Canada is perceived to be one of the easiest countries to live and settle in, according to a recent study by HSBC Bank International. Commissioned to take a look into the lives and experiences of their customers who live across the globe, the “HSBC Bank International Expat Explorer” survey is the largest ever independent survey of expatriates spanning countries in four continents. The report examines the challenges immigrants face by relocating to a new country.
Immigrants were asked to rate their host (new) country in four areas:
- whether they made friends with people from the local population;
- if they joined a local community group, such as a religious or sports group;
- whether or not they learned the local language; and
- if they bought property in their host country.
The Expat Experience report also examined other aspects relevant to immigrant settlement integration, including whether or not they had children in their adopted country, if they had married someone from the local population, if they had set up a new business or changed their citizenship.
Canada was found the “most welcoming” country — almost 95 per cent of respondents to the survey, released December 11, 2008, said they have made friends with locals. Americans in particular found Canada welcoming. It has an “accessible language, diverse culture and low levels of government corruption,” says Patricia Linderman, editor of Tales from a Small Planet, an online newsletter for expats. With fewer good jobs, failing economy, stock market and housing market failures, more and more Americans are heading abroad to start over.
Our experience at our immigration law firm is consistent with this study. Our clients give us very good feedback about their settlement and experiences in Canada.