How Difficult Is It to Immigrate?

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Re: How Difficult Is It to Immigrate?

Postby ロータス » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:16 pm

To add to Cavesa long post, I'm also a women, student and planning to immigrate right out of college.

I've already picked Australia has my destination. If you don't know already, while Americans have very few options, we can do work holidays in other counties. AU is also voting on change their laws on the American visa that would allow Americans to do a work holiday for two years, making it easier to get a the permanent residence visa. If I still can't do my second year in time, I'll just do a work holiday in NZ :3 Really have not plan to ever return to the US.
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Re: How Difficult Is It to Immigrate?

Postby PeterMollenburg » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:03 pm

ロータス wrote:To add to Cavesa long post, I'm also a women, student and planning to immigrate right out of college.

I've already picked Australia has my destination. If you don't know already, while Americans have very few options, we can do work holidays in other counties. AU is also voting on change their laws on the American visa that would allow Americans to do a work holiday for two years, making it easier to get a the permanent residence visa. If I still can't do my second year in time, I'll just do a work holiday in NZ :3 Really have not plan to ever return to the US.


Good luck! We have tough immigration laws generally speaking, but for skilled workers it's a different game. I come across foreign doctors on a daily basis- that's not to say it's easy, as many people want to come here, but it's to say that many others have succeeded. Thus, if you have the skills, patience, and whatever else is required you can get in here, as plenty of others certainly have. Still, there is a good chance you won't make it (just being realistic), but where there is a will there is a way, so I say, go for it!
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Re: How Difficult Is It to Immigrate?

Postby Cavesa » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:33 pm

[quote="zenmonkey"]The private life stuff is important, don't underestimate it. But do remember that foreign places have also single boys and girls :D. The world may be your ocean.

For those commenting on medical school and medical fields, remember that a) these degrees can be very different - for example France has a limited number of positions as a physician or pharmacist studies regulated by the state but is more open on lab scientists which can come from many fields. Or, while Germany may need physicians, it is actually quite difficult (time wise) to get a degree equivalence if it isn't done beforehand. Practicing medicine in any country other than the one you are certified for is, initially, an administrative nightmare. This is also true for other regulated or certified careers - lawyers, bankers, etc. (and like, believe it or not, hairdresser in France.)

But that is just paperwork, it can be surmounted with patience and planning.[/quote

Of course there are many single boys and girls. But the cultural difference may be much more important in this aspect of life than in others. It doesn't have to be, but it is sometimes an issue.

:-D The French are funny in this aspect. They have limited number of places for medicine students, as if they had tons of doctors to spare. But they don't. They are in need of medical staff, they just don't reflect it so much in their education system, at least for now. And a lab assistant may have the advantage, compared to me, to look both in the public and private sector.

Yes, there are certifications and such stuff. And that is why we have to inform ourselves early enough. It is a totally different thing to prepare yourself for a foreign certification for two years and to find out its existence a few months before the planned move to the country. I have a great advantage of being an EU citizen, but even non EU ones may have similar conditions + some paperwork, it depends on the country.

Of course it is a nightmare, zenmonkey, but we are used to nightmares. And healthcare is half (or more) bureaucracy everywhere afterall. :-D

The problem is often a certification exam, you need to plan beforehand, to deal with the paperwork on time. You need to prepare yourself, you need to eventually pay for preparatory books and websites and such stuff. This is actually something quite costly. I trully hope the lab assistants have it easier than doctors in this aspect, but I know many healthcare professions don't.
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Re: How Difficult Is It to Immigrate?

Postby Xenops » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:05 pm

Ogrim wrote:It is hard for me to recommend anyone to move there, as I decided to leave Norway 20 years ago, so I rather list som pros and cons and you will have to judge for yourself.
Cons: As mentioned, everything is expensive. Winter is long, cold and dark. (I guess that is OK if you are really into wintersports though.) There is not really any vibrant international community in Norway - maybe with the exception of the capital Oslo - so it may be perceived as a homogeneous, somewhat monotone place to live. This is a very personal opinion, but I find Norwegian society very conformist. Norwegians are not the easiest to make friends with - people are often reserved and not inclined to small-talk. You mentioned somewhere the issue of paying taxes. Yes, Norway has a progressive tax system: the more you earn the more you pay. I won't really say if that is good or bad though, as that would be entering into politics.


Thank you for your points: I appreciate it. :) I confess that the dark winters worry me, as does the conformist attitude. After doing some research, I'm not convinced that I'm a good fit for Norway; even though I'm an introvert, but I don't think I would fit well in conventional societies. I also watched some Youtube videos about moving to Norway, and the comments are very telling. I would also prefer a place that is more multicultural.

