Verónica Maldonado: "Canada has favorable immigration policies for studying and working at the same time"

Verónica Maldonado: “Canada has favorable immigration policies for studying and working at the same time”

In Peru, there are more than one and a half million young people between 15 and 29 years old who neither work nor study, according to the Lima Chamber of Commerce (CCL), and 6 out of 10 are looking for opportunities in another country. The Republic interviewed Verónica Maldonado, founder of Time to Canada, a company that advises Peruvians who want to study or work in Canada.

-Why would you choose Canada as a country to study, work and grow?
-Canada is a place with low crime rates. There is a lot of security, as well as impressive political and economic stability. On the other hand, it has favorable immigration policies for students.

-What would these favorable policies be?
-For example, the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is the possibility of continuing to work after studying. If you study for two years, you can stay for three more years working full time and thus earn points for your residency. You can study and work at the same time.

-What profiles is Canada looking for?
-These must be adapted to your personal, professional, economic and migratory vision. If you want to emigrate, there are different programs that help you emigrate, if you want to go, study and return to your country, you can do that too, as well as take a short exchange program. The profile is important to create your base. For me, it is not advisable to just look for a program on Google.

-And for Peruvians, what careers are the most attractive?
-Around 20% are looking for engineering-related programs, almost 17% are interested in business, marketing or management, nearly 13% choose health-related programs and almost 8% are leaning towards human resources or accounting.

-And what is the employability rate?
-Canada has a high employability rate for international graduates. According to Canadian government data, 94% of international graduates find employment in their field of study within six months of graduation.

-What would be the gains for Peruvians who go to study and work?
-It depends on the province. For example, in British Columbia we are talking about 16 Canadian dollars per hour. That would be the basic rate, but for example, if you do a job that involves some kind of danger, they have to pay you a bonus, just as if you do overtime they have to pay you 1.5 times the salary you have or if you do an alcohol sales program, it is considered that they have to pay you more because you have an additional certificate. So, we are no longer talking about 16 Canadian dollars per hour, but 20 or 21. It depends on many factors.

-Regarding the cost of living, how much money should Peruvians bring?
-As of March this year, the government requires that you have 20,600 Canadian dollars in your bank account just for living expenses; that is, regardless of your studies. That is the average for a year’s living, but you have to take into account that these are worth less than American ones. The positive thing is that the programs allow you to study and work at the same time and that makes it easy to recover your investment.

-And what is the average remittance that a Peruvian sends to his family?
-A new arrival’s salary can be up to 38,000 Canadian dollars. In that case, the monthly amount that could be sent would be around 1,000 Canadian dollars, which translates into 730 US dollars in remittances.