We Are All Immigrants

I thought immigration would be an interesting topic to chat about, after all aren’t we all immigrants? Our beautiful country Canada is barely 200 years old so unless you are a registered aboriginal, you or your parents or your grand parents or at the very most your great grand parents were immigrants. Canada exists today thanks to immigrants πŸ™‚

It’s doubtful that the Canadian economy would have been able to perform as it does today if it weren’t for its immigration policies. Immigration certainly has an enormous impact on the Canadian workforce. Every year the federal government puts out a list of all the jobs that are in high demand in Canada, positions where there are shortages in within the workforce. Then foreign professionals are attracted based on these shortages in our workforce. My dad was a perfect example of someone who was granted permanent residence based on his occupation and professional expertise.

At the time that my parents applied for Canadian permanent residency, Accountants were in high demand in Canada due to a shortage of accountant’s in the workforce. My parents only chose Canada over Australia (where my aunt lives) because my dad thought that in Canada he would be able to work in his own field. Canada is the only country where foreign professionals are given free training and co-op opportunities in order to get them a job in their own a field. In Canada we have free language and skill programs such as one that my dad attended: “skill for change” or the government subsidized ESL and LINK classes for new immigrants . New Canadians bring with them lots of experience, in many cases they are proficient in at least one other language than English, a fact that has enabled Canadian enterprises to do business abroad generating more money and jobs and strengthening the Canadian economy. However all the government training programs don’t seem to be enough because we have all met those taxi drivers or pizza delivery drivers that say they have a PhD back home.

Looking at how our immigration screening system shows us just how discrete and specific we are about who we let in Canada, and I’m not talking about illegal immigration because that’s a totally different story. As far as legal immigration goes Immigration Canada has a point system that rates potential immigrants before they consider their file. The point systems consists of categories ranging from language proficiency, education, job experience to things like age, health, blood relatives in Canada . Each category gains points for the immigrant family and if they meet the minimum then their case is considered and enters a 3-4 year bureaucracy phase. Some of the points are really interesting for example you get 5 points for being under 45 or another five for having a blood relative in Canada. The point I’m trying to make is that the applicants from all over the world are screened through a very sophisticated manner and the best of the best are granted permanent residence. Hence all the foreign engineers and doctors working as taxi drivers. We take the best of other countries bring them here to help us develop our economy.

Another interesting fact about the immigration process is the category of immigrants known as the Investors, this category is quite interesting because the so known as “investors” basically pay off their permanent residency status in Canada. The government of Canada literally charges them a sum of money and grants the entire family their visa and status. There are different kinds of investors programs , for example the Atlantic provinces are starting their own in order to attract money and workers to Atlantic Canada. At the federal stage the Federal Government charges about 100’000 dollars of “investments” per family. Of course there is a little more to it than that but this sum is never returned to the immigrant family. What really happens is that the applicants are required to leave $500’000 with the federal government for a period of 5 years. However because most people don’t have that sum lying around the Canadian banks lend them the remaining $400’000 and they take the $100’000 as interest, so at the end the immigrant has paid $100’000 for their status in Canada. Which would make economic sense if you have a family of 5 or more it would cost you about 20’000 each which is about the same amount the smugglers would charge to do the same thing illegally. So at the end it works out for everyone πŸ™‚ .

Long live immigration



10 Responses to “We Are All Immigrants”

  1. 1 Eric Palmieri November 18, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    I would never pretend to be an immigrant just because my parents, or grandparents, or great-grandparents were. Unless you immigrated to one country, from another, then you are not an immigrant. You may know what it is like to be an immigrant from stories you have heard from your parents, or grandparents, or great-grandparents…

    But do you REALLY know what its like?

    That being said, I agree with your pro-immigration stance. Right now, in the United States, we are in the middle of an intense immigration debate. Many people want all the undocumented immigrants sent home. What they don’t realize, is that they are the very people keeping our economy going.

    -Eric Palmieri


  2. 2 teengle November 18, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    True say true say Eric, my opening statement might have given the wrong message. I never said we should pretend to be immigrants I am totally pro assimilation and adaptation. And those immigrants that move here and make absolutely no effort of assimilating like learning English really piss me off. I was just trying to start with something in order to talk about what I really wanted talk about which is our Immigration policies and some interesting facts about who we let in and who we don’t.

