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“It was disheartening to start with a job that did not really require an undergrad degree, but I knew I had to start somewhere and make my way up as I lacked Canadian work experience and lacked networking skills,” he says in a matter-of-fact manner. His sister was getting married and he thought it was his duty to assist with the wedding.

Rao found himself the first in his family to ever step outside India to study and was enrolled in the economics program at the University of Windsor, in 2001.

But getting a Canadian education proved far from useful in getting a job afterward.

Mir admits that he will miss the pristine beauty of Canada and the clean air, but it is a very small price to pay when it comes to being professionally satisfied.

Canadian experience matters There was no dearth of pristine beauty for Swiss-born immigrant Stephan Burckhardt who lived in scenic Washington State in the United States.

He is currently pursuing his Ph D, is happily married and is a Canadian citizen.

Yet, the 40-year-old Pakistani-born immigrant is all set to leave Canada for good in 2013. Wendy Cukier, founder, Diversity Institute in Management and Technology at Ryerson University, in a presentation, cites a study (Watt et al.,2008) that shows that 40 per cent of immigrants who entered Canada in the skilled worker or business class left Canada within their first 10 years.

Predictably the issue of Canadian experience raised its head.

After struggling in a door-to-door sales/marketing job in London, Ontario, Rao finally got his foot in the door by joining TD Canada Trust Bank as a teller.

In Switzerland I was being paid about $350 an hour, and in Canada I started at $20 an hour.

It is not about the amount, but a huge blow to one’s self-confidence,” he says. But Burckhardt did not give up and applied everywhere for a better position with better wages.

A previous study by Statistics Canada indicated that one-third of male immigrants (aged 25 to 45 at the time of landing) left Canada within 20 years after arrival.