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Thread: Relocating a Dominican 101

  1. #21
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    One more thing: Angel had legitimate jobs in the DR, where his experience was transferrable. Those of you who are thinking about marrying or have married a worker in animacion, what exactly does that qualify them for in your country? What do you think they will be able to do once they arrive, esp if they don't drive and don't speak a lot of English? (please, no "oldest profession in history" jokes) He may tell you that he will clean toilets if he has to, to provide for you and make a living for his family...maybe, until the time comes to clean his first toilet...Life will be very very hard. Sometimes, love just isn't enough.
    Last edited by trina; 07-29-2005 at 11:22 AM.

  2. #22
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    I realize I am sounding quite negative here. I think many can relate to what I'm saying when I say that nothing can prepare you for the move of your loved one. It will be a joyous time, of course, but I don't know any relationship that has been unscathed by a considerable amount of stress. There is one Dominican that I know of that runs back to the DR everytime there are marital problems. In about 10 years here, I'd say he's returned to the DR more than ten times.

    Ask yourself this question: are you prepared to do everything for your spouse for the first while after he moves (and will your job be flexible enough to allow you to do so)? I take Angel to every doctor's appointment, to this day. Because Angel has back and foot problems, it's not only the doctor, but the physiotherapist, chiropractor, foot specialist, and in the near future, surgeon appointments, as well. Add in the dentist, for good measure. Then there's baseball. Of course, he has to play on 3 different teams, he wouldn't be Dominican if he didn't. (my son, Angelo, who is 10, not only played baseball, but he made one of the Calgary All-Star teams who eventually went to Prairies this month. That meant 26 nights in July, he either had a practice or game to go to...add in Angel's 3 games/week, still nursing a 5-month-old, and a having very busy 3-year-old...doesn't leave much time for me...are you prepared for that?) Sometimes I feel like a full-time taxi...it's a good thing my day job is not stressful, because at night, I run from one place to the next. Alas, baseball will be over soon, and things can return to somewhat normalcy.

  3. #23
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    Trina you are not negative. You are explaining what life will be like when the new immigrant lands in Canada which is something not many people think or know about.

    So much time is spent on immigration papers and keeping the long distance relationship going that people might not give thought to " What happenes after he/she lands "

    Homer (Ronny) gave me a good website to post here and I'm looking for all info to help newly landed immigrants so if anyone else has any please post.

    Passages to Canada

    Community Involvement

    Programs

    Programs and services for Immigrants

    Country guide to Canada

  4. #24
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    Thanks a lot, Anna. I was about to start putting together a list of links that helped us when Angel arrived. Rosanie mentioned some excellent resources in her previous post. Here is a link to the Calgary Catholic Immigration Services: Calgary Catholic Immigration As for our experience with them, I called when Angel arrived. I think due to the huge migration into Calgary, there was a long (three months) waiting list, just to get an appointment to talk to them about employment. This is probably not the case in other Canadian cities, but Calgary is growing too fast for it's britches.

    Here is a government (CDN) site for Immigrants:
    Government Integration site

    Here's another government resource link for finding help in your community, which has sites serving all areas of Canada:
    Finding help in your community

    Of course, if anyone has a spouse or Dominican friend moving to the Calgary/Edmonton area, please contact us, as we will help in any way we can.

  5. #25
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    Default My 2 Cents

    I realize that for many people leaving their country to come to another one is not an easy task. However, these people are adults, if they are not willing to take responsiblity and work hard then all the complaining in the world will not help.

    My father came to Canada when there were no or very little social problems, he had to learn English, support his wife and children, attend night school plus work. He never once complained. Nor did he ask for handouts from anyone. In fact, after 3 years of being in Canada he bought his first house.

    What annoys me about Dominicans( including my wife) is that they prefer to look for the easy way out. Instead of getting their act together and finding a job and then taking the next steps. ie learn English. they prefer to whine and complain.


    All the East Indian, Oriental people that I see line up at the employment agencies for any job available, including the women. They are not afraid to work hard and have just as hard a time learning English. Their culutures are just as distinct and different as the Dominican culture. However, they have a strong work ethic.

