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Old 17.03.2011, 21:17
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Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

I have been hearing some wonderful things about the 'meritocratic' 'points-based' 'realistic' Canadian immigration system lately. Apparently this nonpareil of national bureaucracy manages to unite liberality with logic, compassionate globalism with clear-eyed national interest. Switzerland should copy it, the UK should copy it, the US should copy it, Libya and Somalia should copy it. Even the Vatican wouldn't be ill advised to have a good hard think about it.

I understand Canada's a mighty big country, been around for a while, statistically speaking they're bound to have perfected something by now, and clearly that something ain't the French fries or the English language (nor the French language or the English fries, for that matter) so maybe it's immigration. I get that. But I can't help wondering whether it really is all its proponents believe it to be, or for that matter whether the average Canadian knows any more about how Canadian immigration actually works than the average American does about how American immigration actually works - which is to say, one part national myth, two parts partisan myth and a smattering of anecdotes from when his college roommate dated a Brazilian chick.

Has anyone actually been through Canadian immigration? Know people (lots of people) who have made it and haven't made it? Is it the wonder of self-interested altruism it is constantly being cracked up to be? Or is this another analogue of the familiar "Switzerland as Libertarian Paradise" and "NHS as Tenth Circle of Hell" myths, propagated mainly by people who think they know what they're talking about because they read all about it once, somewhere else?

Genuinely interested in the answers.
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Old 17.03.2011, 21:18
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

They copied it from the Aussies who started it in 1979.
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:48
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

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I can't help wondering whether it really is all its proponents believe it to be, or for that matter whether the average Canadian knows any more about how Canadian immigration actually works than the average American does about how American immigration actually works - which is to say, one part national myth, two parts partisan myth and a smattering of anecdotes from when his college roommate dated a Brazilian chick.
I think, probably like most countries, that the average Canadian doesn't know much about the system unless they went through it to become a Canadian. I mean, why would you know? However, one thing I would say is that I'm sure it's just like Switzerland in one sense, every time you speak with someone, it will cost you at least $100. It is a tax based society after all.
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Old 18.03.2011, 11:07
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

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Genuinely interested in the answers.
MN, this is the very first anything-bashing thread you've ever posted and it's.....so.....pretty

Canada does these fries has loads of guns but no gun crime to speak of, free universal healthcare and Montreal - a city of French and jazz and coffee shops. Yum.
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Old 18.03.2011, 11:21
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

The only thing I can tell you about the Canadian immigration system is this:

There were a bunch of recruiting offices or whatever in Mexico asking for workers to come to Canada, the process claimed it was quite simple to get the visa.

It turns out that these offices were scams that took advantage of the "refugee" requests to Canada,a bout 25% of requests in 2009 came from Mexicans alone, (11% were accepted)

So, at least they fixed this rather quickly. Mexicans now require a visa to go to Canada.
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Old 18.03.2011, 11:44
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

The Swiss immigration system was like the Canadian/Australian system a few years ago. When I came here, I had to provide diplomas from the university, computer training certificates, etc., etc.

The new system, however, favours the E.U.

Many IT companies are complaining that they cannot find enough qualified people.
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Old 18.03.2011, 11:45
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

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The only thing I can tell you about the Canadian immigration system is this:

There were a bunch of recruiting offices or whatever in Mexico asking for workers to come to Canada, the process claimed it was quite simple to get the visa.

It turns out that these offices were scams that took advantage of the "refugee" requests to Canada,a bout 25% of requests in 2009 came from Mexicans alone, (11% were accepted)

So, at least they fixed this rather quickly. Mexicans now require a visa to go to Canada.
Yeah, the refugee status was being taken advantage of and tying up a lot of resources. Basically, once you claim refugee status, you have many more rights given to you immediately than you would have if you were apply for a work permit or citizenship.
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Old 18.03.2011, 11:51
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

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Has anyone actually been through Canadian immigration? Know people (lots of people) who have made it and haven't made it? Is it the wonder of self-interested altruism it is constantly being cracked up to be? Or is this another analogue of the familiar "Switzerland as Libertarian Paradise" and "NHS as Tenth Circle of Hell" myths, propagated mainly by people who think they know what they're talking about because they read all about it once, somewhere else?

