A Malaysian looking to move to Canada.

Hi all, a bit of background on myself. I graduated from McGill University, Montreal with a bachelors degree in chemical engineering. I was determined to look for a job in Canada after graduating. Unfortunately, my job search was not successful and I had to leave Canada after 3 months of trying because I was running out of my savings and my study permit was expiring.

After coming back, I got a job recently as a project engineer for a water treatment company. I am still determined to achieve my dream of someday coming back and working in Canada. I was going through these forums and been reading a lot lately. My plan of action is to work and gain experience for the next 4 years. During this time, I will take up French classes and take the TEF (French proficiency) test. Obviously, I would also be saving up my money so that I can sustain myself when I do migrate. These I hope should give me a fighting chance to finally land a job in Canada.

I would really appreciate if those that did successfully migrate to give me some pointers and tips, so that I can  be successful with my journey. My main concern, and this stemmed from being frustrated with my unsuccessful job search before, was how to go about applying for jobs. Would companies really consider applications from a foreigner that is currently not residing in Canada? Or do I apply for jobs after getting my visa and land in Canada? Also what do you think of my chances? Thank you =)

ajoe90, your plan sounds good except for one thing, Canada immigration and also the labour ministry changed their rules on LMO lately to LMIA (Labour marker impact assessment). If you do not know what LMO is, it is the application you need to go through before you can apply for a temporary foreign work permit. The new change to LMIA actually discourages Canadian companies from employing foreign workers as much as possible. I was lucky to have applied for mine when it was still LMO. With the change, it is also more expensive for both the company and also the applicant now with LMIA - so the risk of going down this route is higher for the company - because you have more to lose. Company has to fork out CAD$1000 for the application process compared to $CAD250 the last time.

How long ago did you graduate from McGill? Its a shame that you didn't apply for a post grad work permit.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/work … ad-who.asp
And also a shame that funds are short on your end to stick around longer to see it through until you obtained a job. I know of a recent Malaysian grad from Dalhousie University (grad in 2014 with industrial engineering, that found a job in a small town an hours drive out of Vancouver - and she got it within 4 mths after her graduation). My advice on job application is to not restrict yourself with one location in Canada. Be open to other provinces and locations as well. Have stepping stone first. There's always an overall benefit then just financial rewards. For example you may be working Alberta which pays more but also cost of living and housing is way higher as well. Net-net, you'd probably down to the same thing if you were to go to a province that paid less. Take for example myself which am based in NS - remuneration may be lesser but cost of home ownership is way lower. Plus, its not as congested and hectic here compared to Calgary/Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver. Much like comparing KL with Ipoh. Ipoh being less congested.

Another tip on finding job is to actually network. Job application in Canada is slightly different from that of Malaysia. You can't expect to whip up your browser and go to www.monster.ca and fire away your resume. That's just one way but its usually not very successful. Jobs more abundant back in Malaysia. Shooting resumes through online portal like Jobstreet usually does the trick (if you have the goods, you know what I mean). Not for Canada tough!

I got my job here through networking. Which is why having initial funds to sustain your COL (cost of living) throughout your waiting period is important. I know a few Malaysians who studied in UNB (University of New Brunswick) that banded together to help out with COL while playing the waiting game. They were probably working odd jobs (like store keeper etc.) for a good period of a year. However last I check, they successfully found a job. I believe they were engineering students.

There's lots of way to network. For example here in Nova Scotia, there's GreaterHalifax which is a not-for-profit organization whose sole mandate is to aid in the growth development of the province. One of the ways is to maintain grads or attract foreign workers. They do so by organizing regular networking events. Other provinces may have such organizations. They are usually funded by the provincial government. I believe Quebec's equivalent is http://www.quebecfirst.com/en/
etc etc.

Other tips, use linkedin. Setup your social media presence. I have a website for myself with my resume online. I even use about.me. Don't leave any stones unturn. NOTE: Use your REAL name and not psuedonames like ajoe90... just saying... It shows maturity!! Join linkedin groups in your field. Join the economic development groups as well of the province or city. E.g. in my field IT, there's a linkedin group called HalifaxIT professional. I suggest, you take a piece of paper and write down all the things you can do to expand your network both online and offline and than work to knock it off one by one. If you do need an immigration lawyer let me know. I'll recommend one to you which I use and find very good.

Hi philipyeo, thank you for your suggestions. I will definitely put my best effort to expand my network and follow your advices on being open about the places I am applying to. I did have a post-grad work permit before. At that time my passport was expiring soon, so my permit was offered only up to that date. I know silly mistake! Came back and re-applied with a letter explaining my situation. Still waiting on an answer on that work permit. And I will let you know if I require the services of an immigration lawyer. Thank you.

An update, I tried reapplying for my work permit after coming back to Malaysia and it has recently been approved. I now have a 3 year work permit which will be issued to me when I enter Canada. I need advices from anyone on anything they find useful. My main concern is where in Canada should I head to (I am a chemical engineering graduate form McGill)? What should I be doing to sustain myself? I know I'll have to work part time, are there any suggestions for types of jobs I can do while waiting to land my engineering job? Job search tips. Places to stay and anything that you can help me with would be greatly appreciated.


Right from the gecko, I'll say go for a place where natural resources such gas, petroleum, oil sands etc are abundant - or even potash. That's where mining companies are based mainly and also surrounding jobs that are within the ecosystem of that mining industries are there too.

Top of the list: Alberta - with cities such as Calgary and Edmonton.
Then to a lesser extend, Saskatchewan with cities like Regina or Saskatoon (Saskatchewan also has oil sand deposits and another abundant resource - potash)
Newfoundland has the off shore petroleum and gas like based Sarawak and Brunei - but I am not too sure how easy it is to find a job there. If all fails, just head to be big cities like Toronto and Vancouver.

Although I am based in Nova Scotia, since you are looking to be working the chemical engineering industry, I would never recommend you to come here to find a job - you have such hard time finding for one.
All the best.

Dear, please give me some tips as my wife Malaysia malay and she is an architect, we are plaining to move to canada so what is best way to go and what are the requirments? thnx