Most people who move to a new country have an immigration goal in mind. It may be to pursue better and more numerous job opportunities, a higher standard of living, or simply life in a more open society.
However, it is important to select not only the country you will immigrate to, but also—if you choose Canada, for example—the right province and city that will give you an optimal start to your new life abroad. Your immigration objective will often include these three key factors:
- Career opportunities
- Pathways to becoming a permanent resident
In my own experience studying abroad and working in North America and Europe, I have learned that the following considerations are critical when choosing a location where you can achieve your immigration goals.
Three Key Points for Selecting the Right Province
- Consider a province that needs your skills. Every Canadian province regularly releases an updated list of skills that are scarce among their local workforce. If your skills are on the list, you will stand a better chance of securing a job in that province.
- Consider a province that has active immigration programs. A province that offers multiple provincial immigration pathways apart from the federal Express Entry immigration system must be at the top of your list. Provincial immigration programs provide additional supports that could increase your chances of achieving your immigration goal. For example, the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia offer multiple provincial immigration pathways. Some of the popular provincial immigration programs are as follows:
- British Columbia’s International Graduate Category for international graduates.
- The Alberta Opportunity Stream for people working in the eligible occupations.
- The International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream for Nova Scotia for recent graduates willing to start or operate their own business in Nova Scotia.
- Consider a province that has a provincial immigration program linked to Express Entry. Choosing a province that has its own immigration pathways program linked to the federal Express Entry system provides greater flexibility in securing permanent residence because you would be able to easily switch to the Express Entry pool from a provincial pool if you achieve the required Comprehensive Ranking System points.
Three Key Points for Selecting the Right City Within a Province
- Consider a city that is near the capital city of the province. Choosing a city near the provincial capital will enable you to more easily and efficiently access the bigger job market while keeping your living costs relatively low.
- Consider a city that offers services to new immigrants. Choose a city that provides new immigrant supports such as classes in English and French, help with writing a Canadian or local style résumé, workshops on soft skill development, and numerous job fairs through employment centres. Such services ease the process of settling in Canada and enable you to pursue the core professional development you need to secure employment in the North American job market.
- Consider a city that offers attractive higher education prospects. Opting for a city that has at least one major university or college will allow you to pursue a certificate, diploma, degree, or stackable credential in your field.
These six considerations will help you select the best province and city for achieving your immigration goals.