There is “one of these” again in my inbox today. The “object” line reads “help me”. I can guess the content of the email, the suspense factor is minimal.
Browsing: Life As An Immigrant
“You’re French? What the hell are you doing here, then?”
This is how an Australian backpacker reacted upon meeting in a dorm in Toronto, in 2002. “What are you doing there?” I replied. “It’s summer in Australia, and you come all the way to Canada to freeze your ass off?”
HiFX recently published a very comprehensive emigration checklist infographic based on expat feedback. Here is my contribution to the brainstorming, 10 things you should consider doing before you move abroad.
For new immigrants, it doesn’t work like this. You need to have a “settler’s mentality” because you are starting from scratch, in a place where you don’t have roots. When it’s just yourself, or yourself and a partner, it’s not that hard. When you add kids to the mix, it becomes more difficult.
Meet Stephanie, a new permanent resident in Gatineau, Quebec! Stephanie was born and raised in Ivory Coast, then spend 16 years in the US. This is where she met Guillaume, the Canadian prince charming.
4 Short Answers to 4 Immigration Questions: Can I change my name, how long the process takes and more!
Here are four more short answers to immigration-related questions readers submitted in the past few weeks.
Holly, our “English Girl” came from across the pond to live with Luke, the “Canadian Man”. Hey, it happens, right? These Canadian guys are irresistible! Must be that “snow glow… The two of them live in Hamilton, Ontario, and they are now sorting out Holly’s immigration status—she is hoping to get her permanent residency visa soon.
3 Short Answers to 3 Immigration Questions: Opening a Language School in Canada, Immigration Consultants in India and More
Three readers sent me their immigration questions lately, and I’m sharing them with you. Usual disclaimer: please note that I am not an immigration specialist and that this is my two cents. You should always check with Citizenship & Immigration.
Martin, a truck driver from France, was dreaming of big open roads. He found them in Canada, where he immigrated in 2008. After landing in Quebec and starting his new life there, he moved to Alberta.
Meet “Mrs. Gaou” (her penname, “Gaou” means “a naive person” in Ivory Coast slang), a…
Gaston is from Cartago, Costa Rica. An industrial engineer, he first moved to Canada with his wife, Paula, and son, Sebastian in 2010, on a temporary work visa.
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.
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.
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?
But little by little, you will adapt. And one day, you will look back and realize how “Canadian” you have become compared to your friends or family members visiting, or compared to most newcomers. Meanwhile, here are ten signs that you are still new to Canada!
A lot of people do get by without a car but really, whether you like it or not, having your own vehicle—and a driver’s license—will make your life in Canada much easier. Opting out of the car culture is something a lot of people wish they could do but it means making sacrifices and finding alternatives, which isn’t always convenient or possible.
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.
I’m usually happy to visit France. I enjoy traveling and I love seeing my family. The first few days there, I immediately feel very French as I reconnect with my roots—it feels like slipping into an old pair of jeans. I catch myself thinking that it would be really nice if Feng and I could rent a place in one of Nantes’ funky neighborhoods.
As much as I enjoy immigration topics, I have never been able to find a…
I hadn’t really studied Canadian etiquette before coming here, and I naively thought traditional European etiquette would apply.
I was wrong.
Here are three more faux pas I committed.
The term “faux pas” comes originally from French (it literally means “misstep”)—I guess the French are so prone to cultural awkwardness they needed a word for it.
I like to think my parents raised me well and that I’m usually a polite and considerate person. But I was also very French when I settled in Canada, and my Frenchness led to me to commit many involuntarily social “oops”.
The Front National went from being a marginal party in the 70s to being the third largest political force today. Frankly, if such a party existed in Canada, I’d be really annoyed. Fortunately, here, the influence of such fringe parties is very limited, so limited that I never hear anything about the Heritage Front or the Nationalist Party of Canada.
All immigrants go through a phase in which they hate Canada. Sometimes it happens during the lengthy immigration process: it’s hard to keep faith when you have to deal with so many administrative requirements, and when your life is pretty much put on hold waiting for someone to take a decision about your future.
For the first two years I was in Canada, it was fairly obvious I was new to the country. Not only I didn’t speak English very well but the North American way of life was a novelty to me. I didn’t know the local customs, products and culture. I never really researched Canada the way a lot of prospective immigrants do because I just happened to land in the Great North Strong and Free by chance.