Every year the Citizenship and Immigration department of the Canadian Government (CIC) offers the opportunity to many Italians, as well as citizens of other partner countries, to work in Canada for a temporary period and explore the country. Italy has sent thousands of citizens and many are trying to enter the contest every year.
What many Italians do not know, is the real purpose of this project, called IEC (International Experience Canada). As its name says, it is simply an opportunity to spend 6 months working in a foreign country and 6 more months are given to explore the country after having worked. It is an experience, not a way to migrate there. However, many Italians think that since the crisis does not seem to end, they might try this type of “
But the Canadian Government makes it quite clear. The IEC program is available to citizens aged 18-35, and if someone has already participated, they no longer have the right to participate again. Why? Because we are not in the 1920s anymore, when Italians were leaving Italy in spring and coming back to their “patria” in the winter, the North American economies cannot afford to grant seasonal visas every single year to foreign workers while they face unemployment among their own citizens. Yes, unemployment is present in Canada and the US too, even if many people think that countries like Canada are the new Paradise on earth.
To prevent unemployment, the Canadian Government states that any foreign worker who wishes to work in Canada must possess a positive LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) in order to be hired by an employer. Yet many people ignore the existence or the right meaning of this rule.
In almost a month, the new IEC contest will open for Italians, and many groups are starting on Facebook, with the purpose to give information to new prospective participants and share experience of those who had the luck to work in Canada in the past years thanks to this opportunity.
The real problem is made by the low skilled masses who believe they can get into another country by simply getting help from a relative or a potential employer, and stay in Canada after their work permit expired. Most of these people are looking for jobs which do not require particular skills, like jobs in the catering field. Hundreds of Italians want to start their new life in another country by working for other Italians, in restaurants, pizzerias or other companies, because it is easier for them to integrate, they do not need to learn English or French and they may find a job easily because they do not require language and/or specific skills. Many tell the Embassy officers, as well as the Border Agents that they have family in Canada and therefore eligible to stay because their relatives will grant sponsorship and help finding a job. It may work in a country like Italy, but it definitely does not work in a country like Canada. If found overstaying or ineligible for entry, a person may risk a removal order as well as prohibition to enter Canada for one, two years or even your entire life, depending on the severity of the case. Many even hire Immigration Lawyers who cost a lot of money to get assistance from, but they are not able to make miracles, no matter how much you pay them.
What is really shameful of these people is that they influence others’ people opinions towards Italians negatively and it will generate discrimination against honest people, who are participating to the IEC program just to add an international experience on their résumé, just like Erasmus students do all around Europe.
But why are many Italians thinking that Canada is the place to be? Why do many Italians think that immigrating to Canada is easier than immigrating to another country, such as the USA? The answer is simple. A very few people know something about the Canadian Immigration law, as well as the US Immigration law. A very few people do not use Google Translate to be able to read government websites, and this is because a great amount of Italian citizens lack in basic English knowledge, and this is disgraceful. The Italian education system is to blame for this, as well as many English teachers working in Italy and not being able to teach how to speak correctly and understand the language. Yet students are to blame too, because the mentality towards learning other languages is very closed, even when they feel they are in need to leave their country in order to have a future.
This article is based on personal research on different forums and Facebook groups, and it does take into consideration only the percentage of low skilled citizens, therefore no reference is given to the high skilled immigrants here.
Giulia Getta Verticchio 26 December 2014 in WHV Canada-Italia
Sources: CIC Citizen & Immigration Canada Website: http://www.cic.gc.ca and personal research among social media.