Post Secondary Qualifications
For many, the route into their trade was not by way of formal education, but from on-the-job experience. Many of the would-be applicants we speak to are clearly exceptionally skilled, and very well able to do their jobs to a very high standard. That does not necessarily translate into being qualified for emigration purposes.
Canada recognises that on-the-job experience may stand-in for formal qualifications, to the extent that these skills may have been earned as part of formal apprenticeships. But there are two separate requirements for skilled workers: experience, and separately, educational qualifications.
Unfortunately, no amount of experience will make up for a deficit of formal qualifications.
As a rule of thumb, skilled workers will need to demonstrate at least one year of post-secondary education of one form or another to become eligible for a visa. That could mean an apprenticeship, a series of NVQ attainments, or some combination of job-based training and further education.
That said, in most cases, only one year of post-secondary education will not be enough for the foundation of a competitive application.
Never mind: I'll find a job first.
It is important to dispel the myth, which we hear regularly, that simply having a job offer in hand is an automatic route to a visa.
The "job first, visa later" plan is usually not the right way to go about it.
It is true that getting a job offer could confer eligibility when you might not otherwise qualify for a visa. But several things must be borne in mind.
First, if a Canadian employer offers you a job, they need to demonstrate that they are not giving you, as a foreign national, an offer for a job that could have been filled from out of the local labour base. To show this, they must produce a legal document testifying to this fact (a "Labour Market Impact Assessment" or LMIA), and without it, their job offer won't be of any worth when it comes to the immigration officials.
Second, obtaining a LMIA is expensive for the employer, and holding a job open for you (perhaps for many months while your visa is in process) could be even more expensive. The result is that few legitimate employers will bother with this process, unless the company is large enough to bear those costs, and desperate enough for your skills to need to do so.
You know who you are.
All of that said, there are many trades jobs that are both in high demand, and require sufficient training and experience that not anyone could simply rock-up and fill the position.
Do you have a skill like that? Go on: you probably have a good intuition as someone who is more familiar with your skills and expertise than anyone else.
Unfortunately, the immigration officers won't take your word for it: we have to prove your case.
That's why the first step for us is to assess your qualifications, skills and experience to see if you have what it takes to meet the standards required to emigrate to Canada. Once we know you will qualify to emigrate based on your skills and expertise we present the best options to live and work in Canada.
The Job is the Thing.
Finding a job -- or better, having one waiting for you upon arrival -- is critical for many of our clients. How your visa application case is prepared may well be the key factor in determining your success.
That's one hint that anyone who tells you to submit your application as soon as possible is providing you with poor advice.
Take your time, get good advice, and treat your application as a one-shot opportunity. That way, at the stage when employers review your file, your application stands out from the competition.
Can't find your trade on our list? Don't assume its not there: it may be hiding under an unfamiliar title.
Submit our free assessment and we'll let you know about the latest updates.
We can help you take your first step to a new life in Canada! Complete our free online Assessment now: you'll receive immediate feedback, and a case review by one of our expert emigration advisors.