altSome of the most asked questions we receive here at Moving 2 Nova Scotia is about finding work. If you are seriously thinking about moving to Canada, the dilemma I’m about to describe may be the biggest you will face.

Should I Get a Visa First Or a Job Sponsorship?

For many people, being able to secure work when they arrive is essential if their move to Nova Scotia is going to be successful. It can be almost as crucial as qualifying for a visa to come to Canada in the first place.

So, do you secure a job first in Nova Scotia and then organise the visa?

Or do you get your visa first, move to Canada and then look for work?

Canada has a different class of visa for each of these two scenarios, but that’s not for discussion here.

If you are unsure of which visa you should apply for, you really should do your homework and visit the Government of Canada website here, where you will find detailed information about the process. Everything you need to know is on this website, however, should you require more detailed expert advice, then you should speak to a licensed Immigration Lawyer about your options.

What I can tell you though is, it is possible to secure a job sponsorship first, and then off the back of that, successfully apply for a visa to come to Canada. We are working with a great guy who came to Nova Scotia for a visit last year and fell in love with the place. He met up with some employers while he was here. And he was offered not one but two jobs. His home is now sold in the UK and he is here working on a work permit, with his family joining him in April. Then they will apply for Permanent Residency off the back of his job sponsorship and work permit. This is usually the quickest way to get here.

Alternatively, you could apply for a visa independently and if granted that visa, come here and then look for a job when you arrive. The big advantage of visa first is you can move to anywhere you want in Canada, you don’t have to live in a specific province. You are not tied to a particular employer when you get here and you don’t even need to get a job in your recognised skill. This is the way we came. We had visas but no jobs right up until exactly one week before we arrived here when Rich was offered a  position.alt

We are always asked which is the best way to go.

Initially, I probably favoured getting the visa first and looking for a job on arrival. You are not tied to a province and if you are arriving with a recognised skill, chances are you will find work fairly easily.

Canada’s unemployment rate stands at 6.9%. Nova Scotia’s unemployment rate is somewhat higher than the national average at 8.3%. Source: StatsCan

There are no guarantees of success in coming to Canada to look for a job.

The problem is, securing a job sponsorship before you arrive here is not easy either as many employers would prefer to avoid all the red tape and hassle involved with sponsoring a non-Canadian for employment. So the visa or job first question is tougher than ever to answer.

I recommend researching both possibilities thoroughly before deciding what’s best for you and your personal situation. Hope this helps a little.

You may want to read this previous blog post about jobs in Nova Scotia: There’s No Jobs In Nova Scotia…..Really?

As always, get in touch if we can help in any way.

Life is good in Nova Scotia!

Jane and Rich | 1-902-489-1804