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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2008, 5:35 AM
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Immigrant experience very negative

pretty crappy

Immigrant experience very negative

To the editor:

We are a family of four—with two kids. My husband came from Germany in April 2007 with a valid work permit for a Kelowna drywall company which hires skilled workers at job fairs in German cities. He has very good qualifications—in fact he is a master plasterer and drywaller.

After three months in Kelowna he flew back to Gremany to pick up the family.

We brought everything to start a new life in Kelowna. We were all excited and did not have any worries, as everything seemed to work out well with the company my husband was working for.

Happy to be together again—the situation suddenly changed dramatically. The employer changed the work contract—in his favour, of course.

My husband did not agree to the changes made, and as a result got a “just cause” termination without any warning whatsoever, which means he was fired from one day to the other. This was in September 2007. All the family and stuff here and suddenly—no work, no money. He has not done anything wrong, except for not accepting and supporting modern slavery. That is exactly what his former company was and is doing. In March they will go again to job fairs abroad to first hire and then fool more workers.

We already used up all our savings to bring ourselves and our container to Kelowna—we lost easily over $20,000 in our Canada “experience.”

The worst to come: Looking for help everywhere—Immigration Office, Service Canada, Social Services, Kelowna Community Resources, Employment Standards Branch, Economic Development Commission (EDC) etc.—nobody felt responsible, nobody wanted to support us and nobody was even interested in checking on this company, which is acting without any scruples, exploiting foreign workers and firing them if they do not keep their mouth shut, thus ruining whole families.

Authorities told us that we do not have any status here and will not get any support. As a work permit holder we are not eligible for EI benefits—although we are forced to contribute to EI in advance—it is simply deducted from your paycheque. We fought against this.

In our opinion, it cannot be that Canadian companies go to Europe, lure skilled workers to Kelowna, make false promises and contracts in order to exploit their foreign workers as soon as they are here. It cannot be that the EDC is supporting all this! What kind of country is this? What kind of city is Kelowna where greedy companies and bosses are supported? And where—as soon as the foreign workers are here—nobody feels responsible anymore if something goes wrong.

Well, first we did not want to give up and my husband found a new sponsor company for the new LMO and work permit. But, we were then told it would take up to 14 weeks to get the new permit. After seeking help from Kelowna’s MP in December, his secretary told us that it would now take up to 26 weeks to get the new permit and there would be no way to speed up this procedure.

Why can’t you Canadian officials in B.C. only change the name of the company on the old and still valid work permit? Who can survive without being allowed to work for over half a year?

Thank you Canada, we are at our end and we are going back. Only with the help and support of a few good new friends and my little earnings we were able to manage the situation until now. But we have had enough.

By the way, this is not our only “problem.” Our son was going to OKM high school. From the beginning, he has been treated as a foreigner. His fellow students have been very unfriendly, arrogant and they have made many jokes because of his German accent. Every second day he was asked if he was a Nazi. And, he was not the only “stranger” being treated like this.

Foreigners welcome? Canada is a beautiful country. Kelowna is a nice place to live, but not a good place. We will let the world know.

Doris Zimmermann,

Kelowna

http://www.bclocalnews.com/okanagan_.../15711597.html
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2008, 5:46 AM
cornholio cornholio is offline
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im totally not racist but now a days you have to be a refugee or asian to get in to Canada. or one of those filthy rich hongkongers who buy their way in with a one time investment in to the local economy for a free ticket to canada. sorry but its so true, i know plenty of people who went through these processes from all sides and the process is not fair and is flawed. I have serious issue with people being able to either buy them selves in or being let in because their unskilled workers from a third world country.

in defense of canada this type of treatment of foreign workers on work permits is just as common and even worse in germany.
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2008, 5:57 AM
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sounds terrible....but at least nobody got tasered at the airport. that counts as something, right?
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2008, 8:10 AM
zivan56 zivan56 is offline
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Canada is a country people are avoiding more and more for migrating, visiting, or even passing through to. There are thousands of complaints about how deceitful Canadian embassies are abroad when it comes to recognizing education and skills, and I will not go into details about that.
We even have some Nazi laws that treat most people passing through Canada like criminals...like the fact that a large number of countries (some of them are Schengen zone members!) need a visa to go from one airplane to another! This is outrageous, I have never seen this in any airport in Europe..no matter which passport you hold.

