I thought I would link to an article I saw today mentioning that Alberta is launching a new recruitment drive to get skilled US workers to move to Canada. At a purely economic level it makes a lot of sense for Alberta is they have an unemployment rate that is starting to drift toward 4% at which point labor shortages start to occur. However, I can’t help but notice no mention is being made by the Alberta government of the US tax and filing requirements that these prospective US Citizen migrants to Canada are subject to.
I have to admit I have joked in the past that Alberta might do something like this but it appears they are quite serious and planning on targeting Denver, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. According to the statements of Premier Alison Redford’s staff they seem to be indicating that the US political response to these efforts has been quite favorible and specifically mentioned that Ambassador Jacobson helped them select what cities to target. Supposedly tommorow Premier Redford is going to get a meeting with Chicago mayor and former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel to discuss this and other issues further(Chicago is supposedly on a list second tier cities they are targetting after LA, Phoenix, and Denver).
This is a big mistake on the part of Alberta. U.S. citizens are economic threats to the stability of the Canadian economy and the Constitutional integrity of Canadian life.
I am going to write to her and tell her that this is a big mistake going forward.
I should correct my article to state more accurately US “workers” which could conceivable by citizens, green card holders, resident aliens. I don’t believe there are any changes in Canadian immigration law being proposed just Alberta is launching a more aggressive communication effort directed at US residents as to what are the legal options and opportunities for Americans wanting to immigrate to Canada.
“U.S. citizens are economic threats to the stability of the Canadian economy and the Constitutional integrity of Canadian life. I am going to write to her and tell her that this is a big mistake going forward.”
Very true, but if every country had enacted a policy of not allowing US citizens to immigrate there previously then most of the posters of this site would never have had the opportunities that we all have had in being allowed to move somewhere else. I worry that such an action as proposed would hamper the ability of people to legitimately emigrate from the United States to Canada.
What Canada should instead do is welcome US citizens and other skilled foreigners but demand that Canadian sovereignty is absolute over its own territory and deny the right of foreign governments (i.e. USA and Eritrea) to have any claim over its citizens whilst resident.
What classifications of workers are they targeting? I’m curious about this, but I can’t move. I know of a few skilled Brazilians that live there. I think they work in the oil-pipeline industry.
*WE* see the problems associate with having US citizenship and living abroad, but no one else does, neither politicians nor common people. It’s almost as if we don’t exist.
It’s a shame that the US can’t think of an easier work-around for this, like a waiver for US citizens that really live abroad and can show that they don’t have much connection to the US apart from some family members….
The simple answer is oil and gas and construction however, in Alberta especially you can have labor shortages in almost any area. I suspect you’ll see classifications such as nursing, doctors, IT, pilots with certain type certifications not common in Canada, teachers, just about anything above Burger King and McDonalds. Alberta has quite a few constructions projects continuing to go on the ring roads in Calgary and Edmonton, the huge expansion of Calgary International Airport, the twinning of the Trans Canada highway between Banff and Golden BC, and more projects than I can count in oil and gas. The one key thing that no one wants to talk about is it is easier for Americans to get their credentials recognised in Canada than most other non Canadians and credential recognition is becoming a big issue.
I know several “Failed Canadians” as they call themselves from various EU countries. Most of them were disenchanted when they moved there and really were hit hard at how their credentials simply did not transfer over well. These were immigrants to the Anglo parts of Canada, but I have become aware as well that lots of immigrants to the French-speaking bit come back after a few years as well:
I think that, on the European side, I can say that lots of Europeans view Canada as a sort of “Europe in America”, when I would argue (and I hope that I don’t annoy too many by saying this!), that it felt more like an “America, but with sensible politics, healthcare, and values” when I visited. I don’t really know how to describe with more precision how Canada felt like to me and the people that I know who came back. The bottom line though is that lots of immigrants there were expecting to find something a bit more familiar than what they were expecting I suppose.
The issue of qualifications not transferring over is really fascinating, because here in the EU, Russia and several other countries we have now the “Bologna Process”, which has standardised our higher education systems across all of the member countries and most degrees are transferable without any issue. Lots of Russian doctors work in Germany, for example, and do not need to be retrained or go back to University. I haven’t really met anyone who was trained outside the EU whose qualifications needed to be redone (from another industrialised country anyway). Every country in green in the screenshot below is a member of the Bologna Process:
I can’t personally comment on what challenges immigrants to the EU face since all of my degrees are from EU universities – Maybe someone who immigrated here after University could share how transferring their degree worked for them?
What you are discussing is a real problem. See this blogpost on another blog to which I am a regular contributor.
I would say under present arrangements which are hardly desirable forcusing on getting immigrants from the US is actually a smart move if the provinces(which handle most issues of credential recognition) are more willing to accept their credentials. In particular a lot of Canadians go to college in the US(Jim Flaherty for example) and then return to Canada so Canadian employers have always had to recognize US college degrees/education. I would say in terms of something such as the medical profession I would tend to doubt any province would refuse to give a license to someone who went to Med School at a big US university having said that I would have to check for sure.
According to what I am reading below Canadian and American medical schools are considered equivilent for licensing in Canada.
I just read what you posted (and the comments as well). I must say, that was pretty hard to read! This just hasn’t been an issue for years where I live since every university from Oxford to the Moscow State University are all using ECTS (European Credits), so we can all see how many credits a degree is worth and so on.
I was really shocked to read though the many comments which simply implied that having a Canadian degree was better or maybe on par with a degree from Harvard, Oxford or LSE? Really? Is that a joke, because everyone in Belgium would know that somebody with a degree from one of those attended a first rate university! The comments about having an “English-sounding name” sent shivers down my spine as well, because that is EXACTLY what happens in Germany. I have a friend whose dad said his German boss simply throws away any CVs with a non-German sounding name at the top without even reading them, and the practice is still widespread.
