I don't know why there is a thread about applying for the IEC visa with 800+ replies. The visa is easy to get and they won't run out till November - guarenteed. Filling out the forms is merely a formality. You should be most concerned about finding a job in Canada. So I've decided to impart some wisdom to those planning to make the leap soon.
1. Don't get on a plane if you don't have a lead to follow on a job.
A lot of recent college graduates get bored on the dole in Ireland and decide to come to Canada to try their luck, with zero experience in their field and no job offers. Bad idea. Use the internet to set up interviews before you even arrive in Canada. Ring companies ahead to enquire. Network to see if a mate's mate can get your foot in the door. I hear too many people say "I'll look for work when I get over there". Famous last words.
2. Stay away from Toronto and Vancouver.
You would swear there are only two cities in Canada. Toronto and Vancouver are swamped with the Irish. Seeing a GAA jersey head around is a good indicator to get the fu.ck outta there. Great cities to party in if you're on holiday, but there is too much competition for jobs there and it will only get worse coming into the Summer when hundreds of Germans and Brits arrive too (I find the Frenchies and Belgians head for Montreal). Go to the smaller towns. As a general rule, the further North you go, the better chance you have of a landing job.
3. Get an apartment asap.
The hostels are fun but you don't want to get caught up in the party lifestyle and then find yourself broke 3 months later still without a job. Use craigslist to find somewhere to live. Rent can be pretty high in the big cities which is another reason to aim for the small towns.
4. No driver's licence.
This is related to point 2. If you live in the big cities, great - excellent public transport with underground metros and buses. But the cities are not where the work is. To those who want to work in small town Canada (cos that's where the money is) you're gonna need a car. A bunch of housemates could possible work out a car sharing situation.
I'll try to think of more later but these are just a few ideas that popped into my head while reading some of the posts on this forum. Couple of job leads for you in the meantime. Feel free to add.
- http://www.timhortons.com/ca/en/join/team.html Tim Hortons coffee shops are everywhere in Canada. Why not apply? The tips can make it a decent enough wage. Use a fake Canadian address to get your foot in the door. But don't bother applying to the ones in the big cities.
- Engineers get to Alberta asap http://oilsands.infomine.com/careers/
- Fort Mcmurray is a booming oil town. You might get unskilled manual labour work like shovelling snow if you're built like a horse. Definitely worth checking out http://regionalhelpwanted.com/home/330.htm
Excellent advice above, especially about everyone heading to van or
toronto, great places to party and enjoy the 'life' but for work and
$$$$$... the best opportunities lie in other provinces.... a spirit of
adventure is required.
Do bring original motor insurance details for the last 6 years if you
intend to buy a car and get a licence.... with my insurance details
i got 2,000 CAD off the quote with Aviva.
I'd agree that people get too caught up in going to Toronto and Vancouver, especially if you're not looking for professional type of work. I was only odd jobbing in Vancouver and didn't get stable employment until I lived out to the sticks in Alberta. Some of the best few months I've ever had were out in the middle of nowhere in Alberta. A lot of people I knew in Vancouver, including some very experienced people, didn't just walk into jobs off the plane. Recent graduates are probably wasting their time in Canada if they have little or no experience in the field they're trying to break into. Of course that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a go but don't be getting your hopes up.
While I get the OP's point living in places like Fort McMurray and the Oil Sands is definately not for everyone-big drug and alcohol abuse problems up there (may have improved in recent years) and freezing cold temperatures, even for Canada.
Also if you're a graduate I presume you'd be looking for professional type work-hence Toronto, Calgary and Montreal are the places to go. If you want to advance your career northern Canada isn't the place to do it unless you're an engineer or mining specialist etc.
What's Canada like for people heading over alone- is it easy to meet people etc?
http://www.jobclassified.ca/ might be of interest to some.
as far as meeting people goes... well it isn't the dark side of the moon, people
are very friendly generally wherever you go in the country, I have to admit that
I find they're amazingly friendly in Atlantic Canada. If you're on your own the
www.meetup.com website has been recommended to me numerous times.
