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VideoCast Episode 3: Immigration Programs Open To International Students in Canada and How To Qualify

At Tamwood, we ask students what their primary reason for studying in Canada is. More often than not, the most frequent answer is because they want to immigrate to Canada.

That’s why in this episode, we have Mariline Quintana – co-founder and Senior Canadian Immigration Consultant at e-Visa Immigration.

Tune in to learn about the various immigration programs open to international students in Canada, and how to qualify.

– There’s so many industries that definitely, if you have experience or if you’re look to everything experience, it is for sure a place that it will easily transition to immigrate.


– This is study and work in Canada. Tamsin’s podcast on all things international students want to know about co-op education programs in Canada. I’m Tamsin Plaxton, Tamsin Founder and President, and an avid member of the Canadian private education sector.


– Excited to be joined today on this episode by a very special guest, it’s Marilene Quintana. And she is an registered Canadian Immigration Consultant and the Founder of E-Visa, which is an immigration agency based here in Vancouver, but with offices across Canada and overseas. They have offices in Brazil and Iran. And I’ve invited her on this episode because what we’ve noticed being in the Asian international education industry, is more and more the students that come to study higher education in Canada are coming because their ultimate goal seems to be to immigrate. At our college, we ask all of the students when they register and on their first day, what’s your primary reason for choosing to study here? And I would say on average, the number one answer given by students is, they’re hoping to immigrate to Canada, probably about 90% currently of our students will give that as their primary reason. And so, you know, knowing that, we thought it would be interesting to host someone on this episode to talk to us today about what are the various immigration programs open to international students in Canada and how do students qualify for those? Because if you know in advance, that’s your goal and you design your program in the right way, you can really improve your odds of qualifying for immigration and use your study programs in the most efficient way to give you the most options. So, today I’m really excited to be joined, as I said by Marilene. Marilene, thank you for joining us. It’s great to have you here.


– Thanks for inviting me. Tamsin, it’s a pleasure. I hope to bring a lot of updates and valuable advice to those watching the episodes. Thanks for having me.


– Yeah, you’re welcome. So Marilene and I, we met, I guess, it was through one of our employees who had recommended Marilene to me because he was actually working with her agency to qualify for his permanent residency in Canada. And then after giving the information she needed to support his application, we got chatting about the work that her agency does and I got to see how professional she was and her team. And I was really impressed, Marilene, with everything you did for, not only for our employee, but now you’ve helped a lot of our students as well. Can you talk a little bit about your background first of all, and then we’ll get into kind of the opportunities for students.


– Okay, right. So nice to meet all you. I’m originally from Brazil. And I’m immigrant to Canada about 10 years ago. And myself, I had to navigate all the immigration processes and I found it’s very difficult. And at the time, it was not only difficult to follow it’s because was not enough information available on the internet, on the social media to search through. And actually, Canada is a great problem. There are so many options available. And I found that among everybody that came at the same time, I was able to do a lot of research and be prepared. And that made my immigration plan to go a way faster than a lot of my friends that came to stay with me as well. I came as international student and it was a natural process. So in Brazil, I was project manager related to IT field. I was not a lawyer. I was not in the legal field. I always had the dream to work in the legal field. And then when I came here and I started navigating, and through my own challenges, I decided to pursue my goal to work in the legal area, in the legal field, and also to help people. It happened naturally. Naturally, a lot of people were saying like my journey in seeing how informed I was or searching through the various options, and moving forward quite quickly in terms of immigration. I tell more about my story later, but I started helping people. And then I became interested. I start to study immigration line in Canada. And it became my passion to help people navigate through this processes. So if Visa has over seven years of experience now, and we have helped over 10,000 people to come to Canada among Visa and PR, permanent resident applications approved. And I’m very happy to see that we are able to make a difference as a company, bringing information out there. So we are very active in explaining to people, basically requirements. But I would say, with Visa, it is a company that does not think of a number for example, we think of each person’s journey and we respect that person’s dream as a dream. And I think, we were able to grow a lot because as Tamsin mentioned, we really see our clients as like, we know what you’re going through. We have empathy through your path. We are here to help. We are here to hold your hand throughout the process. And that’s our goal, is like to help our clients to achieve your dream of coming and immigrating to Canada. And not just in a lightly way, in a very professional, but also personal way to like that the person fuse. Let’s say, well embraced by our company, our professionals to guide them through the process.


– Oh, that’s right. So Marilene, you know, not only are we seeing that more and more students wanna immigrate, but it seems like Canada wants more and more immigrants. And everything I see in the news and everything I hear at conferences that I attend. It’s all about Canada having this very aggressive immigration strategy. And what do you think is behind that? And how is that shaping immigration policy right now in Canada?


– Well, Canada is a big country. But it is a country that people are not looking much to have children apparently. And like, if you consider that the working class that is retiring right now. And the young professionals, joining the Canadian labor market, the math doesn’t-


– Work, right. More are leaving than are coming in to the labor market as we can see. Yeah. Yeah.


– So Canada does need people to come from outside Canada to join the Canadian labor market, just to keep running, right.


– Right.


