Home Settlement As a new immigrant, what are the benefits of a soft landing in Canada?

As a new immigrant, what are the benefits of a soft landing in Canada?

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As a new immigrant, what are the benefits of a soft landing in Canada?

A majority of new immigrants to Canada permanently settle in the country when they arrive. Many others do what’s called a soft landing, meaning they stay here for a few weeks, get the lay of the land, finish their paperwork, and fly back to their home countries, with the intention of permanently arriving at a later date. So, what are the benefits of a soft landing in Canada? Let’s find out.

Settlement counsellors and employment specialists in Canada say that while not everyone can afford the costs associated with a soft landing, it does have advantages that could smoothen one’s settlement journey over the long term.

Quality of life and cultural connections

One of the benefits of a soft landing in Canada is the opportunity to explore the facilities available in your chosen destination, as well as the surrounding areas. Doing so helps you map out the locations of immigrant communities, the best places to send your children to school, assess what sort of recreational and cultural activities are available, and look at the nature of employment and networking opportunities in the area.

“By sampling some of the possible landing locations, you are going to be in a position to feel as though integration is going to be a little bit more seamless because you can envision what your future life is going to look like,” says Jodi Bucholtz, Manager, Local Immigration Partnership – Lanark and Renfrew

With Canada’s climate being very different from what newcomers might have experienced in their home countries, a soft landing also helps you prepare for the weather. 

Employment and networking

One of the first priorities for many newcomers is securing a well-paying job that enables them to plan for the basics such as renting a house and paying for essentials. A soft landing gives you time to assimilate information and then create a profile of the sort of work and jobs that are available in your location of choice, making it easier for you to connect with employers and sign up with employment agencies that will assist you to find work in your field of expertise. Before you plan on arriving permanently in Canada, you can reach out to the connections you previously made to help you secure employment.

Also read: Pre-arrival immigrants, consider this when choosing where to live in Canada

“That external motivation of knowing a timeline, knowing when to be somewhere, makes a big difference in effort that you put into connecting with people and engaging with people, and that shows when you are talking to employers,” says Cameron Moser, Director of Services and Program Development, ACCES Employment.” They know that when you are going to be landing in Canada pretty soon, it changes the way they interact with you.”

Across all of Canada’s provinces, there are several employment agencies that will help you transition towards employment, both in the form of pre-arrival services, and post-landing. 

Relocating for opportunities

As a new immigrant professional, you’d want to live in a city or town where there are companies that operate in your area of expertise. Additional benefits of a soft landing in Canada include casting your net wide in terms of looking at opportunities in neighbouring cities and the surrounding areas, particularly if they are not available in the city in which you landed. 

Bamidele Salako, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, shares an example of a pre-arrival client – a production engineer who moved to Calgary but struggled to find opportunities in his field. “He signed up for one of our post-arrival employment programs and as part of that program, we have employer partnerships that we’ve established over the years, with employers not just in Calgary, but across southern Alberta. We had this employer whom we had partnered with in the food industry in Brooks, and after he had gone through the employment program, he participated in one of the job fairs and had the opportunity to interact with the employer. He was offered the job on the spot, just because of his international experience, and he moved over to Brooks. Within a couple of months in Brooks, he had bought his own house and became very economically prosperous with his family,” says Bamidele.

It is important that newcomers engage with services, making use of professionals who are trained to assess your needs and recommend the right services, the right program and the right resources in achieving your career objectives.

Cost of living and sorting out life goals

For many newcomers, what might be high on your list of priorities is peace of mind alongside a good quality of life and lower cost of living. A soft landing might make you realize that you’re better off finding these things in a smaller town, as compared to a sprawling metropolis. Other benefits of a soft landing in Canada include checking out job fairs organized by smaller towns, and cultural events to get newcomers settled in and feel like part of the community.

“Be aware that there are more opportunities outside of that large city in which you may have landed,” says Steve Reynolds, Executive Director, Regional Connections Immigrant Services in Manitoba, who highlights the significantly lower cost of housing outside major cities to elucidate his point. “The cost of rentals and both home ownership, for example, in our region is 60 to 70 percent less than it is in Toronto and buying a home is a major goal for a lot of newcomers,” he explains. “If you are in a community where you can buy a house for $300,000 versus buying for a million dollars, that’s a big difference. Our median income in this region is eight percent less than the median household income in Toronto, so you do have lower wages, but 60 to 70 percent lower cost of housing, and that’s a major consideration,” adds Steve.

Also read: Before You Arrive in Canada: 7 things to do for job search

We at New Canadians are proud to be newcomers’ trusted connection to immigrant-focused resources. Want more pre-arrival guidance? Download our free e-book: The Ultimate Prep Guide Before You Arrive in Canada for additional tips and a checklist that will help you create an action plan for your life and work in Canada.

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