ad I not chosen to leave my home country and to    immigrate into Canada twenty years ago - well then you would not be reading this or even be on my website!
So I can assume that you share a similar personal history, have a family member who does, or are thinking about taking the immense life changing leap of faith that it is to leave your home country, and at least some of your realtives and friends, to travel to a new place, start life all over again and try to be successful.
It is a great adventure; exciting as you learn new things and meet new people, and also challenging and at times frustrating.  Still, here in Canada, there exist opportunities that attract immigrants from all over the world.
On this page I will share some of my experiences around this topic ( and hope you will too), and we will try to gather some useful resources for anyone considering immigration or interested in the subject matter.


Russian Immigrants disembarking 

  An old representation of Russian Immigrants disembarking

I had an opportunity to come to Canada because a relative had inherited a house in Edmonton from another distant relative who had immigrated to Canada before World War II (this is the essence of my story - the full version is a little more complicated of course).
There are different ways of immigrating into Canada; with a work permit, investing in or founding a business or starting out as a temporary worker.
No two person's stories of how they came here ever seem to be the same; for some it happens quickly, for others it takes considerable time.



Russian Townspeople

There are currently sixty different programs that allow foreign nationals to move to Canada. Here are some links you should check out: 

Canadian Government Immigration Site

Canadian Visa and Immigration for Russians/Ukrainians

When you first start to research this topic, the sheer amount of information can be really overwhelming, but all immigrants I spoke to here seem to agree on one thing: Unless you are deemed inadmissible (for example, for medical reasons or a criminal record), where there is a will, there is always a way. It takes determination and staying power to go through the process, but since you are willing to make a go of it in a new country chances are you already possess these qualities.

When you are faced with the daunting task of navigating the maze of immigration rules, it seems that hiring an attorney is the next logical step. But careful - not all lawyers are created equal, and there are some bad apples out there. My husband, who also immigrated from Europe, once had his credentials evaluated by a Canadian 'specialized' law firm for a hefty fee. He was rewarded with a brief statement saying that there was no chance of him working in Canada, ever. Less than two years later, with his profession being in demand and the help of a different lawyer, he was working in Canada as a permanent resident.

Would it have worked without an attorney? That is hard to say - it is definitely possible to go through the process on your own and if you don't shy away from paperwork and research it can save you quite a bit of money. But a good attorney will increase your chances of being successful, and the authorities know that a reputable immigration lawyer is not likely to accept daydreamers or shaky candidates as clients in the first place - which again works in your favour. 

If you do decide to get legal assistance, be sure to do your homework. You want someone that specialises in this field with a good track record and reputation; and make no mistake: Not every lawyer that takes your money will drive your case forward with due diligence and determination or even be qualified to do so. This link is a good place to start, but I would value most the information gathered from other immigrants.

Canadian Immigrations Lawyers Site

Here is a link to a brief article on Russian Immigration in the Canadian Encyclopedia:

This is an organization dedicated to assisting Russian Immigrants In Canada and serving the Russian community. I am not sure how active they have been recently, but the link is worth checking out:

Russian House

Russians in Canada

This is the website of a bi weekly Russian Canadian publication named Koleso. It should be very helpful since it has a wealth of ads by Russian speaking immigration lawyers and consultants, real estate and mortgage professionals, travel and shipping agencies and classifieds - including job ads - in Russian.                                                                                                                                                                                                          Russian Canadian Bi Weekly ' Koleso'

This is a video in Russian language with immigration information

And this, also in Russian, about a family's experience in Canada

Check out this link to the Canadian Russian News with a wealth of information and links

Canadian Russian News

Village Silhouette