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Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
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hiphoppotamus Offline
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Post: #301
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Hey just a heads up, some of the coolest guys I've met here are Somalians. There is quite a handful of them, most of them hard working but there's bound to be some bad apples. I remember my coworker driving me and his buddies to orientation, smoking till they cough up phlegm, blasting K'NAAN in the wee hours of the morning with a mandatory stop at timmies along the way. Felt like I was in GTA.

Don't go looking for trouble and trouble won't find you.
07-10-2012 01:26 PM
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DjembaDjemba Offline
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Post: #302
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(07-10-2012 01:26 PM)hiphoppotamus Wrote:  Hey just a heads up, some of the coolest guys I've met here are Somalians. There is quite a handful of them, most of them hard working but there's bound to be some bad apples. I remember my coworker driving me and his buddies to orientation, smoking till they cough up phlegm, blasting K'NAAN in the wee hours of the morning with a mandatory stop at timmies along the way. Felt like I was in GTA.

Don't go looking for trouble and trouble won't find you.

Thanks for the heads-up. I read that Fort Mac has one of the highest Somali Populations in Canada now.

Now, hopefully the oil prices stay nice and high.
(This post was last modified: 07-10-2012 03:25 PM by DjembaDjemba.)
07-10-2012 03:19 PM
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Vacancier Permanent Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Djemba,
I thought you were already in AB...I'm getting closer to finally making the move to AB, either end of Aug or early September...I'm really looking forward to it! Anyone else in here who has made the move or is going by the fall?
07-10-2012 08:43 PM
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DjembaDjemba Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(07-10-2012 08:43 PM)Vacancier Permanent Wrote:  Djemba,
I thought you were already in AB...I'm getting closer to finally making the move to AB, either end of Aug or early September...I'm really looking forward to it! Anyone else in here who has made the move or is going by the fall?

I'm heading same time. Around mid to late Aug.

The last hiring spree for unskilled labour was in April and I missed that. Now I'm gunning for Sept.
07-11-2012 08:11 AM
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Jack Of All Trades Offline
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Post: #305
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
hey guys tell me how it's going when you guys land. I finish my degree in december so I'm heading out around jan/feb. I'm gona start cold calling and emailing employers. I'm starting to send some feeler emails to HR but it's hard to find a comprehensive list of companies and industries. I have to search individual industries for lists and not all of them provide emails, mostly phone #'s. I guess I gotta pound the pavement. The few responses I've sent were pretty good tho, I asked about hiring cycles and they told me they're always hiring and sent me to a few industry websites for info and told me don't hesitate to send a resume.
07-11-2012 12:18 PM
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pitt Offline
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Post: #306
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I have been told visa applications for Canada (2012) are closed. I didnt know visa applications close, they told me i have to wait for 2013 applications.
07-11-2012 12:33 PM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Good to see some of you guys are still planning on making the move, as I keep saying, its busy, so make up a plan, save up a few bucks and get your asses out here.

So I was in Etown for a few days over the weekend to do a trade related test at NAIT and I ended up meeting fellow forum member Kick on Whyte ave. We watched the Silva fight then ended up bar hopping after and getting on the booze pretty hard, good times for sure, I forgot how nice Edmonton can be in the summer, a lot better than Fort Mac anyway!

He's been working hard since he arrived in Alberta last April, he actually ended up with a company that I worked at for a couple of years. He sent me a message back in the fall telling me how he was planning on going out and I encouraged him to do so (as I encourage all you guys to do), I also told him about my trade (which shall remain nameless unless you PM me),and once he got to Etown, I gave him some #s to call and next thing you know he is on a shut down within a week, working lots of hours and getting the experience he needs to advance quick in the trade. Kick now has a career on the go and I can guarantee this guy will go far because he's smart, ambitious, doesn't have an obvious crack addiction and had the balls to move out to Alberta.

Now, I'd say that Kick's story is a pretty good one, I certainly didn't have his success when I first moved out here (I wrote about this before on here, my first 6 months were a nightmare and I moved back home), but then again, I didn't have the info that's on here that all of you guys have.

