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

An Update on “Chiruza Canadiense”—The Road to Permanent Residence is Long

Chiruza Canadiense - Dreaming of Canada

Remem­ber “Chiruza Cana­di­ense”? I inter­viewed her over a year ago, in March 2013. Back then, she had applied for per­ma­nent res­i­dence under Quebec’s skilled worker cat­e­gory and she was stuck in pro­cess­ing limbo. She was kind enough to share an update. Below is the email she sent me. When you inter­viewed me, I had been wait­ing for 15 months with no news (see ques­tion no. 3 on the inter­view). Even­tu­ally, I reached a point where I was so upset and so tired of wast­ing time, money, and energy on French classes that, in June 2013, I decided to stop attend­ing classes at ... Read More »

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 »