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Advice for an American AD looking to work in Toronto


Dear Jancy,
I am a Sr. Art Director living in the US, but thinking about a move to Toronto. I have a few questions pertaining to the possible move and wanted to know if you could help.
The first question revolves around a U.S. Citizen working in Canada. What is the process when it comes to applying for a work visa, and does that sometimes throw a wrench in the process?
My second question has to do with salary. If I’m making say 95K in the states, what should I ask for in a city like Toronto? I’ve been digging for answers on the net, but have been unable to find a salary comparison chart that helps answer this question.
Any thoughts and suggestions you have on this would be awesome.
Thanks

intro Advice for an American AD looking to work in TorontoNancy came to Canada many years ago, but the laws are likely similar now (do check through the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.—don’t assume this is still accurate). You need a job offer and letter from the employer stating the salary they are offering. The title of the position would ideally fall in a category flagged as hard to fill by Canadians. You will need an immigration lawyer to assist you (sometimes the potential employer will pay for that), and will need a physical by a Canadian doctor to confirm you are in good health. You would be applying for a one year work permit. Once here and employed, when that year is up you need to reapply for another year of working with your employer stating that you are still needed and why. Or, during your first year, you can apply for landed immigrant status. When that comes through (and it can take many months), you can stay in Canada indefinitely and change jobs at will. Only leaving the country for over 6 months would cancel that status. You can apply for citizenship after getting landed immigrant status which comes with the right to vote and of course ability to come and go as you please.

As for salary, you don’t state what you do or how long you’ve been doing it. Regardless, there isn’t really a solid scale for what you’d make—different places pay more or less. You may try going through a head hunter, who will know specifics of each agency. (Nancy’s headhunter underestimated her value—her eventual employer insisted on paying 10,000 more than she asked for. So even with the headhunter, who knows.) Good luck.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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