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Hello everyone! I am about to graduate from my speech master's program, which means I'll be applying for a CF soon.

Does anyone have insight on whether it is realistic for an SLP student from the US to get a job and become licensed in Canada? What if I wanted to work in Canada for a few years, and then move back to the US? How difficult would this be?

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Hi! Dual Canadian-American here, have done the immigration process for both countries (spouse to Canada, me to U.S.).

You will need a visa to work and live in Canada. Unless you have an immediate family member living legally in Canada, your best option would be to see if you qualify for this program: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry.html

Note that medical fields (including SLP) are regulated provincially in Canada; so, in addition to getting a federal immigration visa, you will need to register with the regulatory body in whichever province you end up in.

In most provinces, you will be OK with just English. In Quebec, New Brunswick, and parts of Ontario (Ottawa Valley), most competitive job applicants are able to communicate in both French and English. Other foreign language skills are also beneficial throughout different areas of the country.

From the Canadian side of things:
Most countries, including Canada, only issue permanent residency to immigrants looking to settle permanently. So, if you apply for immigration stating that you are just looking to work there for a few years, you are likely to be denied. That said, you will not be penalized for relinquishing your permanent residency at any time after it is issued. But do be aware that moving back to the U.S. would result in you losing your status in Canada. If you spend enough time in Canada before moving back (five years, I think), you can apply for citizenship which would allow you to move back to the U.S. without losing your Canadian status. In lieu of permanent residency, an employer could sponsor you for a temporary work visa. But that is very costly for the employer and therefore very difficult to obtain.

From the American side of things:
If you are an American citizen, you will always have the right to return to America. As a citizen, you must continue paying U.S. taxes even when living abroad. If you are an American permanent resident but not a citizen, you would risk losing your immigration status by moving to Canada.

One last thing: All official Government of Canada websites have the same "Government of Canada" heading that you can see in the link above. Be weary of unofficial immigration sites that may give inaccurate information.

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A couple points regarding p287's post (sorry, it's not letting me quote individual sentences on mobile):

I'm a US citizen and Canadian permanent resident. If you become a permanent resident of Canada, your status would only be revoked if you did not meet your residency obligations in Canada (2 years out of every 5). Also, while you'll need to file US taxes each year, it's unlikely you'd need to pay taxes in the US and Canada - you can deduct a certain dollar amount of income (more than 100k USD, I believe). If your income were to exceed that, there are also tax treaties in place to avoid double taxation. Your best bet would be to find an accountant who specializes in US/Canadian taxes. 

Edited by babykoala
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