    Another immigration related fact:
    Our government uses immigration strategies to concentrate population in a specific geographical area in order to promote economic development. For example Nova Scotia in Canada has started an investors program specific to Nova Scotia that makes it easier for immigrants to get Canadian permanent residency but obliges the immigrant family to stay in Nova Scotia for a period of 5 years I believe. Or in some cases the immigrant family is obliged to open a business in Nova Scotia. By the time the 5 years are over or by the time you have started a business in Nova Scotia chances are that you, your family and the next generations are going to stay in Nova Scotia because that’s where you have established your life. There are all kinds of interesting tricks to Immigration and how it relates to economy.

  3. 3 happyatom November 18, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Well, I’m an immigrant! Been in Canada for what .. 6 years now, it seems. I didn’t know much English when I arrived, but since day 1 I tried my best to fit in. Even when speaking to other Russians, I tried to use English as best as I could. Teengle is right. People who come here and refuse to learn English are not only making their own life more difficult, they make ours a bit more difficult as well.

    I remember the interview, for the point system. We were all really nervous.. many people get rejected for being just a bit under the limit. Not the mention the fact that the limit was raised recently, if I remember correctly.

  4. 4 olgaolgaolga November 18, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    i wanna IMMIGATE to australia…

    peace, love, alligators πŸ˜‰

  5. 5 Mike Perelman November 18, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Such an interesting topic! to see many of these immigrants with their PHD’s work as taxi drivers or pizza delivery people really is disappointing. They should be starting up their own clinics or get out in the work field they love to do. You made a valuable point how they help our economy and thats how Canada was made. Without immigrants Canada wouldn’t be such a prosperous country that it is now..cmon, our dollar is bigger then the American dollar! Long live immigration, it is what makes this country so great..especially the multiculturalism!

  6. 6 teengle November 19, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    Exactly , Multiculturism a reason I would never leave Canada for the States even if they pay me 4 times more in the states for the same job I have in Canada.

    … well 10 times more then maybe… lol

  7. 7 Em November 19, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Welllll…i’m not technically considered an immigrant because i was born and raised here. but my family is.my grandparents moved here, however assimilating wasn’t that big a deal because they came after WWI and everyone here was british anyways so…(well..except for the quebecers.)

    i have such a good friend and her dad is the coolest guy ever. he should be an engineer, like he was in Russia, but since he came to Canada, he’s a delivery man. what kind of a life is that? it’s so hard to provide for a family with that salary. so all these immigrants are sub
    come on canada, why is the problem not being solved?

    really good topic teengle, keep it up!

  8. 8 Em November 19, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    oh and i meant to say half way through there but i forgot to put this in; “so all these immigrants are subjected to believing that they are coming to a place where they can be free and get a job, but when they get here, they find out they are not qualified and have to go back to school…”

  9. 9 teengle November 19, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    thnks em, im glad u were interested πŸ™‚

  10. 10 Andre July 27, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    I agree with what was started here in that immigration is a great thing for Canada. Immigration is what built this country and immigration is what will continue to build this country. That said, we definitely are not all immigrants. I was born here, as were my parents as were their parents. Were I an immigrant, I’d hold citizenship to another country which I most assredly do not. I fully support those who come here to create a better life for themselves as well as their families. Those who work hard, follow the laws of the land and do their very best to learn one of our official languages (depending on the province of residence.) I have no patience for those that come here, stick to their enclaves and do all they can to avoid integration. You came to Canada to be Canadian and Canadians speak French or English.

    In regards to what Em has said about credentials not being recognized, it’s a bit of a double edged sword. Not all institutions of higher learning are held to the same degree. The level of difficulty of achieving a certification in one field may be much easier abroad than it is within our borders. Secondly, to equally recognize credentials from other countries undermines the value of a Canadian education. If one can learn elsewhere for cheaper (and in some instances free) where is the incentive for Canadians to invest thousands upon thousands of dollars into an education that they’ll be paying off for years to come? It’s a tough situation but as it stands, it’s better this way than it would be otherwise.

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