I was recently talking with a fellow Brit who is looking to migrate. In Canada there is a skilled migrant program, which makes it easier for you to relocate on a permanent basis if it is deemed that you have skills or experience that would enhance the local economy. It is a lengthy program, requiring probing in to your personal status, financial stability, education and of course health. Even having worked here on a legitimate work permit for 6 months my residency application took close to 2 years. Once you get the approval it’s so easy to break into a happy dance but the reality is the hard work has only just begun!
In order to ‘Land’ as a permanent resident you must enter the Country. I was at a loss as to how to do this as I certainly didn’t have money for a plane ticket and I was already living here. My Lawyer told me to go to the US and just come back. I was a nervous wreck! I have an over active imagination, I am prone to the dramatic and on occasion may exaggerate, but I assure you this is a true account. I was driven to Niagara falls and we attempted to cross in to the US via one of the bridges. At the half way point, I was escorted by armed border security and separated from my partner. My retina was scanned, fingerprints were taken and then I was refused entry to the US. I started to hyperventilate. I knew that if I didn’t make it to the US I couldn’t return to Canada as a resident. I started imagining being stuck on the bridge. neither Country claiming me! News choppers circling over heard, while I had to wait to see if the British embassy would rescue me! I know, drama or what?
The truth is they we’re rather stern but courteous. I was told to go back to Canada, I begged the armed man and told him I couldn’t, that I needed to get to the US. He insisted I leave and forced us to turn back. By this time I was a mess, my imagination increasing in its drama. what was going to happen to me? I’d be left in no man’s land, cold hungry and desperate for who knew how long… Then the guard whispered it’s ok… just go and I’m sure I saw the beginning of a smile! When we got to the Canadian border security I was in tears and tried to garble an explanation as to what happened, in reply I got ‘Welcome to Canada!’ I had apparently been on US soil and that was good enough to make me eligible to re-enter. Phew my imagination could calm down and I wasn’t going to have to spend the night on the bridge overlooking the falls!
Luckily for me finding work was quite easy, however I did have to start lower on the ladder and getting off that rung is harder than I had thought. Although the government recognize certain qualifications and promote the skilled migrant program the reality is employers often do not see experience from another Country as relevant. There are Doctors working as taxi drivers. Pharmacists in grocery stores and Nurses pouring coffee. Why are they made to jump through hoops with the promise of a better life only to find they can only be employed at minimum wage in an industry not related to their profession? Canada prides itself on being a diversified nation a land of opportunity. When are we going to stop looking at people just as immigrants and actually start seeing people for all that they have to offer? There is a large skill pool to be tapped into, a plethora of experience that can be utilized.
My advice to my friend looking to migrate is it takes hard word to get here but the real grit and determination is required as you continue the journey. Migration is not for the faint of heart it’s for the tenacious, the determined, the bold. The rewards are there for the taking and to quote a very familiar saying that is so relevant in this situation, if at first you don’t succeed, try try again!


About yorkshiremummy

Born and Raised in Yorkshire, Now at Large in North America. Working Wife and Mum of 2. Occasionally sarcastic, Often inappropriate, but always real! Having snorkeled with sharks in the Maldives, ridden an Elephant in Sri Lanka, swum in an underground river in Mexico and played with Lion cubs in South Africa, currently enjoying the crazy adventure of motherhood!
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9 Responses to Migration

  1. Him Up North says:

    Does being 50% Canadian get me to the front of the queue? πŸ˜‰

  2. I think you get in automatically on ancestry lol. Are you relocating? There are some nice people here (:

  3. Kate says:

    My neighbour’s son decided to move out there some years ago as he’s a shopfitter/joiner. It took a good few years to get there and a few months after he left, his mum told me that he would be back in a few years cos he is so close to his family but although he comes home for long holidays, he is still there. I suspected that he would stick it out after all the hoops he’d been jumping through to get there. You’re not going to give up after a few months if you have been through all that unless you are really unhappy.

    • The quality of life is good Kate. For the most part you can still leave your bags in the car. People have manners etc. The hard part for me is breaking into circles of friendships as an adult. I love the fact that we have 4 distinct seasons and everyone is outdoors for it all!

  4. JallieDaddy says:

    The impression I’ve got of Canada is that it’s a melting pot nation. Just about every Canadian I’ve met on my travels was ‘from somewhere else’. Im surpised at such a parochial attitiude

  5. Mark says:

    Glad to have inspired a blog πŸ™‚
    I admit I would feel very similar to you, having had an experience before at Canadian and American emigration!
    I’m inspired by you and another friend but I know it is no easy task…..

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