Genuinely interested in the answers.
They copied it from the Aussies who started it in 1979.
What he said.

On the flip side, I've heard from pretty much every single Canadian I've spoken about this to, that emigration from Canada is a freakin' nightmare.

For every up, there's a down, eh? (As Canadians would say...)
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Old 18.03.2011, 11:56
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

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For every up, there's a down, eh? (As Canadians would say...)
There down is America, though...

(mapwise that is)
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Old 18.03.2011, 11:56
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

I don't know about the technicalities exactly but I can say this: when the 100 or so member of my family fled/were exiled from South Africa in the 1970s (they were "political" ahem...) all the clever/educated ones got into Canada and most of the rest went to the UK where it was easier.
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Old 18.03.2011, 12:02
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

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MN, this is the very first anything-bashing thread you've ever posted and it's.....so.....pretty

Canada does these fries has loads of guns but no gun crime to speak of, free universal healthcare and Montreal - a city of French and jazz and coffee shops. Yum.
It wasn't a bash, it was an honest question!

OK, I lied. It is actually part of your new-mod hazing. Trusted regulars suddenly go off the rails and other mods are nowhere to be found. Economisto's in the hot seat! The eyes of the entire forum are upon him. What will he do? Oh yeah, Kittster is in on it too.


...no, seriously. Like I said, have been hearing Canadian immigration machinery talked up as the answer to everything lately, mostly by people who've never dealt with it. Wondered if the yea-sayers are right for once or if this is up there with Swiss 2nd Amendment rights (aka "the reason Hitler never invaded.")

I mean, it could be that Canada is cold enough and underdeveloped enough only the skilled, motivated and harmlessly insane want to go there. I'm not saying it is but it strikes me as a plausible alternative explanation which should at least be considered.

Anyway I have never had a cup of coffee in Canada I could not have gotten in 1720s YorkshSwitzerland for three times the price.
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Old 18.03.2011, 12:05
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

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is up there with Swiss 2nd Amendment rights (aka "the reason Hitler never invaded.")
I need to take a break from the forum. I'm in shock - really it feels like I'm down the rabbit hole. Has Derv hijacked your account (and tacked 30 points onto his IQ at the same time)?
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Old 18.03.2011, 12:17
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

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I don't know about the technicalities exactly but I can say this: when the 100 or so member of my family fled/were exiled from South Africa in the 1970s (they were "political" ahem...) all the clever/educated ones got into Canada and most of the rest went to the UK where it was easier.
I think your passport status is very dependant with regard to this question, I suspect your family had/still have British passports, and due to the commonwealth, and all that, it is a lot easier for British passport holders to travel anywhere in commonwealth countries, let's not forget Canada and Australia were actually classed as a physical part of the British Isles until 1900, Gibraltar still is and the Falklands still are!

Immigration is a difficult question in general, I personally think it is important to restrict foreign labour to protect the local work forces in any country, importing strike breakers or cheap labour is detrimental to the society that these workers enter and also the society and economy that they leave. And yes I know that is a rather glib response.
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Old 18.03.2011, 12:19
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

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I personally think it is important to restrict foreign labour to protect the local work forces in any country, importing strike breakers or cheap labour is detrimental to the society that these workers enter and also the society and economy that they leave. And yes I know that is a rather glib response.
I think California would disagree.
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Old 18.03.2011, 12:26
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

I don't think that was the case: my family had SA passports (since becoming a republic, everyone did) and all three countries are Commonwealth. Apparently the Canadian system was based on "points" - with so many points going on how much money you had, whether you had a rare skill, a degree and so on.

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I think your passport status is very dependant with regard to this question, I suspect your family had/still have British passports, and due to the commonwealth, and all that, it is a lot easier for British passport holders to travel anywhere in commonwealth countries, let's not forget Canada and Australia were actually classed as a physical part of the British Isles until 1900, Gibraltar still is and the Falklands still are!

