To assist my good friend who wants to travel out of the country and yet to chose his destination country, i want to know- the most difficult challenges new immigrants face in your country as they arrive and how do you think this can be mitigated or avoided? when responding, please indicate your country. Thank you...and please make it real!
the common problem in all countries is Xenophobia to some degree.
In my country, the USA, the biggest challenge new immigrants face is some of the jerks who already live here. If you speak with an accent that doesn't sound like the people on TV, or one that's obviously a regional American dialect, many Americans will treat you badly.
On the other hand, some of the other folks who already live here will be very welcoming and helpful, realizing that it's hard to make one's way in a new country and it's nice to hear a friendly voice.
The challenge is to figure out which sort you're dealing with quickly enough to avoid the jerks.
Also, Americans on the whole have stereotypes about certain countries, and it can be hard to overcome those. For example, the general belief in America is that Germans (and to a lesser extent Austrians, Dutch, Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes) are very organized and don't have much of a sense of humor. (Kind of a neutral stereotype, but it can be hard to make friends if everyone assumes you don't like to laugh.)
In big cities like New York, Boston, Baltimore, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, it's easier to fit in, because folks are used to a cosmopolitan mix of people of many different nationalities.
In the Midwest, however, it can be harder, because there isn't that mix, and Midwesterners can be very xenophobic. They can also be some of the friendliest folks you can hope to meet, so, you never know.
On the whole, though, if you find it easy to make friends in your home country, you will probably do fine here in the US. If you find it hard to make friends at home, you'll probably have a harder time here.
Also, there are a lot of nationality-based social groups in the US. Just in my general area there's a German-American group, a Polish-American club, several Irish-American and Scottish-American groups, some Arab-American groups, and so on. If you move to a place where there's an expatriate community form your home country, I bet they'll be willing to help you get settled in.
Oh, you'll also have to get used to miles instead of kilometers, gallons instead of liters (except when buying soda pop), pounds instead of kilograms, and degrees Fahrenheit instead of degrees centigrade. That'll probably drive you nuts for a while, 'cos our system of measurement doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense compared to the metric system.
...response from Canada...your friend could look up a non-profit immigration service agency...i'm sure if you google it, you'll find different groups throughout Canada that just focus on new immigrants (non-gov't)...they'll have the answers in relation to issues some face when immigrating...
As an American, I would have to say getting citizenship and then being accepted by the people around them (including employers).
If one is pursuing citizenship, that is a much longer and more difficult process than being accepted. Americans are by and large a remarkably accepting people.
Not in my experience. A saddening amount of people will suddenly turn against you if you're not the "right" kind of immigrant.
You live in a bad neighborhood then. Americans are extraordinarily welcoming and accepting for the most part.
You aren't talking about illegal immigrants, are you?
No, legal immigrants. In my experience it's really only white immigrants who have been accepted. Other immigrants get shunned (especially if their command of English is anything other than totally perfect) and accused of "stealing jobs".
Your experience is unfortunate but not the national standard.
The whole "stealing jobs" thing doesn't even make sense regarding legal immigrants.
I must respectfully doubt that your view is based on "experience" rather than your own political views and expectations.
That's okay. I have to say I actually find it very encouraging to hear that your experience has been different to mine.
"I must respectfully doubt that your view is based on "experience" rather than your own political views and expectations."
Saw through that one did ya?
"What are the greatest challenges new immigrants face in your country?"
Long lines at the Social Security office.
Next year will be 20 years since I moved to Canada. Life was different in many aspects then, something is still the same. Toronto is so much immigrant's town. In other places they would not like your accent, You'll definitely be "stealing their jobs" etc. Main thing is to ask yourself why did you come here in the first place? And try very hard to accomplish that. I think Canada is more tolerant than other countries to race, color, religion,(or absense of any),accents,at least they do not usually shovel discrimination into your face. Get into some social circle from your own culture and language here, they can tell you the basics, where to go, what to start from. Language, education(skills) are most important. Be patient, expect couple of slaps in the face (figuratively), start with any job you can get, for money and social experience. Not for profits usually bad for job searching. Read ads, talk to people, take as many courses as you can handle. Don't expect to do it fast and easy, but do not despair, you can do that, you might get lucky, but luck comes to those who work hard. That was my experience. and do not expect to have too many friends, you'll be too busy to make a living.
From a UK perspective I'd say; not many. It'll probably be made a little more difficult to get a visa in the first place over the next few years, but once you're there you're widely accpted.
