to be your reference.
In B.C., you will need certain certifications even for the "blue collar" jobs. E.g. Waiters need "Food Safe Level 1 Certification" and perhaps also "Serving It Right" (for premises that serves alcohol). E.g. Even volunteers at summer camps may need a current CPR Level C Certification from an approved B.C. authority.

Good luck on your student/migration journey!



  1. Hello and thank you for your blog. Does Canada have sponsorship programs/ bond with hospitals for foreign nurses like singapore does?

    1. Hi Anonymous at Sunday, November 16, 2014 10:29:00 PM,

      Firstly, please note the Declaration and Disclaimer at the beginning of this blog post. In particular: 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.

      As far as I am aware, there isn't any "sponsorship programs/ bond with hospitals for foreign nurses like Singapore" for non-residents of Canada.

      Occasionally when the demand arises, specific provincial government health authorities (e.g. Manitoba or Saskatchewan) will go overseas on a recruitment spree (often to Philippines and/or India). However, due to the public backlash and an existing oversupply of foreign-trained nurses who are already Canadian residents in other provinces (who are unemployed and/or underemployed with respect to their professional qualifications), this overseas recruitment have been drastically reduced.

      The current reality is that if you're not already a Canadian resident, the barriers to entry for getting a job in Canada is high. If you are already a Registered Nurse and/or a Licensed Practical Nurse in your own country, I strongly recommend that you attempt to acquire Canadian Residency through the Federal Skilled Worker Program visa and then look for a Canadian job. IMHO, the FSWP provides one the best options in-terms of federal/provincial support as a newly landed immigrant. Check out the list of in-demand skills and quota which is released reviewed every May.

      Alternatively, you can decide on which province you want to work in (e.g. which province is likely to have job opportunities for foreign-trained nurses), check out the province's specific nursing-license authority for the process to obtain your provincial license, and then apply for job through the provincial healthcare authority's recruitment website. Note: The chances may be slim.

      I have met other IENs whose ultimate goal was to obtain Canadian residency/citizenship status. A few did it by the long, slow, arduous route of first becoming a live-in caregiver, spend a couple of years to get their Canadian residency status approved while planning their return to nursing. The con is that they lose their skills during the long process, but the pro is that it is a stable route for those with limited finances and are willing take a long-haul view.

      All said, beware of any job agent that claims to be able to get you a work-visa upon payment of a job agent fee. It is illegal in Canada for job agents to charge job seekers for "job introduction fees" and/or work-visa administration fees. Please be careful, and do not be conned out of your hard-earned money (some lost several thousands of Canadian dollars, one recent case in 2014 was alleged to be cheated of CAD25K), only to find yourself (a) an illegal immigrant in Canada, (b) not having the job you were promised, OR (c) not having work/living conditions and/or pay/benefits that you were promised. Don't trust someone just because they originated from your country, successfully immigrated to Canada and seems to have achieve financial and other success in Canada -- there are folks who are out to scam others who are trusting/ignorant, even fellow countrymen.

      On the above note, do not trust what I write here either. Go check the facts and reality for yourself.

      Cheers, WD.