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Canada awaits

Advice from South Africans Already living in Canada

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Canada awaits

Good Day to all

This question I pose to all south africans already living in Canada as well as to those South Africans who've researched enough to know better.

So, I landed up this website that's all about why not to immigrate to canada? and quite frankly the topics and articles i've read and seen on the website are enough to scare anyone off from immigrating to Canada. So, my question is this? is Canada really as bad as they say it is? is the cost of living really that high? is it really that difficult to find a job? does one really have to settle for hard labour positions if you are a skilled professional?

I don't want to be scared off of immigrating to Canada but i also don't want to go into this with my eyes closed, i want to be fully aware of what i can expect when I immigrate, because like many of you i have a small child to think about and CANNOT afford to make a mistake.

When we started researching immigrating to Canada we only read and heard about the good stuff and why Canada is such a wonderful place, consultants and websites really make Canada sound like the "land of dreams" makes anyone sign up right away because all a person ever wants is security, good job and the ability to live in peace and provide for your family.

So to all the south africans already in Canada, How difficult or easy has it been living and adapting to the Canada?

Thanks

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macdonlg

please give us the web address so we can read the comments made and then we will be able to comment on what was said. I can tell you there are difficult issues, but overall it is worth the effort.

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Island Life

I agree with macdonlg, but where are you going to move to that there are not going to be difficult issues? Canada is the 8th country that I have lived in, and I think there is no where that you have a smooth ride. You are starting a new life, and integrating into a society where Canadians, by virtue of the fact that they were born here, have a head start on you. You need to come adequately prepared with a plan on how you are going to integrate and hit the ground running. I don't think you should expect though that a red carpet will be rolled out because you are arriving. There are a lot of immigrants here, and there are a lot of support networks available to newcomers to help them find their feet, but finding the job you want, the house you want, the school you want, etc. is up to you. To answer your question - I have been here, in ALberta, almost 8 months, and I have found it very easy to settle in.

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ebow3d

I think I know which site you are talking about. NotCanada.com

One thing that struck me about that site, and a documentary that I've watched, is that the immigrants that they refer to are highly skilled, yet find themselves unemployed or working for a minimum wage in Canada. An example was a pharmacist with phd and his own business in India, yet after four years in Canada still unemployed. Now frankly, if it was me, I would have returned to my home country, or somewhere else. Why would a person with a phd rather be a taxi driver in Canada? Surely, a pharmacist with his own business in India is not doing too badly, financially.

They mention many similar cases, engineers, medical surgeons, etc, mostly (in fact exclusively) from Asia with successful careers in their home countries, but unemployed in Canada. One has to ask: "Why do they stay?"

Personally, I believe that site is the work of a few disgruntled immigrants. Don't believe everything you read on the interwebs. Another cool site is this one.

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Rolé

We have adapted pretty easily here in Canada. And there are plenty of work for skilled professionals. You have to do your homework about what is available and where. You can browse through some job sites like monster.ca to get an idea. Do a google search on some cities and read about them. It's not all easy sailing for a lot of people, but most South Africans so far seem to have made it work.

You also have to keep in mind that in many of the medical fields people have to requalify if they come from certain countries. My doctor is from India and she had to write two or three exams here before she could practise medicine. It could very well be that all these highly qualified people from Asia just didn't want to bother with requalifying or maybe couldn't afford to do it. So now they aren't able to work in their field of expertise and get disgruntled because of it. As to why they stay, maybe they just can't afford the trip back home. It's never wise to judge someone if you don't know all of their circumstances.

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Harry

We've discussed notcanada.com ad nauseum. I suggest that what needs to be said has been said.

Take a look HERE.

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natalieh
So, I landed up this website that's all about why not to immigrate to canada? and quite frankly the topics and articles i've read and seen on the website are enough to scare anyone off from immigrating to Canada. So, my question is this? is Canada really as bad as they say it is? is the cost of living really that high? is it really that difficult to find a job? does one really have to settle for hard labour positions if you are a skilled professional?

Monique,

Adjusting to life in Canada is not difficult at all. It just depends on you, how motivated and tenacious you are. Finding a job in Canada is relatively easy, much easier than in South Africa. If you can't find a job in your field as soon as you land here, then you take something else in the meantime to get some money in and to familiarise yourself with working in Canada.

