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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all :)

We're a family of four currently thinking about starting the process of relocating to Canada. My husband is now facing his second year of unemployment in Ireland, whereas I have a fulltime job, we just can't make ends meet anylonger. We have done some research and it looks as if applying for a working visa will be the way to go for us, if one of us manages to get a job-offer from a Canadian company.

We have our hearts set on the Okanagan Valley, as this offers everything we ever wanted in life as well as reminding us of Norway, where I am originally from.

I was hoping to meet other families that have already re-located or are in the procedure of doing so to get advise and share experiences...... We have so many questions from saleries to cost of living, elementary schools, catholic schools etc....

Any reply and advise is highly appreciated and I am really really looking forward to hearing from anyone with any experience regards relocating to Canada from Ireland at all.

Cheers :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Labourer, construction worker

What do you and your husband do?[/quote]


Hiya :) Delighted for an answer :)
My husband comes from a farming background and is used to heavy machinery, power-tools and any work relating to farming. He also has 12 years experience selling, quoting, buying, delivering and managing a hardware supplier delivering to the construction industry. He's experienced in carpentry, block-laying, project-scoping, slabbing, forklift driving, mini-diggers and excavators. But he's a Jack of all-trades and can turn himself to anything. Hard-working with great people-skills, honest and very dedicated......If he got a job out there I would easily find one - he would just love to get back to providing for his family again...
 

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The news for you is not great. Immigration to Canada is, for the most part, employment driven. Given your husband's prior employment he would need to find pre-arranged employment before applying for immigration. That has proven to be a difficult thing to do. Now, Alberta is apparently desperate for construction workers so he may want to look there but it is not the Okanagan Valley.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My experience

What do you and your husband do?
Hi again,
I forgot to tell you what I do...
I'm currently working as a customer support engineer in a large IT/telecommunication company, troubleshooting and fixing complex computer systems. However, I have highly advanced background in customer service/care, customer satisfaction, customer relations, team-lead, project management. I have also set up, developed and sold my own business. Like my husband though I can turn myself to anything, I love working with people, I'm also experienced in training in new employees, class-room and desk-trainig, highly computer literate and multilingual too....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alberta and bad news

The news for you is not great. Immigration to Canada is, for the most part, employment driven. Given your husband's prior employment he would need to find pre-arranged employment before applying for immigration. That has proven to be a difficult thing to do. Now, Alberta is apparently desperate for construction workers so he may want to look there but it is not the Okanagan Valley.
Hiya, thanks for replying. We're aware of the challanges ahead, and we are currently trying to get one of us a sponsor in Canada - I have an interview coming up, so maybe it'll be easier for me to get pre-arranged employment that it will be for my husband.... Looking at Alberta....I really don't know, I would have to do my research on that...
We do have friends and neighbours that got pre-arranged employment, but they're in Ontario and have no children so they're happy living in the big cities... Thanks again for the advise - I choose not to give up though :)
 

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I have to agree with Auld Yin. It's going to be an uphill battle. Certainly neither you or your husbands recent work experience is in line with the majority of work that drives the economy in the Okanagan. The largest city there is Kelowna (we own a condo just outside of in Big White), and the primary economy there is the service industry (followed by construction and logging). There's lots of construction work as there are lots of people coming to the area, that said, there are also lots of people (citizens and PRs) available to do the unskilled and semi-skilled labour, I think there is still a need for specialist trades. I suppose you could adapt your skills in customer service/relations, but, it would probably be a step backwards for you career wise. The overall problem will be finding a company who would be willing to apply for AND be granted an LMO to employ either of you in an available position (that is there is NO available Canadian citizen or resident who applies). With the baby-boomers all starting to retire, and the climate, scenery and vineyards, the Okanagan (and Kelowna in general) has become a very popular area for retirees and is one of the least affordable housing markets in Canada at the moment, rated severely unaffordable. Another concern, and I know this from a sister who worked out there -- on and off -- for a few years, is job security. On a work permit, you can only stay in the country as long as the person with the permit is employed in the arranged employment. As my sister will tell you, business comes in waves, as do hirings and letting people go. I would be concerned about moving a family with children with such risks. My advice, would be to target a more stable job market with more applicable work to your experience in (or around) either Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton (if you want to be out west) to get a work permit, do your 2 years, then apply for Permanent Residence (PR) and you can start taking a look at the Okanagan. That's my HO.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Calgary, Edmonton

I have to agree with Auld Yin. It's going to be an uphill battle. Certainly neither you or your husbands recent work experience is in line with the majority of work that drives the economy in the Okanagan. The largest city there is Kelowna (we own a condo just outside of in Big White), and the primary economy there is the service industry (followed by construction and logging). There's lots of construction work as there are lots of people coming to the area, that said, there are also lots of people (citizens and PRs) available to do the unskilled and semi-skilled labour, I think there is still a need for specialist trades. I suppose you could adapt your skills in customer service/relations, but, it would probably be a step backwards for you career wise. The overall problem will be finding a company who would be willing to apply for AND be granted an LMO to employ either of you in an available position (that is there is NO available Canadian citizen or resident who applies). With the baby-boomers all starting to retire, and the climate, scenery and vineyards, the Okanagan (and Kelowna in general) has become a very popular area for retirees and is one of the least affordable housing markets in Canada at the moment, rated severely unaffordable. Another concern, and I know this from a sister who worked out there -- on and off -- for a few years, is job security. On a work permit, you can only stay in the country as long as the person with the permit is employed in the arranged employment. As my sister will tell you, business comes in waves, as do hirings and letting people go. I would be concerned about moving a family with children with such risks. My advice, would be to target a more stable job market with more applicable work to your experience in (or around) either Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton (if you want to be out west) to get a work permit, do your 2 years, then apply for Permanent Residence (PR) and you can start taking a look at the Okanagan. That's my HO.
Thanks again for taking the time to reply to me in relation to this. I have had a look at the housing-market out there and it does seem rather steep. Rightio, so here I go again, starting my research on Calgary and Edmonton. We haven't been thinking much about the east-coast at all, and wouldn't know much about that part of the country, however you're right in saying it would be taking a risk with an unstable job-market....unless we my miracle landed us a two-year contract...
 
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