Immigration has become an important parameter of societies worldwide. In Canada, changes to the immigration laws over the past three decades have encouraged the arrival of diverse immigrant populations. Unlike earlier immigrant waves, the newcomers now are no longer Europeans or Americans. Today they are arriving from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. As well, new arrivals are no longer strictly dependant on the employment requirements of the Canadian government’s immigration programs . A large number of new immigrants are asylum seekers and refugees. The Iranian revolution of 1979, the Iran-Iraq war, and a variety of other political and social upheavals have caused the departure of Iranians, as immigrants and refugees, from their homeland. Canada has become one of the main destinations for the expatriate Iranian community.
The present paper is a study of several categories of Iranian immigrants working as cab drivers in Montreal . For many researchers, as well as for the popular press in Canada, the case of immigrants working as cab drivers has become a sign of their loss of social status and disqualification. Based on our findings from a series of thorough andintensive interviews with the sample groups, this study examines how the different social, economic, political, and personal motivations in different periods have contributed to the departure of these groups from their land of origin.