It depends upon how obscure a country you come from, but it's nearly always possible to find a few fellow compatriots given how diverse we now are. Assimilation is pretty easy too I'd have thought. As someone with a foreign partner, she's never had any bother fitting in... you can probably make it easier by speaking good english though.
I tend to disagree, superwags. Unless you are an immigrant yourself you have no idea how much of a rejection you can get from locals just for being an immigrant. Unless you you live in Toronto, or in your case in London, UK. Especially if you DO NOT speak a good English.
Well although obviously I'm not a immigrant myself, I have a lot of friends who are (including a latvian - just checked where you're from!). I'm not from London, I'm from up north and none of my mates have a particular problem and they're from all over the place (Indian, German, US, Czech etc).
Obviously you'll struggle if you don't speak English, but you wouldn't be rejected for it - in fact if someone did reject or mock you on the strength of the fact you were foreign then you'd be viewed very poorly by those British people around you.
My Latvian friend in particular has absolutely no trouble in being accepted despite her patchy English at times - particularly by guys. Though I suspect this may be because she looks like a super model!
What are the greatest challenges that supermodels face in your country?
Cocaine is expensive and they're constantly pestered by drooling men... apart from that, they have it easy.
Drooling men is a big problem in Canada too. And you do not need to be a supermodel, just a nice dress and high heels do the trick, and poor men are drooling, as most Canadian women like to dress comfortably not stylishly.
It's funny how differently immigrants (and even just visitors) get treated based on their looks or their command of the language.
I've stood in line at a store behind someone who spoke with an accent, and when it was my turn, the clerk would make some kind of comment about the previous person's "bad English" (which sometimes is more grammatically correct than the clerk's!). The clerk wouldn't be directly rude to the person with the accent, understand; he'd just complain about them to me afterward.
I've seen this abroad, too. I have almost always been welcomed and treated with friendliness when visiting other countries (it helps, I think, that I've taken the trouble to learn some French and some German and can fake it enough to barely get by in Spanish). But in the UK, I've had a native of the UK complain to me (a visitor!) about another visitor (who was from Japan, and just as polite as I was, if not more so). There's all kinds of folks, all over the world.
On the other side of the coin, a friend of mine was traveling in Africa (In Eritrea, to be exact) and was nearly killed simply for being an American (Apparently the crowd was angry about some American policy change--this is years ago now.) He was saved by a good Samaritan (an Eritrean) who told the angry crowd that he was a friend of his and that he was "okay," and then quickly got him out of there.
I believe the biggest challenge faced by supermodels in my country (USA) is not being picked for the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. That must be devestating (not that I would know...)
You guys are amazing...but i am still expecting to hear a solution to foreigners who don't speak your country's native language, not necessarily english, any language, how do you think they can be helped out?...i like the associations mentioned: German-Us, etc....thats interesting, do they help to put the new immigrant through on language?...and getting work permit?
if you do not have language, you'd better have money, it helps
If you do not have language, no money, no legal status, you are suck, and stuck.
But as I said, somebody who's been through all of this can help. You can live without status, work for a time without status for cash. People find ways. I came to Canada as wife of a permanent resident, my husband came first and they let me in after 1.5 years of paperwork. All I did when I came I went to some government office, signed papers, became a landed immigrant. As easy as can be. it was not easy in my own country to get out, in other aspects too as I did not have any money,no skills good for Canada and 3 small children, and I was scared to death and did not want to come at all! I was afraid of possibility of civil war in my country probably more than of living in Canada.
Is your mate Nigerian too? I know a few Nigerians, but they're here on student visas. There's generally a pretty big Nigerian community in most of the bigger (and university) cities. Church tends to be a pretty good way of them getting in touch with one another initially, I think. I suspect getting a work permit is now pretty difficult.
I'm speaking from a UK perspective again, but the UK has just implimented stricter visas whereby the applicant should speak decent english. In the rest of the EU this isn't a consideration. If he/she are coming for a university post in particular, the English is the language they need, even in Germany, not sure about the French yet. English is lingua franca in Holland and scandanavian countries for uni posts.
You need to be a bit more specific to let me help you!
In the US there are many resources for those who don't speak English but want to.
Except under a few rare circumstances, if you don't speak at least basic English, you will not be able to get citizenship in the United States and will have trouble finding a job, certainly a legal job. I wouldn't recommend coming here without at least a basic grasp of English unless you come directly to a community of fellow immigrants who speak the same language, and even then you should get yourself enrolled in ESL classes as quickly as possible.