Quote:
You require a Transit Visa if you are on a flight, or other form of transportation, which transits Canada on the way to another destination and the duration of your stay in Canada does not exceed 48 hours.

To apply for a Canadian Transit Visa, please submit the following documents:

* Application form for Temporary Resident Visa to Canada (IMM 5257);

* Two recent photographs;

* The original and a photocopy of your ticket with confirmed reservations;

* Supporting documentation to prove your ties to your country of habitual residence or citizenship (i.e. letter of employment, bank statements, utility bills among others);

* The Canadian Transit Visa is issued free of charge, and is valid for a stay of 48 hours only.
Where else on earth would you need this to switch to another plane not going to that country???

My personal favorite form is the "are you a war criminal" AKA IMM 5559 which is required for Slovenia...a Schengen zone country and a full member of the E.U. and Eurozone.
http://www.canada.org.yu/documents/IMM5559E.pdf

Getting a visa to visit Canada is close to impossible for most non-core members of the E.U. So even if all the same E.U. immigration laws apply to the country as they do to say Germany, they must do the following to be allowed to visit:
Get a letter of guarantee - a person from Canada saying they will cover all their costs and make sure they get on a plane back home
Guaranteer financial report - the person who writes the letter must send in their financial information and income report
Financial status report and property ownership report - You have to own at least one apartment and be worth at least a certain amount to just get a private visitors visa!
Various forms - like "are you a war criminal"

Although there is no "legal" need for all of the above, most Canadian embassies automatically reject claims if you don't have this...they even tell you not to bother submitting it.

Overall, the system is a joke. Because if you come here without a visa by plane and claim asylum...you get an instant visa and the right to stay here for a couple of months, if not years! Now how is this fair for people who follow the rules? I remember a story about a drug dealer from the Honduras who keeps coming back even after a couple of deportations by doing the above.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2008, 8:51 AM
deasine deasine is offline
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oh gosh... well i hope it turns out better for them in the future.
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2008, 1:09 PM
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^ Canada is one of if not the most open and liberal country in the world when it comes to immigration. Per capita we take in the most immigrants out of any country, period. That being said it definitely appears as though are system is flawed. Case in point: my cab driver last night has an engineering degree. If you look at the problem from a completely selfish perspective Canada is only hurting itself . We should be spending 100s of millions of dollars a year on some new bureaucracy with the sole purpose of recognizing immigrants' s qualifications, and helping new immigrants mesh with our society. Think of it as an investment.
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2008, 6:19 PM
leftside leftside is offline
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That's a very sad story to hear. It's also probably why most immigrants choose a city, such as Vancouver to live in as opposed to a smaller town.

As an immigrant myself, I found the whole experience of immigrating to Canada a fairly stress free experience. It was a pain going through the whole process and sorting out the documents, but I didn't expect anything less.

Canada has one of the most open immigration laws in the world, but this hard-working German family should have been given a lot more support.
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2008, 7:47 PM
quobobo quobobo is offline
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You can't just change contracts. Sounds like these people have had a terrible experience (and Canada really does need to do a better job catering to skilled immigrants), but they should really take this to court if the employer simply changed the contract.
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2008, 10:21 PM
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There are 2 sides to every story, I'm sure this guy isn't so innocent either, To get a work visa you need a contract by the employer, it's not like they could re-write it after the fact. He probably demanded a raise or decided he wanted a new contract and refused to work.
If he is as skilled as he claims it would be very for him to find cash work in the meantime until his papers come in.
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2008, 11:34 PM
zivan56 zivan56 is offline
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^^ But he can't work legally...thats the whole point of the story.

Quote:

Well, first we did not want to give up and my husband found a new sponsor company for the new LMO and work permit. But, we were then told it would take up to 14 weeks to get the new permit. After seeking help from Kelowna’s MP in December, his secretary told us that it would now take up to 26 weeks to get the new permit and there would be no way to speed up this procedure.

