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CUAET guides pt.2: How to validate your work permit in Canada; costs of living estimates; non-regulated jobs

This blog contains the unedited posts of Ukrainians who successfully moved to Victoria, BC, and/or their hosts. Content posted with permission. For privacy we are keeping them anonymous. The opinions expressed in the blog are those of the author and are neither supported nor endorsed by the moderators of this website.

My experience: how to get and validate the #workpermit for #CUAET (#AVUCU) on day two after arrival. And what jobs you can apply for straight away if you speak functional English/French, plus some estimates on wages and costs of living
1. Prerequisite: you should have applied for a work permit when applying for the CUAET programme and filled in your education details, work experience, and other relevant data in the initial web form. You must validate the work permit within 90 days after arrival or it’ll probably expire.
2. When you arrive in your first Canadian airport, ask the immigration officer to print out the official work permit sheet for you. It’s a colorful doc with snowflake watermarks and other artistic decorations. Make sure to scan this paper and keep it in a safe place for years to come. Now you need to pass the medical examination to validate it.
3. Get a local simcard at a Telus office in your city. You’ll really need a local phone number later on. I’ve no idea reg. Bell or Rogers or others, but Telus provides goodies for CUAET: many free minutes of calls/sms to Ukraine. You may get a prepaid tariff for 20 or 30 or 45 CAD/month.
4. Sign up for an appointment at an accredited clinic in your city – by email or by phone. Their complete list on IRCC website: https://secure.cic.gc.ca/pp-md/pp-list.aspx they don’t work on weekends and most slots might be booked, but I was lucky
5. Come to the appointment, bring your ID (Ukraine foreign passport) and the work permit paper you got at step 2, also references and/or test results for your chronic medical states/conditions, if you got serious ones. Then you’ll sign a consent form for data handling. You’ll need to pay for the examination with a credit Visa or Mastercard card or a debit card, major Ukrainian banks’ credit cards work no problem in Canada. There is a 50% discount for CUAET ppl at some clinics, so you need to pay 100 CAD instead of 200, for example. This fee and other associated fees are not covered by any foundations or health insurance, etc. The full price may vary b/w 150 CAD and 450 CAD in different locations across Canada.
At the examination, the doctor will measure your weight, height, blood pressure, listen how your lungs work, ask you about your chronic diseases or conditions, if you have any.
6. Next, the physician will give you two referrals: lungs x-ray and blood tests for HIV and syphilis. For CUAET, we do NOT have to submit blood creatinine, unlike other categories of visitors.
7. Call the phone on the lungs x-ray paper and make an appointment. I was lucky, there was a slot 1 hour after my visit to the physician in a location nearby. Also, call the nearest LifeLabs to make an appointment for HIV/syphilis blood tests. There might also be other accredited test labs networks, no idea. Make sure to bring your ID (Ukrainian passport) and the work permit from Step 2 AND the referral papers from the physician to both appointments, or you won’t be able to take these tests.
Lungs x-raying costs 90 CAD, again you can pay with a Visa or Mastercard card from your Ukrainian bank and this fee is not covered by anything. The procedure takes around 2 minutes.
The HIV/Syphilis blood test takes 5 minutes if there is no big queue at the clinic and it costs 70 CAD.
All test results will be automatically delivered to the physician, the physician will send the conclusion to IRCC, you’ll get your work permit validation confirmation by email.
8. Simultaneously with steps 3-4, apply online for Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN), it’s similar to ІПН (ИНН) in Ukraine and get it https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/sin/apply.html You don’t need to wait till you receive it to start working. You may also apply for SIN at a Canada Service point in your city, but the lines are big there, make sure to come early, around 8am.

As soon as you get the permit and your SIN application is in progress and if you are fit for physical jobs you may approach almost any construction site in the city, they’re always hiring unskilled workers for 28 CAD/hour in BC, for example. That is 8 times more than an average salary in Ukraine before the war, but the essential costs of living in Canada are around 6-7 times greater than in Kyiv, for example.
Many other jobs: medical, babysitting, teaching, electrical, plumbing, driving, mechanical, etc. require local certification (exams) and special courses/training, but there also might be exemptions for CUAET ppl! Occupations which positively require no certification and training in Canada (non-regulated): https://www.cicic.ca/928/find_out_if_your_occupation_is_regulated_or_not.canada

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