Cavesa wrote:
Ask locals what are the work conditions like, ask about the pay (the real pay, not the official tables), ask about the real world application of job related laws, ask about the necessary certification. I know people who lost their opportunity to work as doctors in France just because they found out about the ECN a bit too late. And it would be very stupid to trust the official Ministry issued tables, come to the Czech Republic, and trully expect to get a hospital contract with the official money for the official work time

There is nothing better than to ask people and to observe. That is one of the main points of Erasmus for me. Other good sources are foreign forums on the internet. Not just expats. But look up forums of people working in your field, and of local students (those are asking similar questions). And read their newspapers well and critically, read the comment sections, read the medical newspapers and such stuff. When it comes to medicine, never trust a single one source, always compare more as healthcare is a hot issue in most european countries right now.


Thank you for your input; it's very useful, as you know first-hand what the medical system is like in Germany and France. And very good points: how do you know you want to move somewhere unless you visit? When I graduate and and earn some $, I should make plans to visit countries of interest to see if I have options.

Cavesa wrote:As we are both young women and students (and we are not the only ones on this forum by far of course): it is scary, but we must take into consideration our plans concerning the private life and founding a family. You should know the answer to questions like: Do I want kids? How many? Do I already have a man to found family with (will he come with me?) or will I be looking in the country? Could the cultural difference make relationships and raising a family extremely difficult? What are the conditions of maternity leave in the country and my field? What do families in the country look like? How is the care usually handled, are there mostly aupairs or grannies? At what age do children go to kindergarten? Would I like the future children to be raised and educated in the country? As it is foolish to think migrating and immediately having kids would be possible (the countries usually don't like parasites), am I willing to wait/work a few more years? At what age would I prefer to have children?


This isn't a concern for me: I've been single for eight years, and I don't want kids. I might have been willing to have kids when I was younger, had I met a special someone, but that opportunity never arose, so I'm as free as can be. And realistically, I don't want to be attached: if I have a boyfriend, more likely than not he would be an American who's unwilling the leave the country. Even if there are cultural differences, I'd rather wait to see if I find a special someone where I end up rather than here, where I want to leave.

Cavesa wrote:I am now considering only EU countries and fortunately I have never wanted to live in the UK.
I looked at the point system of Australia and NZ. I would need quite a luck to be taken in right after the university (and that is when I have to leave) and my boyfriend's chances would be extremely thin, even if we were married by then.
Canada is a bit like Australia, I'd say, but perhaps a bit more friendly. Actually, the dreaded French exam could be your advantage! It easily removes your competitors from the race, usually right at the beginning.
I am not considering the asian countries for various reasons. Too big cultural difference, too harsh working conditions in the countries I might think about.

Something I noticed: It is well worth it to look up the information concerning immigration to smaller countries. Smaller competition, different conditions, there might be your possible dream country writen on the world map in tiny letters.


Thank you for these points: I decided I wanted to focus on French for certain, and I was wondering, "where else could I use it? Belgium?" Small countries are worth looking into.

For years I wanted to move to Japan, but realistically, even if I did get fluent in Japanese, I would always be an outsider, and the work conditions are less than ideal.

Cavesa wrote:Yes, there are certifications and such stuff. And that is why we have to inform ourselves early enough. It is a totally different thing to prepare yourself for a foreign certification for two years and to find out its existence a few months before the planned move to the country. I have a great advantage of being an EU citizen, but even non EU ones may have similar conditions + some paperwork, it depends on the country.

Of course it is a nightmare, zenmonkey, but we are used to nightmares. And healthcare is half (or more) bureaucracy everywhere afterall. :-D

The problem is often a certification exam, you need to plan beforehand, to deal with the paperwork on time. You need to prepare yourself, you need to eventually pay for preparatory books and websites and such stuff. This is actually something quite costly. I trully hope the lab assistants have it easier than doctors in this aspect, but I know many healthcare professions don't.


This was my thinking: can't I just study for a certification, rather than go to school? Yeah, the study materials might cost money, but so would getting a degree, especially if I didn't want another one. School would allow me to explore and make connections, whereas passing the exam and looking for a job would leave me with no connections.

ロータス wrote:To add to Cavesa long post, I'm also a women, student and planning to immigrate right out of college.

I've already picked Australia has my destination. If you don't know already, while Americans have very few options, we can do work holidays in other counties. AU is also voting on change their laws on the American visa that would allow Americans to do a work holiday for two years, making it easier to get a the permanent residence visa. If I still can't do my second year in time, I'll just do a work holiday in NZ :3 Really have not plan to ever return to the US.