The cost of living is not nearly as high as it is in South Africa. We don't have to pay for schooling and medical is subsidised. We had a discussion not so long ago about our monthly expenses in different provinces, have a look for the thread.

Bottom line is, in South Africa my husband wasn't working for all of the 4 years that we lived there after we returned to SA from the UK. He couldn't find a job in Cape Town in IT as he wasn't the right skin color, and also, what they pay people there is pittance. He couldn't then do something else like construction or pump gas etc. as people wouldn't have employed him as again, he wasn't the right skin color.

In Canada even if you pump gas, or work as a garbage collector, it is an honest job and you can live. Lot's of people here work 2 jobs. It's normal.

Almost all of the immigrants who complain about not finding jobs etc. are those that come here expecting the welcome mat to be rolled out for them as soon as they step of the plane. Then you have those who do not bother to integrate into Canadian society and have lived here for 5+ years and cannot or will not speak English.

I'm sorry but I have no sympathy for them.

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macdonlg

if you cannot find a job in Canada then you are either not looking for one or lazy, or you refuse to take a lower level job and work your way back up the ladder.

We've been here 3 years now and can honestly not say it's been difficult - on the job front I've had a tough time but have never had a shortage of money - I've done some very entry level work here and if nothing else can now say I have done retail sales selling audio, video and appliances and worked as a teller at a bank, now I am into recruiting and love it. Finding work has been easy, finding the exact job I wanted has been tough.

As for every other aspect of life here I am fully settled and will not go back to SA, maybe to another country, but never back to SA.

Each one has to make a choice but I think life in North America is incredible - things that people take for granted on a daily basis is amazing. The exposure people have to places, other people and lifestyle. If people think cost of living here is expensive they have not lived here. In SA we were spending about R2200 per month on groceries for a family of 4(2 small kids) and then only buying basics and a few luxuries. Now were spend about $500 for groceries, with growing boys and buy what ever we want, never a shortage of luxuries ever. It's no comparison. Every weekend we are out buying something or going to movies or bowling or something like that & we don't make a huge salary but we are still able to do what we want.

I think you should look at it this way, what do you have to lose coming to Canada(or anywhere else) and what do you have to lose by staying in SA. - the answer is simple.

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Paisley

I found in my coming into contact with SA in UK, that people leave SA with the attitude that they can get the same position in another country than they had in SA. Sorry I have news for them! It is a third world refugee mentality to arrive in a country and demand food, house and allowance. Immigration is not for the faint hearted. Does not matter where you move in the world, you will always have to start over.

A person have to ask why do you want to move and what am I prepared to do to make it succesfull for myself and my family.

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Canada awaits

Hey Guys

Thanks for all the responses, much appreciated. Went to a seminar about immigrating to Canada tonight and it has again confirmed why we have decided to immigrate to Canada.

So not gonna be scared off by some disgruntled immigrant, we are gonna hit the ground running and make the best of our new lives in Canada.

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dieulefit
Hey Guys

Thanks for all the responses, much appreciated. Went to a seminar about immigrating to Canada tonight and it has again confirmed why we have decided to immigrate to Canada.

So not gonna be scared off by some disgruntled immigrant, we are gonna hit the ground running and make the best of our new lives in Canada.

There you go, that's the correct attitude! Good luck and let us know when you arrive here.

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LynK

Please let me know which seminar you went to.

I've been looking everywhere, but only the Oz and New Zealand expo's are coming up - nothing on Canada.

Thanks

Lyn

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Zonnenshine

I arrived on a visitors visa here in Canada in June 06. Stayed with my mom's sister and her family while I met my now husband for the first time (we met online 4 years prior to me arriving in Canada.) Anyhow we got engaged a month after I landed and married 3 months later after extensive research into paperwork confirmed that getting married in SA and then applying for paperwork meant I would be stuck in SA for up to 2 years. From within Canada, spousal sponsorship route, I received my permanent residency the 20th November 07, exactly 6 months after applying.

