If you come to Canada unprepared and start applying for jobs the minute you land, you will likely be told by a potential employer that, while your skills are impressive, you, unfortunately, have “no Canadian experience.”
What that really means is some Canadian employers are worried that hiring immigrants is a big risk. They fear the unknown. They worry that you won’t have the good enough interpersonal skills, understanding of Canadian workplace culture, the ability to work as a team, language proficiency or skills and training.
So after landing, many immigrants try to solve this by volunteering their skills in a Canadian setting to get that so-called Canadian experience.
Of course, that’s a little difficult to do if you’re still in your country of origin — how can you get that elusive experience from overseas? Well, it might be possible for you to come to Canada as a temporary worker first before you come as a permanent resident. In fact, the new Canadian Experience Class of immigration was designed for just such a purpose; it allows temporary workers and international students to later apply for permanent residency.
We have prepared a Pre-Arrival Checklist of valuable information that will make arriving in Canada as smooth a process as possible.
But, if you’ve already applied as a Federal Skilled Worker, you likely won’t be able to get Canadian experience before you land. But you could start laying down some groundwork. Research volunteer opportunities in your destination city before you arrive, and even start making connections via email.