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285 posts

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Topic # 152185 18-Sep-2014 17:18
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Hi guys, There will be lots of questions in this post. So bear with me :D So I'm currently 23 and I live in NZ. I have a BSc in Compsci from UoA. I've been working full-time for 2 years and works mainly on the front-end site of web development (html, css (less etc.) , javascript (jquery etc.), bootstrap, some sql, some java, some c#) and I'm learning more about new tech as I go (angular etc.). I'm a NZ Citizen by grant (originally from south east asia), so I speak English fluently.

So the thing is that, I've barely travelled overseas in the past few years, and NZ is pretty isolated geographically and I feel like this is the perfect age to challenge my mental capacity. After talking with my roommate who did a working-holiday to Canada, it seems like I'll be doing the same thing. Except that eventhough 'working holiday' is the main intent, I really want to try to make it somewhat a permanent thing.

Won't be easy I know, but I'm more than willing to work my butt off. My question is, what are the chances that I can get a casual job in IT over there on a temporary work permit (the work hols visa for NZ-Canada is for 1 year) and work hard to convince my employer there to sponsor me and stay-work there beyond the 1 year period ?

I plan to visit Vancouver first, but I'm not sure which city is best for a first-timer like me interms of job + decent rent (Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto ? ) I know I'll most likely have to get a retail/customerservice job first to survive for the first few weeks while I hand out CVs for the IT job, but from researching online, it seems like over there people barely reply to CV's and prefer to hire someone with a canadian work experience ? Would volunteering on the weekends + weekday nights help as the 'canadian experience' ?

I'm in the process of applying for the visa now and if approved, I'll be given a year to land in Canada, then the permit is for 1 full year from then on. So If all goes well, March 2015 I'll be landing there after quitting my job here and packing my bags. I won't know anyone there either :) So if you guys can shed a light on this whole thing + my chances of eventually being able to stay&work in Canada indefinitely after working really hard + some hardships , that'd be awesome and much appreciated. I'm new to this, but I'm independent and like to challenge myself :) Thanks guys.

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  Reply # 1131903 19-Sep-2014 04:41
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The IEC visa is a great opportunity to get over there and work, however getting work in your field will be difficult. Once you get your visa and have an idea of the date you will arrive there I suggest you start applying for jobs - before you go. Think of a backup plan for work you could do if you can't break into IT right away. 

 

When you arrive in Canada, enter as a visitor. When you have secured a job, head out very early on the day that you first start work and flagpole at the border (that is, cross the Canadian border and immediately turn around and re-enter, this time activating your IEC visa). The reason for this is that there is another class of visa that you can apply for - Canadian Experience Class - but to do so you must have no less than one year's working experience in Canada. Flagpoling from Vancouver is easy as it is a short trip to the border. 

Getting an employer to sponsor you is next to impossible. Canada changed immigration laws last year and tightened up on foreign workers. Employer approvals are now very expensive and as a result many employers will no longer even consider applying to hire a foreign worker. They must also advertise the job for a period of time and prove that there are no Canadians capable of doing that job. Unless you are highly skilled in a specialised area it is unlikely that they couldn't find a Canadian to do the work. You could look at the various provincial nominee programs to see if your skills are needed in any of the remote areas. If there is a job opening in one of the remote areas of one of the provinces that province may sponsor you. You may also have a chance if you were to get training here in heavy truck haulage or any of the manual type skills that are needed in mining areas. It all depends on what you are prepared to work at. 

Vancouver is a great city to head to. It's very easy for kiwis to feel comfortable in and its a multi-cultural city with little racism. Rents are expensive there though and the cost of living is one of the highest in Canada. Toronto is bigger, busier, and has more opportunities but the taxes are higher than those in British Columbia. The winters there will be a shock to your system. I've not been to Calgary but I've heard there's good opportunities there too. Alberta is the province to head for if you want to keep more of your money - taxes there are very low. 

 

At your age, and given the way Canadian immigration has tightened up, I'd suggest you go over there and use your year on IEC to see as much of the country as you can and treat it as the visa is supposed to be - a working holiday. You might hate it over there, but if you love it then you can always come back here, build up your skills and expertise, and apply to immigrate as a skilled worker. Sadly, I think your age and current experience might not be enough when competing against Canadians for jobs. Not yet anyway.