So, don't think that, as an inexperienced green hand with no qualifications, you'll have an awesome job when you hop off the plane in Edmonton (but if you do, great), actually I would expect to get a shitty job, or a few shitty jobs for the first 3-6 months, maybe even a year, just like me. Once you get your bearings, make contacts, find a place, get a car, etc then you can decide which line of work you want to be in; oil sands, oil rigs, natural gas, which trade, go back to school, start apprenticeship, etc.

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
07-11-2012 05:57 PM
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Ecksie Offline
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Post: #308
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
If you're an American with a some sort of science degree, look into using NAFTA to immigrate. A lot of the challenge is that many employers don't want to dump a ton of resources into getting people into the country only to have them run to their competitor a few weeks after hire. If you use NAFTA, all you need is an offer letter, your passport, and your degree to get a work permit. You present those three documents at the border and can go to work.

The tricky part is getting an offer. If you have a degree that falls under NAFTA, I would buy a post office box somewhere in Alberta and put that address on all your resumes so that employers aren't shunned away by your international status. A few of the recruiters at the company I'm currently with make frequent trips to the states to interview prospects. Apply for any job that can get you here. The reality is, once you are here and have spent 6 months establishing yourself, you'll have an opportunity to land an amazing job. The key is simply getting here.

My background is a bit different than scotians so I can't offer first hand advice regarding a trade. However, I landed a job last year and have since moved into work that complements my skillset and I'm pulling down $150k salary a year at home in Edmonton every night. If I'm put on a project outside the city, I'm flown in-out and all living expenses are paid plus I get an additional 20% above my base salary. Edmonton is fantastic this time of the year....I'm certainly glad I made the move.
07-12-2012 12:04 AM
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pitt Offline
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Post: #309
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Ecksie do you mind telling us your trade? 150k per year is good money.
07-12-2012 04:10 AM
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Ecksie Offline
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Post: #310
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I've got an engineering background and work as a project manager. I oversee all job activities including safety, scheduling, cost controls and keeping guys like scotian happy so that the real work gets done Wink.
07-13-2012 08:00 PM
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Spike Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I'm still considering this as a back up plan.

I used to be a reasonable skilled carpenter for many years but i don't think i can do a job like that in Canada since the building styles differs a lot between American styled houses (all wood) and Dutch houses (all brick)

All that wood made me think, how about jobs as a house painter?

I have some experience in that and the work is way easier and less straining on the body. When I worked construction in my twenties I already felt my bones every time I woke up and had back problems on the regular. I can't imagine it will be different now that i'm 35. it will be worse I guess.

To make a long story short: are jobs for house painters overthere?

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07-21-2012 05:53 AM
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Menace Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(07-21-2012 05:53 AM)Neil Skywalker Wrote:  I'm still considering this as a back up plan.


To make a long story short: are jobs for house painters overthere?

That is a residential construction job. You cannot make money on this when there is a) greatly reduced construction activity due to real estate market and b) a surplus of immigrant labor from Mexico and points south.

Neil is there nothing you can do in Europe? Why not try and become some kind of apprentice in Germany?
07-21-2012 09:36 PM
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Spike Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(07-21-2012 09:36 PM)Menace Wrote:  
(07-21-2012 05:53 AM)Neil Skywalker Wrote:  I'm still considering this as a back up plan.


To make a long story short: are jobs for house painters overthere?

That is a residential construction job. You cannot make money on this when there is a) greatly reduced construction activity due to real estate market and b) a surplus of immigrant labor from Mexico and points south.

Neil is there nothing you can do in Europe? Why not try and become some kind of apprentice in Germany?

Not following. What kind of apprentice ?

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07-22-2012 11:52 AM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(07-21-2012 05:53 AM)Neil Skywalker Wrote:  I'm still considering this as a back up plan.

I used to be a reasonable skilled carpenter for many years but i don't think i can do a job like that in Canada since the building styles differs a lot between American styled houses (all wood) and Dutch houses (all brick)

All that wood made me think, how about jobs as a house painter?

I have some experience in that and the work is way easier and less straining on the body. When I worked construction in my twenties I already felt my bones every time I woke up and had back problems on the regular. I can't imagine it will be different now that i'm 35. it will be worse I guess.