Why can’t you Canadian officials in B.C. only change the name of the company on the old and still valid work permit? Who can survive without being allowed to work for over half a year?
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2008, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leftside View Post
Canada has one of the most open immigration laws in the world, but this hard-working German family should have been given a lot more support.
Location does matter a lot....of all places for a German family, Kelowna? Really????

Urban areas, particularly the "the big 3" Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, are quite friendly and open to new immigrants.
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  #12  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2008, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanman View Post
^ Case in point: my cab driver last night has an engineering degree. If you look at the problem from a completely selfish perspective Canada is only hurting itself . We should be spending 100s of millions of dollars a year on some new bureaucracy with the sole purpose of recognizing immigrants' s qualifications, and helping new immigrants mesh with our society. Think of it as an investment.
Couldn't agree more. I know of several people who are foreign qualified nurses, engineers, lawyers, doctors etc and it is near to impossible to have their qualifications even assessed here to see if and what further competency exams, courses etc. they should take in order to be qualified in Canada. And even where there skills are assesed and "valuated", the process to bolster those with local qualifcations can take a few years.

I’m not saying that just because someone is foreign qualified means they should automatically be able to work here, but we need a better system to attract well educated, hard working immigrants. Sadly, a highly skilled foreign worker driving a cab in Canada is not uncommon.
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  #13  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2008, 1:35 AM
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what i find weird is how the provinces themselves are different to recognizing things

my dads cousin's daughter is a teacher from South Africa - she taught a number of years in the UK, than her husband was offered a job in Canada so they moved here

she tried to get a job in the public school system but won't let her teach - but she found out that she could go teach in Ontario no problem in their system

after a year or so she got a job teaching at a private school and most of the teachers at the school are in the same boat - they can't teach in the public system but can teach in the private school system
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  #14  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2008, 1:48 AM
LordMandeep LordMandeep is offline
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he could have gone to K-W lots of Germans there.

Also why would you move from Germany.

If your in the East, go to the West side of Germany???

Also I know a man who is more then qualified to be a English teacher. Knows and trains people sports of all kinds yet he stuck to being a driving instructor and a part time religious musician.

Its sad the man easily would be a very skilled gym teacher.
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  #15  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2008, 10:21 PM
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That's very unfortunate for this family.

However it hardly reflects the experiences of hundreds of thousands who immigrate here every year.
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  #16  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2008, 11:05 PM
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its not that bad but its not as good as it should be

people do arrive having been told things that aren't true - like doctors who cannot practice here - there was a special on CBC that showed a number of foreign doctors who came here - some went home to their home countries but a lot of them went to the USA and set up successful practices as they could practice no problem - and some are very successful and have done great work down there and become tops in their field

canada's loss usa's gain unfortunately
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  #17  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2008, 7:54 AM
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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Canada lifts visa requirements for Poland, three other Eastern European countries

THE CANADIAN PRESS

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Citizens of Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania and Hungary will no longer require visas to visit Canada.

The easing of visa restrictions was announced Saturday by Immigration Minister Diane Finley.

She said the visa-free status for the four countries will take effect immediately.

Some 33,300 Poles came to Canada on short-term visas in 2007.

Poland lifted visa requirements for Canadians in 2004, when it joined the European Union.

Finley said the move will help bolster the strong relationship Canada already enjoys with the four countries.

© The Canadian Press, 2008
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  #18  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2008, 4:44 PM
deasine deasine is offline
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That's great! Hopefully it would draw more tourists from that region, especially after the taser incident (that shattered the Canadian reputation).
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  #19  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2008, 5:36 PM
zivan56 zivan56 is offline
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That's obsurd that EU countries needed visas in the first place, as they are all required to have the same immigration policies in place before joining the EU.
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  #20  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2008, 5:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deasine View Post
That's great! Hopefully it would draw more tourists from that region, especially after the taser incident (that shattered the Canadian reputation).
....though terrible, that incident was completely overblown by the media.
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