Obviously not all degrees are created equal and everyone can tell that a degree from North America, the EU and some Asian countries are simply hands down better than mostly anything from other countries. EU employers would have trouble with an African CV as well since we simply don’t know anything at all about the quality of the education that they might have received there. However, I don’t think that most applications would be prejudiced against someone who went to the Universty of Toronto instead of
The commentor mentioning IT had a great point as well – The US might be a really insular country, but I’ve rarely heard any story of immigrants fighting to have their advanced qualifications recognised! I hope that Canada finds a workable solution to this issue soon.
Out of curiosity Tim, how do UK degrees tend to be viewed in Canada versus other EU ones? I ask purely out of self-interest 🙂
Opps bit of a mess up there. Meant to say something like “University of Toronto instead of Manchester, Edinburgh or whatever”!
@Don – this was a big issue for me when I arrived 20 years ago. I had a degree in Political Science from a mid-level American university (University of Washington). For the most part it was downgraded – the HR departments in France didn’t know the school and weren’t inspired to find out more. 🙂 Since then my experience is more important then my degree but I still went to a French school for an MBA.
I write a lot about the Blue Card on the Flophouse and credentials are one of the most frequently asked questions. Here is a post I wrote back in July about it: http://thefranco-americanflophouse.blogspot.com/2011/07/european-blue-card-recognition-of.html
I would love to know more about the Bologna Process. I’m going to look into it and write about it for my readers. If you have any good links to share – I’d really appreciate them.
The issue of credentials has been a big problem for people immigrating to Canada. Beginning in 2007, at least three Canadian provinces (Ontario, Manitoba and I think Nova Scotia) have tried to solve this by enacting their “Fair Access To Regulated Professions” legislation. It is still too early to see how it will work, but the intention it to give immigrants the right to have their foreign credentials assessed in accordance with objective standards. For example,
Note that the medical profession was able to get an exemption from this.
In any case, this is a real “sore point” for immigrants to Canada.
I think that someone in your position now would be better placed to enter the EU with an identical degree. I can’t speak for France, but Germany and the UK have official agencies which judge what your degree is in UK terms and converts your marks to classifications that recruiters can understand. Here is the UK website for example:
I have a friend whose mark was converted from the US GPA scale to the UK classification system, number of UK equivalent credits deduced, etc. Seemed to work for him.
I hadn’t thought of the intersection between the Blue Card and those coming from overseas needing their degrees to be converted. One thing I can say is that people from the US, Canada, Hong Kong and others should be able to get their degrees recognised easily now, since the same classification systems are used in all EU countries now: Bachelor, Master and then Doctorate. Beforehand each country was a mess and it would be hard to convert degrees. Everyone who completes even a bachelor’s in Italy is called “Dottore(ssa)” for example, while the equivalent to somebody who completed a degree that would be a doctorate elsewhere would be a “Dottore di ricerca” in ITaly. German “Diploms” are now also Bachelors, etc. This kind of inter-European confusion has died a lot thankfully.
The Wikipedia article is actually pretty good to get an idea of how different all of the systems were (or still are in some cases) and how it has affected each country. People I know in Germany don’t like the Bologna Process because they consider the new classifications to be “Anglo-Saxon” 😛
Here is a study by the House of Commons about the consequences (both good and bad) from the UK joining and gives a good overview of everything in general:
A US perspective on Bologna:
From the Association of Canadian Universities:
Some news stories:
Basically, lots of member states were worried about losing control over their university systems and others didn’t like the new classifications. It is a very ambitious project that hasn’t quite achieved its goals yet, but which has been considered very successful so far considering that over 40 countries participate, including some odd ones out like Kazakhstan. There is rising talk of the new European Higher Education Area in terms of its appeal overseas, and it looks like Canadian and US universities are starting to view it as almost a competing “brand”, with some even looking into possibly converting to the system or figuring out ways to offer a compelling alternative.
I didn’t realise how hard it is to find in depth analysis of the Bologna process that wasn’t done in a serious study, and I apologise for how dry some of the links are. I guess that reporting on it doesn’t sell papers though 😛
Fascinating topic though and I look forward to reading your post about it!
One other thought – You might want to consider mentioning the EU’s “Lifelong Learning Programme” as well, which encompasses work and study related exchange programmes. Erasmus, mentioned in some of the articles above, funds EU students to study in other EU countries, and this is made easier due to the ECTS credit system under Bologna.
I didn’t personally do Erasmus, but I did do two other EU programmes: European Voluntary Service and the Leonardo da Vinci work experience programme. Both offer opportunities to work in other EU countries, increase language competency, etc. You might want to mention to your readers as well that none of these programmes are restricted to just EU citizens or even residents: I met lots of people from former USSR countries during my voluntary service year and I know someone from Turkey who did a Leonardo traineeship in the UK. A couple of the people that I knew through the Voluntary Service programme were able to stay afterwards as well.
@Don – Thank you! “Dry” is not problem – I love doing research. 🙂 I’m going to start working on the post today. As I said I had many questions about it and the Blue Card. In my opinion, if the EU can just get this program rolling, they will be able to compete successfully with the US for those THQ (travailleurs hautement qualifiés). It is a really REALLY good deal – much better then an H1-B and a serious rival to the Green Card.
Pingback: U.S. citizenship as a disabilty – How much longer will other countries allow U.S. citizens to immigrate? « Renounce U.S. Citizenship – Be Free
Pingback: Countries compete for immigrants who are entrepreneurs – Join the discussion | The Isaac Brock Society