To make a long story short: are jobs for house painters overthere?

Yes, there's lots of residential and commercial construction going on all over Alberta, we didn't have the same housing crisis up here that they had in the States, so I'm sure you could find work as a house painter here.

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
07-22-2012 12:06 PM
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Spike Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(07-22-2012 12:06 PM)scotian Wrote:  
(07-21-2012 05:53 AM)Neil Skywalker Wrote:  I'm still considering this as a back up plan.

I used to be a reasonable skilled carpenter for many years but i don't think i can do a job like that in Canada since the building styles differs a lot between American styled houses (all wood) and Dutch houses (all brick)

All that wood made me think, how about jobs as a house painter?

I have some experience in that and the work is way easier and less straining on the body. When I worked construction in my twenties I already felt my bones every time I woke up and had back problems on the regular. I can't imagine it will be different now that i'm 35. it will be worse I guess.

To make a long story short: are jobs for house painters overthere?

Yes, there's lots of residential and commercial construction going on all over Alberta, we didn't have the same housing crisis up here that they had in the States, so I'm sure you could find work as a house painter here.

Thanks i might look in to it when other options fail.

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07-22-2012 02:40 PM
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Menace Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(07-22-2012 11:52 AM)Neil Skywalker Wrote:  Not following. What kind of apprentice ?

Well I have read that one of the strengths of the German economy is their apprenticeship system in various industries, like manufacturing. You start knowing little and over a couple years I think you become fully skilled employee with commensurate salary. Just do some research into it before you decide to move to Alberta.
07-22-2012 03:30 PM
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Spike Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(07-22-2012 03:30 PM)Menace Wrote:  
(07-22-2012 11:52 AM)Neil Skywalker Wrote:  Not following. What kind of apprentice ?

Well I have read that one of the strengths of the German economy is their apprenticeship system in various industries, like manufacturing. You start knowing little and over a couple years I think you become fully skilled employee with commensurate salary. Just do some research into it before you decide to move to Alberta.

Well, I appreciate you're trying to think with me but i'm 35. No way i can get a foot in the door with a German company. Nor would I want it personally.
The point is that i'm not looking for another career at the moment. I worked at the office before and can probably get a reasonable good job as a buyer again but it's not something i'm aiming for.

I either land me a job abroad in for example Alberta, make me a lot of cash and start traveling again or i'll try to find me a job abroad in a country i would go traveling.

Book - Around the World in 80 Girls - The Epic 3 Year Trip of a Backpacking Casanova

My new book Famles - Fables and Fairytales for Men is out now on Amazon.
(This post was last modified: 07-22-2012 04:09 PM by Spike.)
07-22-2012 03:49 PM
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ltyler01 Offline
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Post: #318
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Hello gang!

Hoping this thread is still being watched.

Looks like I'll be headed for Fort McMurray soon. Been told my welcome package from Kiewit is on its way.....pending any unforseen circumstances.

I've been watching this thread for several weeks, and I'm just able to post.

I originally was looking for information about working at the oil sands because at first, being from the US, I had serious reservations about going. Now that I've read many of the contributions by many of the members here in particular, Scotian....many of my doubts have been erased.

If there is any way I can assist those who my be interested in my story and how they can also get work opportunites in Canada, I'll be glad to answer any questions I can answer. Be advised though. I can primary answer questions from a skilled trades perspective.

Best wishes to all of you
08-01-2012 03:58 AM
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ltyler01 Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
I forgot to mention.....Like Scotian, I'm also a member of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters of the United States and Canada. But technically I'm a plumber by trade.
08-01-2012 04:11 AM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(08-01-2012 04:11 AM)ltyler01 Wrote:  I forgot to mention.....Like Scotian, I'm also a member of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters of the United States and Canada. But technically I'm a plumber by trade.

Good luck brother, glad to hear you're making the move up and this is a good time of year to come out, still nice weather, it won't last much longer!

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
08-01-2012 06:59 AM
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ltyler01 Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(08-01-2012 06:59 AM)scotian Wrote:  
(08-01-2012 04:11 AM)ltyler01 Wrote:  I forgot to mention.....Like Scotian, I'm also a member of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters of the United States and Canada. But technically I'm a plumber by trade.

