Living in Canada
Replies: 44 - Last Post: Dec 20, 2012 4:54 PM Last Post By: J_Bone
Nov 26, 2012 11:18 AM
15Nurses in Alberta start at about $62K and top out at around $90k after a few years on the job.
That does not include overtime, and in many jobs you can work lots of overtime if you wish.
It is a vey confortable living, though not an easy job. Then again, few jobs that are easily also pay well.
The primary obstacle for the OP will be getting certification in Canada. In Alberta, registered nurses are all four year university degree programs, so if the OP does not have the equivalent and can prove it there will be some or major upgrading required. He will also have to demonstrate English language fluency.
Nov 26, 2012 11:37 AM
16Thank you guys!
I am at a nursing university, which is 4 years long as well, I will search for some universities there in Canada and see if the courses are alike.
Do you guys know any nurse who got equivalent degree coming from another country?
And I am sorry, I speak french, but it's a very very basic french. Would that be a problem in Montreal for example?
And about US/Canada boarder crossings? Could I visit some friends on the US without any problems?
Nov 26, 2012 4:40 PM
17v16 - much of what has been posted above is nonsense unfortunately. This forum seems to be a terrible place to look for this sort of information - so many people jump in with incorrect information.
Regarding salaries, what you read is correct. It's pretty easy for a nurse to earn $80k per year. They start at over $30/hour here in BC, but the big money is in the overtime. They tend to work lots of overtime, which after the first 8 hours per week is double-time, so $60/hour.
Regarding your qualifications, Canada tends to look more favourably on certification from western European countries (versus places like India or the Philippines). Not sure whether or not they accept Portugese nursing qualifications or not. You should be able to find that information online (a government website - not this site). And as thoughtpolice pointed out above, you would need a 4 year university degree (bachelor of science in nursing), not a 2 year college diploma.
Regarding costs of living - it's about the same in Canada as Portugal. Some things will be a little more (like wine), some a little less. Housing in Vancouver is expensive, but I can't say how it compares with housing prices in Portugal. Figure $300k - $500k for an apartment, depending on which city. Cheaper if you move to a small town.
Eastern Canada is a frozen wasteland. Don't even consider it.
Hope this helps.
Nov 26, 2012 5:21 PM
Nov 26, 2012 6:15 PM
19Thank you all again! :D
I manly wanted some Canadian feedback and I got some good ones! JJack, yes, the certification in portugal requires a 4 year university degree. But still I read that some portuguese nurses still needed to do an exam to become registered nurses in the US. But anyway, with exam or no exam, the idea is growing in me, and I hope in the near future I may start to pursuit this project! Housing prices are not that different, since I live in Lisbon (capital of portugal :p ) the prices are not very cheap here. What I think is different is the value for money in the houses in Lisbon vs Canada cities. With 450k in lisbon you buy a pretty decent apartment. with a nice view, in canada by what I saw you can buy a beautiful house with a nice back yard, and a nice garage. Here is Lisbon everything tends to be a little claustrophobic.
poppageorge, 13$ are about 10€, some nurses here make 4€ per hour. (5 FKING DOLLARS PER HOUR) (it's in portuguese, but you can see the 4 euros per hour in the title: http://sol.sapo.pt/inicio/Sociedade/Interior.aspx?content_id=53391 )
It's a complete no-brainer, how can one not leave for another country, where probably will be making at least 4 times more, with the same living cost? I would love to stay in my country, but I take me and the profession I chose seriously, and for that I must look for some decent conditions.
Well, sorry about the whining, and thanks for the positive feedback!
Nov 26, 2012 10:21 PM
20In the late 90's, a Filipino friend of mine came here to Alberta (Calgary) with a nursing credential - from the Philippines - and did have to do some upgrading. He had a rough time here for that first year or so, and was working (being exploited, in my opinion) for a specific family as a low-paid home care worker under some other program for new Canadians.
