As part of its Immigrant Answer series, The Globe invited readers to share their immigration experiences. We heard from hundreds of readers, from coast to coast. Here's a selection of their triumphs and trials in an adopted country.
AMNA BAKHTIAR Lives in Toronto Emigrated from Pakistan in 2001 HER STORY: "As an ambitious and liberal woman, I felt the need to move to a country where I would not face gender biases or such restrictions that would come in my way of achieving my goals... I picked Canada because it sounded like it was most closely aligned with my own values."
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FIONA BARTON Lives in Kelowna, B.C. Emigrated from Scotland in 1999 HER STORY: "I'm building a new life in Canada with my husband and my baby boy Alasdair. I run my own consulting business providing design advice to local developers and in doing so employ five other full-time staff."
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KEITH FERRELL Lives in Toronto Emigrated from Jamaica in 2006 HIS STORY: "My training is in Library and Information Science and I have not been able to get a job in that field even though I have a degree... I worked for four years in a call centre that paid minimum wage and I'm currently out of a job because the company closed its operations in Toronto. I guess I'm seeing the not-too-bright side of Canada."
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YVES KIMBO Lives in Niverville, Man. Emigrated from Congo in 2002 HIS STORY: "French is my first language, but arriving in Winnipeg, it did not help as much as I thought. I am really thankful for the Manitoba's government. My course was completely paid for and it was at the Red River College. Full-time and intensive. That was something that I still believe helped me the most to integrate and become a successful person."
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FELIPE MENDES Lives in Toronto Emigrated from Brazil in 2008 HIS STORY: "I had visited Canada in 2004, when people were celebrating the government's decision to allow same-sex marriage across the whole country. That left an image in my head that my life here would be much better, since I could be open about being gay."
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IRYNA PAVLOVA Lives in Mississauga Emigrated from Ukraine in 2001 HER STORY: "I had just graduated with a bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature and had three years of ESL teaching experience at the time I applied to immigrate. I was told that I needed to have a minimum of three years of work experience to be considered as an applicant. So I worked for three years and then applied again. I waited for my immigration visa for two years and I was granted one in the fall of 2000. It was the happiest day of my life."
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SOFIA PRADA Lives in Ottawa Emigrated from Colombia in 2004 HER STORY: "Employers are not comfortable with the lack of Canadian experience. But how are we supposed to get the experience if they do not give us the opportunity to start?"
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WALID SHARIF Lives in Toronto Emigrated from Afghanistan in 1993 HIS STORY: "Canada has given me and my family the freedom to live a normal life without the fear of war."
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FREDRIC SURESH Lives in Milton, Ont. Emigrated from India in 1996 HIS STORY: "I am an engineer by training but I had great difficulty in landing a job. I decided to change fields and went to York University to become a teacher. I now teach high school math and I absolutely enjoy my job."
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