Canada is attractive to expatriate professionals — until they find the
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febrero 8, 2006 a las 4:50 pm #212859
Catch-22 of Canadian immigration
DUBAI | Canada is attractive to expatriate professionals — until they find themselves in entry-level jobs
February 5, 2006
SPECIAL TO THE STAR, DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The pullout sections of English-language newspapers of Dubai are full of advertisements promising people a better life in Canada — with free health care, free education for children, the right to own property and the ability to choose the type of job you want.
“Become a Canadian citizen after three years of residency,” the ads promise workers who are barred from citizenship here, no matter how long they stay.
Immigration is a booming business in this oil-rich Persian Gulf emirate, which has marketed itself successfully as a tourist and business hub of the Middle East. Consultants hold free seminars every Thursday and Friday in the bustling districts of Bur Dubai and Deira, where a large number of expatriates from the Indian subcontinent live and work.
About 5,000 expatriates in the United Arab Emirates apply to immigrate to Canada every year.
“With a Canadian passport, you can work anywhere, from Singapore to South Africa,” says Sam Bayat, a Canadian lawyer who helps potential immigrants in Dubai process their applications.
“But many also get stuck in a Catch-22 type of situation.”
The catch comes when immigrants who’ve been at the middle- or upper-management level for most of their working lives are offered only entry-level jobs once they have landed in Canada.
“There is one common factor among applicants from the Gulf,” says Bayat. “At least half of them come back.”
Sayed Hussain, an IT professional from India now working in Dubai, says he spent more than $25,000 to immigrate to Canada from Saudi Arabia, “for better opportunities for myself and for a better future for my children.”
When he visited Canada in 1996, the IT sector was booming. But when he landed as an immigrant in 2000, “there was a slump in the sector” and his job applications went unanswered.
“Many immigrants forget the age factor,” he says. “When you have burned your boats, what do you do but work as a security guard or drive taxis?
“How can you compete with an under-25, locally qualified IT specialist?”
When he got a job offer from a bank in Dubai, he jumped at the chance. But he left behind his wife and a son, who soon will be eligible for Canadian citizenship.
Teacher N. Yani says she “ran away” from Canada because she did not wish to spend her old age doing minimum-wage jobs. The process for getting her Indian degrees recognized by the Ontario College of Teachers was long and drawn-out, and in desperation she took up a job as a salesperson in Zellers in Square One in Mississauga, Ont.
She had spent most of her working life teaching expatriate children in Saudi Arabia. When she got an offer from an international school in Dubai, she accepted immediately and returned to the Gulf.
Last year, the Paul Martin government launched the Internationally Trained Workers Initiative and promised to make changes to Canada’s immigration policy.
“It is not enough to have people come to our country,” said outgoing Immigration Minister Joe Volpe.febrero 9, 2006 a las 3:16 am #212860
No a la censura…yo creo que es important divulgar esta informacion …ahora de otra parte del mundo…
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