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Canadian Integration

Migration is never an easy decision. Both premigration (circumstances leading to migration) and post migration factors (Loss of social status, social support, separation from family, difficulty integrating into a new culture, and lack of employment) can be sources of stress for newcomers.

Many newly arriving immigrants suffer from “de-skilling” and are unable to apply their foreign education, skills and experience in the Canadian labor market and many immigrants suffer from occupational downgrading. While immigrants are able to improve their prospects over time in their adopted homelands, the initial years of struggle are always painful. Furthermore, immigrants are seldom able to plug the wage gap with the native-born, irrespective of their education and skills. Hence, circumstances of immigration, culture, and employment expectations shape Canadian economic growth.

The "two-way street" of successful integration requires commitment from both government institutions and individuals. Immigration and Integration looks at the social, cultural, economic, and political integration of newcomers and minorities and establishes measures for assessing the success of integration practices. While the focus is always on the socio-economic integration of immigrants in Canada, the social and cultural integration is critical for economic development. Finding employment is necessary but does not suffice, by itself, to improve feelings about the quality of life, nor for retaining immigrants and their families in a community or region.

One critical cultural commonality is that they all come from places where extended families, kinship and community relations are extremely important. Generally, immigrants from South Asia quickly accept many Canadian cultural patterns while retaining a core of continuity in family and community practice. Parents generally attempt, often quite unsuccessfully, to instill in their children key South Asian family values.

Integration factors manifest themselves in a systemic fashion to allow immigrants to feel welcome and integrated in their communities that attracts, integrates and retains immigrants.

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Education opportunities for youth and adults
  • Services and resources
  • Places of worship
  • Transport
  • Local Networks
  • Friends
  • Services