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My story from Chennai to Nova Scotia in Canada as a Chartered Accountant

Posted on January 30, 2021
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My story from Chennai to Nova Scotia in Canada as a Chartered Accountant

Shankar Mahadevan

CA From Chennai to Canada

You can call me Shankar

Hello. My name is Shankar. And this is my story from India to Canada. To be more specific, you can say my journey as a CA from Chennai to Nova Scotia.

I always wanted to settle down abroad and work overseas. Even though I had not exactly decided Canada as my work overseas destination, I knew I had to go abroad somewhere.

Canada by chance

Canada happened by chance. A close friend of mine moved to Canada with his family. We had been together for so many years living in the same neighbourhood in Chennai. Ravi was more like family to me than just a friend. Anyway, he moved to Canada. He had also tried to Australia before trying Canada immigration.

But he did not get his invitation from the Department of Home Affairs DHA of Australia. Then after his SkillSelect profile expired, Ravi then began exploring other countries as well. First time he had not taken any professional help from anyone at all.

The second time he took assistance from a well-known immigration consultant in our area. He got lucky I think. Ravi moved to Canada within a year of making his Express Entry profile.

Exploring countries for Work Overseas

I had always wanted to go abroad. With my friend busy in settling in a new country with his family, even I wanted to follow him to Canada. But I still got a personalized country evaluation for each of the countries shortlisted by me. I even tried for Hong Kong.

Each of the consultants that I went to at that time was telling me a new story. Some told me to try for Australia. Some said Germany.

By that time, I had heard so many bad experience of people that had their immigration applications and visa rejected. Many times for a small mistake of the consultant. Some got rejected at the interview stage. Their applications were made by the consultant. So, they knew nothing much about what was in those applications. Their consultant did not prepare them well for the interview at all.

Anyway, I got a proper evaluation for my job from 4 different consultants. All had free counselling. I began the process with one but discontinued in between the processing as I was not getting any confidence in the consultant and their team.

They would never answer me clearly. Anyway, I was paying them in instalments so it was easy for me to stop in between.

Y-Axis by word of mouth

Y-Axis was suggested by a colleague. He knew someone working there. I went to the Chetpet branch of Y-Axis. They took the time to clear all my doubts. The consultant that was talking to me read my complete file and certificates.

My consultant told me that as a CA if I decided to go to Canada, there were some provinces that had better job prospects for me as compared to others. Generally, there is a good demand for CA jobs in Canada. But some provinces have a higher demand as per their local job markets in their provinces.

Why research matters in immigration

I did my own research once I got back home. I found out that as the Employment and Social Development Canada ESDC comes out with a 3-year Employment prospects that give a projection as to how likely an individual is to find a job within that occupation in Canada.

Each of the jobs available in Canada are classified and put down into a detailed and comprehensive National Occupational Classification NOC code that lists all the nearly 500 different jobs in Canada that an immigrant can take up.

Similar jobs are put down under the same code.

What I found on my own was that the best prospects for me as a CA looking for a job was to explore opportunities offered by specific Canadian provinces such as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Nunavut and Northwest Territories.

That is when I decided to change my plan of moving to Canada and settling in Ontario to another province that offered much better prospects.

Switching from Ontario to Nova Scotia

My friend had settled down in Ontario by this time. Both his wife and my friend were working and bringing in good money. But they were both software engineers and could make use of the best opportunities in Ontario.

For me, my occupation of a Chartered Accountant held more promise in Nova Scotia. I could always settle down in Nova Scotia for some years and then relocate later on. I learnt that I could also work in the US on my Canadian permanent residence visa.

I think generally all with a Canada PR or Canada citizenship can work anywhere in the US, but there are certain terms and conditions that apply as in all situations everywhere. Anyway, Nova Scotia it was for me at the moment. I could always try out the US later on, if required.

An International Resume – Get a power resume

The first step in my Canada immigration process was when I got my international resume made through Y-Axis. Earlier I had only taken the free counseling offered by them. The CV that they prepared for me was quite good. I used to think I had a very good resume. Then I came to know that there is something like an international resume that is made keeping in view the global standards and keywords that most international recruiters lookout for.

I was pretty happy with the International resume for me by Y-Axis. They also made my LinkedIn profile that would stand out from the competition and get the most attention in my industry.

Expressing interest in Nova Scotia

That was also the time when I finally made my online Expression of Interest profile with the PNP of Nova Scotia.

I had thought of applying through the Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities stream. But I could not apply directly. Like in all other PNP programs run by the different provinces in Canada, Nova Scotia also only allowed those immigration candidates to apply that had first been shortlisted by the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, or NS NP.

