The U.S. election in November has created a great deal of uncertainty for internationally trained professionals in the United States who worry about the status of their residency. Many would like to explore the idea of moving to Canada to continue their careers.
Based on the number of inquiries received at my office, I’ve decided to provide some professional insight into the issue which could save you a great deal of time and expense.
My full and complete disclosure is that I am not an attorney and my first recommendation is to consult an expert before you do anything else.
Here is why.
Canada’s each 10 provinces and 3 territories has its own rules and regulations for each of the licensed professions. If you are a regulated (licensed) professional, you will need to follow the application process to practice in the specific province you are targeting.
If you are a doctor, nurse, teacher, or engineer [and dozens of other professions], you need to qualify for licensure in that province, as each province has its own rules for licensure.
Your education credentials will need to be evaluated. World Education Services is an excellent service for evaluating your education and most employers accept their assessments. Do not assume that because you have completed a law degree in the U.S. that you qualify to practice in Canada. If you are serious about moving to Canada, you can have your credentials assessed before your move for a more seamless transition.
The immigration process itself is complex and this is where consulting with an immigration attorney will be a good return on investment for you. You can also contact a licensed immigration consultant to help you with the application process; however, I would strongly recommend an immigration attorney (or lawyer as we call them in Canada) before you make any plans.
Once you have nailed down these critical details, hiring a career consultant can be a game changer. I receive dozens of inquiries each year from internationally trained professionals who want to work with me to help with their career marketing. My first recommendation is to refer them to an immigration attorney so there is no time wasted putting the cart before the horse.
For more information about immigrating to Canada, see this website. For customized advice about the process, please contact an immigration attorney who will help you with the strategic up-front details. This step can save you hours in wasted time and money.
To recap. If you want to move to Canada and you are in a regulated profession:
Consult the following (in this order) for best results:
- immigration attorney
- immigration consultant
- career professional (coaching, consulting, résumé writing, and marketing)
Good luck in your career journey.
PS: Even if you are not in a regulated profession (technology or sales for example), you will benefit from consulting with an attorney.