It is well known that the world, in general, is in enormous economical crisis. Some countries, however, have found a way to recover and start building up for the future.
Croatia is not among those lucky few countries.
Corruption, nepotism, lack of vision by the politicians, very little production and many other negative factors took its toll on the quality of living in this country. Considering the time length of this economic crisis we can easily say that for Croatia recession has grown into something we have all been trying to avoid – an ever lasting depression.
The government has introduced all kinds of taxes, stifling its own citizen’s purchase power, which is now very low, unemployment rate is among the worst ones in all of Europe and it is also worth noting that Croatia is one of the most centralized countries in Europe.
With all that being said, it is quite natural that thousands and thousands of people are leaving the country in despair. Everyone is hoping the situation will improve after the country finally enters the European Union on 1st of July this year (2013), but there are already some predictions that many member countries have decided to impose restrictions for Croatian people seeking for employment. So they are turning to other options like Australia and in larger part – Canada.
Canada has 67 immigration programs for legal staying, out of which more than 50 for those who have already received a work permit for long-term stay. The good news is that the local authorities annually issue 275 work permits for the Croatians under the Working Holiday programme in Canada which all Croatian citizens in the age range of 18-35, without criminal record and who can prove that they are in posession of 2500 Canadian dollars for a new beginning can apply for. That’s the most common way the Croats get legally employed when they decide to move across the Atlantic. They obtain a work permit, which is not tied to a specific employer, upon arrival find any kind of job, and then seek for better employment. Canada introduced the aforementioned programme for Croatia in June 2011 and next year it is realistic to expect a multitude of applications for it.
The crisis that has been affecting Europe and the rest of the world has seen many nations watch their citizens pack their bags and try their luck across the Atlantic, but only the Croats managed to get close to the gigantic countries like China, India, Pakistan and dictatored North Korea. Just for comparison, Croatia is right behind India, a nation with population of over 1.2 billion people when it comes to seeking an asylum in Canada. In the first 9 months only of the year 2012, 510 Croats applied for asylum in Canada, a little bit less than the citizens of India – 534.
So a million dollar question is: can Croatians weather the storm and refrain from continuous emigration in pursuit of better life?
Authors: Tedi Marković, Isabel Tina Braun, Ivana Mišura and Antonella Cassarà