Why Australia? :) Even though my future profession is on their demand list, it seems to far away from everywhere else to make it appealing me.
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Re: How Difficult Is It to Immigrate?

Postby Cavesa » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:32 pm

It's good you have already decided about your family life and surely your decision is gonna make moving abroad much easier. I am currently at the stage of "I wanna have it all" and need to order the mess in my plans :-D

Well, I am only well informed for a foreigner, when it comes to Germany. I have observed only France and Spain (a bit) so far first hand. But there is info about Germany everywhere in my country, most medicine students at least consider going there. And it is easy to directly ask someone with the first hand experience as there are so many czechs :-D And Spanish Erasmus students in France are useful too (and nice people of course, I am not just using them as my personal wikipedia)

Yes, doing another degree will give you many more connections, which is awesome. For me, just preparing for the certification is still less expensive than another couple of years without a job.

French gives you access to many countries. Belgium seems to have a much less rigorous certification system but I haven't been looking into this option enough so far. The Switzerland is a great option as well, even though it is harder to get there, from what I heard. The ministates like Luxembourg may be quite saturated though. And perhaps some african countries may be interesting, as some of them are francophone. I heard (from a trustworthy source) about a medicine student going for a few months to one of the african countries. She hadn't expected much. But she arrived to a hospital with the most modern equipment and treatment methods imaginable, as the american companies were supplying it before Europe, due/thanks to fewer regulations. She learnt things that came to Europe a few years later, and she as well learnt a lot from the local approach to life and to healthcare and found the life there very pleasant. And surely not whole african continent can look like the photos on charity leaflets, perhaps there may be some interesting options there too, and probably without point systems. Just a thought. Or the overseas territories might be more accessible and great choices.
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Re: How Difficult Is It to Immigrate?

Postby zenmonkey » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:36 pm

Cavesa wrote:Of course there are many single boys and girls. But the cultural difference may be much more important in this aspect of life than in others. It doesn't have to be, but it is sometimes an issue.

:-D The French are funny in this aspect. They have limited number of places for medicine students, as if they had tons of doctors to spare. But they don't. They are in need of medical staff, they just don't reflect it so much in their education system, at least for now. And a lab assistant may have the advantage, compared to me, to look both in the public and private sector.

Yes, there are certifications and such stuff. And that is why we have to inform ourselves early enough. It is a totally different thing to prepare yourself for a foreign certification for two years and to find out its existence a few months before the planned move to the country. I have a great advantage of being an EU citizen, but even non EU ones may have similar conditions + some paperwork, it depends on the country.

Of course it is a nightmare, zenmonkey, but we are used to nightmares. And healthcare is half (or more) bureaucracy everywhere afterall. :-D

The problem is often a certification exam, you need to plan beforehand, to deal with the paperwork on time. You need to prepare yourself, you need to eventually pay for preparatory books and websites and such stuff. This is actually something quite costly. I trully hope the lab assistants have it easier than doctors in this aspect, but I know many healthcare professions don't.


Well, that is sort of the point of this thread to talk about those nightmares and provide hints and stuff. This post sort of hits home in a good way :) ...

Personally, I met a French woman in the US and migrated to follow. It worked out.
And I was a healthcare professional in the US - my degrees in biomedical engineering from what are arguably the best universities in this field in the world required a validating degree in France - so I was also a student there for a few years. I stayed in the healthcare private sector and the rest is history...

Working in research can also be quite frustrating and there is a cultural wall that can be quite impossible - CNRS and tenure track professor positions in the sciences are often reserved to those that have passed through the elite ecology network and external degrees just do not often make the network cut. Funding is tight and selectivity tends to go to nationals first.

But being aware of that, one can find or create niches - for example, expats are likelier to create cross country collaborations or have better publishing records or make the public/private crossover.
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Re: How Difficult Is It to Immigrate?

Postby ロータス » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:13 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:Good luck! We have tough immigration laws generally speaking, but for skilled workers it's a different game. I come across foreign doctors on a daily basis- that's not to say it's easy, as many people want to come here, but it's to say that many others have succeeded. Thus, if you have the skills, patience, and whatever else is required you can get in here, as plenty of others certainly have. Still, there is a good chance you won't make it (just being realistic), but where there is a will there is a way, so I say, go for it!


Never said my degree had to do with becoming a doctor. Work Holiday are mostly people coming to your country to be tourist for a year while making money on the side. I will be spending my WH checking to see if I enjoy AU while exploring the land and working part time. If I decide I like it there, I'll do my best to get a sponsor. If not, off to NZ.

Xenops wrote:Why Australia? :) Even though my future profession is on their demand list, it seems to far away from everywhere else to make it appealing me.