– And as any country, they don’t wanna just keep going and when continue to grow, and to create opportunities and to be a reference in technology innovation in so many aspects. And Canada is such a big country and it’s still like it. You see, like there are a few big cities that actually like that is, like the downtown area has, of course, a lot of people in the central area. But like, if you go a little bit further, it’s like, there’s so much to explore and to grow. Like Canada has a great potential to grow. And imagine that as a country, the more people you bring, the more you are motivating the country to develop, to become more, a richer culture, to collect more taxes. And Canada wants more immigrants because first, they have to serve their basic need of having enough people to work on their industries that is the base of the economy. But not only that, Canada wants to continue growing as a country and they need more and more people to come. So for the next three years, actually now in next two years, we have already the targets that are actually, right now, under review, again, to even be bigger. Because so, one year ago, the government of Canada announced 1.2 million, 1,200,000 new immigrants expected for the next three years. It would be 2021, 411,000. In 2022, the 421,000. And in 2023, 421,000 new immigrants expected. But you know, the past year showed us that you walk in a restaurant, you walk to places. And sometimes they cannot service you because it’s lacking people to work in that place, right. So they are actually reviewing those targets because I think the past year specifically, showed us like, hey, we need those students. We need those people coming to work in so many jobs. And from entry level jobs that at the end of the day, Canadian don’t want those jobs, right. And also specialized jobs because Canada does not have the time to prepare that workforce. So it does not have the young generation coming, right.


– And the things are just moving so fast, especially in technology.


– Yes.


– That you’re right. We haven’t had the time to develop the education programs and to educate and train professionals in certain fields to keep up with what’s happening in a lot of different career areas, especially in the area of tech. You know, that’s one area, especially in British Columbia where there’s a massive shortage of skilled labor is tech. And, but as you say, even in entry level jobs, I was at Whistler yesterday. And I skied for the first day this year. And I went into the restaurant on the mountain to have lunch. And they weren’t serving most of the counters that would serve food were closed. And so, I asked the man serving me at the counter. I finally was able to get to, what’s happening, why isn’t the Vietnamese counter opened, like it usually is. And he said, oh, well, we hope to open it, but we just don’t have enough staff. He said, the Mountain’s only been able to hire 50% of the number of people they would need for this time of year. And they’re struggling. They’re really struggling to find people. So crisis across a lot of industries, I think.


– And you mentioned specifically, tech. I would say, US for example, has a very difficult immigration policy. It is very tough for companies to bring skilled people like with their Visa or for them to transition. So it’s a lot of work. And because of that, we have a lot of great companies moving to Canada. So we have two different areas that are concentrating a lot of tech companies like in Vancouver. It’s a very big tech hub right now. Because well, a lot of companies are in Seattle. Seattle’s quite close to Vancouver. So we have now Amazon here, we have Sony, we have Microsoft. So big, big companies that are looking forward to hiring a lot of people in Canada and taking advantage of the great policy that Canada offers. On the east side, they also have the three cities, Gulf, London, sorry, this one more,


– Waterloo?


– Waterloo. There we go.


– Yeah. The big tech hub.


– Yeah.


– Yeah, very big tech center of Canada.


– has a lot of-


– and Toronto. Yeah.


– Definitely. Toronto also as well has a lot of big companies. And the Canada is also looking forward to be like the next main hub. And I think like we are like, we are very big on that right now. And you know, if foreign technology, definitely, it is a great place to be. The immigration policies are amazing, very, very, very facilitated for the employer to bring you for you to transition. So it is not only tech. Okay, we are talking about tech, we’re talking about hospitality. You know, there’s so many industries that definitely, if you have experience or if you’re looking to experience, it is for sure a place that it will easily transition to immigrate. And you know, a lot of people has this fear actually, like if I do this investment to go to Canada, for example, to study, am I going to be able to transition to immigration? And I would say like, Canada, there’s such high demand that the person won’t transition, if they don’t do any research. If they don’t, maybe establish a plan because it’s the opposite. It is difficult for not to transition unless you don’t want to. Because there are so many opportunities available if you want to make Canada, you know?


– So, yeah. So let’s talk about that. So there’s so many different opportunities and it seems like Canada keeps developing a new immigration program every time there’s more sort of a new industry that needs workers or they’re looking for a different economic class. For example, the startup Visa program is one I’m thinking of. But there’s so many programs. And, you know, I studied law at university. I even in my third year of law school did a seminar course on immigration, thinking I might wanna be an immigration lawyer. And even I find it like overwhelming all these different program. So which ones do you think are the most commonly used programs by international students, coming to study and work in Canada? Which programs would they then naturally transition into to get their qualification for permanent residency?


