Migrants: we offer a helping hand in what was once a far-away land and is now home.
So you’re moving from your old destination to your new destination. Moving is a complicated and often difficult process, and it can also be incredibly rewarding. You may face many challenges, including language barriers, cultural differences, and discrimination. However, there’s some support available to help you overcome these challenges and build a place to live in your new destinations. This blog post will discuss some of the key support available to you, including mediation, counselling, arts, and supports.
Legal definitions of “migrant” can be elusive because the term is so complex. But a common theme is that what often happens is that migrants move temporarily or permanently from their country of origin to another country. From about three to twelve months, non-resident migrants may stay in another country (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2024).
Are You Planning to Travel to Australia, Canada or the United States?
If you are preparing to travel, work, or pursue studies in Australia, Canada, or the United States, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the visa prerequisites and the permitted duration of stay for each visa category. Presented below is a sketch of the visa procedures applicable to visitors, students, and temporary workers in these nations.
Visitors: Depending on the type of visa, visitors can stay in Australia for up to twelve months (Department of Home Affairs 2024).
Students: The maximum duration for a student visa in Australia is currently five years (Department of Home Affairs, 2023).
Temporary Workers: Under certain conditions, temporary workers in Australia may have the opportunity to become permanent residents (Department of Home Affairs, 2019).
Visitors: Visitors to Canada can typically stay for up to six months (Government of Canada, 2023a).
Students: Students who meet the eligibility criteria and are issued a study permit can remain in Canada on a short-term or indefinite basis (Government of Canada, 2023b).
Temporary Workers: There is no fixed period of time for temporary workers in Canada. The duration of stay depends on the specific work permit and employment conditions (Government of Canada, 2023c).
Visitors: Visitors to the United States can generally stay for a maximum of six months (Semotiuk, 2020).
Students: Students can stay in the United States for the length of their program plus an additional 60 days Temporary Workers: Temporary workers with specialized skills may be able to stay for up to three years, and in some cases, up to six years if sponsored by a US employer.
It should be emphasized that the aforementioned are general principles, and the precise visa prerequisites and terms often differ based on personal circumstances and the specific visa category being pursued. Seek guidance from the relevant authorities in each country and conduct comprehensive research on the visa procedures to ensure conformity and prevent any complications or problems.
Please bear in mind that visa applications may require a significant amount of time, thus it is advisable to submit the application well ahead of your planned travel date. Failure to adhere to visa conditions or overstaying your visa can have serious consequences, including deportation and difficulties with future visa applications.
Mediation is an effective method for settling conflicts among people.
A strong tool for resolving conflicts between people and family and friends is mediation. It can work especially well to settle conflicts involving power disparities, language obstacles, and cultural misunderstandings.
Mediators act as unbiased facilitators between people in a disagreement, helping them to view the situation from various angles and brainstorm potential solutions. Mediators support disputing people in exploring their interests, changing perspectives when needed and overdue and coming up with innovative solutions to their issues. They assist people with different ideas, values, and beliefs in reaching a decision that they may all live with, rather than deciding who is right or wrong. Rather than deciding who is in the right, they aid the parties in coming to a mutual decision with which you all can agree.
Mediation is an optional procedure, requiring the consent of all parties involved. Nevertheless, mediation may offer a more efficient and cost-effective approach to settling conflicts compared to litigation. Mediation might occur before, after, and during litigation. Moreover, it promotes a less confrontational atmosphere and often aids in maintaining positive relationships between people.
In the context of migration, mediation serves as a valuable tool for resolving a wide array of disputes, encompassing issues related to employment, access to services, discrimination, cultural misunderstandings, and family reunification.
By engaging in mediation, people can experience a heightened sense of empowerment and regain control over their lives. Additionally, it facilitates the establishment of connections between people and the new places where they live and work, fostering greater harmony and inclusivity within societies.
Counselling: emotional support for migrants.
Counselling may provide emotional support for migrants and others by providing a safe and confidential space to discuss experiences and challenges linked to entrenched positions. This may be especially important for people who have experienced trauma or discrimination. Counselling might help migrants manage their emotions, develop coping mechanisms, and build resilience. It may also help them make informed decisions about their future and improve their mental health and overall well-being.
Counsellors can help migrants manage various problems, including:
- family matters
- public education and information
- the stress of migration
- culture disjuncture and shock
- language barriers
Counsellors can provide migrants with the support they need to cope with personal and social challenges and to build a better life for themselves. They can also help migrants to connect with other resources, such as employment and education services.
If you are a migrant, counselling may be a valuable resource to help you cope with the challenges of transitioning from the old to the new country. There are many different types of counselling services available, so you can find one that meets your needs. You might read more about counselling and find a service that is suitable for you exercising the dignity of choice.
The Arts: a creative outlet for migrant expression.
The arts can provide migrants with a creative outlet to express themselves and their experiences. They may also help migrants connect with their culture and heritage, learn new skills, build bridges between different cultures and communities, and be a conduit to heal from trauma and adversity. Migrants may find solace and self-expression through the arts, which serve as a creative outlet for their experiences.
Engaging in artistic endeavours not only provides opportunities for you to express yourself, but can also help you to revisit your culture and heritage. Additionally, the arts may enable you to acquire new skills, foster connections between diverse cultures and places, and are a means to facilitate healing from past trauma and hardships.
Whether it’s through music, dance, painting, or theatre, the arts can provide you with a way to process your emotions, tell your stories, and share your perspectives with others. This may help you to feel more connected to your new place and build a sense of belonging.
The arts may also help you build bridges between different cultures. When you share your artistic expressions, you may help to break down stereotypes and prejudices and to promote understanding and appreciation of different cultures. This may help to create more inclusive and welcoming communities for migrants.
