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Canadian doing M.Arch in US (Career advice)

ArchKid

Hi all,

I'm currently doing an online M.Arch degree at a US school. And I have been living and working in Toronto, Canada. I am currently in the process of applying my hours for NCARB while I study and work.

I would want to move out of Canada after I finish my studies. Though I have some cities in mind that I want to move to, I just want hear about other Canadian architects that moved out of Canada. Where they went and what the process is. 

California and New York are 2 states that I have my eye on, but I would be open to Europe as well. My other question would be, how do I find firms that sponsor 

 
Oct 21, 20 10:41 pm
OneLostArchitect

You will be hard pressed to find a firm that will sponsor you in the States. But I hear the visa process for a Canadian is pretty painless. I did the opposite... American who moved to BFE cornfields of SW Ontario. No firm would sponsor me, but they would love to offer me a position once I have some sort of status (Visa / PR) in Canada. A lot of firms wont bother with you unless you are employable to them with minimal effort. I think you are doing the right thing going through NCARB as it keeps your licensing options open. You can always transfer you license back to Ontario in the future if needed. Personal question for you... why do you have the desire to leave Toronto? I can understand if its cost of living, etc...  but the prospect cities you have mentioned are equivalent to Toronto. If you want my honest opinion... with the current affairs in the States and the results of this upcoming election you are better off moving back to Canada. 

Oct 21, 20 11:24 pm  · 
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apscoradiales

Cost of living in the GTA, and traffic congestion are one good reason to leave the place. In terms of work, most Ontario architects and the construction industry largely depend on government spending. Construction or development sector goes through cycles every 6-7 years; nothing happening for a while because private sector doesn't want to spend money, and then it takes the government to stimulate it by building hospitals and other major government projects

 · 
Almosthip

I moved west, takes me 6 minutes to get to work and my pay is higher here.

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OneLostArchitect

apscoradiales I am very familiar with Toronto... and LA/NYC... they aren't any better than TO. There are many other cities that pay as much if not better than those cities and the quality of life is much much higher. LA / NYC is this romantic ideal of a fresh architect out of school... but the novelty wears off real fast

 · 
ArchKid

Honestly, I wouldnt mind staying in Toronto at all. I was born and raised here. I love living here. But at the same time, I would love to try living in a new city like NY and LA. Even if its just for couple years. A change of scenery wouldn't be bad at all. Other factors are, Canadian dollar sucks. Believe it or not, Salary/Cost of living ratio compared to NY/LA is much worst in Toronto. We pay more to live here, and lower salary. I have friends that work in the states that get paid double the salary. It sucks.

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apscoradiales

If you can, get a EU country citizenship. That will open up a whole bunch of possibilities for you if want to work, live or more around there.

Oct 22, 20 9:56 am  · 
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ArchKid

Do you know how EU visa works? I would love to live in a country like Germany or Denmark

 · 
Non Sequitur

why would you want to move to the US?



Oct 22, 20 10:50 am  · 
3  · 
apscoradiales

better opportunities in some places in the states, better weather, cheaper cost of living are some of the reasons to move to usa.

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Non Sequitur

but then you have to deal with inane healthcare, inane firearms jive, inane politics, inane christian conservatives, etc... But then again, they didn't cancel their football season, so there are some positives.

4  · 
square.

don't do it. MAYBE worth considering in january. but probably not.

2  · 
ArchKid

Im thinking like 2022. Not right now

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apscoradiales

Non Sequitur,

i addressed the healthcare issue, plus much, much more, but my post got edited and most of it was deleted by moderators. has happened before. i guess, i'm not allowed to say more than two sentences.

Oct 22, 20 11:55 am  · 
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apscoradiales

Non Sequitur,

if you are a woman, you can get a mammogram done same day. in ontario, you have to wait a min. of three months!

health care? what healthcare?

many usa architectural firms' emplyoyees have heatlh insurance.

Oct 22, 20 11:59 am  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

US healthcare is still shit. Your POV is not respective of reality. Medicine for profit will never be a solution.

1  · 
apscoradiales

LOL, and healthcare is not for profit in Ontario or across canada?! Tell that to the hospital admistrators.

 · 
apscoradiales

Non Sequitur,

guns can be good - you can use it to protect your life, your families', your property...

Oct 22, 20 12:00 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

nope, wrong again. gun ownership is a religion in the us and it's wrong in every conceivable way. try again grand-pa.

 · 
apscoradiales

Non Sequitur,

usa developers don't wait for governments to stimulate the economy - with the exception of condos in toronto, everyone here sits on their assess waiting for either the feds or the province to start investing money in new projects such as hospitals. that's why we go through feast or famine every few years.

