Most common myths of migrating to Canada
Everything begins with a longing. Longing for a better life, for living in a place with better and greater opportunities, where the value of life is higher than a watch or money from a cashier, a longing for children to grow safe… Great opportunities, public education, a health insurance public system, a multicultural nation with the mixture of culture as one the strongest values of the people and of course one of the best quality of life in the world. The longing becomes a dream, like the European, Australian, United States dream, the Canadian dream comes alive for you. But then, the most common myths about migrating to Canada also make you doubt. What about the cold? Will I be able to insert myself professionally? Do I need to pay to an immigration lawyer to be able to complete the process? Should I migrate as a student because it’s easier? Will I be forced to live a little far away and lonely town?
We are sure you have many questions and we write this article not as experts because here we express only personal opinions, but as foreigners, as a young couple of Colombians who have been immigrants in many countries, with different status and now in Canada as permanent residents and perhaps we can answer many of them here. You can read the whole story of our immigration process for the Permanent Residence in this link.
Whatever your reason is for considering Canada your next country and migrating here, perhaps this post will help you find the answers to your questions.
Myth 1: The cold. I will not enjoy life because of the weather
Both Mauro and I come from warm lands, we are Colombians and in our city, there is summer all year round (around 30 degrees Celsius all year), so believe me when I tell you that we were also afraid to face that “cold matter”. When you listen minus zero (-0) you already find it impossible, considering that your freezer works at those temperatures and you don’t picture yourself in the freezer.
Well, let us share with you that we arrived in the middle of winter (January 24 to be precise) and against all odds, it was a delight for us. Was it cold? Yes. But being well covered with the proper clothing you don’t feel the cold. Well, there was a day when the -28 degrees did kick our skin like needles, but otherwise, it was delicious to enjoy the cold weather and the snow.
We went out to discover new activities: cross-country skiing, skiing with snowshoes, we went to a forest and played little angels in the snow, we went out to the sugar shacks, a typical Canadian activity at the end of winter to try the natural maple honey and traditional food.
In addition, if it helps to your comfort, the buildings here in Canada are very well conditioned for winter, so in closed places, rather than cold, we used to be warm, even hot because of the heating. Really, I felt colder during the winters in France or in Bogotá itself (because there is no heating in the houses).
In summary: we loved the cold and having traveled in winter was great because we already know that it is not as bad as it seems. You will just need a couple of good shoes, good clothing (in layers) and a good attitude to enjoy something different and new activities.
Myth 2. Labour Market insertion: Not everything is rosy
This is a sensitive point. Being an immigrant implies knowing that it will not be easy. Not here, neither in Cafarnaum nor in China. Being an immigrant implies learning to adapt, it implies having to do things that one does not necessarily like, at least in the beginning. Being an immigrant student, for example, implies that you do not have the same rights as others, and even in the case where you can work, because of your condition, you are usually exploited. Being an immigrant with residence is another story because at least you have an option. Now, the challenge is to get find your place, learn new codes, new culture, new language, new rules, new ways. It’s true, it’s not rosy. But was it in your country?
What is what motivates you then to migrate? Is not it the possibility of having a better quality of life, a better remuneration for your skills and your professional background?
Well, it will be necessary to adapt to the changes, make the pertinent diligences (homologations) practices, paperwork, etc. But just as there are people who have come as professionals and have been cleaning houses, there are others who have come as professionals or students and have managed to get some great positions and have successful lives to move forward. This is as relative as happiness in human beings. So do not let anyone steal your dream with the gossip of the neighbor of the neighbor who did not succeed in Canada. Professional and life success will depend on you and will be directly connected with your migration motivation.
Myth 3. It is an expensive process and I will need immigration representation
This is one of the most frequent myths when starting the process and we had the fear of not being able to do it by ourselves. We did a thorough search on the internet and after reading many forums and blogs, despite arriving at the conclusion that it was NOT necessary based on the recommendation of many on the internet, we decided to hire a certified Immigration Agency because we did not want to take the risk of mistakes and neither have to worry about the paperwork.
What a MISTAKE! Although it was a company with extensive experience, which had been on the market for many years, certified and with very good references … It declared bankruptcy! And as we say in my land: that talk was lost. Not only the money, time was wasted because they never applied our documents, so after a year of waiting, we realized that we had not started the process of migration. Then we applied by ourselves and we got it. You will not receive any priority for doing the process with representation. Also, the whole process is highly detailed on the website and you just need to follow the steps. By doing it by yourself you will save you a lot of money.
