Iranians' Motivations for Immigrating to Canada

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Institutional Affiliation : 
Université de Montréal
Academic Bio: 
Vahideddin Namazi holds a BA in economics from University of Allameh Tabatabai in Tehran, Iran, and an MA in economics from the University of Tehran, as well as an MA in social studies from the Université Laval in Canada. He is currently a PhD candidate of applied human sciences at Université de Montréal in Canada.

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.

Academic Discipline : 
Applied Humaines Sciences

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