I hope I've been of some help. 

 

 

 

 



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  Reply # 1132058 19-Sep-2014 11:32
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The harsh reality :(

I didn't think it was gonna be easy of course. I'm willing to work for it. But since you said it's next to impossible getting an IT job let alone eventually convincing your employer to sponsor you , it's disappointing :(

Would transitioning into a study permit a few months into the IEC visa help ?  Let's say I get there, get whatever job is available, work for about 6 months then apply for the study permit and enrol at a college/uni there and do a 1 or 2 year program (certificate, diploma etc etc.) and use the 'postgrad work permit' for another year or two and by then I can apply for the CEC ?

I also heard that this upcoming January , Canada will use a new system called "Express Entry" which will speed up PR process and bring in more immigrants because they have a massive shortage in skilled workers ?

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1132069 19-Sep-2014 11:58
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coolcat21: Hi guys, There will be lots of questions in this post. So bear with me :D So I'm currently 23 and I live in NZ. I have a BSc in Compsci from UoA. I've been working full-time for 2 years and works mainly on the front-end site of web development (html, css (less etc.) , javascript (jquery etc.), bootstrap, some sql, some java, some c#) and I'm learning more about new tech as I go (angular etc.). I'm a NZ Citizen by grant (originally from south east asia), so I speak English fluently.

So the thing is that, I've barely travelled overseas in the past few years, and NZ is pretty isolated geographically and I feel like this is the perfect age to challenge my mental capacity. After talking with my roommate who did a working-holiday to Canada, it seems like I'll be doing the same thing. Except that eventhough 'working holiday' is the main intent, I really want to try to make it somewhat a permanent thing.

Won't be easy I know, but I'm more than willing to work my butt off. My question is, what are the chances that I can get a casual job in IT over there on a temporary work permit (the work hols visa for NZ-Canada is for 1 year) and work hard to convince my employer there to sponsor me and stay-work there beyond the 1 year period ?

I plan to visit Vancouver first, but I'm not sure which city is best for a first-timer like me interms of job + decent rent (Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto ? ) I know I'll most likely have to get a retail/customerservice job first to survive for the first few weeks while I hand out CVs for the IT job, but from researching online, it seems like over there people barely reply to CV's and prefer to hire someone with a canadian work experience ? Would volunteering on the weekends + weekday nights help as the 'canadian experience' ?

I'm in the process of applying for the visa now and if approved, I'll be given a year to land in Canada, then the permit is for 1 full year from then on. So If all goes well, March 2015 I'll be landing there after quitting my job here and packing my bags. I won't know anyone there either :) So if you guys can shed a light on this whole thing + my chances of eventually being able to stay&work in Canada indefinitely after working really hard + some hardships , that'd be awesome and much appreciated. I'm new to this, but I'm independent and like to challenge myself :) Thanks guys.


On a practical level, bear in mind that Canada can be EXTREMELY cold in winter!

Last time I was there shooting wildlife (with a camera) I worked for a week in the Rockies near Edmonton and it was minus 46 centigrade!!

My brother lives in Toronto and says that whilst that side is not usually that cold, it is still pretty cold. Canadians often say that the four seasons in Canada are 'winter, winter, winter and road construction'!

So pack warm and expect to be wrapping up for a good while every winter.





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  Reply # 1132070 19-Sep-2014 11:59
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If you want to stay in IT and can afford to study there then go for it! Seriously, this is the best thing you could do. Canadian employers want Canadian qualifications, especially in highly competitive fields like IT. It's up to you but why waste the IEC? That's an open work permit for 12 months. I'd use it. If you manage to activate it on the day you start working you could get a full 12 months of work in, which leaves the door open for applying for a Canadian Experience Class work visa. On a student visa you are also allowed to do some part-time work. 

 

Sadly, IT is one of the toughest areas to get in on, mainly because so many immigrants want those jobs. The game studios there are a huge attraction. You will need further qualifications if you want to stand a chance.

 

One tip - keep watching the CIC (immigration) site. Immigration rules are changing all the time and by the time you are ready to head over everything we know now could have turned right around. 

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  Reply # 1132077 19-Sep-2014 12:07
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Geektastic: 

On a practical level, bear in mind that Canada can be EXTREMELY cold in winter!