– Okay, All right. So yeah, immigration change all the time. Like they are always align. What the needs of the job market versus the needs for the country. So there is all these studies and they are always launching pilot programs and specific like guidelines for sometimes even bio patient that it is different. But overall, like I would say, the most important thing that an international student has to look for is like, is he an occupation that’s considered skilled worker? And a lot of people get a super scared right there because they say skilled worker. I have to be like a genius. I have to prove that I have a very special talent or something like that. I cannot be just a ever Joe that studied and have occupation. I have to be excellent. And that’s not true. Like in Canada, as long as you have a profession and you have some experience, you are considered skilled worker. And a lot of people have this misunderstanding about who is considered skilled worker, who is not considered skill worker. So I’m going to give some examples. Okay. And when you talk about skilled worker, currently 2021, the reference is the NOC, National Occupation Classification, right. That’s the database that Canada has with all the possible patients. And there is this skill level type. So we have considered as a skilled worker, a skill level type zero, everybody that’s a manager, any manager in any field, it is considered skilled worker. And this skill level type level A, which means in occupation, that for you to work on, you need a universe degree, for example, a bachelor degree. So if you are a marketing specialist, if you are a computer programmer, if you are an accountant, if you are, for example, a lawyer or a engineer or dentist, doctor, and financial advisor, right, general administrator. These are all fields that usually are able to work once you completed your university diploma. These are considered skilled worker. And then we have a skill level B, which is technical programs, such as if you’re administrative assistant. If you’re a cook or chef, if you are a bookkeeper.


– Like a veterinarian assistant, for example. Someone, yeah, like a veterinarian assistant or a dental hygienist. Would that be a skill level B?


– The dental hygienist? Definitely, yes. And so, like usually people that did a technical program or career program to work on that occupation. So we have, for example, for some reason, graphic designers is skill level B. As I mentioned, could be as simple as administrative assistant, right?


– Right.


– So many jobs we can fit on that.


– I think we’re seeing a lot of our students getting work office administrators.


– Yes.


– Working in offices, just, you know, working at the reception desk, but administering the operations of a small offices often. But what’s exciting for them is that, they’ve done a two year or one year diploma program in Canada. And then they get this offer of this office administration position. And that qualifies them.


– Is that-


– Because that can considered a skilled job. Yeah.


– Yes. So if you are already experienced in a skilled job of your, like, you know exactly what you’re looking for, that’s the part of the planning. That’s very important for you to do like, know what exactly what their patient and how that transition to Canada. It transition directly, for example, if you were accountant back home. Can you work as accountant in Canada? You may, but you have to first have some additional knowledge. But you can also work as a bookkeeper for example or administrative assistant, because you don’t need the many credential and you can still use your experience to consider that job related and be kind of an attractive resume. Some people, for example, they are in technical jobs, like in construction, carpenters, cement finisher, brick layers, all these are considered skilled worker, electrician, plumbers. You know, sometimes for example, a electric engineer back home. Maybe, can work as a electric engineer here, but can also explore opportunities as electrician. For example, industrial electrician, construction electrician. And sometimes like if you have this understanding, it helps you to target like your search for a job. And some jobs in Canada, like you can even get from overseas. But I would say like, it is very unlikely for your employer to go through everything. All the headache, if you are overseas. So like coming to Canada to study, it helps you to be here. So the employer can see you, can meet you. It usually like a study program allow you to start working 20 hours per week. And like a career program, like the programs that Tamwood offers, it has a study portion and has a work person. And with the work person, you are able to work full time. So once you start working full time and you say to our employer, I’m here, I can work full time, but it is a limited duration because it’s up to the duration of my program. Are you okay to seek options, to assist me, to transition, to renew my work authorization, to stay in Canada permanently. And that’s, it is truly possible, you know. So I would say, it is a little bit more challenging for most of the careers for you to get the support from the employer. If we’re outside, some careers that demand is so big that you can even from outside. But in all the cases, it makes a way easier for you to be in Canada, to transition to the Canadian labor market, and then open several pathways for you to stay in Canada, working and then permanently. So I think like usually when you come through education, for example, you are full focus on the economic class, economic immigration, which is pretty much like if we’re educated, if you have experience, you can transition because of those qualities, right. So I would say the job, knowing the job and how to transition, or even seeking studies here that will help you to make this transition. It is key to open a lot of new pathways and possibilities for you to come and immigrate to Canada.


– Right. Okay. So you’ve talked a lot about being a skilled worker, and I guess that would be the Canadian immigration, sort of express entry program. We refer to as the Federal Skilled Worker program that Canada seeking skilled workers, besides having a job that meet one of these classifications, NOC, National Occupation Category job classifications, what are the other eligibility requirements? Can anybody with a job offer immigrate or are there other eligibility requirements that they have to meet?


– Actually, I mentioned about the job offer, but to be honest, I was more considering like other provincial programs when I mentioned job offer.


– Okay.


– That’s usually the most common transition that the students will follow, was they’re in Canada. So when you talk about the economic immigration, okay. We have four main requirements and these requirements are English or French. Okay. So you have to show that you have English skills or French skills, education level. So you like your academic, the highest academic level, for example, is either diploma or a bachelor or a post degree diploma, or a masters, for example. These are the educational level that I have to show proof, the work experience. And then in case, you don’t necessarily need a job offer through the express entry federal skilled worker, for example. You can use your experience from back home, right. So the maximum points is 6 years of experience in the past 10 years. So for example, now in 2021, you could use any work experience that had in the past 10 years. So since 2011, 2012, you could count that experience towards points, right. And the government of Canada comes separated, a Canadian experience and foreign-


– International, yeah.