The Alberta government knocked together an upgrading program, but they only did so every year or two, and then only if they need the nurses. Tuition was free, and he may even have received pay for the practicum period. I suggest you research each province's Ministry of Health website, and contact them with questions about credential upgrading requirements. The federal website - Health Canada - might have links or a unified info source for you.
Canadian nursing salaries generally vary by province, seniority, and speciality. But the provincial health departments compete for nurses, so the salary levels may not be that different. Take into account the cost of living in that area. For example: I would NOT recommend Calgary, as the cost of living here is high and the apartment/house rental vacancy rate is low. The wider economy here isn't as dismal as in other Canadian centres, but what do you care? You're going into healthcare - a public sector activity - that isn't readily affected as much by private industry panics. But there will be two of you earning salaries as nurses: that's something.
Why are posters likening your situation to 'prima donna' specialist doctors who can't speak medical, professional-level English? I heard a CBC radio program about Canadian (and Canadian-trained) neurosurgeons not finding jobs, but that has nothing to do with possible shortages of front-line, highly skilled basic medical professionals (nurses, GP's) who can work in English. .
As for housing, the posters' opinions are more useful. But getting in here and set up in a life is the big thing. Whether you're renting or not in the first few years won't matter. Once you have residency after a couple of years of nursing (or whatever the time frame), then you can start factoring in real estate market prices and outlooks when you decide where in Canada to work. If you want to own your home here, it is possible! I don't think nurses end up in soup lines here!
Unless you're on some no-fly list, I can't think why the yanks won't let you visit the U.S. for less than six months at a time.
Good luck to you!
Edited by: CrouchingGopher
Nov 27, 2012 3:38 PM
21My wife has a friend that she works with.
Her son married a girl from the Phillipines who is a nurse.
She came to Canada and did her Cnd. qualifications in about 9 months.
She had no problems finding work in Northern Ontario (Timmins) and was hired right away.
She's lucky her husband is a CA and can work pretty much anywhere.
I am not sure what type of nurse she is, she works shifts and according to my wife she started at about
$CND 52K/yr, based on an hourly wage. The more she works the more she earns.
She also got a northern signing bonus of $10K but that's a one time deal.
That being said this is her first winter in the North so it will be interesting to see how she deals with the extreme cold.
Not as easy to get work in S. Ontario but my Aunt who works as a nurse at a hospital in Ottawa is head of the Oncology department definitely makes in excess of $100K/yr but she has almost 30 years of experience.
Hope that helps.
Edited by: homerjhomerj
Nov 28, 2012 8:45 AM
22Before I add my 2 cents, I must say I am really impressed by how many people went out of their way to provide the best information that each of you could. Proud to be Canadian!!
a person I know is currently a nurse and indicated that for Landed Immigrant Nurses in Alberta, the current salary range is $32-$39 per hour ($66,560 - $81,120) --- and for Canadian Citizens it is $35-$45 per hour ($72,800 - $93,600). The top of the salary ranges apparently takes minimum 9 years. She also indicated that there is currently a hiring freeze on nurses in Alberta but expect that in about 5 years, will be the beginning of the baby boomers flood of retirements which should begin to open up many nursing jobs.
Visiting US: assuming you enter Canada under work visa or permanent resident, you will enter the US under your Portugese passport and therefore the visitor visa rules would be the same as if you had entered the US from Portugal. IF you become a Canadian citizen at some point in life, you could then enter under a Canadian passport without a visitor's visa.
Choosing a location/city - Keep in perspective your statement "Vancouver/Ottawa/Montreal since they are fairly close to the US". Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world (I think you would find approx 40 Portugals fit inside Canada withroom to spare). If your intent is to visit New York on any kind of regular basis, it is a single flight from any of those cities but I would not define Vancouver as "close to New York". one poster suggested that you not select your location based on ability to buy a house. I would tend to agree. when you are first entering Canada I would choose location based on where you can get a job that you are happy with including Salary/benefits etc and this would potentially include Eastern Canada (sorry JJack, while I am in Alberta and think it is the best......for the OP I would start where the best job is and IMO even Eastern Canada is not a wasteland ;) ). Consider all of your options and decide what is best for you.
