Why would you want to work there?
Canada is often perceived as USA's poor relation - and a rather bland one at that. In fact, Canada is a huge country full of diverse peoples, landscapes and lifestyles. What's more, for the sixth consecutive year, Canada has been rated first from 174 countries on the United Nations Human Development Report. In terms of life expectancy, income and education, it is regularly deemed the best place to live in the world.
How long can you stay?
To work temporarily in Canada, you'll need a valid employment authorisation from a visa office, costing pounds 70. They are usually issued on the basis of a temporary job offer that has been validated by the Human Resource Center in Canada. The simple philosophy is "Canadians first", so before seeking foreign workers, opportunities must be provided to those already there.
For long-term stay, apply for permanent residence as a skilled worker. Independent immigrants must score at least 70 points from the possible 107. Points are granted for age (top scoring between 21- 44), education, job experience, occupation (awarded on local labour needs), demographics, arranged employment and language. Bonus points are available if you have family in Canada. You'll need to prove you have enough money to fund yourself for the first few months. Fees include visa processing (pounds 228) and right of landing (pounds 443). If applying to Quebec, you'll need to fill out an additional preliminary questionnaire from the immigration service.
There are companies offering assistance with the procedure but beware there is no licensing system in place so they cannot guarantee success. For information on all visas contact the Canadian embassy.
Toronto from pounds 260-pounds 800; Vancouver from pounds 330- pounds 1,200; Quebec from pounds 500- pounds 800. Prices depend on location and time of year. Surf the internet for deals.
What to do
Graduates are in high demand. The government has predicted that 40 per cent of jobs being created now will require 16 years of education and training compared to 23 per cent of jobs in 1986. According to projected figures, the health sector will have grown by nearly 50 per cent by 2005. Growth is also expected in the business/ finance and manufacturing sectors. Accountants, engineers, medical practitioners and IT specialists score high on the employment point list and physiotherapists are especially in demand in Saskatchewan, engineers in Manitoba and IT experts in New Brunswick.
Finding a job
Check employment agencies, all of which specialise in sectors. Start at www.canadausemployment.com. Contract work is common in many occupations and is paid extremely well. Contracts are usually for a minimum of one year and can be extended for up to six - also available through agencies.
Contact as many prospective employers as possible either by writing, telephoning or sending CVs (known as resumes). Address letters to the personnel director. Include a CV, copies of references and qualifications.
HRDC (Human Resources Department of Canada) provides a wealth of information for job-seekers on its website www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca. Also check Canada- specific resources for job seekers, for example www.worknet.ca and www.canadajobs.ca.
Many immigrants with professional qualifications will have to obtain a certificate of qualification in Canada before being considered for a job. The Interprovincial Standards Programme can grant a "Red seal", ensuring your qualifications are accepted throughout Canada. You will have to undertake a written exam and successful applicants will be charged a fee of pounds 20- pounds 35.
If you are asked to attend an interview, larger companies will usually reimburse travel costs. If applying to a smaller company, ask how many people have made the interview to establish whether the flight is worth it. …