– International experience, right? So like, if you have points in the foreign work experience, just by work in your own country.


– Right.


– And some people can have enough qualification, even from overseas. Now it’s been more challenging because through the pandemic, for example, the government didn’t focus on those problems for those who are overseas. The focus is currently and has been for the past year for those who are in Canada. But basically, if you have good level of English or French academic level, I would say, ideally more than bachelor, for example, bachelor and a post degree or bachelor and masters, or a bachelor and a diploma that would give you great points. And that’s like, for example, if you have a bachelor’s a good opportunity as well to come, instead of one to your program in Canada. So you have these additional points for education, the work experience. And I forgot about one, that’s age, right. So you do have additional points just considering how old you are. And the maximum points, it is up to 30 years old when you get 110 points on the express entry for single, 100 points, if for a couple. But people like, oh my God. So if I have 31, 32, 33 or 37, this is the end of my immigration process? No. If we’re talking about express entry age is a criteria and you still have points. Like you lose one point for the qualification criteria if every birthday, about five points in the selection criteria, every birthday. And that’s the time when we can explore some options. So let me try to be a little bit more objective, Tamsin. I’m sorry, if I have been not as clear, but like there are the federal programs, okay. That are managed through the express entry. And then we have a federalist good worker, that it’s both for people outside Canada or inside Canada. And these are the four main criteria in terms of qualification. We have then Canadian experience class. That’s also managed through this program expressing through the system. And in this case, the main difference is, if you have a job offer in Canada, or if you have worked in Canada with a valid work permit for at least one year, you get additional point to get additional qualification for this program. This program was big success in these past years, because as I mentioned, Canada focused a lot on people that are here. We have the-


– People that are studying and then get a post-grad work permit. They then work for a year or two after graduating from their studies. And then they use that work experience to get points, to qualify on with the Canadian experience class. And that’s, yeah, that’s been a very common path, we see a lot of students do, study. Usually they start with us, study at a private college. Like ours transfer to a public college to then get a post grad work permit, and then apply.


– And that’s actually a very interesting pathway because a lot of people when coming to study, like they don’t have the trust about their like, I’m able to study in English. So you start with a private college or a career college, you get used to the Canadian way of teaching. You get used to how Canada works, the Canadian education system, how it’s like you study in another language, for example. And then sometimes you can transition directly from the private college to permanent residents. As I mentioned, like if you have the co-op person and you have a plan, and you know what to look for. And during this coop, you find a job offer, then you can transition to immigration through the provincial nominate problems. For example, in Canada, we have the federal programs, the economic class mostly are managed through the express entry system with every single province in Canada. They have their own immigration problems. So Canada has 10 provinces, three territories. And each one of them offers three, four, five different pathways for people to immigrate. And that’s like, when coming to Canada, it makes a big difference for you to be here. Because the province allows you to have a very streamlined pathway to transition. Once you are here already, once you are already in the Canadian labor marketing. The private college usually has this co-op portion which is, can even speak more about it. But pretty much it is mandatory work portion of your program. And the school assists you to get that job related to your program of studies. Okay.


– And that’s right.


– And that’s the time that you do have the opportunity to transition to permanent residency, if you have, for example, the support of your employer in most cases, to navigate the provincial program. And then for the provisional program, you are not required to meet in most cases, age requirements. So a lot of people say like, now I’m over 30 now. And I know that I’m already losing points when comes to express entry. And it’s a little bit challenging now for me, like, yes, but it’s not the end. There is so many pathways. And the provision programs are one of them. And particularly, for example, B.C., the B.C. PNP at British Columbia Provision Program, I’m a big fan of it. I think it’s very accessible, very reliable. Because you have rounds of invitation, like the province, inviting people to apply every week. Every single week, you have like the province saying, if you have a profile with like, with us, right. And you have the minimum qualifications that you’re calling for, you are invited to apply. And it’s very reliable. I, myself, I’m a proof of that, because that was the way that I immigrated. It was a little different 10 years ago, but like pretty much was the same program, right. I came through a private college. It was a six month study, six months work. Meaning was quite short, actually was not even one year study, one year work. It was six,


– Right.


– And I researched, I knew what I was looking for. And then for you, guys, to have an idea, my first full-time job in Canada was as a IT project coordinator as I was, I had experience as IT project manager back home. And imagine, like I remember, like was pretty much my first interview. I was like, okay, was good to see how it would look like, because there was so many other people and other Canadians participating in that interview. But I was the one selected.


– Right.


– And I did exactly what I’m telling you, guys. Like one, once I was qualified, I said, you know, here’s my work permit like first day. And then like, who can I talk to about like, having the support transition. And I knew exactly what I was looking for. I knew what the program looked like. I had already done my research and even talked to a regulated Canadian immigration consultant like me now. I knew exactly what to look for. And they said, yeah, we can assist you to transition and then apply for the provision program from B.C. right away. And then the provision nominate program allowed, and continues to allow to nowadays, once you are nominated, you are able to apply for work permit extension. So I had a limited work permit because of my study program. And I was able to have a longer work permit that covered the entire period that I had to wait for my permit residency to be processed. So I would, so.


