Working in Montréal: programs to help international students

One foot in the classroom and the other at work: you’ve just finished your studies and you’re already thinking about your career. To help you make a successful entry into Greater Montréal’s vast job market, Québec and Canada offer a number of professional development programs for recent graduates.

Mitacs: research and training in Canada

Mitacs, a non-profit organization, has been conducting research and training programs in Canada for 20 years. Through concerted collaboration with 70 universities and more than 6,000 companies, this government-supported organization creates partnerships that foster industrial and social innovation.

Covering all disciplines, whether it be aerospace, philosophy or forestry, Mitacs helps university graduates create lasting professional ties. Mitacs figures:

  • more than 20,000 research projects backed
  • more than 33,000 students trained
  • more than 3,600 international research collaborations supported

Mitacs programs

Would you prefer a scholarship, an internship, or both? Among the many programs offered by Mitacs, here are those intended for international students.

Elevation: postdoctoral fellowship

A little higher, a little further: awarded through a competitive process, the Elevation Award helps you advance your career thanks to a significant financial contribution in the form of a stipend or a minimum annual salary of $55,000. The program, which lasts a maximum of two years, includes a research management project and a postdoctoral fellowship affiliated with a partner organization.

Acceleration: research internship

Are you keen on research and looking to continue your work as a professional? In partnership with an organization that shares your interest in your field of expertise, the Acceleration program offers you a paid internship to carry out your research project. Under the supervision of a faculty member, you work within an organization – irrespective of the sector – to help it meet new challenges. Lasting for a year and a half, this experience entitles you to a minimum stipend of $30,000 over the course of your master’s degree.

Do you have an entrepreneurial flair? Reserved for student-entrepreneurs, the Entrepreneurial Acceleration Program offers you financial support to start your business. Like a launch pad, this funding helps you to market your product, service or technology, making it easier for you to access the market.

PRIIME: work experience in Québec

For international students who recently graduated in Montréal, breaking through the job market’s thick ice can be a long and difficult process. To secure your first job in North America within your chosen field, turn to the Employment Integration Program for Immigrants and Visible Minorities (PRIIME).

PRIIME provides you with the support you need to find work in your chosen field of expertise in Québec. Thanks to this initiative, the organization that hires you receives financial assistance to cover your salary and a subsidy to pay for the support services, training and integration activities offered to you.

Eligibility requirements and registration procedures

PRIIME is aimed at immigrants and visible minorities. Persons who fall within the first of these two categories must have been granted permanent residence less than five years ago. Persons who have been granted asylum, foreign nationals authorized to apply for residence and certain holders of temporary residence permits are also eligible.

International students with post-graduation open work permits along with their spouses or common-law partners with open work permits also have access.

Unemployed or underemployed, the applicant must have no Canadian or U.S. work experience in their chosen trade or field.

How to apply

The CLE, or Local Employment Centre,  opens doors when it comes to finding work! Supported by the Government of Québec, the CLE provides assistance and resources to people seeking work and to employers looking for labour.

Since there are more than 150 such centres in Québec, start by finding the CLE closest to you. You will then be able to meet with an officer who will assess your situation and your needs to find the most suitable program or support, whether it be the PRIIME or some other form of assistance.

Program: Accueillez un stagiaire (Welcome an intern)

For those with a firm grasp of reality, this is a great opportunity to bridge the gap between theory and practice! The Welcome an intern program allows you to obtain an internship in your chosen field by acting as a link between your educational institution and companies looking for labour. By simplifying your integration into the labour market, this resource allows you to combine work and studies at the end of the program.

Welcome, what exactly does that mean?

Affiliated with this program, the company that welcomes you is committed to giving you a clear mandate by providing you with the necessary equipment in a suitable work environment. It takes you on as a full member of the team, supports you, accompanies you and coaches you constructively.

For your part, you help the company advance with its cases or projects, put your knowledge to good use while absorbing that of the experienced professionals who surround you, and begin a smooth transition to the job market. A win-win partnership!

Who is this program for?

Whether you are just about to obtain your DVS, DCS, bachelor’s degree or doctorate, a host of internships are offered throughout the year in disciplines as varied as cooking, secretarial work, biochemistry or teaching.

The program compiles an extensive variety of companies ready to welcome you. Check with your educational institution to find out which ones are willing to take you on!

Different programs to help you work in Montréal

Keep your eyes open: there are plenty of resources at hand to help you start the last sprint of your student journey and complete the process with flying colours. If an assistance program has piqued your interest, check the deadlines carefully so that you can apply on time.

Once you begin to see the light at the end of your educational tunnel and feel ready to work in our beautiful metropolis, you can look at the many job offers in Greater Montréal! And if you prefer a little human contact, visit one of our recruitment events reserved exclusively for international students.

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