Jjack commented that you should be looking for some of your answers from GOVERNMENT website(s). I agree. As an example.....people wanting to become teacher's in Alberta can go to the following link and it will compare outside credentials to "equivalent" Canadian credentials to advise if you will be needing further education. For the Alberta Education comparison, I believe the cost is approx $125CDN for this service. Maybe there is a similar service for Nurses and/or other provinces?
Poster 5107 provided you with the link to CIC homepage. You should take the time to review. Here is a link to a portion of CIC more specific to family sponsorship http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?q=344&t=14
you may want to look at processing times and look into if your Aunt is allowed to sponsor (another poster used the term nominator. These days, CIC is using the term sponsor) 2 applicants at the same time (I am fairly sure you will find the answer is no but you should look to be sure). The process and processing times are going to be very different for the variety of application types (ie: family class vs skilled worker etc).
anyway very best of luck to you and your GF.
Nov 28, 2012 3:57 PM
23At an immigration information session through our office yesterday it was stressed that;
1. Federal rules and procedures are changing all the time (thank you Jason Kenney) go back to CIC's website often.
2. Each provience has a provincial nominee program which is often more accomodating than the federal programs. (Research the different provincial program requirements and consider applying through those streams as well)
Additional recommendations & thoughts:
1. Language requirements are much stiffer than they used to be - a benchmark 5 on an IELS test is becoming the standard. Often immigration paperwork without an IELS is refused & you loose your chance to immigrate, get a work permit... (IELS = international english language standards test). You can take the test again & again till you get a great score - STUDY ENGLISH!! the test is hard.
2. The process is long without employer sponsorship. (expect up to 4 years)
3. While you wait - study english - apply to travel & see the country, visit, make connections.
Nov 28, 2012 5:00 PM
24Amazing indeed dgreensl! Thank you all so much!
Lol, yes I may have been a little too optimist when I said it was close to new york. Those are only the cities I "know" better, I could very well choose another one if it shows to be the better option.
And it was my intention to try to do an IELS test in the near future.
And by the way, do you guys know if there are any exchange programs with Portugal? Normally some students from my university spend 1 semester in Brasil, some in other countries in Europe, and some even try Africa!
Thanks again for all the feedback, you guys were awesome, it only made wanna try this even more!
Dec 1, 2012 5:06 AM
From the embassy in Canberra (and it applies to all VWP nationalities):
If you plan to visit the US once, and never return, you're fine. But if you plan to visit multiple times, you will need a visa as noted.
If you are a permanent resident (equivalent to the green card in the US), you can use the VWP. If you become a citizen, you can use the rules for Canadians.
Dec 2, 2012 6:50 PM
26Quebec may choose its own immigrants, and the process is somewhat shorter than if you apply only at the Canadian level. There are agreements - recent - between France and Quebec, so some degree holders who are qualified to work in their field in France can work here (same goes the other way around). Climate will be brutal for you the 1st year if you choose to live here. If you survive the 1st winter - as thousands of immigrants have - you will be fine. Knowledge of French is essential, as it is the legal language in the province; English is optional. More info http://www.gouv.qc.ca/portail/quebec/international/espagne/ ; the link leads to the official Quebec website for Spain, Portugal and Andorra.
Dec 4, 2012 7:33 AM
27If it were me ... I'd look at moving to USA instead. Seriously ... better climate, cheaper cost of living, and better wages for nurses.
Dec 4, 2012 8:08 AM
28If it were me ... I'd look at moving to USA instead. Seriously ... better climate, cheaper cost of living, and better wages for nurses
There are also more opportunities. They are always up here looking to hire them. They would probably also expedite the immigration process as well.
Dec 4, 2012 9:35 AM
29And more opportunities. I forgot to mention that. Considerably more.
I know two nurses who headed south after completion of their studies in Canada - they paid their student loans off in record time - the money they were offered was stupid large compared to what they could get in canada.
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