Arrival in Canada
Zambian associations in Canada are a helpful source of
information when a family or individual are arriving in Canada for the first
time. Through these associations I was able to find accommodation for my family
and general information of how to start life in Canada. This highlights the
importance of the existence of Zambian associations in Canada when it comes to
assisting new immigrants. Current members of associations of Zambians in Canada
usually have valuable information and networks about many professions that will
be useful to new immigrants”
Provinces with Zambian associations include Ontario (http://zamcan.com/), Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
“Medical insurance is usually a problem for immigrants arriving in Canada. Government medical coverage is only available after an immigrant has resided in Canada for a period of no less than 3 months. There have been cases where a new immigrants ends up in hospital upon arrival to Canada, without medical insurance, hospital fees can cost up $1,000 per day. It is imperative that new immigrants secure medical insurance (Travel Insurance) from their home countries before they arrive in Canada to cover them during the period they are waiting for government insurance”
Getting into the system
Most of these professional jobs in British Columbia may require an immigrant to register with British Columbia professional regulatory bodies before they can practice. A few examples are listed below.
The immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) was incorporated in 1972 as the first immigrant-serving agency in the province. Since that time, ISSofBC has grown to be the largest, multicultural, immigrant-serving agency in western Canada. The society provides a variety of services to Lower Mainland immigrant and refugee communities, and works with over 23,000 clients per year. ISSofBC has a volunteer Board of Directors, a paid staff of over 200 and over 600 active volunteers. the mission of ISSofBC is to help immigrants build a future in Canada. They intend to achieve this by:
* Delivering educational, settlement and employment services
* Developing partnerships with local communities
* Promoting an integrated and equitable community
MOSAIC is a multilingual non-profit organization dedicated to addressing issues that affect immigrants and refugees in the course of their settlement and integration into Canadian society.
MOSAIC's mandate is to support and to empower immigrant and refugee communities, helping them to address critical issues in their neighborhoods and workplace.
Since its inception in 1976, MOSAIC has assisted new immigrants and refugees through its numerous multilingual services. MOSAIC's programs and services are constantly evolving and developing in response to the needs of the community.
Their work is guided by our vision of equality, social justice, equal access, and democracy. Our tools are advocacy, public education, community development, coalition building, and bridging with the broader community.
Please click here to get to their website
Finding a job
personal experience is that finding a job in Canada is easier through
networking. I found my first professional job by attending a networking
event arranged by the Canadian Institute of Mining. I learnt of this
event through a friend. The event was meant to bring together university
students and mining industry executives. I attended in my capacity not
as a student but as a new immigrant in search of employment. I managed
to speak to executives face to face and communicated to them my
capabilities which landed my first job. I found this more effective than
responding to internet job adverts. Make use of the networks you
develop through church, associations, volunteer groups etc and always
carry a business card which lists your capabilities at the back. Even if
things do not work out, keep in touch with the networks you develop,
through an email or phone call atleast once a month to keep the
conversation going, because circumstances are always changing.”
Career Choices in Canada
Canadian market seems to heavily favour science based professions when
it comes to remuneration. The job market currently is in need of medical
and engineering professionals. Knowing the right engineering field to
pursue is also key”
Important site to check: http://www.jobfutures.ca/ , http://www.jobbank.gc.ca/
“To be recognised as an engineer in British Columbia, one has to obtain registration from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists in British Columbia(APEGBC). The professional designation increases the marketability of a candidate during the interview process. Some employers usually pay employees a premium for this designation. Immigrants looking to register with APEGBC may be required to sit for examinations if the university they graduated from is not recognised by APEGBC. In some cases, if a candidate has a certain number of years working experience, an interview with APEGBC will be required in order to waiver these examinations.”
Refer to www.apeg.bc.ca
Canada has specific procedures for the practice of Medicine for foreign trained Medical Doctors. Though the mandate to practice medicine is regulated by specific provincial colleges of physicians and surgeons, most of the foreign trained doctors are required to complete Medical Council of Canada Examinations (MCCEE, MCCQ1 and MCCQ2) before practising medicine. Individuals intending to practice medicine in Canada should have graduated from medical schools recognised by the World Health Organization. The University of Zambia, School of Medicine is one of the recognised institutions.
General procedure includes: Contacting the Medical Council of Canada and apply for the Medical Council of Canada Evaluation Exam (MCCEE) and then the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part 1. Upon completion of these two examinations one can apply to the Canadian Resident Matching Services (CaRMS) for matching into residence programs. Though it is possible to complete the MCCQ2 exam before residence, it can also be completed during the residence program. Most Medical doctors (apart from those with experience in South Africa, UK, Australia and the United States) need to do residence before practising. It is important to make sure you meet the provincial requirements before applying for residence in a given province. Some provinces require that one has resided in the province for a certain period of time before applying, others have specific provincial assessments and it is also important to check the English language requirements as they differ from province to province.
In most cases this process may take several years and there is no guarantee that one will get a resident spot after completing the exams. It is therefore important to plan in advance, be prepared to do other jobs as you are working through this process and also have extra plans B, and or C in order to avoid disappointment.
Most information about practising Medicine in Canada can be accessed on this websites:
“Foreign lawyers who wish to become members to Canadian Law Societies must apply to the National Committee on Accreditation for an evaluation of their legal credentials and experience.” Refer to:
Law Society of BC: http://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/
“In order to practise the profession of architecture in British Columbia, one has to be registered with the Architectural Institute of British Columbia. To register as an architectural technologist, one must have a diploma in Building Technology or related discipline from an accredited/ recognised educational institution”
Architectural Institute of BC: http://www.aibc.ca/
Certified General Accountants of BC: http://www.cga-bc.org/
Certified Management Accountants: http://www.cmabc.com/, Institute of Chartered Accountants: http://www.ica.bc.ca