When I tell people around me that I am going to emigrate to Canada next month, the first thing they ask is why. This is followed by dozens of more questions. What am I planning to do there? How will I survive the harsh winters? What about your house here? Will you sell off everything? Honestly, it is kind of overwhelming and to tell you the truth, I don’t even know the exact answer of many questions myself. At least, not yet. When people decide to leave their homeland where they have spent a major chunk of their lives to settle into an entirely new country, there must be a pretty solid reason. Usually, it is a combination of various factors that cause them to make such a huge decision.
After a little research and interviews, some of the common reasons people chose to emigrate are:
1. To Strengthen Their Financial Status
For years I thought people would only migrate to ‘wealthier’ countries. It came as a surprise to me that more and more people are immigrating from the West to less economically developed places such as Indonesia and Thailand. It made a lot of sense when I looked into it. For instance, if you compare the cost of living in Chiang Mai to that of living in London, you will find Thailand to be much cheaper, whether it is the monthly rent or groceries, Thailand is insanely easy on the pocket. Moreover, you have to pay negligible amount of taxes, and the country has good infrastructure in place. Hence, many freelancers and start-ups have become globetrotting digital nomads to work, earn, save and visit the world.
Why then do the majority of migrants prefer moving to the West? Well, one of the main reasons is their higher purchasing power. USD and GBP are considered to be two of the strongest currencies throughout the world. If you are a middle-class person from an overpopulated third-world country with a poor economy, you will know how it feels to exchange your month’s earning into a meager amount of dollars. Wouldn’t it be better to simply earn in dollars or pounds? It was one of the driving factors that forced us to apply for immigration. Keep in mind, it also depends on the kind of work you are going to do in the foreign land. For example, there is a large demand of nurses, doctors and dentists in the UK, and several people in my social circle have recently moved to Europe to make the most of the opportunities on offer.
2. Security Issues in Their Homeland
When you fear for your loved ones’ lives and your country is no longer a safe haven, there is no other option but to flee. Millions of people from South America, Africa, South Asia, and Middle East want to escape the on-going warfare and terrorism in their countries.
Many oppressed minorities, who may have been living in their own country since birth but are not allowed a freedom of speech or practice of their own religion, prefer to emigrate where they will have the liberty to live their lives according to their preferences . Similarly, political, cultural rivalries, and military dictatorships can cause natives to leave their homes in terror. Warfare also brings along famine and poverty that further worsens the situation. In such cases, emigration provides people the ability to escape very real horrific circumstances.
3. To Avail Better Opportunities
As I mentioned earlier, medical professionals are in high demand in the UK, and I have seen many doctors and engineers in my social circle leaving their homes and jobs to start afresh in a far-flung land. And honestly, most of them are doing really well!
Sometimes, factors such as overpopulation, inflation and unemployment can push people to apply for immigration. After graduation, I had a hard time landing a decent job. Luckily, or unluckily, it wasn’t just me. There were hundreds of other fresh graduates who were waiting by the phone to at least receive a call for an interview. It took me almost 5 months to secure my first ‘real’ job, and let’s just not talk about the wages. (Yes, the wound is still fresh).
Unemployment is one of the main reasons why many Pakistanis and Indians are emigrating westwards to Europe, Canada, and the United States where the demand for skilled professionals, such as engineers and doctors is high, and the pay-scale is higher than what is on offer back home. When you are trying to make both ends meet in your own country, and a foreign place holds a promise to offer you better opportunities that can help you live your life according to your standards and fulfil your lifelong dreams, you have to seriously consider emigration.
Conversely, people decide to move to third-world countries to grab business opportunities as a lot of industries might be saturated in their homeland. In the recent years, thousands of Chinese have arrived in Pakistan sensing a profitable trading market. Furthermore, many Americans are emigrating because of inexpensive housing and higher wages.
4. Their Children’s Future
Apart from factors such as law and order, educational system and economy can also shape yours and your child’s future. People living in third-world countries leave their homes to move to the US, Canada, Australia, UK, and other European countries in hopes of providing the best schooling and opportunities to their children that they feel is limited in their own country.
This is because the western countries are often considered to have better colleges and schools. Conversely, some emigrants also eventually move back to their homelands due to the significant cultural and religious differences and for the sake of their child’s upbringing.
5. For a New Start
We all have been through it… When we want to run away from the toxic people in our lives never to see their faces again. Unfortunately, sometimes this toxicity can be so extreme that it may make you want to leave your life as you know it. Often people, particularity spouses in troubled marriages, seek asylum to escape mental and physical violence. When they feel there is a danger to their life and health, and all the doors are closed, starting a new life in a brand-new location seems like an only sane solution. For some people, there is no push factor at all. They simply want a change of scenery, and let’s admit it, it can be wonderful to start anew.
6. Due to Environmental Causes
Unfavorable environmental effects, such as famine and drought, can compel people to seek shelter in a different country. Adverse weather conditions and environmental changes can lead to various problems including health concerns, livelihood, and overall well-being of a person. People migrate out of China and Beijing because of dangerously high levels of air pollution that causes asthma and other respiratory problems. People from Asia and the Pacific, particularly from Sri Lanka, have emigrated due to storms, floods, and heat waves. When there is a risk for environmental destruction and adverse weather pattern, people opt to move out of their homelands.
Emigration… It is not without its challenges, but the reasons are worth the risk. Oh, certainly yes! There are several more compelling reasons why. Click here to read.