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Moving to Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada)

 

Vancouver.hm recommends CanadaVisa.com, a highly reputable firm of immigration lawyers & consultants, to assist you with Canadian immigration.

It's not as easy to immigrate to Canada as it once was. If you are young, educated and single, its easier, but you still have to go through what can be a gruelling screening process, and have enough cash on you to survive for 6 months. It's a lot easier if you have a promise of a job and it's a lot easier if you use the services of an immigration lawyer like the one I recommend on this page. Canada has always taken refugees, so that is an option if you are resident in what would be considered a politically repressive country. The definition of a legitimate refugee is somewhat nebulous, but basically you have to prove you're under fear of death in your home country. This means that people from places like Belgium, need not bother with this classification. If you show up claiming refugee status, and the government determines you are not, it is almost impossible to stay in the country. Recently, several boatloads of refugee claimants from China & Sri Lanka have been showing up on the BC Coast. These boats are usually barely capable of the voyage and are usually packed with people in appalling conditions. Canada's generous refugee regulations, give these people a better than even chance of remaining in the country. In the United States, these people would be immediately deported. Unfortunately, our relaxed refugee immigrant laws, can encourage this practice, generating huge profits for the organizers. The cost to the Canadian taxpayer is high, and legitimate immigrant applicants are understandably upset at people who seem to be jumping the queue. On the other hand, one can argue that this country was built by people fleeing oppression in their home countries, so possibly nothing has really changed. In the past, various war criminals, ex-dictators, etc. have managed to show up in Canada as refugees. They seem to have more luck than the average Joe, but maybe they just grab the media attention. We seem to have no problem accepting people if they have lots of money, even if they are criminals. The ice-lady, the biggest female dope smuggler in Asia, opened up a chicken franchise in Alberta until they caught on to her. She came in under the investor program. Various Chinese Mafia types from Hong Kong have got in the same way. We don't seem to care where the money came from as long as they intend on spending it here. If you can play ice hockey, you also stand a good chance of getting in. Try showing up at the airport holding a hockey stick and speaking Russian. (that's a joke, but professional hockey players do seem to be able to jump the queue) Your options of successfully immigrating are considerably better if you are young, professional, well educated and can speak one or both official languages.

There are also options to be sponsored by a particular province looking for certain types of professionals.  This is known as th Provincial Nomination Program, or PNP. This can be a fast track into the country. This is one reason I recommend consulting with a firm like CanadaVisa. They can easily determine if this option is to your advantage. It could save you at least of year of going through normal channels. Rather than try to explain myself, watch David Cohen's informative video HERE.

Do not think you can come to Canada on a visitors visa, find yourself a job, place to stay, etc and then ask to remain here. It does not work that way. Even Mother Teresa would have found it impossible to avoid deportation under those circumstances. There have been several cases where people have tried this. Until immigration Canada caught up with them, some had become very good upstanding residents, sometimes even set up businesses employing other Canadians. They are nearly always sent back to apply through the normal channels. It takes a ministerial order from the government to stay under these circumstances. The latest example of this, I am aware of is that of a South African family who are trying to remain in Prince Rupert, BC. Three members of this family have a skin condition which means they cannot tolerate sunlight, hence Prince Rupert is perfect since it is one of the rainiest places on earth. The entire community is rallying behind them, they would obviously make excellent citizens, some members of the government are supporting them, however immigration Canada has ordered them deported nevertheless. (Note as of Summer 2001, this family was finally granted permission to stay) A hundred years ago you could just show up on these shores, set up house and that was it. Those days are long gone.

Canada accepts a fixed number of immigrants each year under various categories. A lot of people want to come here, especially from underdeveloped countries, and you can't blame them. Canada is recognized as one of the best countries in the world in which to live. If you are planning to move here, check out the link to my "Neighbourhoods" Section for information on which areas to live and Real Estate Links. You can also browse current Real Estate listings for the Vancouver area by clicking the link to my Real Estate Section. I also have links to custom regulations in my Border Crossing Section. Most people have a view of Canada as a non-racist country. While this is certainly the case, compared to many other countries, racism has raised its ugly head here on many occasions, and immigrants from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds can expect to encounter a certain degree of it.

By the way, I recently came across this site geared mainly to Australian immigrants, but containing a lot of useful information. CanAussie.com. Another very useful site is this Forum.

If you are serious about immigrating to Canada, you are advised to retain an immigration lawyer to expedite the process or at least give you some advice on the procedures to follow. It may save you a lot of money & headaches. I have links to a few of them in my immigration links page. The one I highly recommend, is Canada Visa.com. (click the banner at the top of the page). I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has had experience with any of them or if you have used one you can recommend, I'd also appreciate hearing about it. You can expect to pay between $2000 & $4000  depending on your circumstances. Most reputable lawyers will let you know up front if you do not have a chance. I might add that a criminal record or serious health problems will almost certainly mean rejection.

It is also interesting to note that the Province of Quebec handles its own immigration. If you speak fluent French, especially if you are of French origin, your chances may be considerably better than applying to Canada itself. Since Canada has freedom of movement, there is probably no reason why you cannot move anywhere else in the country, although you may have to wait to attain full citizenship (3 years). I'm not sure on that one.

There are groups who want immigration to this country stopped or severely curtailed.  While they are entitled to their opinions, you have to remember that Canada is a country that was built on immigration. The problem is, because of our relatively small population, cultural influences by newcomers are more obvious, and many people see it as a threat to existing Canadian culture. From the perspective of the Native Indian, of course, this already occurred a couple of hundred years ago, so there is no doubt that large scale inflow of different cultures can change a society. I don't think, however, that the current numbers are large enough for this to occur to great extent, and most groups assimilate just fine after a generation or two.