IOM helps migrants to better prepare for their new life in Canada

Several hundreds of Ukrainians preparing to move to Canada have benefited from free pre-departure orientation sessions conducted by IOM Ukraine at the request of the Government of Canada since spring 2015. The project provides future newcomers to Canada with relevant, accurate, and timely information to help them make informed settlement decisions upon their arrival in the country.

Launched on April 1st 2015, the new permanent site of the Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) programme in Kyiv is now in full swing mode. IOM provided pre-arrival orientation over 350 visa-ready immigrants, going to Canada for professional and family reasons. As the number of people willing to get the training increases, IOM started considering the need for other training locations outside Kyiv. Planning for Canada mobile sessions were successfully delivered in Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv and Odesa. Furthermore, in December 2015, IOM reached another milestone in its development by hosting mobile sessions to Canada-bound immigrants residing outside of Ukraine, namely in Chisinau, Moldova. These sessions were specifically anticipated by immigrants in Moldova who had contacted IOM Ukraine with numerous requests to address their pre-departure orientation needs in their country of origin. Positive feedback via immigrant social networks resulted in an increased number of applications from eligible immigrants residing in the CIS region, which led the team to plan for further mobile sessions in Russia, Moldova, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Apart from its geographical expansion, the project team is providing training to a wider number of immigrant categories, including people moving to Canada as investors. COA sessions are beneficial for immigrants with varying backgrounds as most of them have similar reasons for their immigration to Canada.

Ivan, a 43 year old investor, who started his immigration process six years ago, pinpoints the key reasons for his immigration to Canada:

“My brother moved to Canada in 1990. I have visited him many times, and there are a lot of things I like about Canada. I enjoy how Canada values cultural differences, making each immigrant feel at home. The climate is very similar to what we have in Ukraine, with four distinct seasons, which is likely to ease my adaptation. But, I guess, the main reason for me is my family. I have two daughters, 23 and 11 years old, and I want a better life for them and my wife. Moreover, I find Canada to be a promising business environment to further realize my entrepreneurial potential in the field of retail sales. Recent political, economic and military turmoil in Ukraine leaves little hope for a bright future here. I am a businessman, and doing business in Ukraine is like going around in a circle – each five to ten years you need to start over again. This is why I am investing into Canada and into a new life for my family.”

Tamara, a mother of four, immigrating under the Federal Skilled Worker category, shared her feelings:

“Our family decided to immigrate to Canada in order to ensure a better life for us and our children. We believe that Canada is a good place to fulfill our professional potential and apply our skills. In Ukraine, I work as a financial expert and hope to pursue the same career path in Canada. We chose Canada because this country adheres to the concept of justice; it cares about its citizens and permanent residents by providing comprehensive social protection. Like everyone else, I have fears regarding my adaptation in a new environment and I am concerned about finding a decent job. It is hard not to omit some important organizational things while getting ready for your life in a new country. And this COA session is a great idea to equip people with information and a network; it does provide key details on my first steps in Canada and gives my family a certain road map.”

These individual stories echo and resound with the stories of hundreds of other Ukrainian immigrants, embarking on a journey to Canada in order to safeguard a better future for their families. Whilst the economic situation in Ukraine is becoming more and more volatile, a surge in the number of Ukrainian immigrants to Canada is expected during the upcoming years. And the IOM Ukraine team is ready to take up the challenge and equip Ukrainian immigrants with the key pre-departure information to succeed as newcomers to Canada.

To learn about registration for seminars please follow the link.