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International Employment Specialist

Date: June 26, 2014
Reports to (Job Title): International Manager
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Location: Waterloo Campus
Grade: USG 7

Primary Purpose

The International Employment Specialist supports students, employers and the International Team in all matters relating to visa and work permit applications and process (for students who are going to have a work term abroad, as well as incoming international students). The International Employment Specialist also contributes to student preparation for their work terms abroad, and supports the International team by performing administrative work as needed (notably to support our risk management plan).

Key Accountabilities:


Advise all students and monitor co-op students through US and other International visa requirements and the necessary documentation requirements/process for CECA
  • Develop and maintain work permit knowledge on a “country by country” basis
  • Provide advice and guidance to students throughout the visa application process.
  • Provide supporting documentation when necessary
  • Develop and maintain relationships with government agencies and officials, visa sponsor agencies, local businesses and other organizations as required to expedite visa processes and support
  • Students


Pre-departure preparation
  • Organize and run visa consult sessions for outbound students, coordinate with visa provider
  • Develop and maintain online pre-departure course


Support the risk management process
  • Track work permit documentation; review and process documentation to ensure complete submissions for work term credit
  • Advise students of DFATD travel advisories and potential travel restrictions


Advise employers on visa process
  • Support the International Account Manager by providing insight to potential employers regarding co- op recruitment norms relative to co-op process, visas, remuneration.


Provide administrative and logistical support as needed
  • Assist with report writing, project support, statistical reports on demand
  • Support the administration of international scholarships, bursaries, such as OGE
  • Provide support for international projects as needed

Position Requirements


Undergraduate degree in related field (e.g. arts, social studies, business, International trade, Education, etc.)



MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other


mail/merge, report formatting
Average Average MS Access

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

The International Employment Specialist relies on excellent written and verbal communication skills to advise different stakeholders (e.g. students, employers, Account Managers, and other people on campus) on time-sensitive, complex processes (e.g. visa, work permits). Self-confident and assertive, the International Employment Specialist efficiently guides students through the process (including influencing students to respect process and guidelines), while being understanding and compassionate as students make difficult decisions. In some cases, the International Employment Specialist will have to communicate difficult decisions that may have an impact of student’s ability to travel and do their work term abroad. He/she may have to deal with stressed / aggressive students as a result. The International Employment Specialist organizes and facilitates visa consult sessions for students which will require the ability to speak publicly.

Level of Responsibility:

The International Employment Specialist performs no direct supervision: the role has defined specialized tasks and receives specific guidance (e.g. certain best practices in supporting students – much of this guidance will come from the International Team Manager). The International Employment Specialist provides co-worker support through knowledge sharing with Student Advisor, Account Manager and other colleagues. The International Student advisor has the responsibility of developing and updating material for pre-departure preparation and plays an important role in the risk management process.

Problem solving

The International Employment Specialist solves problems including guiding students through the visa / work permit application process based on their individual situation (some cases can be complex, especially when non-Canadian students get jobs in the US or other international countries. In these cases, assessing and communicating to the student what to do can be difficult, especially as timelines are usually very short). The International Employment Specialist also determines the best way to develop and maintain knowledge of visa processes for close to 70 countries, including figuring out the best way to access and update this information and maintaining a high level of accuracy of this information.

Financial Accountability


Internal and External Contacts


The International Employment Specialist discusses information and collaborates with CECA International team members, Waterloo International team members, the International Manager, and other CECA Account Mangers and Student Advisors outside the International team on issues regarding students, on supporting the risk management process, and to provide administrative support. The International Advisor also discusses information with students as part of supporting them in the International work process.


The International Employment Specialist exchanges information with government officials (working in Canadian or foreign embassies) including ambassadors, to expedite visa processes / work permits and support students, and employers (usually HR Managers in campus recruitment teams) to guide them through the co-op recruitment process.

Decision-Making Authority:

The International Employment Specialist is in a support role, so does not have direct authority over students or employers. The International Employment Specialist applies judgment to provide specialized advice to students and employers regarding the best way to obtain the required visa and working documentation to work outside Canada.  The impact of this advising can be determinant on whether or not the students will have the ability to work or not in the country of their choice. They also give direct advice to employers on the visa process (choice of visa provider for the US, choice of type of work visa for international employers).

Physical and Sensory Demands:

This role requires exertion of physical or sensory effort resulting in slight fatigue, strain or risk of injury.

Working Environment:

This role involves moderate psychological risk resulting from unavoidable exposure to hazardous, disagreeable or uncomfortable environmental conditions. The role involves exposure to emotionally disturbing experiences and/or interactions with people who are upset, angry, abusive, aggressive, unstable or unpredictable, (e.g. advising students and resolving visa issues within tight deadline can be stressful, especially as the impact might be the inability for a student to travel and/or accomplish his/her work term. Some students can be abusive under stress). Infrequently, travel may be required outside Canada. There may be unusual hours or schedules (e.g. meeting with a student after normal business hours, or interacting with a student in a different time zone), irregular and/or high volumes and multiple and/or tight deadlines beyond one's control as this role is impacted by student volume changes per term, and constant interruptions as students try to reach them during the working day.