Getting in to Canada...How?

  1. How might one from another Country, say Germany....go about getting into Canada? How long is the Canadian visa process?

    Thx
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    Depends on where you want to go or what qualifications you have. If you are a nurse you would have to go through the regulating body of the province you wish to go through (to prove all your credentials), as well as through Immigration Canada. From what I have heard from other nurses, the process can take well over a year (much shorter for American nurses though).
  4. by   I_Love_Donuts
    It took me 4 months to get my visa because I had a contrat in Montreal (from France)
  5. by   goingCOASTAL
    I've often thought of practicing in Canada as well (I've always wanted to live in a civilized country -- I currently live in TX! LOL!)

    Seriously, is there anyone out there that has immigrated from the USA? What were your experiences; your biggest problems, adjustments, etc.? I expect the pay will be lower, but Canada just seems like a nicer, friendly place to exist, and I would much rather pay my tax dollar for social programs than for policing the world.

    'Nuff said.
  6. by   teeituptom
    From here we just drive north
  7. by   mobileLPN
    I too would like info on this subject. I would like to work in Vancouver, BC specifically. It's time to get outta here for a few years. Thanks for any tips anybody can provide.
  8. by   fergus51
    I would reconsider BC right now if I were you. We just went through a crazy round of government cuts and the job situation there is a little nuts. PM me if you like more info, I have worked in Vancouver but have since left the province.
  9. by   adaptation
    I am American and came to Canada 15 years ago on a work visa.

    It took almost 3 years for me to gain permanent resident status. The delay was due to multiple blunders by Immigration; including one officer putting my file in her desk and changing jobs. (Discovered 8 months later!) And this included coming up here to marry a Canadian. I think Immigration might even be worse now, with 9/11, etc.

    I have my MSN from U. of Penna. All I can say is that I think the pay here is low compared to the US...and a nurse is a nurse is a nurse. There are no distinctions made (at least in my experience) based on what degree you have. "Are you a body that can work a shift and not kill someone? Good, you have the job. We know you are so grateful for working that you'll accept whatever insulting salary and working conditions we throw at you."

    Don't get me wrong...I love Canada, and will probably never return to the States. But I am very disappointed in nursing here. I see what my advanced practice friends down there are doing and their salaries and have pangs of regret-but I have no choice.

    Then again, the grass is always greener on the other side, EH?
    Last edit by adaptation on Aug 17, '03
  10. by   NurseKimberley
    Hey I was just thinking about going to Canada too...I'm an LPN right now, do they have those there? I'm working on my RN though, and probably wouldn't go until after that...but I wish the US had a health program like they do. So a nurse is a nurse is a nurse, huh? That would be weird--but could you (having a Master's) be doing education or admin or something for more $$?
  11. by   fergus51
    They have LPNs, but the scope of practice is different than in the US as are job opportunities. I never found a nurse was a nurse. Nurses with Masters can work in administration or teach, but advanced practice nursing (as in NPs) is limited. If anything I thought we had less of "a nurse is a nurse" mentality than in the US as we are not expected to float to other areas here.
  12. by   adaptation
    First of all, Fergus, you are right about the floating here. However, it is disguised as "cross training", so that you can still have to float to other units (probably similar) than your home one.

    I think that jobs for advanced practice nurses in Canada are few and far between these days. I have no administrative experience and taught years ago, so these kinds of positions are out for me. There used to be lots of hospital based psych Clinical Nurse Specialist positions, but again, with all the cutbacks-there aren't many left. They were considered luxuries. As I see the trend now, it is to hire one Nurse Manager/Clinical Nurse Specialist, get rid of one position and have someone do the work of two. There is a personality difference between a clinical person and an administrator. And I've seen this two for one scheme fail miserably for that reason.

    Me? I'm strictly a clinical person. My MSN program was clinically based vs. admin. I couldn't handle management. Too strong a need to have people like me!

    When I say a nurse is a nurse is a nurse, I guess I am talking about salary AND available opportunities. Despite my MSN, most of what I have been offered in the past few years are staff nurse positions with staff nurse salaries. There have been NO monetary rewards offered for the degree or the 25+ years of experience, much of which is at the advanced practice level. If I am lucky, I am offered what a staff nurse at the top level gets...and any of the time worked in a position other than a staff RN is deducted from the total years I have worked, when calculating pay scale.

    I think a university degree (BSN) is valuable if you want to be a unit manager or a staff nurse in ICU or ER, for example. Many ads here say, "BSN preferred" but will take someone without one. So that means is 3 year grad is often interchangeable with someone with a degree. (I'm not saying this to fuel the degree vs. non-degree debate.) Sometimes even an RPN (like LPN) is hired into an RN position, especially if s/he is good and has lots of experience.

    I am in independent practice here. I might as well be a martian. (sigh) Nurses in independent practice in the States are much more widely recognized, utilized, and valued. I believe we are way behind here.

    That being said, I am looking into becoming a Nurse Practitioner a year from now.

    If you're in the US and are thinking about becoming an NP down there first, make sure that it will be recognized when you get here. Otherwise, wait until you get here to enroll in a program.

    One reason our health care system is good because it provides equal access to everyone. No one need go without it. That being said, there are major flaws in our system, just like there are major flaws down there. They're just different...but in some ways both based on money or lack thereof.

    The problem is that because here it is paid for by our taxes, people perceive it as "free" and there is lots of abuse. (Like the patient who goes to three MDs in one DAY "free", with a sore throat, seeking a third one who will finally prescribe the antibiotic refused by the first two!)

    I hope I haven't offended my fellow Canadian nurses. I just wish I had known prior to moving here what the nursing situation was like. It was not ideal down south, but at the time, it was all I knew. The more input you have, the better a decision you can make.

    <By the way, I just thought of something else. Certain medical problems or history may cause an immigration delay. They want to be very sure that the new immigrant is not going to be a "burden on the health care system".>
  13. by   fergus51
    I don't mind cross training. I am happy knowing that I can never be forced to take a patient assignment on a floor I am not oriented to at the threat of losing my job (can't say the same for when I was in the US).

    I DEFINITELY agree about the lack of opportunities for advanced practice nurses in clinical settings (NPs, CNMs, CRNAs) and think the US is way ahead on that. Nurses with Masters can still make good money in administration and there are some opportunities for NPs, but not nearly enough. We use NPs on our unit and they function basically as residents do.

    I found the biggest difference between here and the States was the variety of standards there. Some places are like palaces, and others are disgusting.
  14. by   Jay-Jay
    A couple of years ago, when I was looking into becoming a Nurse Practioner, I was shocked to find the unemployment rate for NP's was well over 50%. I decided not to waste my time, as I did not want to relocate to a country where the NP's would actually be employed as NP's.

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