Working as a caregiver in Canada
How to get the coveted work permit? Today I will present you an interview with Vika, who managed to get two work licenses in Canada from her native Ukraine.
In order to move to Canada, immigrants will generally need to find a job to support themselves and their family's needs. However, this is often complicated by the fact that some professions require a special license.
Our heroine found a Canadian employer who made her an LMIA (labor market impact assessment — a document that a Canadian employer needs to obtain in order to hire a foreign worker, the cost of the document to the employer is 1000 CAD = 58 200 RUB = 21 500 GRN). After the offer, Vika obtained a work visa, she is now living in Canada and will be able to get her permanent residence permit soon. Vika works as a kindergarten teacher and her family consists of four people: Vika, her husband, and two children.
What is the process for becoming a caregiver in Canada?
Vika: "In Canada, you can't work as a kindergarten teacher without a license, so I had to get one beforehand in order for employers to hire me."
Vika received her first license from the province of Saskatchewan. She chose this province because the program did not have very high foreign language requirements. At that time Vika's English proficiency was CLB 5 = IELTS 5.0 = B1, which is not a very high level by the standards of immigration programs.
To begin with, Vika had to have her credentials evaluated by the WES (World Educational services, an organization that evaluates credentials in Canada), and she had to fill out various additional documents which were no problem for her.
The teaching profession was in demand, but there were few job offers. The job search was the next step after obtaining a Canadian license.
Was it difficult to get a job offer from a Canadian employer?
"Yes. Every day I was looking at a lot of jobs on job search sites. Submitted a lot of paperwork. Many hundreds of resumes. I just went to the websites of employers in Canada and sent the maximum before my job in Ukraine. More offers, of course, were in other provinces, but a different license was required there." — says Vika.
After a while, TWO B.C. employers were willing to hire her with LMIA support.
"I found out that there is a special agreement between the provinces that allows you, if you have a license in one province, to apply to another province for the same license. I had to send in my Saskatchewan certificate and some completed application forms, and after a while, they sent me a second license. I had to start working right away, as the license was only valid for a year."
Vika's husband received an open work permit (open work visa), Vika got a closed work visa (i.e. with the possibility to work for one employer only), the children received a study visa for free education in public schools. As a result, Vika's monthly salary increased twice as much as in Ukraine.
Was it difficult to go through the interviews?
Vika: "I was given a big questionnaire with quite serious questions. There were certain situations and I had to answer how I would react to them. There were no written interviews. And I never saw my employer before I came to Canada.
How much can caregivers earn in Canada?
"Everything depends on the license (they come in different levels). However, it is important to understand that they cannot offer the lowest hourly rate to a foreigner. My starting hourly rate was 18.50 CAD = 1000 rubles. That is, for 2 days of work I could already earn a monthly salary in Ukraine."
How do relationships work out at work?
"In my current job in Canada, I have a good relationship with both my colleagues and my employer. There is a difference between my relationship with my employer in Ukraine or in Canada, as I do not have a close relationship with the latter, but my boss speaks well of me and supports me.
How is the parenting process different in Canada?
"The process of raising children in Canada has some peculiarities, the first week many things seemed unusual. For example, children go to bed with their shoes on. But this is more of a safety measure due to the fact that there are frequent fires in the region. Probably this is not the case in other places. Also children don't have beds, they are replaced by special mattresses.
How was the adaptation in Canada?
"Everyone's first year is always the hardest. We were trying to settle in. My husband was out of work for a month and a half because we arrived in the middle of a pandemic. In the end, my husband went to work in construction. We decided that we needed to live by the current rules and never converted Canadian prices to hryvnias because of that."
How are things now?
"We applied for permanent residency through a provincial program in an in-demand profession. We received a provincial nomination (a document from the province that entitles us to apply for permanent residency in Canada.) We travel a lot. Everything was new to me as I have never lived anywhere else. The kids told me right away that they were in the right place. We have already traveled all over British Columbia. Every weekend we try to go somewhere, like the nearby lakes. We've also already traveled all over the neighboring province of Alberto."
I hope that Vicky's story will set an example of perseverance and hard work for you and inspire you to take the time-consuming but rewarding path of immigrating to Canada.
Dreaming of Canada too? Our team has licensed immigration consultants. They will find the right immigration program for you and help you with the paperwork.
Alex Pavlenko, Founder of Immigrant.Today