Thinking about starting a new life in Canada? You are not alone. Nearly 1 million people entered Canada legally in 2004 alone, and hundreds of thousands more have applications pending. Canada is one of the most immigrant western countries after the United States. Immigrants are attracted by low crime rates and a high standard of living brought about by a healthy economy. What can you possibly expect when you arrive in Canada?
70% of newcomers to Canada said they had little trouble settling in. Many already have friends and family in Canada to help them integrate into society. If not, there are many immigrant advocacy groups that can help newcomers with the transition. Most newcomers find work in less than a year. This applies to almost all areas and sectors of the economy.
According to reports, most immigrants (nearly 90%) tend to cluster with their own ethnic group. Because Canada is a multi-ethnic society, much like the United States, newcomers can quickly find that their countrymen have already settled. Many also bridge cultural gaps and make new friends among other races.
One of the main obstacles to settling in is the weather. Canada has the coldest winters in the entire Western Hemisphere. This is due to the continent’s proximity to the Arctic Circle and the North Pole. The problem is compounded by the fact that many Canadian immigrants come from tropical regions with relatively warm climates year-round.
While it is true that the Canadian immigration system only seeks to legalize people with formal skills, competition for jobs in Canada is fierce. This is because Canada has one of the highest literacy rates on the planet. If one is looking for menial jobs, there are many of these jobs in Canada. However, if one wants to advance to the higher blue collar ranks, then one must be well educated and have the skills and experience. Newcomers may have only a basic understanding of the inner workings of advanced economies, which can hinder assimilation.
English and French are the main languages in Canada. French is especially important in some states like Quebec. While immigrants from French-speaking countries such as certain West African countries have no problem, the same may not be the case for English-speaking immigrants. Before fully integrating into the Canadian workforce, people may find themselves enrolled in English or French courses.
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