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Newcomers face barriers

Searching for a job at any time can be a stressful experience but forforeign workers and immigrants it can be even more challenging.


Searching for a job at any time can be a stressful experience but for foreign workers and immigrants it can be even more challenging.

Just ask 32-year-old Marco Garcia Gonzales, from Mexico, who is in Calgary searching for a job so he can bring his wife and two children here.

“I find it is a little bit scary, to be in a different city and I don’t know exactly what the process is. I’m having trouble finding a lot of information,” Garcia Gonzales told Metro.

Gonzales is in the city looking for work and trying to understand how the system works so he can bring his family here to join him.

“I want to work here; I heard it was a great city to work. But I can’t seem to find out how I can do it and I’m not sure if I am even allowed to stay.”

A sentiment shared by many, but there are places to turn.

Alberta has an official immigration website to help foreign workers find information they need at www.albertacanada.com/immigration/employers/index.html.

Spokesperson for Alberta Employment and Immigration (AEI) Jennifer Raimundo told Metro one issue facing foreign workers is they may not know their rights.

“They may not be getting paid properly or paid for their overtime and some of that may stem from the language barriers,” Raimundo said.

She said AEI has assistance for foreign workers in situations like that and can also help them find translators for their languages. There is an office set up in each city to specifically help with challenges and issues as well as a hotline listed on the website.

“We have six employee standard officers specifically assigned for workers who need help with the application processes,” she added.

A program starting in May is designed to help immigrant women, offered by the Calgary Immigration Women’s Association (CIWA).

Shokoofeh Moussavi of the (CIWA) told Metro many foreign workers face affordable housing issues and they are there to help them.

“It’s really tough to find a place to live with reasonable rent. It’s a bit lower now but it’s still hard to find affordable places to live,” she said.

–krista.sylvester@metronews.ca

 
 
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