Interested in immigrating? Here are 5 steps that you can take

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Many people are attracted to the prospect of immigrating to Canada because of its political and economic stability, as well as its green spaces and fresh air. Many imagine it as a land of opportunity and a haven for raising a family. Moreover, Canada has consistently come out on top as the country with the best reputation mainly because of its friendly, fun-loving and welcoming people. For so many immigrants, Canada is all these and more.

But before you pack your bags and buy that plane ticket, here are a few suggested steps to start your immigration journey:

1. Do some more research

Read up on up-to-date sources for statistics about the job market, standard of living, economic condition, safety and security of the specific province/area in Canada that you wish to go to. If you have kids, pay attention to details such as the school system, childcare and health programs. Good sites to visit are Statistics Canada, Job bank.ca, CBC, Environment Canada, province-specific websites, newcomer guides, as well as immigrant forums or Facebook groups (this will be helpful in gauging the general sentiment of immigrants from your home country. You can even get tips about immigrating). The website you are currently on has articles and tips on 12 settlement themes. So browse through our articles and learn more facts about life Manitoba.

One of the best resources for knowing more about Canadian life would be other immigrants. It would be a good idea to get in touch with friends or relatives who have gone through this journey. They can tell you what you need to be prepared for and maybe connect you with other people who can help you. But take their advice with a grain of salt. Not everyone will have the same experience. Also, people’s perspectives and outlook in life can muddle facts. Another option is to visit Canada as a tourist if you have the time and money. You will get to see, hear and feel what it is like first-hand. You will also get to meet people and experience what day-to-day life would be like.

2. Assess your reasons

Have a clear reason for wanting to start in another country. Is it for a better quality of life? Better opportunities for your kids? Or is it just for some change? Having a solid reason for immigrating is crucial especially in times when you face challenges in your new country (these instances are inevitable when you’re an immigrant). It will be the foundation that will keep you stable in the face of difficulties or trials. Otherwise, you will be left pining for your old life back in your home country all the time. Talk to your husband and your kids about the possibility. It’s important that they weigh in on this decision as it will greatly affect them too.

3. Assess your chances

There are several ways to immigrate to Canada, and each one requires that applicants meet certain criteria. You can answer a short questionnaire to determine your eligibility at the CIC.gc site. The assessment will also show you other options that are available to you. You can watch this video from CIC to get an overview of the various immigration streams that may be applicable to you.

4. Assess your resources

Do you have the time and the money to go through the process of application? You will fill out forms, apply for and gather required documents (some of which will need you to take tests), monitor the application, and for some immigration streams, undergo interviews. You will also need to spend for a medical exam. Most of these steps, not to mention the application fee itself, all entail money. Take note that whatever you spend at this point will not be reimbursed in the unfortunate instance that your application is rejected. And should you receive your approval, you will need proof of settlement funds that you need to bring with you, as well as buy your plane ticket which (depending on where you are on the planet) would total to a sizeable amount as well.

5.Make a Pros and Cons list

After data gathering and assessment, write everything down on paper, weighing the pros and cons. By doing this, you will be able to see clearly all that you need to consider before making your decision. If you see that your “cons” list is longer than your “pros,” then it may mean that you should change your strategy and rethink your immigration plans. If, however, you see that your “pros” outweigh the “cons” then, it’s a clear sign that you should go for it. You may need to refer to this list every now and then so it would be wise to keep a copy.

If after careful consideration you decide to apply for immigration, then check the article Applying for immigration in 7 steps for the next phase of your immigration journey. To guide you with all the steps from assessment to departure, you can also download this Immigration Checklist. Goodluck!

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Community Resources

Get all the information you need for applying for traveling to Canada at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada site. The site’s articles, tips and news keep you updated about immigration issues, and provide information to prevent applicants from being victims of fraud.

ICCRC maintains a registry of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) and Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) to identify the professionals it regulates and to disclose their fitness to practice. Here’s the Council’s Membership List.

Discussion forums in sites like CanadaVisa.com and Immigration.ca  can give you a good idea of the concerns and issues applicants face when they are in the process of applying for immigration.  However, be careful about some information given as these sites offer representation. Also, keep in mind that most forum participants are not immigration experts and are only offering advice based on personal experience.  Always refer to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for the final word on immigration information and mechanics.

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