If you are wondering whether it will be tough to immigrate to Canada as an accountant, we can get that question out of the way right now, it won’t. As a highly skilled and qualified professional, the Immigration and Refugee Council of Canada (IRCC) has tailor made immigration programs to make your immigration intentions as efficient as possible. The next question you will have is likely to be what your employment prospects will be like in Canada. We can confidently say, good.
Canada does not have a problem with highly skilled individuals, in fact you will be coming to a country with one of the highest educated adult populations in the world. Nearly 32% of the population between 25 and 64 have a bachelor's degree or higher and an overwhelming 61% have some form of post-secondary education. Canada does, however, have a problem with meeting our labour market’s demands.
As the economy continues to expand, our workforce is aging out too fast and there are simply not enough youth to fill both the existing and new positions being created every year. To solve this issue, Canada is looking outward. So if you are serious about immigrating to Canada, read on to learn more about immigration programs, job opportunities and life in Canada.
We will cover three of the most popular immigration options now, but be aware that there are over 80 visa and immigration programs available. The best one for you will depend on a variety of factors, from the lifestyle you want to live to the demand for your profession in the 13 provinces and territories.
The Express Entry Program was created with the purpose of fast tracking skilled and/or experienced foreigners immigration applications to get them onto Canadian soil, working and contributing to the economy as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are three programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program - that's you!;
- Federal Skilled Trades Program; and
- Canadian Experience Class - could be you if you want to feel it out first.
You are required to create a profile, into which you enter your details. A Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) is calculated based on the information you provide and you are entered into a pool of applicants. Draws are then held periodically wherein applicants are selected from the pool based on their CRS. But first, you must be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Eligibility and scoring criteria are:
The highest scores for this category are awarded to people aged 20-35 years old, every year after that a point is deducted from your possible cap of 12 points, if you’re older, not to worry, you will make it up in the next category.
Just as you might imagine, points are assigned based on the number of years you have been working as a qualified accountant. One year’s experience is worth 9 points, but you can add an additional point for every year of experience you have. It caps at 6 or more years meaning you’re eligible for a further 6 points, taking your total up to 15 points.
You will need to have an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) done to verify your qualifications. An applied Bachelors of Commerce degree is worth 23 points.
Proficiency in English or French is important to be able to live and work effectively in Canada. You will need to take a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) test such as the IELTS, TOEFL or DILF (diplôme initial de langue française). Depending on your score you will be awarded up to a maximum of 28 points. This is assuming you are linguist level proficient and can read, write, listen and speak in English or French. Realistically you are looking at earning a possible 20-24 points in this category.
Securing a valid job offer is a game changer as it will contribute a large point value when your CRS is calculated. A job offer that stipulates you will be employed on a permanent basis as an accountant is worth 200 points. Make sure it is a permanent position (non-seasonal) and that the contract does not have a fixed end date or you will be allowed to work in Canada on a temporary work permit, but it will not be counted toward your permanent residency application.
You can take care of yourself, sure, but you can also earn good points by showing the IRCC that. A number of factors can count in your favour for the final category. For example, you and your spouse or common law partner (if you have one) can earn up to 10 points depending on a variety of factors from arranged employment to language ability to having relatives already living in Canada and more.
Provincial Nomination Program
The Provincial Nomination Program has a similar system to Express Entry, but it is province specific. So if you have a job offer in British Columbia for example, you could apply to the BC provincial government for a provincial nomination. If you are successful you will be given a letter which you can submit along with your application for permanent residency to the IRCC. It may seem like the longer way around, but it gives you more control over the process. You can also apply for a provincial nomination without a job offer through either the Express Entry system, by creating an expression of interest in a particular province you wish to live in, or by applying directly to the province. Accountants are sought after in most of the provinces, so your chances are very good. If your provincial nomination is successful on your Express Entry profile, you will be awarded 600 points towards your CRS, which given you are eligible to immigrate to Canada, pretty much guarantees your permanent residency invitation.
Atlantic Immigration Pilot
The east coast of Canada remains relatively undiscovered by immigrants at large. The Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia have banded together to create the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, an immigration pathway dedicated to filling the province’s direst of labour needs, of which there are quite a lot. There are three categories:
- Atlantic International Graduate Program - study to become an accountant or do your masters at an institution in Atlantic Canada to be eligible for this program
- Atlantic High Skilled Program - if you are already qualified and have a job offer in one of the provinces listed above, you are eligible for this program. The job offer must be for at least one year and be full time
- Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program - for people with a job offer that require a high school diploma and on the job training.
There are currently over 100 vacancies for accountants in Atlantic Canada alone, and this also excludes positions for auditors and bookkeepers, which are advertised as separate professions.
Life in Canada
Canadians work hard and play harder. Whatever your poison, Canada can offer it. If you enjoy the great outdoors, you would be choosing the country with the most beautiful and accessible landscapes in the world. If you like to travel, from the east coast to the west coast are two different worlds, they are quite literally in different time zones. It is over 6000km from Halifax in Nova Scotia to Vancouver in British Columbia. In the middle is the French speaking province of Quebec, which you can zip over to for a little taste of Europe if you choose. Here are some of the activities Canada can offer outside of working hours:
Skiing and snowboarding
Winter in Canada means one thing, snow and tons of it. As far as the eye can see, fields, cities, towns and mountains are covered in feet of snow. The only place saved are the forest floors as the dense pines and other trees that cover 40% of the total landscape protect it. Lakes and ponds freeze over making them perfect natural ice-skating rinks and best of all, the mountains enjoy a healthy dose of soft powdery snow making them one of the best places to ski or snowboard on the planet. All of this could be in your backyard.
While there is live entertainment during winter time, in summer towns and cities come alive with festivals, music performances, sporting events and so much more. See your favourite bands perform live, enjoy delicious foods from friday evening food truck events in town parks and best of all, drive-in movie theatres.
Cost of Living
Canada has consistently been ranked as one of the top countries in the world for quality of life. This is partly because housing, food and entertainment are affordable for everyone. The average two bedroom apartment costs around $900 a month to rent or $250,000 to buy. Cities are understandably more expensive so choose carefully when deciding where to plant your roots in Canada. Smaller towns may offer fewer job opportunities but there will also be less competition, less traffic, less noise and more affordable housing.
How We Can Help You
If you decide to go the Express Entry route, maximising your CRS is of the utmost importance. Adaptability factors on your Express Entry alone are worth as much as 177 points. A Provincial Nomination is worth 600 points! By using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) you will not only improve your chances of success in the immigration application process, but you will get expert advice on which program is best for your specific needs. Our RCICs are highly qualified and are granted permission by the ICCRC to assist you with your eligibility evaluation, review all your documents and application forms and submit them to the Canadian government for you. Boost your profile by taking advice from the experts.We take care of the fineprint while you choose your dream destination in Canada for you and your loved ones. All you have to do is complete our application form to receive your eligibility assessment today. It's just that simple.
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