Oct 22, 20 12:03 pm  · 
 · 
Bench

This subject has been hashed out many times on the board, so just a few comments/thoughts specific to your situation (coming from a current Canadian ex-pat who's lived/worked/studied in multiple EU countries, the US, and Canada).

  • Getting a sponsorship right now is incredibly difficult. In normal times it's already quite hard, but with the current economic climate, I'm not sure its a viable method or worth any sunk cost.
  • As stated above, I'm not entirely sure its a good idea to go to the US for the foreseeable future given the current healthcare & political climate.
  • Economic considerations aside, the EU is likely a much more viable option, due to the fact that most countries have a "working holiday" scheme set up with Canada. Look into this, it allows you to obtain a temporary working permit on your own accord, without any sponsorship required from a company (so they don't have to deal with those logistics, making you more appealing as an applicant). Generally, this can lead to sponsorship for a further visa.
  • You should absolutely keep both an NCARB and OAA licensing record in good standing, if you can. Get the hours in whenever possible. Both offer the ability to record hours while abroad, so long as your work is overseen by a locally licensed architect. It may not seem necessary right now, but you will be very happy you did it down the line.
  • You actually should consider factoring healthcare into your choice. My company has an excellent plan. If i did not work for my current company, I do not think I would continue to work in the US. Most firms do not have a comparable plan, from the stories i've been told by friends.
Oct 22, 20 12:05 pm  · 
2  · 
ArchKid

Thanks, question though. I heard EU doesnt accept any licenses other than their own. Is that true? Do they not accept OAA or NCARB? Yeah I was thinking about doing both NCARB AND OAA after talking to OAA today. They said that I need to live in my jurisdiction city for a year in order to transfer my license from NCARB to OAA. Which sucks. I have to get a visa, work in the states for a year, then try to apply for OAA. Thats a lot of IFs

 · 
Non Sequitur

It’s a little more complicated than that... and it’s not that others don’t “accept” other licenses, it’s that reciprocity is not automatic.

 · 
Bench

Its hard to see the future via crystal ball, no matter what situation you're in. But the one consistently beneficial thing you can do is keep pursuing the licensure, no matter what situation you are in. Once you've hit key milestones, you can start to pursue reciprocity. In a perfect world, I would have received my license about 3 years ago. But I decided to pursue exotic jobs in foreign locals. Because I stayed on top of my licensing, I should be getting licensed in two separate countries next year.

 · 
apscoradiales

Non Sequitur,

canada is a dying country - not same place as it was 40-50 years ago.

quebec is a royal pita - they get money from ottawa every once in a while to keep them happy. once that money is spent, they cry for some more. alta is fooked because their economy is too dependent on oil.

bc is totally dependent on china. atlantic canada couldn't survive without ontario and alta (at least until recently).

place is fooked!

Oct 22, 20 12:06 pm  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

we've previously agreed on quebec.

 · 
Almosthip

And you actually think it's better in the USA? I feel you are Delusional.

1  · 
Bench

Oh this isn't actually a post about moving around, just a place to vent. Gotcha.

Oct 22, 20 12:09 pm  · 
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apscoradiales

venting is good for your mental health. we need to do it more often. canadians don't do it often enough.

 · 
apscoradiales

Non Sequitur,

re healthcare,

i currently live in montreal. been waiting to be assigned a family doctor for over two years. can't even waltz in to any gp and ask them if they would take me on as a client.

FOOK that healthcare!

While I lived in EU, I got a family doctor within A DAY!, and got automatic health coverage in all of EU membership countries including prescriptions. I move from ontario to quebec - no coverage for three months!!! WTF!

Oct 22, 20 12:15 pm  · 
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Bench

You didn't like not having coverage for 3 months (highly suspect on its own btw), lookout if you ever get moved to the US... hooooo boy

2  · 
Non Sequitur

Seems Quebec is a contributing factor in your story.

 · 
Almosthip

Well Quebec does suck......

3  · 
ArchKid

Honestly, sometimes I rather pay to have a faster appointment. Yes healthcare is free, but is it worth waiting 6 months for a MRI appointment when I'm in pain? No, I rather pay. But I understand both side of the story though. Free Health care is a blessing

 · 
bowling_ball

Fake news. If you're in pain, you'll get timely treatment. It's not a perfect system, but neither is the American one - there's no such thing as a "pre-existing condition" when getting care in Canada, and you'll never be turned away because insurance doesn't cover it.

1  · 
apscoradiales

Bench,

If I move to a different country, yeah three months is not unusual, but SAME FRIGGIN' COUNTRY? Give me a break!

This place is so disfunctional that each and every province, particularly quebec, thinks it's own separate country. That's why the place sucks, and yes, I would move too if I were in the original posters place. No future here.