Good luck brother, glad to hear you're making the move up and this is a good time of year to come out, still nice weather, it won't last much longer!

Thanks Scotian. Your info was most helpful in my decision to make the move.
08-01-2012 08:25 AM
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Kdog Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Can someone shed some light on haul truck driving such as Suncor Syncrude imperial oil etc. Theres a sweet job posting for A fly in fly out gig just need to get my first aid. What's the likeliness of getting hired with no experience?
08-01-2012 06:14 PM
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ltyler01 Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
One member asked me how I secured work at Fort McMurray.

It really was a matter of luck. I had looked into working at Fort Mc a few years ago. But I didn't do any research since I never thought seriously about working there. Anyway, I had my resume posted on both Career Builder and Monster, seeking jobs related to engineering since I have a BS in industrial technology. I had several interviews, but no offers. I have a decent job now at NASA...but I hate the politics and nonsense. On June 1st this woman from HKA staffing emails me about work in Canada. I can't recall which job board she pulled my info from. The details sounded rather interesting....."Pipefitters needed at Fort McMurray, AB Canada. 20 day 8 days of rotation. Paid flight to and from Edmonton" Housing provided....41.68...working 7/10...often 7/12."

She asked me to send her an updated copy of my resume, passport, and any certifications if I were interested. I went ahead and faxed her my docs...never seriously thinking I would hear from her again.

A few days later, she asked was I still interested via email with a Canadian/Alberta work form attached in pdf. She stated how to correctly fill all the details. I faxed her back all the paper work.

About 2 weeks latter i get an email with FedEx attachments. one was for a urine test, the other was for me to resend all original docs with my signature. they had a local medical testing center set up to do the urinalysis.

While all this is going on....I'm having serious reservations about going to Canada....its the last place I wanted to go. I was hoping the some of my other job prospects would come through. I start looking youtube and other sites, trying to find out how it would be.

I found some good stuff on youtube including some about camp life. And eased my mind about the move. I kept reseaching. I studied the company I'll be working for....Kiewit. Every new detail about Fort McMurray made me feel better and better. But I still was not 100% sold.

Then I found this thread. It was just what I needed to convience myself this is the right move. Scotian's information especially sold me.

I get another email from my recruiter asking me to go get fingerprinted. This was done at the nearest UPS.

two weeks latter i get an email stating my acceptance letter and welcome package are on the way.

Not sure when I'll be deployed, but I guess it would be soon.

for those interested in coming here the best thing you can do is to present yourself well in your resume and yourself as marketable as possible. Go to the Government descriptions of jobs you can do and skills you have and put them in your resume. HR and recruiters key into words and language in ressumes.

Use recruiters that specialize in this industry like HKA. Go to roadtechs.com and look under petrolium and oil jobs. There they have a list of recruiters and players in the oil industry. Post your resume on as many of these as you can. Post your resume on every job board you can. I get several offers for interview every week and turn down almost all except those I'm interested in.

Stay on on it daily. post for jobs daily. be relentless.
08-01-2012 08:56 PM
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Janec Offline
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Post: #324
RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
Hey guys. I'm new to the forum i just found it by accident while researching working in Oil Sands topic, but i was hardly finding any valuable info on web until now.I'm Polish, i'm turning 29 in December at the moment i work for land survey company in Poland but i have no formal qualification in this matter, i was trained on the job(i got bachelor's degree in English Studies i graduated couple years ago and i have next to non contact with living language so forgive my mistakes).I'm pretty determined to move to Alberta and look for a Job stay for couple years earn some cash and start some business back home.While i was reading this thread (which by the way is very informative and BIG thanks to Scotian for his work put in it)i came up with the plan which probably is similar to other guys plans :

Get Working Holiday Visa since i'm Polish it shouldn't be a problem,Land in Edmonton, do some safety courses which were listed in previous posts (whatever is required for the job).Network like crazy and look for the job.I'm aiming for Labourer job for a start(i enjoy manual work and i always wanted to be a blue collar guy but as someone said brain washing to get a higher eduacation works in Poland as well as anywhereSmile.

