Foreign Credential Recognition

2005-06-10

Earlier this year, the federal government announced it would be spending some serious money to help various industries and regulatory bodies across the country to recognize immigrants who have foreign credentials, allowing them to work in the field of their training.

There have been long-standing complaints from the immigrant community that highly-trained individuals were frustrated with the legal hoops that prevented them from working in their own (mostly higher paid) occupation.

As this program rolls out we’re going to see some very interesting results in my view. Until now, immigrants have been more likely to become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses in Canada than anyone born here. Traditional wisdom has said that this ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ was simply a reaction to the frustrations immigrants faced in working in their field of training. I’ve never felt comfortable with this explanation. My perspective has always been that once immigrants arrive, they recognize that Canada is geared toward business in terms of generous tax allowances, government grants and a stable workforce. My view is that immigrants start businesses because it makes sense — not necessarily because they can’t work within their field of expertise.

As foreign credential recognition in Canada kicks into high gear, it will be interesting to see if the high rates of entreprenuerialism among immigrants remains — even once the occupational hurdles are cleared away for good.

About the author

Gianpaolo Panusa Gianpaolo Panusa is a Canadian immigration lawyer, writer, and founder of the PanCanadian Immigration Law Group based in Vancouver, Canada. Google+ Profile

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