– So Marilene you, so you started the process while you were still doing your co-op program? So you hadn’t even been in Canada a year and you started your immigration application. Yeah. And then you were given an extension on your work permit before your studies were even over it, sounds like.


– Exactly.


– Yeah. So easy to just move from being a student on a study and work program into an extended work permit while you waited for your PR to be processed.


– Exactly. And that’s one thing that I would say a lot of people that comes to study in Canada, does not think of finding a immigration consultant until the end of the program.


– Yeah.


– Don’t do that. You have to, even before coming to Canada, you start your planning, know exactly what you’re going to qualify for, what you’re going to look for, you know. And once for example, so maybe before coming to Canada, you have that consultation, you know what you’re looking for. You know you have to prepare for, why do you have to anticipate?


– Right.


– Once you are transitioning to the work portion, maybe have a new consultation or maybe that’s the time already for you to have a contract, a consulting contract that you have the guide of immigration consultant. Because as Tamsin said, it changed all the time. So sometimes you have to readjust that planning to know if it’s going to work, if it’s not going to work. And it’s very important for us to have time because you know, immigration, even though Canada is great, we have a transparent system. We know the processing time. Of course, now it’s is a little bit affected because of the current situation, et cetera. But like, it’s very transparent. But still, it requires time to process, right. And we see a lot of people like, okay, I’m graduating this Friday. I will now schedule. After I graduated, I’m needing to know what to do next. And like, oh wow-


– Yeah.


– Of course, we can make it happen. But I used to say, now it’s a lot of emotion because the time matters, you know.


– Yeah.


– Yeah. And that goes back to my first point about using your program efficiently, right. If you choose to study and I do a study program in Canada, you can, even in the program that you choose, you can set yourself up for more opportunity for immigration. Because if you choose the right program, it’ll allow you to do the right type of co-op placement. And that co-op placement could become your permanent job.


– Yes.


– A lot of the employers are supporting their co-op students through that transition from study and work permit to permanent residency. So getting the right program to then qualify you for the right kind of co-op placement and choosing a school that has a good co-op department that really works with students to make sure that the co-op placement is a skilled job, right. Is a not code B or A, or zero job, so that you can use it down the road. Yeah.


– Definitely, definitely. So that’s why it’s so important- Sorry. I’ll get some water here.


– Yeah, you’re talking, we’re talking a lot. You’re talking a lot. And it’s interesting.


– So, yeah. It is very important to really do the planning. And what I used to say is like, you get your end goal and if your end goal is immigration, or even like, if you say like, I’m not sure if I wanted to immigrate to Canada. And to be honest, that was me 10 years ago. I was like, I’m not sure if I wanted to go to Canada, but I wanna take all these steps right. In case I decide to stay-


– In case you decide to, yeah. Keep your options open, right. Don’t close any doors early on. Keep your options open and keep as many options open as possible. Not just one option, a lot of options. So another program we haven’t talked about and I wanna get to it on this episode is, can you talk a little bit more about startup Visa? That’s another immigration pathway that we’ve seen a lot of our students have success through that pathway. And I’ve always said to students who I get a chance to speak to, if you have that in mind to come through the startup Visa program and you don’t end at the end of the day, end up qualifying, because let’s say your business idea didn’t succeed. It doesn’t mean you don’t have other opportunities, right. You can still go the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program or go with one of the other federal programs.


– Exactly.


– Let’s talk a little bit now about the startup Visa. And maybe you can give some background about that.


– Okay, all right. So not everybody wants to pursue a path that you will work in a company. And more and more, we see people going into entrepreneurs and wanting to have independent more self-employed lifestyle, right. And the first confusion that a lot of people make when comes to startup. Startup is not only a company in the exception phase, in the beginning for Canada immigration. Startup is innovation. Okay. So the first thing that you have to have, it is an innovative idea. It is able to compete in the global market. So it’s able to scale and compete in the global market. And the innovative portion, some people think like, wow, I have to be the, I dunno, the next Steve Jobs or the next Bill Gates of the world, not necessarily, okay. So for example there, even in many countries, we see like, we travel to some continent say, hmm, that’s so interesting, the way that they do this, and this. This is not available in Canada, you know. And for example, you can have an idea for a software or a app, or even something that already exists, but it add a little twist, a little innovation on that.


– Well, I can give an example on that. We have a student who recently qualified for permanent residency through the startup Visa program. And his business idea that he developed in our program, in our entrepreneurship program at our college, it was a pet food business. So, you know, yeah, you’re right. You don’t have to be developing technology. He developed a pet food made from cricket protein. So that was the innovation element of it. It was using insect protein to build a, to create and manufacture, a healthy pet food product. And because there’s all over North America, Canadians, Americans, are putting a lot of money into their pets these days. They’ve become the new children of our society. And so, people are willing to spend pound for pound, a lot more on pet food than they even spend on human food. So the opportunity for making good money in that industry is, really exists as well. So there was a lot of interest from investors as well in this product idea. So yeah, just to your point, it doesn’t have to be a technology idea and there’s lots of areas to innovate in hospitality and tourism, in food and beverage, in manufacturing and health. Yeah.