I still have to save some money, get Visa and translate some documents ,make new passport and so on to make a move so i won't be able to fly to Canada until march 2013.Is it a good time of the year early spring to look for a Labouring job or it will be better to wait till fall or sth?

And the second question is How it works, a Guy from Poland arrives in Edmonton he eventually lands a job as a Labourer for CEDA ( too good to be true i guess) and than is there any chance for him to get trained to become for example a welder ( i know that depends on many factors ).I'm curious are they giving you a chance when they see that you're not a complete fuck and you're eager to work, got some skills that you could develop(again i'm aware that some pre-employment training would be required).

I'm asking this because i read that apprenticeship is only available for Canadian Citizens or permanent residents.And i don't know if temporary workers visa will be given to a manual Laborer (i doubt that)So i have only one year to "get in" and be recognized as valuable Worker for some company to offer me training and want me to stay and work for them.Scotian maybe you know someone who been down that road and knows how it is.

Sorry if what i wrote is a bit chaotic.
And again thanks to Scotian for starting this thread.
(This post was last modified: 08-06-2012 05:23 AM by Janec.)
08-06-2012 05:01 AM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Working in the Canadian oil sands: 6 figures in 6 months!
(08-06-2012 05:01 AM)Janec Wrote:  Hey guys. I'm new to the forum i just found it by accident while researching working in Oil Sands topic, but i was hardly finding any valuable info on web until now.I'm Polish, i'm turning 29 in December at the moment i work for land survey company in Poland but i have no formal qualification in this matter, i was trained on the job(i got bachelor's degree in English Studies i graduated couple years ago and i have next to non contact with living language so forgive my mistakes).I'm pretty determined to move to Alberta and look for a Job stay for couple years earn some cash and start some business back home.While i was reading this thread (which by the way is very informative and BIG thanks to Scotian for his work put in it)i came up with the plan which probably is similar to other guys plans :

Get Working Holiday Visa since i'm Polish it shouldn't be a problem,Land in Edmonton, do some safety courses which were listed in previous posts (whatever is required for the job).Network like crazy and look for the job.I'm aiming for Labourer job for a start(i enjoy manual work and i always wanted to be a blue collar guy but as someone said brain washing to get a higher eduacation works in Poland as well as anywhereSmile.

I still have to save some money, get Visa and translate some documents ,make new passport and so on to make a move so i won't be able to fly to Canada until march 2013.Is it a good time of the year early spring to look for a Labouring job or it will be better to wait till fall or sth?

And the second question is How it works, a Guy from Poland arrives in Edmonton he eventually lands a job as a Labourer for CEDA ( too good to be true i guess) and than is there any chance for him to get trained to become for example a welder ( i know that depends on many factors ).I'm curious are they giving you a chance when they see that you're not a complete fuck and you're eager to work, got some skills that you could develop(again i'm aware that some pre-employment training would be required).

I'm asking this because i read that apprenticeship is only available for Canadian Citizens or permanent residents.And i don't know if temporary workers visa will be given to a manual Laborer (i doubt that)So i have only one year to "get in" and be recognized as valuable Worker for some company to offer me training and want me to stay and work for them.Scotian maybe you know someone who been down that road and knows how it is.

Sorry if what i wrote is a bit chaotic.
And again thanks to Scotian for starting this thread.

Make sure that you apply for the visa as early in January 2013 as possible, there may be a limited number of them available for Polish citizens, I met a Croatian guy who told me when he applied, he was informed that only 200 were available his his country each year.

Getting a labourer job shouldn't be too hard, but since you have some surveying experience, you should consider doing that in Alberta, unless you're looking to get into something else. Here's the names of some companies that hire surveyors: http://www.pacercorp.com/ , http://www.giustigroup.com/ , https://www.canam.com/.

You'll have to look into it, but I think those temporary visas for European citizens are for anyone, skilled or unskilled, a lot of people come here on those visas to work in the tourism industry. The skilled workers would fall into another category, such as the Provincial Nomiee Program: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/p.../index.asp

March is probably one of the best times to move to Alberta and look for work, as the busy shut down season begins in April. Your plans sounds good to me, keep us posted on your progress.

Good luck!

Don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things.
08-06-2012 09:02 PM
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