I find the people here to be really nice. They are friendly. I have looked into jobs in the childcare field because that is my passion, everyone knows here in Canada that there is a shortage in this field so good for me!!! :) Anyhow, I have had a great response from the ads I posted, and if it wasn't for the fact that, being newly married we don't own a car yet, and that we are moving across Canada at the end of this month, I would have had a job right now. I don't think it is that hard to find a job ... you just have to keep looking ... even if it means taking another job in the mean time while you keep hunting the job down that you want to be doing. I didn't come to Canada with the expectation of fully immigrating ... but I am here now and I am here to stay en as ek moet veg om vir myself 'n plekkie in die son oop te skrop, sal ek so maak. Ek gaan nie stil sit en luister na ander mense se negativity nie!

Leaving everything behind and starting a new life is hard, but who said life was easy right? It is all about the right attitude ... Canada is a beautiful country, I am almost here 2 years now and I don't regret a single minute of it.

You have to have guts to stick out the immigration time line if you are applying from South Africa, and I am proud of all those people who have done just that. It shows character ... and builds endurance!

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Paisley
Please let me know which seminar you went to.

I've been looking everywhere, but only the Oz and New Zealand expo's are coming up - nothing on Canada.

Thanks

Lyn

There is UK expo in Cape Town in July if I am not mistaken. You may consider the UK route to Canada. Only Canadian Expo is in London in June. I decided to go and have a look as I am closeby.

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Canada awaits
Please let me know which seminar you went to.

I've been looking everywhere, but only the Oz and New Zealand expo's are coming up - nothing on Canada.

Thanks

Lyn

Hi Lyn

well not sure when and where the seminars in JHB are, but i'm sure if you contact either International Immigration Alliance or TG Migration they would beable to let you know when their next seminars are. My personal opinion, didn't really learn anything new, everything they talk about i already know :) they basically tell you just enough to get you interested and then if you have any questions you need to set up an appointment with the consultant (which costs you money) The seminar i attended was for all the countries (UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada).

International Immigration Alliance www.immigrate.co.za

TG Migration www.tgmigration.com

hope this helps.

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Alwyn

I see there is an expo coming up in Johannesburg later this year.

Can anyone who has attended one of these job expo's comment on how useful they are?

There seems to be a lot of focus on the medical field which I'm unfortunately not involved in...

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lambertg
I think I know which site you are talking about. NotCanada.com

One thing that struck me about that site, and a documentary that I've watched, is that the immigrants that they refer to are highly skilled, yet find themselves unemployed or working for a minimum wage in Canada. An example was a pharmacist with phd and his own business in India, yet after four years in Canada still unemployed. Now frankly, if it was me, I would have returned to my home country, or somewhere else. Why would a person with a phd rather be a taxi driver in Canada? Surely, a pharmacist with his own business in India is not doing too badly, financially.

They mention many similar cases, engineers, medical surgeons, etc, mostly (in fact exclusively) from Asia with successful careers in their home countries, but unemployed in Canada. One has to ask: "Why do they stay?"

Personally, I believe that site is the work of a few disgruntled immigrants. Don't believe everything you read on the interwebs. Another cool site is this one.

Yes I have to agree with you - Disgruntled immigrants. I have read this site and have to agree - One needs to consider the source.!!! The problem is the standards in Canada are much higher than any of these other countries. You cannot compare the work ethic in India or Asia to that of Northern America. Yes they work hard but that's about it. The quality of work is not that great at all. Also most of these people are technically sound but when they are needed to think out of the box and see the bigger picture - that is another story.

You also have the language barrier. You must also remember some of these immigrants first language is not English.

I read somewhere that about 60-70% South Africans who immigrate to Canada end up working in their field of choice. So it all depends on you . If you got what it takes - go for it. !!

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Conanboris
Yes I have to agree with you - Disgruntled immigrants. I have read this site and have to agree - One needs to consider the source.!!! The problem is the standards in Canada are much higher than any of these other countries. You cannot compare the work ethic in India or Asia to that of Northern America. Yes they work hard but that's about it. The quality of work is not that great at all. Also most of these people are technically sound but when they are needed to think out of the box and see the bigger picture - that is another story.

You also have the language barrier. You must also remember some of these immigrants first language is not English.

I read somewhere that about 60-70% South Africans who immigrate to Canada end up working in their field of choice. So it all depends on you . If you got what it takes - go for it. !!