Conclusion: NO representation of a lawyer or agency is required.
Is the process expensive? Well, this is going to depend on what other processes you compare it with. The truth is, to consider that you become a Permanent Resident and that you enjoy the same rights as Canadians (except the right to vote), those $ 4,000 (rounded) to me do not seem expensive. This is not expensive comparing to the residence of the United States which is much more expensive and when it is necessary to pay a lawyer.
Myth 4: It is easier to migrate as a student (and then change status)
When the migration window opened again after the first time we decided to migrate and we lost the time and the money with that initial process, I so determined to migrate that I start the process to migrate as a student. However, despite having been accepted at a university in Montreal, in the end, we decided not to do leave with that status. Why? I studied for free my two University Degrees in France, with a very good educational quality, paying only for administrative expenses that were $ 500 per year. So, why should I pay more than $ 25,000 dollars a year for a diploma?
In addition, student status is different in each country. In France, for example, it is a very comfortable status, which allows you to work legally part-time, so it can be relatively easy to find a job to help you while you study. In Spain having the study visa was another story and they make it very complicated. What about Canada? In Canada, student status does not allow you to work either, or it is very complicated and with so many specific conditions that make it almost impossible for you to work – legally speaking – as a student. Of course, there are people who manage to locate themselves in the university as tutors, but that is not the case for everyone.
So, considering that studying is quite expensive, that the cost of living is also high and that you will not be able to work, I think that migrating as a student, because it is easier, becomes just a myth. The matter here will be the money. Now, what advantages can this program have if your will is to stay and change status? That with a Canadian study diploma it is easier to get a job, and that implies that this longed for a change of status will be possible once you finished your career. Is it worth the price to pay? I do not have this answer.
Myth 5: The immigration program will limit where I can live (and will end up in a lonely little faraway town)
Canada is the second largest country in the world. With 9.984 million square kilometers, a population density of 4 people per square meter and almost 37 million people in all that space, that means Canada has a lot of room for new people.
But, besides the fact of the big space to share and that demographic transition shows that Canada needs young and vital people to populate the country, Canada needs also to properly distribute the population in order to enhance the growth in places where people, life, and prosperity is needed. But this does not mean the immigration program will limit the place you chose to live in. In fact, Mauro and I we chose Montreal, besides a lot of people brought this myth to us, and here we are, writing you from Montreal.
Now, this said, you have to consider that choosing a big city where everybody wants to be, like Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver, for sure will offer you more activities to do, more fun but also more competitiveness when finding a job, and since there are more people, the cost of living is higher.
In conclusion, the most frequent myths to migrate to Canada are just that, myths.
This is why is so important that before moving forward with your migration intentions you answer yourself some questions. In the end, for the whole change and process to be worth it, you will have to have clearly identified your motivation to migrate.
Our experience so far has been very positive, but like everything, it is extremely personal. I cannot guess if yours is going to be this way too. Maybe it’s better than ours, maybe not. What matters is that your “why”.
Are you happy in your country? Do you enjoy and love the life you have? Why would you give up on it? Would you like to know another culture, live the adventure of living in another country? ¿Are you willing to do things that you not always liked? Are you willing to be a foreigner? Are you ready to transform? Because if there is something for sure is that migrating will change you.
After winter and enjoying the magic of snow we are received spring. We are fascinated with the privilege of experiencing the change of weather. It is good to see the sunshine in the sky, it does well to carry fewer clothes, but it’s also fascinating to know that living in stations is a privilege that this country offers.
Now the city will bloom, summer will warm our hearts and autumn will upholster the landscape in yellows and reds. Stations are a way to connect with internal cycles and moments of change as well. And this is also part of the dream.
For now, we can say that we have loved our new experience here. And we have written this post because we achieved our migrating goal. Sometimes, reading the stories of others’ achievements allows us to identify and hold on to the hope of knowing that we can also achieve our own goals and dreams. This does not only apply to a migratory process but to any dream, one has in life. At the end of the day, the sun shines for everyone, right?
We hope you enjoyed this post. If you liked it, please help us to share it. You may also be interested in reading the migration process from the beginning to end in this link.
Thanks for reading. We leave you with a video of our channel in which we share a reflection of achieving dreams connected with this process of migrating to Canada.