– Definitely. Yeah, we have like a few clients, for example, one that develop a cleaning product, that it is more natural and is based on plants. So the client was a university researcher in the agriculture business. And he said, you know, this product is way more powerful than other disinfectant available. And it is natural. So that was accepted. It’s actually being very successful. They are waiting for their PR in the process. So they were accepted by incubator, et cetera. And they’re pretty much already selling the product in Canada, and making a profit. So that’s very interesting. And I had a bunch of people with apps or software ideas. And then like sometimes, it’s a business as usual with a little bit twist. So we have a client that for example, has a new CRM idea, but there is like a innovative aspect on how software operates and that’s is the difference. Unlike the designated organization love it. And it’s supported. So just to get a little bit about the process, so if you wanted to come as a startup student, for example, and you wanted to transition to startup Visa program, you have to try to get the clarity about what’s your idea as soon as possible. So that’s important for you also to have this conversation with immigration consult like us, any Visa to kind of establish like what it is, is your idea, interesting, right. And you can then with the study program, have all the support of a Canadian education institution to develop that business plan, to understand how that idea will be played in the Canadian market. Like how Canadians will look at that business, and what are like the aspects that you have to develop in order to be a good fit for the Canadian market, right. So the purpose of this startup, is once you have this idea, we have to present that idea to what we call designated organizations. And there’s three types of designated organizations, incubators, venture capital, and angel investors organizations. So these are organizations that are also registered with Canada, and they are certified to give to these people that they accept, what we call a letter of support for their work permit. So they are able to get a work permit for two years and also for application for permanent residency, right. So every incubator or venture capital institution or angel investor works in a different way. I would say, venture capital and investor organizations are for business that already exist, that are already well established. Like let’s say, it has already local self, for example, in that country. And they need investment to grow. It’s not for a business and the inception phase, like you are starting an idea. And if you are like a big entrepreneur that wants to take care like your company to the global scale, you can use that program and you can pursue one of these organizations to invest in your company and not only invest, but also give you the support. It’s a little bit more tricky to reach to those organizations, because for you to qualify permanent residency through these organizations, these organizations have to invest in your company. So if it’s engine investor organization, it has to be at at least 75,000 Canadian dollars. And if it is a venture capital, it has to be 200,000 Canadian dollars. But it is-


– The minimum investment that those organizations have to make in the business, in the entrepreneur’s business in order to qualify through the immigration program. Yeah. And I mean, I guess the one thing I would say, is my experiences right now, there’s a lot of available money though. I mean, there’s a lot of investors looking for good ideas to put their money in. And so, yeah, if you do have a good idea, especially if you’re in the startup phase, you might find an angel investor who’s interested in investing. 75,000 sounds like a lot, but it’s not that much on the Canadian investor sort of scene. Getting the venture capital, you do have to have a more developed idea and you probably have to be in revenue phase before you’d qualify. But would you say most of the immigrants coming through this stream are probably qualifying through the incubators, right. They’re getting accepted into incubators.


– Yeah. That’s the one that I wanted to show more. So like, usually, if you’re getting money through some institution, it is a lot of more work for you to get that money. But if you wanna like, just have their support, their mentorship, their commitment with your business, so they can guide you through the steps until you get the permanent residency, then we are talking about incubator. And then incubator is way more accessible. We have a lot of relationship with different organizations that like, you don’t need to be established, can be just the inception, can be just the idea, right. As soon as you can-


– You’re at the idea stage of your business, you haven’t actually got customers yet, right?


– Exactly.


– Yeah.


– Its completely the inception phase. And then as long as you can establish like a brief description of what your idea is going to look like, what’s the problem that you see in the world or for a specific group of people and how is your solution solving that problem? That’s what they are looking for, right. Because the innovation comes like,


– Right.


– you have a problem that needs to be solved and you are solving that problem with your idea, right. And so, I would say most of our clients that we see, they come and they get the support of incubator. You don’t get any money, you have to do your own investment, right. You may get at later date through other channels like grants, acceptable like. But you get the big gift which is the letter of support from this organization. That having the letter of support, English or French CLB five. So for those who are not familiar with what we say, CLB, CLB stands for Canadian Language Benchmark Level. And it goes from one to twelve, right. And I would say, CLB five is like a pre intermediate level.


– So it’s pretty low relative to other immigration programs.


– Exactly.


– If you’re coming into the startup Visa, your English level doesn’t have to be as high as if you come in through other immigration programs.


– Exactly.


– Yeah, it is-


– So that’s a more makes it a more accessible program for a lot of people. Yeah.


– Definitely, definitely. That is very accessible. And when you talk about, for example, economic immigration, we are talking about minimum CLB seven in most cases, right. Some like Canadian experience class for not be accepted be five, but it’s a point system. And to be honest, like 75 may be able to qualify you, but not be able for you to actually have enough points.


– Right.


– So you have to consider at least CLB seven for any economic immigration.


– Right.


