Are you thinking about starting a new chapter in your life as a Colombian in Canada? If you’ve ever considered moving to The Great White North, we’ve got you. This blog explores why moving from Colombia to Canada could open doors and create new opportunities for personal development, a new way of life, and a better future for you and your loved ones. With every major life decision, there are upsides and downsides, so we want to make your decision process as smooth and well-informed as possible. We’ll explain the advantages and difficulties, giving you all the information you need to make your decision.
Advantages of Moving to Canada from Colombia
So, to begin, let’s go over the upsides to moving and living in the beautiful northern landscape we call Canada:
Canada’s powerful economy means there are always job openings, especially in industries like skilled trades, healthcare, mining, oil, and natural resources. According to the Government of Canada, there are programs specifically for welcoming skilled trades workers from around the world willing to immigrate, called Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) and Express Entry.
Access to Education
Canada gives immigrants wide access to quality education, whether it’s in-person or remotely. From world-famous universities and colleges, training programs, and even great high school and elementary curriculums, you know you’ll be getting the best hands-on and academic experience for any age, and from anywhere you choose to study.
High Minimum Wage
In Canada, the minimum wage is higher than in many other countries. The exact amount depends on where you live (check out this breakdown of the minimum wages in every province and territory), but it’s designed to make sure even entry-level workers can earn enough money to afford a decent life.
Better Working Conditions
The Government of Canada says: “Canadians have the right to be treated fairly in workplaces free from discrimination, and our country has laws and programs to protect this right”. Here in Canada, workers hold many rights to fair treatment in the workplace. Employers also provide paid leave, healthcare benefits, and reasonable hours for work.
Canadians have access to a universal healthcare system. This means that most essential medical care is covered, so you don’t have to worry about hefty medical bills that can be accrued in other countries, especially if you have a family.
In Canada, there are social support systems like unemployment benefits and financial aid programs that assist those experiencing unemployment or financial hardships. These initiatives ensure that individuals and families can keep a decent standard of living during tough times.
Canada is famous for its stunning scenery, vast national parks, and lively cities. No matter where you live, you’ll be amazed by the natural beauty and have plenty of exciting things to do, whether you prefer outdoor adventures or urban experiences.
Here in Canada, you’ll find it to be a melting pot of so many ethnicities, which creates an accepting and inclusive environment where every culture is celebrated and shared! Home to many cultural festivals such as Toronto Caribbean Festival, Salsa on St.Clair, Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, Calgary Stampede, and many, many more! If you’re a Colombian Immigrant, Canada is home to a significant Latin American population, guaranteeing you’ll come across familiar foods, vibrant communities, and quite possibly, Colombian neighbours!
Challenges of Moving to Canada from Colombia
There are also some challenges that come with relocating to Canada, too:
Canada’s weather, particularly during winter, is far from Colombia’s tropical wonderland. Even though in most provinces they thoroughly experience all 4 seasons, winters can sometimes be the longest season of all. Adjusting to the unpredictable climate in Canada can be very shocking to newcomers, especially coming from such a hot country. Be prepared to invest in boots, warm clothing, and a heavy winter jacket to keep you safe and cozy during the cold Canadian winters.
Cost of Living
Residing in Canada, especially in big cities like Toronto and Vancouver, has a high cost of living. Housing and rental costs are at an all-time high due to inflation as of September 2023- impacting food costs, gas, utilities, transportation, and many more. This can be a big challenge for newcomers to Canada, so a solid plan and proper budgeting are needed.
Complicated Immigration Process
Dealing with paperwork when moving from Colombia to Canada can be a real headache. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got all the proper documents and follow the rules to the letter, or your visa could get denied. Consider getting help from experts like AG Group Immigration Services; they’re pros at navigating the paperwork process and will make your move to Canada a whole lot easier.
Understanding and following Canada’s tax system and financial rules can be challenging, particularly for newcomers as there are significant differences compared to Colombia’s financial structure. Finding a financial/ tax advisor would be a great help and guide for newcomers.
Depending on your job, getting your foreign qualifications accepted in Canada can be a real hassle. It might slow down your career plans quite a bit. You may have to take equivalency exams or even embark on getting another degree if your education is not recognized as sufficient by Canada
“For any Colombians, with a common-law partner or spouse who is currently in Canada on a study permit, they may qualify for an open work permit for the same duration of your partner’s study permit” Mercedes Cerrano, AG’s Director of Immigration, adds in.
“ It was a shock- a culture shock because people live in a more quiet mentality in Canada.. It took adjustment- we have to learn and move” says Elizabeth Express, a recent immigrant from Colombia- check out the full Podcast of her experience here
So, there you have it, folks — Canada, land of opportunities and stunning landscapes, but also a place with its fair share of challenges. But remember, it’s all about perspective and how you tackle these challenges. Many Colombians have successfully immigrated and started a new life here in Canada. It may take time, but patience is key.
If you’re seriously considering making the move, don’t forget that there are experts like AG Group Immigration Services ready to lend a hand.
In all, weigh the pros and cons, plan well, and with the right support, your adventure from Colombia to Canada could be a life-changing one.