    My point is that all the Dominicans that I know always complain how difficult it is to live here. They have a choice, if the dont like it here then they can go back to the DR.

  6. #26
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    Fred, a million years ago when most of us immigrated here it was mostly with our whole families. We struggled and worked together with our own in a strange and new land.

    We had our community group and family here to get us through the rough times. And that is what made us strong.

    This thread isn't for pointing out any lacking on the Dominican's part but to help the person sponsoring a mate/spouse understand the challenges they will face when their loved one arrives.

    And in hopes it will help people get info and resources available to them to make the transition.

    So please let's NOT turn this thread into one of "the usual subject". I won't let it happen.


    Thanks

  7. #27
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    My father came here in the 1950's by himself. He left his parents aunts uncles ect. to move to Canada. He did not have any support system. He brought my mother and myself after a short time being here.

    I am not trying to bash Dominicans however, I notice a trait that seems to be ingrained in some. They seem to want to complain instead of making some kind of plan for life.

    I will use my wife as a case in point. She started English classes shortly after she arrived in Canada. Classes were sheduled on Saturday mornings from 9-12am. I got up early to drive here to the location where they held the classes. After about 2-3 weeks she stopped going. Her excuse: Too early in the morning, the teacher was no good. Up to this day she has not continued her English classes. So now here progress is stalled by lack of initiative or whatever.

    Right now there are so many programs that immigrants can take advantage of. When my father came to Canada they got a job and were on their own.

    All I am trying to point out is that if you have sufficient ambition and drive you can do well here. Also, if you want to do nothing or the same routine that you had back home. For example, wake up at around noon, go to your mother's, eat lunch, go back home, go to your brother's or sister's around the corner, eat something else or have a beer. ect. then you are just wasting your time here.

    Why bother to immigrate in the first place you are better off to stay where you are in your own environment.

  8. #28
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    Default Relocating to the US (K-1 Fiance Visa)

    First let me say that everything that Trina has written is gospel truth, and should be read as if it was all TYPED IN CAPITALS by anyone reading it who may be considering this move.

    My experience isn't as time-tested as Trina's- I am in the "thick of things" as I write this- my husband (as of June 11th) has been in the US for 11 very, very difficult but rewarding weeks. He arrived on a K-1 fiance visa on May 14th. They say the first year is hell, so to think that we have confined it to the first 8 weeks may be wishful thinking, but time will tell!

    Marriage is difficult in the first place, so when you throw in even a few added challenges, such as cultural, racial, language, age, experience and socioecomic differences, it becomes almost impossible. To survive these BOTH people have to be patient, willing to compromise, willing to learn, non-judgemental and just plain in-love and committed. I mean really in-love, not the starry-eyed vacation variety.

    I met my husband in Feb 2004 in his small pueblo in the southwest- not in a hotel/tourist environment. Our relationship has all of the challenges listed above (plus my husband becoming an instant step-dad to 3 kids), and breaks all of Hillbilly's extremely wise rules. If my husband and I make it, it won't be because those rules aren't valid, it will just be because we fought hard to overcome the challenges they present. If we do win it will be a credit to my husband's character (what I saw in him in the DR) and hopefully my having learned from my experience of my first relationship/marriage (11 years to a non-Dominican foreigner).

    First of all, know that if you plan to bring your loved one over from the DR:

    1) It is EXPENSIVE, especially if your fiance/spouse is not a well-salaried professional inthe DR. Think THOUSANDS of dollars from start to finish. And you have to be willing to put this out knowing that it could all be for naught if your visa isn't approved.

    2) It takes a LONG TIME. I filed a K-1 application on Sep , 2004 and we were granted an Interview on Feb 22, 2005. Since then the backlog of cases at the Consulate has doubled - it could take 10-12 months to get and Interview from the time of filing. This implies more trips down there to keep you relationship going (more $$$).