– That’s the startup Visa that actually accepts you with CLB five, which is very, very lowest. It’s pre-intermediate. So I classify, like for example, CLB five pre-intermediate, CLB seven high intermediate, like. And then CLB seven, like CLB eight or nine, we are looking at advanced level, right. So when we’re coming from outside Canada with no job offer, no Canadian experience, we pretty much looking into presenting an application with Canadian benchmark level nine or above like-


– Yeah.


– You have to compensate like Canadian experience or job offer. And when you are in Canada, this comes down as well. And for startup Visa, it is like pretty low. It is very low. So if you have the English, you have proof of funds, right. You have to have funds.


– Yeah.


– And all most problems, unless you have the job offer kind experience, you have to prove that you have what we call settlement funds, which is just like a very minimum amount of money for you to set foot in Canada and be able to survive.


– Right.


– So just for you to have an idea, one person’s around $13,000, two people is around 16,005-


– So you just have to have evidence that you have that much money in your bank account when you are applying for the permanent residency through the startup Visa program. And so, it’s like a CLB five, a letter of support from an incubator or one of the other does like, and the $13,000. And you qualify. So age doesn’t matter, education doesn’t matter, work experience doesn’t matter. Yeah. That’s why I love this stream, this program. Is it really is very accessible. That the real challenge is, can you come up with an innovative business idea that is scalable? And that’s where colleges like Tamwood come in because we help students. We have the very first course in our program is an innovation course, where we teach them through business ideation and design thinking. We teach them how to develop a viable business idea. And then we help them in the rest of the program, really flesh out that idea and build a really viable business plan to then pitch that to angel investors or to incubators to qualify. Yeah. So it, you know, it is, it’s a very interesting, exciting program. I think, that a lot of internationals don’t even consider. they think, oh, I’m not an entrepreneur. How could I possibly qualify? But they don’t realize all the supports that are there. And really all the opportunities that exists right now, to be an entrepreneur. You know, there’s just, the world is ripe for innovation. There’s just so many new technologies and new ways of doing business that create opportunity for new businesses.


– Definitely.


– Yeah.


– And something very interesting about startup Visa as well, is like, if you have one business idea, you and our family will be the applicants for that program, and you have the support. But if, let’s say, you need one or more partners, right. So for example, you have an idea that’s related to your professional field that involves technology. You wanna bring like a friend that you know, that’s very good in technology to join you. So the startup Visa program with one idea, you can have up to five partners in your business, right. And I would recommend two, three, no more than that. I would say three is a good number, two in most cases.


– So three internationals and their families can actually immigrate all on the basis of one business idea. Is that right?


– Exactly.


– So it is an amazing opportunity.


– And, you know, all together, they have to have at least 50% of the shares of the company. So, which means if you have like talent investor, and even if they take 50% of her company, we can still immigrate. So the role is all partners together have to have at least 50% of the company and each partner has to have at least 10% of the company.


– Right.


– Yeah. So you know, I think this stream, I personally am excited about, I love everything to do with entrepreneurship. So I’m personally excited about the entrepreneurship program and the startup Visa program, I mean, for the Canadian government. And I think we should actually have you back on this show to have another episode, we were just focus only on the startup Visa. ‘Cause that’s, it’s such a unique opportunity that Canada has given to internationals. And certainly, as I mentioned before, we’ve seen people come through our entrepreneurship college program, our diploma program with the intention of qualifying through the startup Visa. But midway through the program, they get a job with a Canadian employer that they’re so excited about. They actually switch and they transition to permanent residency through the B.C. PNP, through one of the provincial nominee programs or through the Federal Skilled Worker program. So even if you start in one direction, Canada has so many immigration programs, you might be interested in going one direction and then change your plan, part way through and qualify another way. And that’s the great thing, as you say about coming to Canada, studying in Canada and starting your process in Canada, because you’re available to interview for jobs, to pursue applications to say incubators, if you’re going the startup route, when you’re on the ground in Canada.


– And definitely, helps you to open different pathways, even like, for example, for the English language, right. So sometimes you used to say that when you are in your home country and you think that will speak good English, right. When you get here, like, wow, I’m few steps behind that point of us, right. Because speaking on a daily basis with Canadians and, or people from all the world, like we tend to know, have to develop something else, something more. And instead in Canada, also helps you with like, feeling more secure to present yourself and to talk about. And when it comes to business, as we established here for this startup program, for example, we were not to have a high level. But like, it’s good that you have confidence to talk about your business, so you can get things going in Canada as well. And we talked about this startup as innovation, but even like, if you are in interested in opening a business, even a business that’s not innovation, it’s a business as usual. You can also have options to do that. So there is like the entrepreneur work Visa, that’s an option. So you can establish a business plan saying, what you’re going to do in your business. Like you’re going to open a restaurant, you’re going to open a hair salon. You’re going to open any kind of business. This is also possible, right. So in startup, it is a way for you to immigrate to Canada with innovation. But if for, into entrepreneurship and you say like, okay, but my idea, it is not innovation, it is just business as usual. You can still also have options to explore. So for example, there is a specific work permit for entrepreneurs. There’s actually two, we call entrepreneur exemption C11, or exemption C10, which if you establish that you have a significant benefit to Canada in opening your business. For example, creating jobs for Canadians or putting all your knowledge into something that they’re going to do here in Canada, this is valuable to Canada because we’re bringing yourself with all your knowledge of our experience and making that available for Canadian.