Immigration is a difficult question in general, I personally think it is important to restrict foreign labour to protect the local work forces in any country, importing strike breakers or cheap labour is detrimental to the society that these workers enter and also the society and economy that they leave. And yes I know that is a rather glib response.
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Old 18.03.2011, 12:28
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

I can comment on Canada's immigrants only from what I have seen at US borders. It is an attractive option for many Africans right now. Dare I even say, that it is more attractive than the US? I've even seen fraudulent Canadian passports used by Africans to transit the US and gain entry into Canada. I even saw a woman take her boyfriend's Canadian passport, fly down to Congo, pick up her brother, and try to bring him back on her boyfriend's passport. I find it very disappointing because, when we try to validate whether the person presenting the passport is the true bearer, they can't answer basic questions about Canada's geography, history, or current affairs. Many don't even know who the PM is or whose face is on the $20 bill.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/theverynk/2312715794/

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Old 18.03.2011, 12:43
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

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I don't think that was the case: my family had SA passports (since becoming a republic, everyone did) and all three countries are Commonwealth. Apparently the Canadian system was based on "points" - with so many points going on how much money you had, whether you had a rare skill, a degree and so on.
I know there is a point system that you can find quickly on the Internet that is very basic. A few years ago, when they first brought it in, they printed the point system questions and values in the papers and showed what many famous people and leaders would have scored. From what I remember, even the Prime Minister at the time didn't have enough points to be considered. Most Canadians wouldn't have had enough points at the time. I think this was the way Canada was trying to attract "the best and brightest" from other nations (then let them drive taxi cabs). I believe (hope) this has since changed (and I'm not saying I'm a fan of Harper here). There are, of course, provisions that allow the immigration officers to have some flexibility with the scoring system...may have something to do with dollar signs, but I'm not sure.
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Old 18.03.2011, 13:04
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

I came to Canada as a 11 year old child back in the 1990s. My mother was a doctor who received her degree in Eastern Europe and had been practicing in Africa (my father's country) for over a decade. I remember she received points for being a Doctor so I do not believe that we had a hard time getting landed immigrant status. However that is where the easiness ended. Once we came to Canada she had to pretty much start anew. She had to write exams and also become a medical student all over again with individuals half her age. It took her over 10 years to become a doctor. Many of her friends who were immigrants and doctors gave up and ended up doing something not even related to the medical field. I remember one individual taking his life (he had family with children) because he kept failing the exams which were apparently very hard. I am not in any way ripping Canada (I consider it my home) - however I remember hearing around me how the government said they wanted doctors (which there are shortages) and other professions such as engineers but once the people came the degrees mean nothing at. all. Quite a few of my mom's friends went to the United States because it was easier to become a doctor there - although they had to go and work in smaller cities and not places like New York.

My troubles were not even close to my mother however the school system tried to put me into English as a Second language system - Even though I came from an African country, which was British colony and English was the official language and what I spoke and wrote in class. They kept trying to push me in the class because the English must have been different.
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Old 18.03.2011, 13:13
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

hmmmm, I can say I don't know much about the immigration system in Canada at all - having never had to traverse it!
Of the few people I know who have become Canadian citizens, it seems like it is a long process.
It is indeed points based, so you get points for the level of education you have, amount of work experience, if you speak both languages, how much liquid money you have, etc…
DH isn’t Canadian and has no desire to be, so I don’t know that I will ever have a first hand experience in the process. But he’s married to a Canadian, so that is even more points for him, should he decide to apply for citizenship!!
Unfortunately, since he is from Mexico, we now have the added hassle of the new visa which is ridiculous and outrageously expensive so that might be incentive enough...
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Old 18.03.2011, 13:27
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Re: Canadian immigration system - is it really all that and a bag of chips?

There was a new immigration law that was put in place April 17, 2009 which limits Canadian citizenship to the first generation born to Canadian parents outside Canada (my husband moved to Canada when he was one). I feel very sad about that. I gave birth to my child on January 2011 in Zurich and because of this rule, if he has his children outside the country, they cannot be Canadian citizens.

My mother work so hard to become a doctor in Canada. I remember her complaining to friends around me less than 3 times in the 10 years she was doing it over again. She moved to Canada for me to get a better life - which I did. And now the citizenship she gave me (I naturalized as a minor) could end with my son.

I should add that if you give birth to a child in Canada, he or she gets automatic citizenship. I briefly toyed with the idea of flying home to have the child there but I knew it was not fair - since I do not pay taxes in that country (I am an accountant).
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