How to become an official in Canada
Working for the Canadian government has many advantages: high salaries, a social package, and prestige.
My guest for today's interview is Lily. She lives in Ottawa and works for the Canadian Department of Homeland Security. She decided to share how she got a job with the Canadian government. She moved to the country five years ago.
The Story of Lily
"To be honest, we were ready to start from scratch," Lilia recalls. — But it turned out to be not so bad, and there are many support programs for new immigrants.
There is a separate program where immigrants who have lived in Canada for less than 10 years can go to work for the federal government. It does not require connections or money, but it does require experience in IT, administration, office management, project management, or research.
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Three years ago, Lily applied to an organization that mediates between immigrants and the federal government. The program is called Federal Internship for Newcomers Program. To participate, you had to prepare a package of documents and attend several free training sessions.
"All you have to do is have a great desire and a willingness to take small steps toward your goal," states the girl.
How assistance programs are organized
There are organizations in the provinces of Canada that you can contact to participate in the immigrant support program. The organizations evaluate applicants and, if they are suitable, invite them to free training sessions. The actual application process begins in May of each year. There are several stages in the application process:
- collection of documents;
- sending the application and filling out the questionnaire;
- Two to three months later — personal interview and testing (not for all professions);
- If you successfully pass all stages — entering the pool.
Various federal, provincial and municipal agencies choose from a pool of candidates and invite you to a 90-day paid internship. No one guarantees that you will be selected from the pool and retained after the internship, but if you get the internship, you will gain Canadian experience, and in the government, which is already a big plus for your career.
"I know a lot of people who came and that same year got into this program for an internship, made themselves known, and then their contract was extended or they got a permanent job," shares Lilia.
What are the requirements for candidates
To participate in the assistance program, you must meet a number of criteria:
- be a permanent resident or citizen in Canada;
- know English or French at the CLB level 7 — you can use the IELTS test that you took for immigration or take the CLB test for free in Canada;
- it is desirable to have an education after school, such as college or university — the diploma must be translated into English, but it does not have to be confirmed by individual organizations.
There are no age restrictions.
"I personally know participants of the program who got jobs at a fairly mature age — both after 50 and after 60," says Lilia.
It is also not necessary to know two official languages, you can get by with one. However, there are internal training programs at the expense of the state, where government employees can learn a second language.
After being invited for an internship, the candidate also undergoes a security check, which usually takes three weeks to two months. According to Lilia, there are usually no problems with this because immigrants undergo such a check before they move in.
How much officials earn
As Lilia says, government income information is completely open and can easily be found on the Internet. Starting salaries range from $50,000 CAD per year before taxes. At higher positions, it can go up to $90,000 CAD per year.
In addition to a good salary, officials can count on a decent pension. The government makes additional contributions to the pension program over and above what any employee contributes. The pensions of civil servants are among the highest in the country.
How to get into the assistance program
If you are in Canada and want to join the government, the first thing to do is to find out if your province has a Federal Internship for Newcomers Program. Then you need to find an intermediary organization that will tell you step by step what you need to do and how to apply.
"I passed on my first try," says Lilia. — But if you didn't pass in one year, you can take part in every subsequent year. You have an even better chance in that respect, because you already have that experience.
What are the options for students
Those who study in Canadian universities also have the opportunity to get a job with the government. There is a separate program that invites students to work as interns, either full-time or for a few hours a week. The program is only suitable for current students. Separately, they recruit graduates who have graduated within the last year or two of college. They can get a job bypassing the internship stage.
Alex Pavlenko, founder of Immigrant.Today