Opportunities wise there are plenty of other opportunities outside engineering
or mining specialists although you're off to a good start if thats your gig!! if
you're corporate stick to corporate cities i guess is the point? as far as the
weather goes well that seems to be a personal issue, as far as I'm concerned
it's fine, dress appropriately and you won't ever get cold.
I disagree with this statement. I headed for Toronto and got my dream job now. I heard Vancover is bad. I seen so many Irish here who arrive in Toronto fall into a few pit falls u mentioned. They dont get out of the hostel they are staying in fast..... they stay there and drink their brains out and then wake up the next day too wrecked to be able to go look for work or a place to live so they just keep going around and around in that cycle.
It's not that easy to find a job before you go. Believe me I did try. I came here with no job planned and I was fine. As long as you take what you can get while you get yourself setup there is no problem. Plenty of jobs in shops, hotels, restaurants,etc. You just have to chin up and not be picky. Also, if you have no experience in your career path, and you can't get it in Ireland, what are you supposed to do then? People also take you more seriously when you have a Canadian address and you can meet them face to face. I think this advice has to be taken with a pinch of salt, as it is not feasible for everyone.
Couldn't agree more with you here frei will be making my way out to friends this year myself who have gone out and done the same as you.Everyones experience is different to be honest i certainly wouldnt take everything that the first poster has said as definite.I do agree though to be more prepared before you go.Not talking from experience but from people who i know that have been living n canada and some are residents.
Fair enough Frei. Glad things worked out for you though. I see you're in Edmonton - good choice of a city with plenty of trade work. The hordes of Irish haven't descended upon there yet. Did you originally fly into Edmonton or did you search for work in Toronto/Vancouver first? Also what's your line of work if you don't mind me asking.
If any Irish people planning to come over soon have mates or relatives already in Canada, use their address or phone number to apply for jobs. Once you have an interview lined up in Canada, you can walk off the plane in confidence knowing you're not completely stumbling around in the dark.
Also beware that the next batch of the 2012 IEC visas will be coming through in the next few weeks so Toronto and Vancouver will be overrun by Irish for the Summer. It'll be like the 33rd county. Competition will shoot up so that's why you need the edge by having interviews set up before you arrive if possible.
Not to mention you need a large slice of luck.
I'm a graduate biomedical scientist, yup, I flew straight in to Edmonton. Worked in a ****ty job while I studied for my certification to be allowed to work here as a med lab technologist (as they call it here). Won't know my results for a month so in the mean time thinking of going to Vancouver, now that I am a bit used to living here. Yeah Edmonton is great for the trades, if you are a hard working guy with a driving license there are plenty of jobs around here that will pay well. Pretty much construction going on 24/7.
I agree about everyone concentrating on Van and Toronto. It really makes no sense when those places are so competitive. But then again I guess another reason is that these places are more vibrant than the other cities. If I had good enough French I would be in Montreal in a shot. Edmonton wouldn't be the most attractive of cities.
To be honest - ignore points 1 & 2 - you will find it very hard to sort a job before you arrive in any location (and thats usually the case everywhere in the world...unless its exremely skilled work on a permanent basis)
As for Toronto, its a large city and is no way over run with Irish...i've been here 6 months and I have met less than a handful of Irish people (outside of the time we went to McVeighs for the rugby)...probably a different story if you work in construction but I cant comment on that...
Also, as stated...if living in a city you dont need the extra expense of a car...so why outlay that expense if you dont have work secured?
100% agree with point 3...just make sure you pick a good location well served by transport
Also, do people tip on Tim Hortons? They're the Canadian Coffee equvalent of McDonalds
Describing Vancouver as overrun with Irish is a bit OTT I think
Not that many here at all
Competition for jobs is huge though, I wouldn't be coming here expecting to get a job in your chosen field easily
I got lucky and got something in mine though (Media) so it is doable