Otherwise, the greatest problem is this:
Full size: http://oi52.tinypic.com/j7xgjn.jpg
You cannot get US citizenship without at least passing the test in English (though it is pretty ridiculously easy).
It is all too easy in many urban locations to live and work without speaking any English, though the vast majority of immigrants - legal or illegal - do endeavor to improve their English skills.
Isn't there an exception for certain types of refugees? I haven't looked into it closely because none of my husband's family are refugees, but I thought for some reason there was.
@Jeff, that incident can only happen in Eritrea, because they may have seen few Americans..right here where i live in Nigeria, is Chevron estate, and we have lots of Americans, i used to have one as best friend until he travled back and later got some problems in the states...and may be died...some walks away, you get Victoria Garden City owned by Israelis...and we mix together friendly...let me tell you, here in Nigeria where i come from and where i live currently, Foreigners are more respected and well treated, even the Lebanese people whp sometimes act odd...we tend to be more friendly to foreigners to our citizens...we are hospitable unless something nasty situation occurs...which is very rare...or in some religious extreme regions of Northern Nigeria, dominated by Muslims....
Yes he is from Nigeria...and coming to have his masters in civil engineering...
to add to other contributors' comments, Americans are friendly and accomodating, presently, my immediate elder brother is in Atlanta US, since last month on a business trip, and he do tell me how friendly they are to him, the cab drivers, hotel workers, etc. so i commend them for that.
also, my best friend just came to US last month too, Texas, and trice we have spoken, he said Americans are great people...that i need to change my view and try to come there too...because i have been a strong analyst against US war policies and certain global issues...but comments from family members and friends, are making me think twice....
"i have been a strong analyst against US war policies and certain global issues.."
I think you'll find a lot of people in the US who agree with your assessment of US war policies and certain global issues. (And plenty who disagree, too!)
"Americans" and "The USA" aren't the same thing.
Are you thinking about studying in the US, or emigrating permanently?
i was told that it is easier and faster to get legal status in Canada than in US, but I do not know if it is true.
of course he speaks better english than most native Americans...forgive me to say that. i have a close female friend from New York, since she travled back to states, we speak often, hours...she used to say, i sometimes think you are an English man...your english is so polished and with wonderful ascent more than mine...and not ony her, many do say that too and my friend speaks better than i do...but i also want to know about other non-english speaking nations..you know my course might not be best in an English nation if i am considering to...move...which is not now....cos, you know politics here...lol...much interest...yeah i do...lol
@Home girl, tell me more about studying in Russia and getting permit there...and learning the language, any helpful resources? share with me....The Latvia war was so cruel...like Bosnia, Serbia...i thank God the world is getting calmer...only the Arabs refused to let go...i pray they will soon....getting to the orgasm of it...
Latvia was not quiet, but war like in Bosnia did not happen there. I could have stayed if I knew how hard it is to be an immigrant from all aspects. I had no idea. I know nothing about Russia's laws now, everything is changed, I never visited it (Russia) in 20 years of my living in Canada. Latvia is very poor now.
Russians tend to be super racist, so I'm not sure I'd recommend that an African family move there. The group I went with to study abroad there included an African American and an Indian American. People would literally slow down their cars as they passed to stare at the African American and the Indian American once got stopped eight times in two days by the police (in fairness, this was about a week after the theater hostage crisis in Moscow, whch was perpetrated by people of similar skin tone ). Also, you see swastika graffiti on a regular basis and there are periodic race riots between skinheads and the ex-Soviet Central Asian communities.
I cannot think of one single disadvantage that foreigners may face in my country. Not if the foreign visitor speaks English. This is because the locals welcome all visitors with open arms since they are hospitable and helpful by nature.
One English Lady who settled in Gozo some months ago has remarked to me personally," As my husband says, there is nothing to dislike here".
They will have some difficulty if they try to learn Maltese, which is quite hard to learn.
Australian's are considered to be very friendly people, I would just like to point out: We had a 'Whites only' policy till 1973. These days many of our immigrants are Asian and Middle eastern and are not accepted. Someone mentioned that not speaking English well or at all is a problem, it definitely is. If I were to move to a country where I did not speak the native language I would learn beforehand. If someone can speak a limited English then I know they are learning my language.
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