What is the cost of living in Canada compared to your home country?

What’s it like to go to Canada? What are the biggest challenges of immigrating to Canada? Is it passing through the scrutiny required to immigrate? Is it getting used to a new culture? And, once you’ve gone through it, is it worth the effort? What is the cost of living in Canada compare to your home country?

Applying outside Canada as permanent resident is like trying to enter a castle. Once you are here, you will sigh with a big question….Will I be able to live here?….Will I be able to get an engineering position, an accounting position, a nursing position, a human resources position, etc.? The answer is NO unless you go to school in Canada to upgrade your schooling. Your foreign credential needs to be assessed under the educational equivalency of the province where you reside. Then, another question: After upgrading my school in the province where I live, will I be able to get the position that I had in my home country? The answer is maybe or no.

Is Canada still worthy for me? I would say “NO” for new comers. Why? We have so much new policies that they keep changing and it’s affecting us all, not just the new comers. An example is when a new Regulatory Body of Immigration was changed, new amendments was imposed/new Bills were passed. Bill C-35, An Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, came into force on June 30, 2011. This is an important piece of legislation that enhances the federal government’s ability to crack down on the activities of unauthorized providers operating illegally such as people without the proper business licenses.

New comers are coming into Canada as permanent residents under Skilled Worker Class. They spent lots of money for processing fees and air fares, but what they don’t know is that they can’t get the position they were aspiring. The position that they’ve been practicing or they’ve been doing when they were in their home country. Or, they spent lots of money only to find out later that their applications for permanent residents were refused because of the new policy or policies on their applications to come to Canada. Foreign nationals need to comply with the minimum income requirement (MIN) required by CIC for each class. After all the borrowing and working to save for the requirements for their applications and after landing into Canada, almost all the new comers that I know were frustrated to come to Canada because they can’t find a Canadian skilled job based on the school credentials they have and the professional work experience they acquired in their home country. Some of them have no choice but to stay in Canada in order for them to pay their debts and some of them left.

Loosing your permanent residency status in Canada if you live outside Canada for 730 days within 5-year except when you accompany a Canadian citizen outside Canada, employment outside Canada, accompany a permanent resident outside Canada (Online Material: Chapter 13 Permanent Residency Status Determination, Procedure: Guidelines for examining the residency obligation). If I go back to my birth country for a 3 year visit as a permanent resident, then I won’t be allow to re-enter Canada because I lost my permanent residency status. It’s harsh. It feels like you are being discriminated against person or persons who are exempted, as stated in Chapter 13, Permanent Residency Status Determination. The following is comment that I gathered from a newspaper: Bill C-31 would give the minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism the power to “designate” a group of refugees – including women and youths – who can be jailed for up to 12 months without any judicial review. These individuals can be released only at the Minister’s pleasure or when their refugee status is determined. This type of discrimination is an obvious violation of the charter protection against arbitrary detention and creates a ‘‘second class’’ of refugees. I believe that it is a discrimination on the part of the government

With the introduction of the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, our government is making it clear that if new comers are a bona fide refugee they’re going to get protection in Canada. If they are law-abiding immigrants, they’re more than welcome in this country. But, if new comers intend to come here as a criminals or to abuse Canada’s generosity, they will be stopped or will be returned promptly. That’s what Canadians expect. I am touched and hurt with this closing remark that I gathered at

Are they also including themselves, their ancestors, etc.? We are all immigrants in Canada.

Another example is the Canadian citizenship certificate. After reading the online sources with regards to Canadian citizenship certificate, I found out that some citizenship certificate have expiration date. Do I think it’s worth spending money just to stay in Canada only to find out that some citizenship certificate have expiration date? My answer is “NO” it’s not worth. Although my certificate doesn’t have expiration date, I still think it is not worth for others who were affected for this new policy. Once you become a citizen, you should have the same right with other citizens like not having expiration date on the citizenship certificate. It might be a good idea for the visa offices abroad to mention about citizenship certificate to applicants during the interview. Applicants might just say that it’s not worth going to Canada.

It is not worth for new comers because life in Canada will be different than in their home country. It’s not worth to leave your home country, quit your current professional job/position, and work in Canada in the lower level position as taxi driver, etc. They may have to take a job with lower pay while they upgrade their skills and maybe, they might get “LUCKY”. Even if you earn a higher salary in Canada than you were earning in your home country, the cost of living here may be higher than you are used to.

Sally McCulley
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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