Arrival Survival Canada: A Handbook for New Immigrants

Paperback | March 26, 2008

byNick Noorani, Sabrina Noorani

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Arrival Survival Canada: A Handbook for New Immigrants is an immigrant's guide to the first year of life in Canada and covers a wide array of subjects, such as packing before emigrating, opening bank accounts, creating a credit history, and understanding Canadian school systems. The bookguides readers through Canadian culture and outlines solutions to the issues that newcomers typically encounter. The book provides new immigrants, and people still considering immigration, with a foundation of information upon which to build their new lives.

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Arrival Survival Canada: A Handbook for New Immigrants is an immigrant's guide to the first year of life in Canada and covers a wide array of subjects, such as packing before emigrating, opening bank accounts, creating a credit history, and understanding Canadian school systems. The bookguides readers through Canadian culture and outli...

The authors, Naeem "Nick" and Sabrina Noorani, immigrated to Canada from India via Dubai in 1998. Once here, they were bombarded with questions about Canada from friends and family. This led them to publish The Canadian Immigrant magazine, which has become the go-to resource for immigrants. The magazine spun into a segment on The Link,...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:330 pages, 9 × 7 × 0.75 inPublished:March 26, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195428919

ISBN - 13:9780195428919

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Appeared in Embassy Magazine You have waited nearly a year for your visa to be approved and here you are standing in front of an immigration official at the Canadian mission not knowing what to expect. Suddenly the immigration officer stretches out a hand and says: "Congratulations—your application for permanent residence in Canada has been approved." You are excited about the prospects of a new and perhaps better life in Canada, but it quickly dawns on you that you know very little about the country they call the Great White North. Fear, panic, and anxiety grip you. Once out of the officer's sight, you rush to the Internet and start reading up on Canada. But there's so much information, you quickly get lost. Or you frantically delve into the booklet handed to you by the officer. It's concise and you finish reading it in 10 minutes. You feel a little bit relieved, but not satisfied. In fact, you feel the booklet is too brief and you suspect it doesn't answer all your questions about life in Canada. Two days later, you begin a short orientation course about life in Canada, paid for by the Canadian government. But since the process is conducted by a chap who's never lived in Canada (an Ethiopian-American who tells you Canada and the U.S are pretty much the same country), you don't feel very convinced. That was the kind of feeling I experienced some years ago when my visa to Canada was approved. But with the publication of Naeem and Sabrina Noorani's book Arrival Survival Canada: A Handbook for New Immigrants, prospective newcomers to Canada now have access to a book about what to expect in their adopted country. Written from an immigrant's perspective, the book is an exhaustive but nuanced guide on many aspects of life in Canada. The Nooranis give a detailed province-by-province, territory-by-territory guide on where to get a driver's licence or a health card, how to register children in school, how to buy or sell a house, and how to build a credit history, among many other nuggets of information for newcomers. Naeem and his wife Sabrina arrived on these shores 10 years ago from India through Dubai, where both had been working. The idea to write this book began from information that they had compiled for their friends about life in Canada. "They would ask a question and we would do the research and that sort of created the template," says Mr. Noorani. Although the Canadian government offers immigrants a booklet that gives a general if not simplified view of life in Canada, the information sometimes misses the point. "Now, let's talk about how to get a credit card," Mr. Noorani says. "The government book says if you want a credit card, go to a bank, and choose between a Visa and a Master Card. Now you and I know that it doesn't happen like that. The government doesn't say things about how to create a credit history." Three-hundred and twenty-eight pages long, the book contains short interviews with successful immigrants of various professions from many ethnic groups. In my opinion, the emphasis on these successful professionals paints a rather rosy picture of Canada and obscures the hurdles immigrants encounter here. For instance, almost exclusively, there's little attempt to explain in detail the fact that if one is in a regulated profession, it might take years to have foreign credentials recognized. On the other hand, one might argue that these personal stories could serve as a source of inspiration for newcomers, which almost seems to be the aim. In fact in the book's introduction, Mr. Noorani asks the question, "What makes immigrants successful?" The tips he offers are: stay positive; embrace Canada; have an alternative plan; and steer away from ethnic cocoons, or "silos," as he prefers to call them. Ethnic silos, Mr. Noorani argues, bog immigrants down in an atmosphere of nostalgia, and self-regret. Inevitably, the talk revolves around events "back home" and immigrants become homesick when they hang around their ethnic comfort zones. "And that kind of holds you back from the whole success process," he says. "Almost all successful immigrants have friends from all over, not just one ethnic group." Exhaustive as it is, Mr. Noorani admits there are still things that could be added to the book, and he hopes that as time goes by, there will be an updated version. For example, Mr. Noorani recently lost a brother-in-law. In the process of mourning, he says, he and his wife came across a great deal of information on where to access grief-counselling in many organizations including churches. Had he realized it earlier, Mr. Noorani says, that information should have been in the book. As of now, there are no attempts to translate the book into French, but Mr. Noorani says if there is a need, it will be done. By Brian Adeba
Date published: 2009-07-07

Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. Welcome to CanadaMulticulturalismHistory of Canadian ImmigrationOverview of Canada2. Canada's Major CitiesEconomyClimate and TransportationPlaces of Interest3. What to Know Before You GoWhat to Bring With YouImportant DocumentsFirst Expenses4. First Things FirstSIN CardBefore Canadian Medical Coverage StartsEnrolling Children in School5. Assistance AvailableEnglish ClassesEmployment InsuranceFinancial Assistance6. Medical CoverageHealth Care SystemFinding a DoctorPrescription Medicine7. AccommodationFinding a Place to LiveTenant RightsBuying a House or Condo8. Smart ConsumerismPaying for Housing, Utilities, and TransportationShopping TipsDressing for Canadian Weather9. Banking, Credit, and InsuranceOpening a Bank AccountGetting Good CreditBuying Insurance10. Looking for and Landing a JobResumesInterviewsWork Conditions11. EducationSchool for ChildrenAdult EducationFinancial Assistance12. Driving in CanadaGetting a Driver's LicenceBuying a CarCar Insurance13. The LawYour RightsLegal AidCanadian Courts14. Income TaxesThe Tax SystemTax CreditsForeign Earnings15. Customs and EtiquetteFamiliesSocializingBusiness Etiquette16. Becoming a CitizenApplying for CitizenshipGetting a PassportVoting