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

The Day I Was Almost Denied Entry to Canada (Don’t Be Like Me!)

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. Read More »

Are You a Good Fit for Canada?

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. Read More »

Hire Immigrants Ottawa – Bringing Together Newcomers and Employers

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? Read More »

How To NOT Ask For Help

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. Read More »

How to Obtain a Canadian Pardon so you can Work Abroad

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. Read More »

“You May Say I’m a Dreamer” – Tourist vs. Resident

Canadiana, Ottawa, July 2012

As much as I enjoy immi­gra­tion top­ics, I have never been able to find a good forum on the sub­ject. Some boast thou­sands of mem­bers, but most are one-time vis­i­tors look­ing for a quick answer to their immi­gra­tion question—there is no social inter­ac­tion. Other forums are a hunt­ing ground for scam­mers and immi­gra­tion lawyers pro­mot­ing their ser­vices, and have lit­tle to offer. I used to be a mem­ber of a large French-speaking immi­gra­tion forum, but I was banned back in 2006 or 2007. Just as well: I didn’t exactly fit in. Most mem­bers of that forum were prospec­tive immi­grants from France head­ing ... Read More »