    3) There are NO GUARANTEES. We were separated at Interview time. My husband had to recount our relationship from Day 1- trip by trip, who we were with, where we slept, everything in great detail. I was then called up and asked to do the same. The Consular Officer asked me a lot of (trick) questions to get me to tell a story different than my fiance. I just stuck to the truth, though, and we passed. If it's not a real relationship THEY WILL KNOW. And they may deny you if they don't think you have anough time under your belt to prove the relationship.

    After they get here,

    1) From the start your spouse will be MISERABLE NO MATTER WHAT. They will feel isolated and miss their family and friends and you will resent it becasue there is NOTHING you can do. No amount of love or bachata CD's or tostones can remedy this. Only time, their commitment to you, and your understanding of their feelings.

    2) If your other half is not a well-traveled and educated professional, they WILL think that you have more money than you do, and that things are easy here from the start. The slow process of finding out that life is hard here too really knocks the wind out of their sails.

    3) As Trina said, they WILL want to send some money back to their family, and their family will expect this. It's just part of their culture. If you can't do this (agree on how much before hand) without resenting it, STOP where you are and run for the hills. You will be OK if you feel a part of their family and you feel like it's the right thing to do, not just them.

    4) When your Dominican is lucky enough to find a job, he/she will be incensed (sp?) at the highway robbery of the US government by taking out so much in taxes from their check. You will argue until your blue in the face about what that money is for i.e. infrastructure, schools etc but they will still complain about it.

    5) No matter what you advise a Dominican man about living here, they will go ask another Dominican to get the "real" story, and put more stock in their advice than yours. So, if they insist on cutting out of work (work ethic=another story ) and traveling 250 miles to auto auction where some cousin got a great low-milaege, reliable car that lasted for years for $200, just let them. Live and let learn.

    These are some tough realities, but despite them, it can still be wonderful. In our case each argument has resolved something and has left us stronger and happier afterwards. I have never for a second regretted going through this and am entremely happy and proud of how far we've come in a short time. I believe my husband would say the same.

    Just be sure that you know yourself and know who you're with. Ask the hard questions before you start the process and be sure that if your expectations aren't the same (they won't be), you both understand them and how to and who will comprimise.

    Peace and good luck to all

    jeanmarie
    Last edited by jeanmarie; 07-30-2005 at 12:44 PM. Reason: spelling

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred
    Why bother to immigrate in the first place you are better off to stay where you are in your own environment.


    While I have known you for a long time, Fred, and truly respect your opinion, when you say this, you need to realize there are other ways of looking at it. People do as they know. Dominicans who have never been out of the country have ABSOLUTELY no clue what they are coming to. Everyone can warn them and talk until they are blue in the face, but they will rarely believe or attempt to consider the challenges that lie ahead. How do they know that they are better in their own environment (in the DR), when everyone they know wants to leave that very environment? I believe the amount of Dominicans that actually can make a life for themselves and enjoy Canada are few. The rest stay due to other reasons: children in Canada (or their new country); familial (DR) pressure; commitment to their spouse; etc. I have to smile when someone tells me their spouse doesn't want to leave the DR...almost all Dominicans that cannot leave due to having no means to leave want to leave.

    As for this,
    What annoys me about Dominicans( including my wife) is that they prefer to look for the easy way out. Instead of getting their act together and finding a job and then taking the next steps. ie learn English. they prefer to whine and complain.
    sorry you've had that experience. Every Dominican that I know is very hard-working, many of them having 2 jobs, and all of them wanting to support both their family here and in the DR. I know a lot of Dominicans, and all of them (other than Angel, and I must admit, I am as much to blame as he is for this because I babied him and talked to him in Spanish all the time to make it easier on him) speak English as well as I do. In other words, don't paint them all with the same brush.

    Sometimes I really hope Pib (or one of the many other very good Dominicans) doesn't read anything in this forum...how insulted they must be to hear such generalizations all the time.

  10. #30
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    Thanks for sharing your experience jeanmarie. All I can tell you is that it does get easier over time. You said everything that I wanted to say, only better.

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