Last time I was there shooting wildlife (with a camera) I worked for a week in the Rockies near Edmonton and it was minus 46 centigrade!!

My brother lives in Toronto and says that whilst that side is not usually that cold, it is still pretty cold. Canadians often say that the four seasons in Canada are 'winter, winter, winter and road construction'!

So pack warm and expect to be wrapping up for a good while every winter.


Good advice, but keep in mind that Canada is HUGE! Vancouver doesn't get very cold in winter. It gets snow but usually only a few days a year when the snow actually settles. Even then, it's not very cold there. If you can stand Wellington winters you will be fine in Vancouver. Calgary is another story, as is Toronto. Do your research so you know what to expect. The good thing is that Canadian houses, shops, etc are all heated and even in very cold places it's comfortable enough inside (unlike our uninsulated, drafty housing). 
Clothing and footwear is cheaper than here but taking NZ merino or merino/possum thermals is a good idea (Icebreaker gear is big there, and cheaper than here even though its a NZ company but it's still overpriced. There's good quality thermals here that are warmer than what I've seen in Canada). 



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  Reply # 1132096 19-Sep-2014 12:33
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Its been a long day so this will be all over the place. Hopefully it makes some sense.

I'm in Toronto on a working holiday visa at the moment. There are plenty of jobs going for web developers especially with your skills. What you've heard about lack of response is correct. I've heard back from maybe less than 10% of the jobs I've applied for. Sign up with plenty of recruiters and check Craigslist for web dev roles.

Be prepared to take a pay cut but don't sell yourself short. Some of the positions I've been applying for which require similar experience as back home are offering not much more than 50% of what I was earning when I left.

You have to make sure you either have plenty of savings to support you while you job hunt or you pick up something like bar work. I'm a BA with 3 years experience, 4 years of application support experience, and some web dev thrown in the mix but so far I've been here 10 weeks and still haven't found any IT work. 

As hard as it can be, I love it here and I'm sure you will to. The country is great and there's plenty to do.

PS try and time your arrival outside of graduation. March should be ok but pay to double check. The market is very competitive when the grads are job hunting.

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  Reply # 1132101 19-Sep-2014 12:47
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Have a look at Vend, they have offices in both Auckland and Toronto and are looking for great developers.



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  Reply # 1132108 19-Sep-2014 13:11
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Elpie: If you want to stay in IT and can afford to study there then go for it! Seriously, this is the best thing you could do. Canadian employers want Canadian qualifications, especially in highly competitive fields like IT. It's up to you but why waste the IEC? That's an open work permit for 12 months. I'd use it. If you manage to activate it on the day you start working you could get a full 12 months of work in, which leaves the door open for applying for a Canadian Experience Class work visa. On a student visa you are also allowed to do some part-time work. 
Sadly, IT is one of the toughest areas to get in on, mainly because so many immigrants want those jobs. The game studios there are a huge attraction. You will need further qualifications if you want to stand a chance. One tip - keep watching the CIC (immigration) site. Immigration rules are changing all the time and by the time you are ready to head over everything we know now could have turned right around. 


Yeah I figured the last resort would be to work for several months then apply for study permit then apply for a postgrad work permit after that. 

If i'm not mistaken, I can take out a student loan for international students right ? Hopefully the international-stdnt rate isn't too far above the locals. 

I know the game industry is a huge attraction (not just in Canada). But i'm not into that , i'm really into front-end development, and using those new techs like angular js..etc. 

Also would volunteering from sites such as govolunteer.ca help my cv as part of the 'Canadian experience' ?

The thing about the CEC is that you need the full 12 months..but then the application takes a few months to process , If i apply after i've had 12 mth work exp in Canada..that means during the app process i'd have to change my status to visitor and not work ?  :/


i'm just thinking far ahead here i know. but that's what i tend to do, just planning for the future...worst case scenarios etc...



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1132115 19-Sep-2014 13:22
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gkjb: Its been a long day so this will be all over the place. Hopefully it makes some sense.

I'm in Toronto on a working holiday visa at the moment. There are plenty of jobs going for web developers especially with your skills. What you've heard about lack of response is correct. I've heard back from maybe less than 10% of the jobs I've applied for. Sign up with plenty of recruiters and check Craigslist for web dev roles.

