Tuesday, June 26, 2012


With the troubles in Greece increasing rapidly, Greeks are trying to emigrate. But migration to Canada is difficult for most. The requirements for those who do not have a job offer are very onerous and may be a roadblock to migration. Beware of those who offer "guarantees' or "jobs and immigration", they usually misrepresent and are simply opportunists who make false promises.Potential immigrants should consult a reputable lawyer specialized in immigration law to get the appropriate advice prior to starting the immigration process.

Greek misery could mean Canadian immigration gains

Educated, English-speaking potential immigrants are looking to escape from the faltering economy of their homeland

It was never Greece's intent, but it has inadvertently provided a generation of talented young Greeks with the means to escape from the country's rapidly shrinking economy.
Greece's calamity may be Canada's opportunity.
Ottawa intends to take in 250,000 immigrants this year, with plans for a much stronger focus on those who speak English or French well and who have higher educations from recognized schools. In doing this, Canada is following the lead of Australia, which has been targeting similar people for several years.
By teaching its young people English well and providing many of them with a heavily subsidized superior education, the hope was that Greece would become more internationally competitive. What it has done instead is prepare an entire generation to succeed abroad.
With youth unemployment topping 25 per cent and economic growth declining for the fifth year in a row, an ominous number of young Greeks want out.
The National Technical University of Athens reported last week four of 10 from this year's graduating civil engineers were planning to leave. Citing a study by another local university earlier this year, Bloomberg reported 53 per cent of university age Greeks planned to emigrate. It reported that 17 per cent were already in the process of doing so.
Almost every conversation with a young Greek man or woman follows the same familiar routine.
"No," they say, "I am a patriot. Greece means everything to me."
Scratch a bit deeper and they'll say: "Many of my friends have left already. Most are considering where and when to go."
And finally: "I would go in a minute if I thought I had a chance. What are your suggestions?"
In fact, all young Greeks do have a chance to emigrate. They may hate the relatively tough love that the northern countries in the eurozone have imposed on Greece, but membership in the same club allows them the freedom to travel to every EU country and to freely seek employment once there.
With Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland in the same economic straitjacket as Greece and new EU countries such as Romania and Bulgaria struggling, and with a much lower wage structure, job options for young Greeks across much of southern Europe are seriously limited. But lots of Greeks are already in the United Kingdom, especially in London which is still an oasis of sorts with many opportunities for work in restaurants and shops. Even more Greeks are in Germany, where the economy is only beginning to unravel, although the reception Greeks get there has been severely tested by German anger of demands by Athens that it support billions more in emergency funding to keep Greece's creditors at bay and give the country more time to pay its debts off.
But the European window may be closing.
EU interior ministers are considering whether to reimpose the stricter border controls that were done away with to great acclaim across more than 20 European countries over the past few decades. If adopted such measures would ostensibly be designed to stop immigrants from the Third World from getting into the wealthier EU countries, but it would also slow down the movement of Europeans and make their movements far easier to trace.
For those young Greeks with English - and that is most of them - a better option, although complicated by a much harder visa process to navigate, are work papers for Canada, the U.S. or Australia. If they can stand being far from home and family, that is widely acknowledged as the golden ticket out of Greece's miseries.
Hair dresser Leonidas Piknis, who studied at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in London, scrunched up his face when asked how his business was doing. Women now get their cut once every nine weeks rather than once every five weeks, he said.
Piknis would like to quit Greece. But the 34-year-old Athenian worries that he may already be too old. Still, he wonders if by selling his smart salon in Athens he might have enough capital to be considered as an investor-class immigrant to Canada, the U.S. or Australia.
"I am thinking about some place where they speak English," said sculptor and sometime taxi driver Terry Drakakis.
By virtue of his birth in Toronto he already has a Canadian passport. He is intrigued by the possibility of work as a heavy truck driver in Alberta's oilsands or Australia's mining industry because such jobs sometimes mean three or four weeks off after month of work. That means he might be able to commute to work from Athens.
"All Greeks love Greece. But everyone wants out. I am luckier than most because Canada is a solid option," Draka-kis said. "Even a 50 year old with several children wants to leave so that he can relax the next day and not always be worried."
Canada might be an option for Vassilios Tsirmpas's two daughters. They sound exactly like the kind of newcomers that Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has said Ottawa wants. Educated in the highly regarded French Lycée system, one of them is already armed with a university degree from France. The other is to begin undergraduate studies in the U.S. this fall.
While pained that his country was in the process of losing so many of its best and brightest as well as the possible permanent departure of his daughters, Tsirmpas, who returned to Greece after earning his law degree in the U.S., said, "This is Greece's reality today."

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