– Right.


– So there’s also options for you to transition.


– Right.


– To a business immigration, even though you don’t have the innovation ideas, so.


– Ah, that’s interesting. I see. Yeah. See, there are so many options. So I think the big takeaway, and I’m just conscious of time. I think this has been fantastic. I would say the big takeaway from this episode, is really that there, Canada is really opening its doors to more immigrants. It’s very flexible. They keep adding new programs to meet the needs of the labor market in Canada. And right now the need is high, right?


– Yeah.


– in so many industries, so many sectors, there’s just such a labor shortage, of talent shortage. So Canada is continually rolling out all these very innovative immigration programs to bring in the right kinds of people to fill the various labor market needs. And the other big takeaway is that, if you’re a student listening to this and you’re thinking, I wanna go to Canada. You know, talk to an immigration consultant, they don’t have to pay an immigration consultant for the whole process, right. You, guys, offer consultants sort of sessions, right. Where you can just take a look at their profile and say, these are the ways you might immigrate. Here are the options you might consider. And then here are some recommendations on study programs that you could register for to get you in Canada on the ground and getting you on the right path.


– That’s perfect. That’s very correct. Thank you, Tamsin. To do that, so,


– Yeah.


– The way that we work is like, you can schedule, extend a long consultations. Usually, these consultations is to look into eligibility. So it’s when we have a conversation like, hmm, if you have this background, if there’s experience, or if you have this goals in Canada, that’s one pathway that you can pursue. So plan A, plan B, plan C, which one you like more, right. So we will say we are ready. You know, whenever you wanted to start, you are able to start or you are not ready at, maybe you need to save up some money, so your Visa has more chance of being approved, but that’s what you’re looking for. So you can have a consistent plan. And then once you are ready, we have the option. Like, hey, you can close a consulting contract with us that we are going to prepare all the paperwork on your behalf. Of course, it is like, we need you to collaborate with us to provide information to work with us, eventually to introduce your employer, so we can work with them as well, or just to gather all the documents from your previous experience and it will help you to go through the requirements. So what we do is like, we help you together, all the documentation. We prepare everything, our submission or application to the government, and we will present you through the government. So any communication to the government, any follow up, anything, we will be doing on your behalf. So you have the peace of mind that your application was complete, was correct.


– Yeah.


– And has higher chance of success in any need to interact with the Canadian government, we will do on your behalf.


– Yeah. And that such a relief, I think to internationals, I mean, I can’t imagine going to a foreign country and thinking about applying to a government program without engaging someone local, who knows the ins and outs, and has done it many times, and has seen all the possible ways things could get missed or, and covers for that, and make sure that things are put together to meet, to check on all the boxes, right. ‘Cause it is a very transparent and straightforward process, but it is about making sure you check all the boxes and everything gets done, right. Yeah.


– Any legal matter, any matter that’s related to government, it is like very detailed. And, you know, if you don’t have the experience, you may miss something. And missing something may miss, missing a big opportunity in terms of-


– That’s right. Yeah.


– And you know, you were not expected to immigrate more than once, you just do once. And if you do well, that’s all you need, right. So that’s the idea like. Like is it worth as well to dedicate so many hours trying to study and trying to do by yourself. For some people will be, and that’s okay, right. But like, in most cases, even if you are able to like, okay, I have good English, I wanna try to research and do myself. Like it’s going to be your first time. So the likelihood of you making mistakes and eventually missing your chance, or having to have like more costs associated because you have to reduce.


– Yeah.


– It’s higher, you know.


– That’s right.


– So it’s worth the investment to pay a little bit of money up front to get that, to make sure you have the most options available to you, to pursue those options in most efficient way, save time, and save money down the road. Yeah.


– Yeah.


– So, listen, Marilene. This has been fantastic. Thank you so much for joining today. And I now really definitely wanna have you back on. There’s lots more we can talk about, and I think people are really gonna benefit from your advice. So I’ll definitely have you back. I know we wanna talk about study permits and how to apply for a steady permit and a work permit when you come for a study and work program, and what are the sort of tricks to make, tips, and not tricks, but tips, I guess, and techniques to making sure your application goes through smoothly. And I think we should revisit this entrepreneurship stream and what are the ways and various ways you can come in that way. So look forward to chatting again.


– Thank you. Thank you so much. I look forward to be here again. Thank you.


– That’s all for this week’s episode of work and study in Canada, brought to you by Tamwood Careers. Tamwood is a private education company operating career colleges in Toronto, Vancouver, and Whistler, Canada. Tamwood offers popular work and study programs in fields like business, hospitality and tourism, digital marketing, web design, UX, UI, and entrepreneurship. International students who study with Tamwood gain valuable work experience in Canada and start on a pathway to a successful career and immigration in Canada. They’d like more information about Tamwood and its programs. Visit our website, You can also check out our videos on YouTube and connect with us on social at Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.