I watched the little news clip on Notcanada.com. The thing that gets me is the apparent sense of entitlement. It seems a common thread in all those stories. I understand and certainly appreciate that these are all hard-working people- but why is it that so many others succeed? For example: every doctor I know who has gone over to Canada has had to spent time in rural areas and complete their Canadian registration exams. It's just the way they do things over there and it insures parity. AND it's the price these doctors pay for eventually ending up in the bigger cities. Yet, I wonder how many of these unsuccessful immigrant professionals, in whatever field, are actually following the Canadian procedures to the letter.

My brother (who's been in Canada for ages) had a little mantra for me to help me become accustomed to the idea of living in Canda: Assimilate, don't annihilate - which is basically his way of saying: if I want to succeed, I need to learn and fit into the Canadian way and not try to force or cling to my own/old ways.

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Sheldon
I watched the little news clip on Notcanada.com. The thing that gets me is the apparent sense of entitlement. It seems a common thread in all those stories. I understand and certainly appreciate that these are all hard-working people- but why is it that so many others succeed? For example: every doctor I know who has gone over to Canada has had to spent time in rural areas and complete their Canadian registration exams. It's just the way they do things over there and it insures parity. AND it's the price these doctors pay for eventually ending up in the bigger cities. Yet, I wonder how many of these unsuccessful immigrant professionals, in whatever field, are actually following the Canadian procedures to the letter.

My brother (who's been in Canada for ages) had a little mantra for me to help me become accustomed to the idea of living in Canda: Assimilate, don't annihilate - which is basically his way of saying: if I want to succeed, I need to learn and fit into the Canadian way and not try to force or cling to my own/old ways.

Assimilate, don't annihilate. I like that! Thanks - it has encouraged me!

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Conanboris
Assimilate, don't annihilate. I like that! Thanks - it has encouraged me!

Well, he certainly repeated it to me enough times :-) Methinks me may have been giving me a hint

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Merv

The other quote which I like is "They adopt, we have to adapt"

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debbieD

We came over in 1996, and the economy in Canada was in a downturn at that time, or just starting to recover (can't remember which), however, my H had no problem finding a job within his field, albeit contracting and in a lower position. This will not be everyone's experience, but if you apply for everything and anything, you should find a job, perhaps even in your own field. You just have to be committed to the new country and culture, and it will go so much easier for you. It's all about attitude. In my opinion, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain especially if you have children. The best thing we ever did as parents was to get our kids out of SA, not only because of the safety issue, but also education, which I believe has declined there quite a bit. And, what kind of jobs will they get one day (I doubt if the work laws re whites are going to change soon there)? They would probably have to leave SA anyway (if they can), then we would have to try and follow them and that would be a lot more difficult.

In the end, each experience is different, but I haven't heard of any South Africans going on welfare or being homeless and destitute in Canada. Not one.

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Michkin
I see there is an expo coming up in Johannesburg later this year.

Can anyone who has attended one of these job expo's comment on how useful they are?

There seems to be a lot of focus on the medical field which I'm unfortunately not involved in...

Hi,

We attended the Canada Expo in London last year. (we live in the UK) It was quite informative, ie there were talks on the immigration process, easy routes to follow, things to do and not to do.

As for the work side, my husband is a Hardware Design Engineer (Electrical) and there were no companies requesting /needing engineers. If you were a builder, plumber, nurse or doctor - so in the medical or building field you would probably have no problem finding a job. This years expo will have an Engineering section added, so we might go up to London again for that.

My brother and sister-in-law who are in Midrand, JHB and are in the building and medical field will be attending the expo in Midrand in July.

In my opinion it is worth going. If anything it makes you want to live in that beautiful country even more!

Michelle

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JeanG
Assimilate, don't annihilate. I like that! Thanks - it has encouraged me!

I think that is very true, was looking at redoing my CV and eventually paid a recruitment specialist to redo it.... she does it for a living and KNOWS what the locals want... After looking at hers, I am sure I wouldn't have seen a single interview based on my SA CV.

Become part of the society and culture....

Jean

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Joo$y

Hi JeanG

I know its been like 7 years since you sent that msg but by any chance do you still have that lady's contact details who helped you reformat your cv to canadian std?

Please kindly respond if you read this.

Thanks 

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