All that I could do that time was to make my expression of interest and wait to be issued a Letter of Interest from the NS NP signalling that I could then apply for the LMP under the NS NP.

There were around 5 provincial draws held by Nova Scotia in 2020 under the PNP program. I had submitted my Expression of Interest as early as April I think but I got my invitation in December 2020. That was probably the only general draw held by Nova Scotia that year.

The April NS NP draw was for those with French as their first official language. Then the next draw by the NS NP in 2020 focussed on registered psychiatric nurse (NOC 3012) only. No other professions were considered.

The next draw was for motor vehicle body repairers (NOC 7322) and automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers (NOC 7321).

While I hoped for the best, the October 2020 PNP draw of Nova Scotia only invited primary occupation of programmers and interactive media developers (NOC 2174). I also made my Expression of Interest profile with other provinces as well. Mainly with those that had Express Entry linked streams.

Using the delay to my advantage

In a way it was good that my invitation got delayed. The situation at that time was pretty grim I must say. Global travel restrictions and lockdown were there in Canada as well as in India.

I could not have been able to travel to Canada from India at that time even if I had got my Canada’s Confirmation of Permanent Residence. Also commonly known as COPR. Even if somehow I could travel to Canada via some other stopovers in between, I would not have been able to enter Canada that time. I’m talking about the very beginning of the COVID-19 situation. Canada started giving relaxations and travel exemptions to certain immigrants gradually.

Job in Canada, remote interview

I used that time to find a permanent job in Canada as a CA. I attended interviews via Skype. With the global situation affected by the corona pandemic, almost everyone was appearing for interviews remotely at that time.

Anyway, with a job with me and my ECA and other formalities completed, I also used the time to get my decision-ready application made. I could not wait till the time of getting an invitation as then everything cannot be done all at once. I got all my documentation together. My Y-Axis consultant would keep me updated with all the latest PNP draws.

My NOC code 1111

Finally, I got my invitation through Nova Scotia PNP in December. In case anyone wants to know, my occupation of a Chartered Accountant came under the National Occupational Classification NOC code of 1111 that is broadly for “Financial auditors and accountants”.

There are over 70 different occupations that are covered under NOC 1111. I would suggest going through the official NOC – that is, 2016 Version 1.3 – that is followed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada IRCC.

Some of the job titles that come under NOC 1111 are – chartered accountant, accountant, certified general accountant, income tax consultant, tax expert, auditors supervisor,bankruptcy trustee,industrial auditor,cost accountant,departmental accountant, senior accounting analyst, public accountant, tax specialist, internal auditor, assistant controller etc.

I’m still in the process of giving my biometrics etc. The VACs has only recently started accepting a limited number of appointments.

Hope to be in Canada soon enough. With the vaccine out and all, I think it is only a matter of time before everything gets back to something close to normal.

Getting parents to Canada

Will probably get my parents to live with me in Canada once I settle down. No plans of getting married at the moment. I’m already exploring what are the requirements for getting parents and grandparents to Canada for people that are either permanent residents of Canada or hold Canadian citizenship.

Luckily for me, I don’t think there is any minimum salary requirement for being able to bring parents to Canada under the Parents and Grandparents program. There is also an intent to sponsor things similar to the expression of interest of the provinces under the PNP. Then a lottery is held by IRCC late on and the shortlisted potential sponsors are invited to apply.

Anyway, still a long time before I can get my parents to live with me in Canada. Hope to get settled down soon enough and reasonably good develop community ties so that I can feel at home in Canada even while I wait for the time that my family can join me.

The Express Entry system, an online application management system, is used by the Government of Canada for handling permanent residence applications. Some of the main economic immigration programs of Canada are handled through the Express Entry system managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program, commonly referred to as Canadian PNP, offers 80 immigration pathways, each of them leading up to permanent residence in Canada. Each of the PNP pathways targets a specific class of immigrants, such as – business people, international students, skilled workers, etc.
Moreover, the PNP also has various streams linked with IRCC Express Entry. Nominations through such streams are referred to as ‘enhanced’ nominations and have a completely online application process.

A PNP nomination guarantees an invitation to apply from IRCC. Applying for Canadian permanent residence through the federal Express Entry system is by invitation-only. While you can create an Express Entry profile if you are able to score 67-points on the eligibility calculation, you cannot submit your application for Canada PR unless specifically issued an invitation to apply by IRCC.

There are various other Canada immigration pathways available as well.

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