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How this Software Developer moved to Canada amidst the pandemic and managed to get a job

Posted on December 7, 2020
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Software Developer

Hello there. This is Prashant from Hyderabad, India. I now live in Calgary, Canada. This is all about my journey as a software developer from India who found a good and high-paying job in Canada.
Why I decided to become a software developer?

A constantly changing and evolving profession, being a software developer means being at the top of your game, at all times. New technologies are constantly coming out almost every other day. Adapting and adjusting yourself to fill the altered demands of the profession are important.

Software development is one of the most popular ways of entering the IT profession.

What worked for me, as I’m sure would work for many like me, is that of having a clearly defined goal in front of yourself. The more clearly you have your goals defined and in front of you – in black and white, to use the old way of doing things by noting it down – the higher the chances of your actually achieving your goals.

I began with a clear goal in sight. Simply “I want to become a software developer”. Later, I added to it “I want to become the best software developer”.

Along with my studies, I supplemented my learning with reading up the source codes online and watching simple tutorials as well. Becoming a part of a community also goes a long way. When you are with others like you, there come to you better ideas of doing something. Ideas that help you get ahead in your chosen field.

Puzzle-solving is something that I always enjoyed. This came in very handy at the time of coding. Still, even if you read up all you can find on the subject, there is nothing than can match up to actual hands-on practical experience.

Begin by building – either on your own or as part of a team – projects on a programming language that you are most comfortable with.

Always keep in mind to continue building your professional network at all times. While you code and build projects, growing your network professionally must never be out of your sight at any time.

In the digital age that we live in, it is simply a matter of a computer click to find out almost anything and everything about a company. Build worthy networks. Learn as you connect.

Talking from experience, the stronger the online presence that you command, the better the chances of your landing a good high-paying job overseas.

Many MNCs today now look through the social media profiles of their potential employees prior to hiring them. A good cover letter will also help
Decision for working overseas

Deciding to work overseas was a BIG decision for me. As I come from a joint family belonging to a conservative background, convincing each and every member of the family was quite an uphill task.

Each one had their own misgivings of me – being the smallest of all siblings – going away on my own for making a life so far away from my home town.

It took a lot of convincing on my part to get them all on board. And I mean it when I say a lot.

Anyway, once I had made up my mind, with my family on my side, I decided to begin exploring the options available for professional counselling. There were many offering quick deals and guaranteed visas. But they looked somewhat fishy to me.

I personally went to 1 or 2 consultants. But they knew less about everything of immigration than I expected. Tried out Y-Axis just like that. In case you thinking, I took the free counseling.

The consultant was good enough. She explained that my best bet for work overseas in Canada would be to apply for the Tech Pilot that comes under Provincial Nominee Program of the province of British Columbia. She told me my occupation was eligible for the Pilot program.

My consultant also suggested UK and Germany as alternative options. But I decided to begin the processing with Canada for the moment.

Exploring job market

I was surprised to find out how many jobs are there in Canada for immigrants. Many of the jobs are for those in the IT sector.

I also had my resume made on international standard to increase my chances of getting good job. I attended interviews with Canadian employers with Skype.

Corona time for me spent in WFH was also used in searching for Canadian job. You cannot apply to Tech Pilot till you have a valid job offer from an employer in the province.
Process timelines and applying for Canada PR

Once I had job offer in British Columbia with me, I began my application processing. The whole process took something around 3 months. Even in coronavirus situation, the federal government and provinces in Canada were inviting newcomers to Canada.

I submitted my application in July 2020. I got my invitation in BC PNP Tech Pilot at end of August. Tech draws are held almost every week. Around 70 invitations on an average are issued in any BC PNP Tech Pilot draw. There are 29 occupations that are considered.

I also had to make my Express Entry profile to apply to the Tech Pilot. I applied through the Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker category.

Offering a popular and fast route to Canada PR, Tech Pilot is not a different stream or category. To apply to the Pilot, an individual will have to apply through any of the BC PNP categories that they might be eligible for.

Got ITA in Tech Pilot

I had submitted my complete application to PNP of British Columbia for nomination through the category of Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker.

With my nomination certificate, I then applied for Canada permanent residence through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada [IRCC]. A provincial nominee is invited by federal Canadian government in the next Express Entry draw. My PNP nomination got me CRS 600 extra points.

Without the additional points of PNP nomination, my CRS was good but not one to be called competitive. My CRS was 453. At the time that I began my Canada PR processing, the required minimum CRS was around 475.

I was hoping for CRS to drop. But, its better I applied for a nomination.

Right from the time of beginning the process, I had kept all my documentation complete and ready for submission. That saved me a lot of time and effort along the way.

When I got the ITA from IRCC, I was all set and ready with my application beforehand.

I was lucky that I had got my educational credential assessment and English test results late in 2019 itself, before the coronavirus situation became serious.

Moving with COVID-19

Moving during a pandemic is never easy. Sitting with masks and gloves on with a face shield for the long more than 20+ hours’ journey from India to Canada can really tire out any first-timer.

All travellers had to have compulsory temperature screening and COVID-19 tests many times, both here in India as well as in Canada.

Canada. Finally. Even though taken straight into the quarantine facility from the airport, I was still happy I had made it. Even with the coronavirus situation.

I had to spend the first 15 days on landing in Canada under strict quarantine. But then, you can’t actually complain when all the world is going through the same thing. All is for our own good when you think of it.

I was in constant touch with my BC employer, right from the time of landing in Canada at the Vancouver International Airport and even during my quarantine.

I was very impressed with the way that the Canadian government was handling the coronavirus situation. Even with the situation, the government was doing all it could to make the newcomers like me feel comfortable. That helped a lot in making me settle down. This was the first time I had travelled so far from my home country. The first time that I had taken a plane.

Life in Canada 

Finally, my quarantine was over. Now I could really see my new country. I was happy to see so many from India settled in Vancouver. They are a good community on their own and give a lot to emotional support to anyone that comes from India to Canada.

Changing to a new country can be quite an experience. Many settle soon. Some take a long time. To cut a long story short, within 2 months of entering Canada, I could say with confidence that I had indeed arrived.

I was working for my new employer and happy with the work experience and exposure.

My life in British Columbia

For people like me with a tech background, British Columbia can be quite a good place to settle down. The province is also known for its innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Also, as British Columbia is among the Canadian provinces that share their border with the US, it is also a good place to settle in if you want to explore work overseas in the US.

Generally, with certain exceptions, Canadians can work anywhere in the US.

Follow me?

Now that I have detailed my journey from India to Canada as a skilled ‘tech worker’, I would be happy to have anyone follow me here. Trust me, it will sure be worth it. Also, the COVID-19 situation will be over in the beginning of 2021, so everything will be back to normal in just a matter of days.

I have not gone into the technical details here as I know that will bore most of you. Do contact me if you require any further details. I would be happy to help out in any way.

Regards.

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Canada PR pathways available include

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