Be prepared to take a pay cut but don't sell yourself short. Some of the positions I've been applying for which require similar experience as back home are offering not much more than 50% of what I was earning when I left.

You have to make sure you either have plenty of savings to support you while you job hunt or you pick up something like bar work. I'm a BA with 3 years experience, 4 years of application support experience, and some web dev thrown in the mix but so far I've been here 10 weeks and still haven't found any IT work. 

As hard as it can be, I love it here and I'm sure you will to. The country is great and there's plenty to do.

PS try and time your arrival outside of graduation. March should be ok but pay to double check. The market is very competitive when the grads are job hunting.


10 weeks ? yikes. That's just over 2 months. 

May I know what you're doing at the moment while looking for that IT job ? 

Do you have a general idea of why you haven't heard from them? Is it because they're looking for different skills, or is it because they saw that you have a temp visa and wanted someone that can work permanently ? 

I have about a full year of a junior dev salary saved up here in NZ ..but i'd imagine that'll drain pretty quickly in those big cities (Calgary, Van, Toronto..)

Looks like at the moment Calgary or Edmonton might be my choice since alot of people have said Alberta has a shortage of labour.

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  Reply # 1132118 19-Sep-2014 13:29
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Make sure you can support yourself for at least 2-3 months over there without a job, which probably means saving up for a good while. I did a working holiday to Dublin when I was 25, I had a lot more experience than you in IT, and it still took me 3-4 weeks to find work. You'll need to have money to stay in hostels, for a deposit/security on a flat if you decide to do that, obviously eating, drinking, and doing stuff. I think I saved for 2 years before I went on OE and had something like $20K or more, but by the time I got a job most of that was gone.

Of course you'll likely need a return ticket, even if it's open.




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  Reply # 1132128 19-Sep-2014 13:48
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I was lucky enough to have enough saved to not worry about work for about 5 months. I'm almost at the point of having to pick up some short term work more for sanity than need of funds. I came over with about $13k remaining after a short holiday. My expenditure at the moment is about $2k/month (food, accom, phone, some entertainment) so its not that expensive here. I was certainly spending more in Wellington.

My time is split between getting fit, exploring the city on foot, and a lot of job hunting. Job fairs seem to be common place around here.

I haven't disclosed which visa I am on in my applications, only that I have a current working visa that allows me to work for any employer. I had a promising bite but they seemed discouraged by the remaining time on my visa. Could be a number of things as I've applied for all sorts of jobs:
- skills required
- length of advertising periods (6-8 weeks isn't uncommon)
- people were away on vacation
- possibly also that I arrived when the grads were job hunting

Sign up to LinkedIn if you aren't already, it is very widely used in Nth America.

One other thing you will find is people here don't leave voice messages or reply to them.

You need to have full medical insurance for the year and a return ticket home (has to be dated) to get through the border.


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  Reply # 1132150 19-Sep-2014 14:20
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Elpie's advice is good.

What you propose to do will be hard but not impossible ('cause nothing's impossible!)
I travelled to Canada in my early 20's - over 20 years ago - and followed a similar plan.

Ran out of money.
Shared a tiny room with other Kiwis & Aussies, took turns sleeping on the bed, floor, couch, and just before I starved, found steady work.
Did the jobs no one else would do.
Worked the hours no one else would. Worked harder than everyone else, for less money.

Had to leave Canada when my visa expired. But;
My bosses went to bat for me, the company sponsored me back in - via a year spent working for their Australian branch, and I got residence.

I married a Canadian girl (Yay Canadian girls!), became a Canadian - Canada allows multiple citizenships - and my kids were born there.
I ran my own business there for nearly a decade, and sponsored a foreign employee in myself- a Kiwi office manager.
It's not easy to do, as Elpie mentioned, and only happened because it was Alberta, which has been on an oil boom for years and short of workers in all sorts of fields.

Now I split my year between Canada and NZ. Avoid those cold Alberta winters.

I just flew into NZ from Calgary yesterday. Alberta's still on a boom, there's work everywhere (but maybe not so much in IT I'm told).

Take Elpies advice, go there on a Tourist visa, flagpole (just be careful to have proof of funds, onward travel etc or they may not let you back in)

Good Luck!

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