Browsing: Immigration

How to immigrate to Canada, how to apply for Canadian citizenship, and how to tackle the challenges newcomers face.

Immigration It's Sad to Live Without Trying, Graffiti in Uruguay, January 2015

I had missed rela­tion­ships end­ing and new ones begin­ning, I had missed pendaisons de cré­mail­lère in first apart­ments, I had missed months of eat­ing store-brand pasta because the cost of liv­ing in Paris is higher than in Nantes, I had missed first jobs, dri­ving licence exams, first rows of exams at university.

Immigration Toronto, September 2013

Ever won­dered why I sound like a smar­tass when I give immi­gra­tion advice? Well… that would be because I’ve made my share of mis­takes when I first trav­eled back and forth between France and Canada. I recently wrote a few tips about cross­ing the Cana­dian bor­der smoothly. Now, I have to share my own hor­ror story—a cau­tion­ary tale of what hap­pens when you are not prepared.

Immigration Toronto, September 2013

I find this series fas­ci­nat­ing. You see trav­el­ers, both Cana­di­ans and for­eign, try­ing to smug­gle goods or get­ting in ille­gally. Peo­ple lie, threaten, plaid igno­rance, get angry, etc. as CBSA agents dig deeper to get to the bot­tom of things. Sit­ting in front of the TV, you can’t help think­ing “man, these peo­ple are idiot! Don’t they know any better?”

Immigration Kensington Market, Toronto, September 2013

Cit­i­zen­ship and Immi­gra­tion Canada devel­oped a point-based sys­tem to recruit skilled immi­grants based on the needs of the econ­omy. But the fact you are eli­gi­ble for per­ma­nent res­i­dency on paper doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean you will enjoy life in Canada. I don’t have a crys­tal ball nor a magic wand. I can’t pre­dict who will be suc­cess­ful in Canada. But based on my expe­ri­ence, some folks will adapt bet­ter than others.

Immigration Hire Immigrants Ottawa

Canada wel­comes immi­grants for a vari­ety of rea­sons, includ­ing to help the coun­try address chal­lenges such as an aging work­force and demands for skilled labour. How­ever, many new­com­ers run into set­tle­ment dif­fi­cul­ties, like hav­ing their for­eign cre­den­tials rec­og­nized, fit­ting into the Cana­dian work cul­ture and net­work­ing their way to a job that truly matches their skills.
So how can we bridge the gap and build a bet­ter country?

Immigration Gatineau or Ottawa? Quebec or Ontario?

Prospec­tive immi­grants inter­ested in mov­ing in the National Cap­i­tal Region (NCR) often ask whether they should set­tle in Ottawa or in Gatineau. This is a rather big deci­sion to make, because even though the two cities are very close geo­graph­i­cally speak­ing, they are located in two dif­fer­ent provinces, with the Ottawa River as a boundary.

Immigration Please Help, Ottawa, 2012

Some days, I’m that close to hit the “delete” or “spam” but­ton because I can’t believe how rude or strange some peo­ple can be.
I have received what I call “WTF ques­tions” before, includ­ing the ever-popular “please send me a copy of your old com­pleted immi­gra­tion forms so that I can fill my own forms eas­ily”. Because of course, I’m dying to share per­sonal infor­ma­tion, includ­ing exten­sive back­ground info, work and fam­ily his­tory, with ran­dom strangers on the web.
So this is how to NOT ask for help for help when con­tact­ing a blogger.

Immigration Totem, Ottawa, October 2012

I now work as a free­lance trans­la­tor and bilin­gual copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. Work­ing on my Eng­lish paid off and I’m glad I’m per­fectly flu­ent in both offi­cial languages—it makes my life in Canada much eas­ier. After 10 Great Resources to Improve Your Que­bec French Lan­guage Skills, here are 10 other great resources to focus on your English.


If you have a crim­i­nal record in Canada, you might need a Cana­dian par­don in order to per­form cer­tain activ­i­ties such as work­ing abroad. Hav­ing a crim­i­nal record can limit your job and travel oppor­tu­ni­ties. In fact, if you have a crim­i­nal back­ground in Canada and you wish to cross the bor­der into the United States, you will need to obtain a Cana­dian par­don and a United States entry waiver.

Immigration Where is the info, you said? Ottawa, June 2012

I receive a fair share of ques­tions directly on this blog. I actu­ally enjoy answer­ing them—it’s always reward­ing to share your expe­ri­ence and to help some­one. Besides, I remem­ber how lost and clue­less I was when I was in the immi­gra­tion process.
That said, some ques­tions, on this blog or in the forums, get on my nerves.

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