Mostly because its so far away from everything. xD It is also closer to Japan and Korea so cheaper flights to go back and forth. I plan to visit both while on my work holiday. Also have heard that many Japanese and Korean move to AU so there a chance to find so natives friends while I'm learning the languages. My first pick was New Zealand but was worried about the low salary there. NZ seems to have less politics so it my back up plan.
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Re: How Difficult Is It to Immigrate?

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:15 am

Xenops wrote:I confess that the dark winters worry me, as does the conformist attitude.


Just to put a little perspective on attitudes. I quite frankly believe that all populations of all countreis 'conform'. Ogrim's leaving Norway 20 years ago would certainly give room for reflection on one's culture. If I left my country, I'm sure 20 years later I'd be making some negative and some positive analysis of the culture I'd left behind, since time among (an)other culture(s) would give one room, so to speak, to look back on one's culture of birth. The U.S. imo is just as conformist as any other country. I have come to notice over the years how incredibly introverted people are in the United States. Being such a large country with so much of what they need within their very large area, and with such power (which imo is largely abused), the government is able to convince it's citizens of how awesome the U.S.A is and how little other countries matter through many forms- government, education, hollywood, music etc. I'm generalising, but this attitude is rather prevalent among Americans, even if one believes it is harmless in nature (not intending to be deliberately negative), many Americans (of the United Sates that is) have from an outsiders perspective an over-elevated sense of pride. I believe it is a result of social engineering. On the one hand it's great to resepect one's country, but to ignore others or assume they are not as good is just simply programming. So in summary, U.S. citizens in general also conform, it's just a louder perhaps more energetic form of conformist attitude. So do other countries conform, to their own prevalent attitudes.

A smaller country also (like Norway) one would think would have to be more aware of other countries, are likely to report more on foreign affairs and do business with other surrounding countries. In watching the French news now for a good couple of years, certain attitudes are prevalent there as well. It doesn't matter where you go, there is a 'culture' and part of that means feeling compelled to conform to a certain degree. Some countries appear free-er but are not necessarily once you dig under the surface.

Australia: Yep, very very far from anywhere is a definite downside. If you love the country and speaking English, then it's a great place to be. If you want other countries close by and easy to get to where another language is spoken, don't come here.
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Re: How Difficult Is It to Immigrate?

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:17 am

ロータス wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:Good luck! We have tough immigration laws generally speaking, but for skilled workers it's a different game. I come across foreign doctors on a daily basis- that's not to say it's easy, as many people want to come here, but it's to say that many others have succeeded. Thus, if you have the skills, patience, and whatever else is required you can get in here, as plenty of others certainly have. Still, there is a good chance you won't make it (just being realistic), but where there is a will there is a way, so I say, go for it!


Never said my degree had to do with becoming a doctor. Work Holiday are mostly people coming to your country to be tourist for a year while making money on the side. I will be spending my WH checking to see if I enjoy AU while exploring the land and working part time. If I decide I like it there, I'll do my best to get a sponsor. If not, off to NZ.

I was talking about skilled immigrants. Doctor was an example (i'm a nurse so I work with them). As for WH to try out the country- awesome, good plan imo.
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Re: How Difficult Is It to Immigrate?

Postby whatiftheblog » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:17 am

I wouldn't let the fact that you would need to validate your degree(s) or otherwise go through an extended licensing process stop you. My mom got into a pretty competitive residency in the U.S. at 38, having previously spent 9 years as a surgeon in the Soviet Union, not exactly a top feeder system. Sure, she had to take time off in between and do her USMLEs, but it wasn't an insurmountable obstacle. She got a great job post-residency and has had a perfect track record since. Fun story: after she married my stepdad and moved back to Russia, she had to revalidate her diplomas again, this time because she had never practiced medicine in the Russian Federation, since we left a few weeks before the Union collapsed. That entire process took almost as long as the USMLEs, even with her being a national of the country in question and holding a degree from one of its top schools! I'm not setting up Russia as an example of efficiency or anything, but rather suggesting that even the USMLEs, purportedly some of the toughest licensing examinations around, aren't actually that difficult if you know your stuff and speak the language.

This is all to say that having to do anything extra shouldn't scare you off - I don't need a second master's degree, for example, but given that it's my dream school, it costs comparative peanuts, I'm fascinated by their education system, and I hope to build a strong network out of it, why not? You don't even need to be out of the workforce during that time period - I plan to continue freelancing for US clients (first $90k tax-free!) and maybe picking up a part-time job straight off the bat while there.

I would definitely agree that it's obviously best to spend a solid amount of time in the country you're considering before packing up and going. Semesters abroad, volunteering, teaching English (a great option for college seniors or recent grads), whatever.
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