Oct 22, 20 2:12 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

You know that during that three month period, you're still covered by your provide

 · 
bowling_ball

Ugh. Stupid archinect. Anyway, during the first three months in your new province, you're still covered by your old province. But you've got an agenda here so don't let facts get in the way.

 · 
Bench

I lived in 4 provinces/territories and never had an issue, including a high priority surgery 6 weeks after relocating to one. No idea what this guys on about. I would gladly take Canadian healthcare any day (even though I am fully covered here).

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apscoradiales

How about a situation where an American is covered in Canada, and a Canadian is covered in USA? They have that in EU.

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Non Sequitur

I’d love to see the US reaction at the suggestion they would cover a foreigners health bill.

 · 
Bench

Ya that’s not a thing

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apscoradiales

bowling_ball,

yes, one is covered by your home province for those three months, but what happens, lets say you lived in Ontario, then you moved to Mary's Harbour QC, which is about 18 hours driving distance from Cornwall, and you get appendicitis?

Have surgery in Quebec, pay up front several thousands of dollars, then file a claim in Ontario when you get better?

Or you need to get a refill of your Ontario prescription in Kelowna, BC?

Yeah, pay, then wait months, and months for a refund - STUPID!

And the refunds are not always for 100%; there are limits to how much OHIP will cover - ask me how I know that!

Compare that to EU; I have medical insurance in one EU country, and break a leg in another. I get fixed right away, and the health departments exchange information, and billing between different countries without me worrying or paying one cent.

In Canada, I get a prescription in Toronto, but I cannot pick it in Oakville or Oshawa or Cornwall - I have to pick it up in Toronto! 

In EU, I get a prescription in one city; I can pick it up in any other city in that country.

How 'bout that?!

I buy a bottle of wine in Quebec, then drive to Ontario, I am required to pay Ontario tax on that bottle! Not many people know that, but that is the fookin; law! I buy a crate of wine in France, then drive to Germany - no problem!

That's why I'm saying, amongst other reasons, that Canada sucks majorly. 

Oct 23, 20 4:13 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

We've not had any of those issues with health services and we have many due to our son's birth and development. I've even had an ontario script sent to a Qc pharmacy for pick-up. Still much better here than down south. At least no-one is going balls deep in debt for a broken arm. I do agree with the inter-provincial liquor laws tho... that shit's backwards and I've broken it countless times by driving 8mins into quebec to bring back hundreds of loonies' worth of beer.

 · 
apscoradiales

Wife's prescription was faxed from Ontario to Quebec.

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bowling_ball

Ah yes. Your example aps, which applies to 0.0001% of the population, means that the entire thing should be thrown out. *eyeroll*

 · 
apscoradiales

Many of you guys haven't a clue how the rest of the World operates.

Probably because many of you don't travel much. If you did, you would find that Canada is not all that people think it is!

I'm not sure if it's still true; years ago if you were licensed in Ontario by the OAA, you could not do a project in BC unless you were licensed there as well. This meant that you had to do exams in BC to get a godamn stamp. I don't know if that is still true - hope not, but it would not surprise me if it is.

And this is one fookin' country!!! Compare that to EU!

Oct 23, 20 4:22 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

BC was the last to adopt the ExAC so there is still some weirdness... but reciprocity between provinces is possible since it's one set of exams for everyone in canada... well, except for quebec of-course, because it's quebec. I think their exams are only in french or you need to show them that you can speak french well enough. With that said, some provinces have supplemental tests for non-local archs.

 · 
bowling_ball

And the US is largely similar. These are huge countries with wildly different design requirements from coast to coast. In any case, reciprocity is simply a matter of paperwork.

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ArchKid

Thats another question I have, is reciprocity between provinces possible? I heard Canada has 11 architectural boards with 11 different exams?

 ·  1
Non Sequitur

who ever told you that is a fucking idiot.

All provinces have the same exams: The ExACs.

It's a group of 4 tests you take over 2 days (no option, first time applicants must take all 4).  These tests are also only offered once per year.  Miss the cut or fail one of them, too bad, wait 12 months.

There is reciprocity between all provinces but some require additional testing, mostly code related (BC and ALB do this I think) and quebec will require proof of french proficiency.  All will likely need insurance and certificates of practice too.

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Bench

To the contrary the nuggets of info you’ve provided all indicate your small worldview with a ‘grass is greener’ outlook.

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apscoradiales

Do BC and Alta use NBC? Or does Vancouver still have it's own building code? I think they did some time ago.

Oct 24, 20 9:45 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

I think both have their own codes, pretty sure Vancouver has its own variant. All are based on the NBC tho.

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Almosthip7

Bc has their own code 2018. Alberta just released The National Building code - Alberta Edition 2019

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