The arts can help you to develop new skills and aptitudes. This might increase your employability and help you to integrate into the economy. For example, migrants who learn to play an instrument or paint may be able to find work as musicians or artists. Imaginative and creative people, especially migrants, are often in demand.
Your personal experiences reflect international trends that are assisting such countries to strengthen their economies. One of our directors while being a dual national from birth has direct experience of transitioning between countries ultimately to live in one. This can be a daunting experience and you may feel that you yearn for the old country. You might also be worried about what is happening to family, friends, and others back there. Returning to your old country, whether for a short or long period of time, can evoke feelings of nostalgia for the nation to which you migrated. However, you may develop a deeper appreciation for one or more countries and their people through this experience.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, establishes the fundamental principles of human dignity and equality. It recognizes the inherent rights of every individual, including the right to freedom, living in a just society, and experiencing peace. Canada, being a multicultural society, encompasses various nationalities such as Australian and Canadian. Our decision-making process is influenced by multicultural perspectives including postdoctoral studies conducted in the United States. Australia, Canada, and the United States consist of diverse cultural groups, including the First Nations. To embrace our multicultural society, we rely on our experiences and knowledge, with a particular focus on Australia, Canada, and the United States.
Australia, Canada and the United States have experienced growth with new intakes of migrants. The Bushwackers have set migration narratives to music and lyrics.The Bushwhackers were a folk music group that was founded in 1971 at Melbourne Australia’s La Trobe University. An excerpt from their iconic single song that featured migrant stories from new comers to Australia from Portugal and Spain initially on the radio appears below (The Bushwackers, 2017).
Come one, come all, make yourself at home
Who’ll come a-waltzing Australia?
From near and far, whoever you are
Won’t you come a-waltzing Australia?
You can access the Bushwacker’s songs, for example, on Apple and Spotify.
Al-Nashar (2023) commented that Australia has reopened its borders and admits migrants reaching an all time high. In the period from 2021 – 2022 the top three countries where newcomers to Australia originated from are India, the People’s Republic of China and the United Kingdom (Department of Home Affairs, 2022).
Uday (2023) posited that 500,000 migrants are travelling to Canada. In 2026 it is estimated that Canada will receive 500,000 new comers. The top two countries where newcomers originate in Canada is similar to Australia. These countries are India and China (Vimal, 2023). Where the top third country in Australia where newcomers are coming from is the United Kingdom whereas Canada welcomes new comers from Afghanistan.
The United States in 2023 welcomed more newcomers than it had since 2001 (Schneider & The Associated Press, 2023). In 2022 the U.S. received about one million newcomers. Newcomers to the United States travelled from the following top three countries Mexico, India, and China (Shoichet, 2023). Australia, Canada and the United States are indeed multicultural societies.
Finally, the arts can help you to heal from trauma and adversity. By expressing your experiences through art, you can come to terms with your past and move on with your life. This can support you to strengthen resilience and to develop a sense of hope for the future.
Access legal education and information:
This can be a lifeline for migrants navigating the complexities of transitioning from an old to a new country. It can help you understand your rights, and to access services and resources that can help you to integrate into the new county. Legal education and information can help you to overcome health barriers and to get the legal resources that you need. Legal education and information can help you to apply for work, and access school and healthcare.
Explore your new home.
Travel when you have an opportunity. Here are some ways you can make the most of this virtual, physical, or combined experience:
- Explore the Great Outdoors: Take a leisurely stroll along the waterway, observing its unique features and the wildlife that may inhabit it. Pay attention to the sounds, smells, and sights around you, immersing yourself in the natural environment.
- Study the Flora and Fauna: The Rocky Mountains are known for their diverse plant and animal life. Take the time to learn about the different species that call the parks their home. You can research or join guided tours to gain a deeper understanding of the alpine ecosystems.
- Participate in Interpretive Programs: Many national parks offer interpretive programs and guided walks that provide educational experiences. Look for programs, that explore national park’s unique features, cultural heritage, and conservation initiatives.
You could click this link to begin your virtual tour.
Al-Nashar (2023, April 28). Australian migrant population growth hits all-time high as borders reopen. Australian Broadcasting Corporation Weather.
The Bushwackers (2017). New single to radio from the Bushwackers, “Waltzing Australia”.
The Bushwackers (2017). Song Waltzing Australia. The Hungry Mile. Spotify.
Department of Home Affairs (2024). Subclass 600 Visitor Visa.
Department of Home Affairs (2023). Length of stay for Student visas.
Department of Home Affairs (2022). Country Profiles List.
Department of Home Affairs (2019). Temporary Work Visas.
Government of Canada (2023a). How long can I stay in Canada as a visitor?
Government of Canada (2023b). Study permit: While you study.
Government of Canada (2023c). How long can I work in Canada as a temporary worker.
Semotiuk, A.J. (2020, December 13). How Long Can I Stay In the U.S. As A Visitor? Forbes
Schneider & The Associated Press (2023). U.S. population increase in 2023 was driven by the most immigrants since 2001 – and immigration will be the ‘main source of growth in the future’. Fortune.
Shoichet, C.E. (2023, April 15). Where immigrants come from and where they go after reaching the US. Cable News Network (CNN).
Uday, R. (2023). Who are the 500,000 immigrants headed to Canada. A look at the numbers. Global News.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2024). Refugees and Migrants.
United Nations General Assembly, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948, 217 A (III).
U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs (2023).
Vimal, S. (2023). IRCC unveils the top 10 source countries of new immigrants to Canada in 2022. Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC) News.
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