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Finding work in Canada

Published:Tuesday | April 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

I have been following your articles and I must say I am impressed with your answers. I read in one of your articles where you said something about the fact that if I get a job in Canada it would make it easier for me to get my permanent residency. Can you help me to find a job? I know that there are all kinds of agencies advertising here in Jamaica that claim they can get you a job, but I hear so many horror stories of people paying money and not getting anywhere. Can you help me to find a job and help me with my immigration papers?

Thank you in advance.

- G.S.

Dear G.S.,

It is true that if you get a job offer that your application for temporary residency will be expedited by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), if you qualify.

It is not uncommon for people to contact recruitment agencies to help them to find jobs in Canada. This could be a useful way to go. However, be cautious about who you select to represent you, as there have been several incidences of fraud with immigration agencies throughout the world. CIC has posted a 'fraud warning notice' on its website and you should read it before you decide to choose an agency.

Note that a legitimate foreign-worker recruiter is usually paid by the company that they represent and you do not have to pay them directly. All fees for processing your visa should be made payable to CIC and not the agency. The recruiter may, however, charge you a fee for résumé preparation, interview coaching, courier and things like that. Ensure that you know in advance what the fees are for and that the fees are reasonable for the services that are provided.

Methods to explore

There are several ways that you may go about seeking a job on your own. I would recommend that you explore the Canadian government website which explains your options. The website is: There is a long list of resources posted there. Other useful websites are Job Bank, Workopolis, Monster. Some websites give you the option to post your résumés online and employers will contact you if they are interested.

Some companies in the mining, farming, hotel and manufacturing fields post job opportunities on their website from time to time. Check their websites and sign up for their job alerts. You could also be proactive and send them your résumé. You may just get their attention and they may keep your résumé on file in case someone leaves the company.

I must also highlight the fact that it is not a requirement that you use an agency or a representative when making your application to CIC. My office is here to help people who are unsure about the process, who do not have the skill to prepare the documents on their own, or who have a difficulty qualifying without legal assistance. We also represent people who just want to have the reassurance that their documentation is being prepared and monitored by a professional who has experience handling these issues. We, however, do not offer services in the area of human resources, and so I am unable to assist you with getting a job offer. Nevertheless, once you have a job offer, either through an agency or directly, we may represent you in the application process.

Best of luck!

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, personal injury, family and administration of estates. She is on the roster of mediators for Ottawa, Toronto and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Email: Subject line: Immigration