HELPING HOUSE

Helping Newcomers Succeed

We are committed to helping immigrants from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

WHO WE ARE

MORE ABOUT US

WE ASSIST
WHERE IT MATTERS

Moving to a new country is a difficult transition.

Who will you meet, what will you discover?

We understand all these and that is why we at Helping House will provide resource materials to help newcomers ease in with their new lives.

HOPE IS
EVERYTHING

People who migrate to other countries do so for varied reasons. Foremost among those reasons is to have hope.

A HELPING HAND

HOW WE HELP

NEWS & UPDATES

We will provide news and updates on activities like free workshops, seminars and meetups for newcomers.

INFO on Opportunities

Free information on settlement- job searches, form filling, taxes, healthcare, child benefits, and temporary housing to newcomers.

MIGRANT NETWORKS

We will post details and information on migrant networks that can provide assistance to newcomers.

OUR TEAM

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Gavin Bon

Educator

Gavin has been actively involved in migrant activities in his community. Coming from a third-generation migrant family, he is all too familiar with the plights of the migrants within his community and strive to extend a helping hand in any way that he can.

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Tilde Berg

Accountant

Tilde's family moved to her present country when she was young and having grown up as a migrant, she has dedicated her free time to volunteer work in migrant centers in her community.

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Jacinta Jovanovic

Accountant

Being a migrant herself, Jacinta knows exactly how it feels being in a new and foreign environment. Now, she is pouring whatever free time she has to help migrants in her community.

OUR BLOG

Comparison Between Immigration In France And Immigration To Switzerland: Who Wins?

Immigration seems to be the theme chosen by French politicians for the presidential campaign that started a year ahead of schedule in France. And it is…Read more

Behind Every Immigrant, An Exceptional Story

Success is individual
I am probably not the only one who, somewhere in the middle of his thinking, has looked at Canada in these terms: “People…Read more

My Expat Tips To Make It Easier For You To Do Business

Any preparation for a possible expatriation requires an inevitable phase: that of gathering all the documents required to have the opportunity to fulfill one’s dream. This is…Read more

Saving Migrants is an Obligation of Solidarity

For days and days, the Open Arms ship has been criss-crossing the Mediterranean Sea in search of a port where its singular passengers disembark, which are called…Read more

How Can I Help Migrants?

Thousands of refugees need help on a daily basis. Here are some initiatives and associations with which you can act or express your solidarity.

In 2015, the cities…Read more

How to Migrate to the US as an Accountant?

Migrating to the US might be the best move for you as an Accountant. The US absorbs people from different nationalities all over the world. In contrast to the…Read more

LATEST ARTICLE

Comparison Between Immigration In France And Immigration To Switzerland: Who Wins?

By Gavin Bon

Immigration seems to be the theme chosen by French politicians for the presidential campaign that started a year ahead of schedule in France. And it is not only the National Front that denounces the situation. The French minister of the interior multiplies the statements on immigration, and the moderate right also takes up the subject. In short, there is every reason to believe that the future of the country is conditional on the way candidates will deal with the issue of immigration. And to amplify the whole, the French media are already predicting a cataclysm with a Le Pen in the second round, knowing full well that the polls mean absolutely nothing. In Switzerland, where we are much more in the “political correctness”, we address the subjects in a slightly less emotional but equally real way: in a canton like Geneva, we point the finger at expatriates, the UDC plays its usual role, and the Greens of Ecopop are preparing to launch a popular initiative to limit immigration for environmental reasons. Faced with such an outcry on both sides of the border, I decided to look at the issue a little bit. And what I discovered left me quite perplexed. The Number Of Immigrants To France Who Come To Settle Is Equivalent To The Number Of Immigrants To Switzerland So be aware: Switzerland, with a population of about 7.8 million, has an immigration equivalent to that of France, which has 65.8 million inhabitants, more than 8 times more than Switzerland… What is interesting is also the nature of migrants: in Switzerland, work-related immigration accounts for almost half of migrants, while in France it is just 18%. If we look at family ties, we see on the French side on average that for a foreigner who comes to work, 3.5 family members come to France on the grounds of family reunification. In Switzerland, the ratio is reversed since for a foreigner who comes to work in Switzerland, 0.7 family members come to settle in Switzerland… I believe that, in the light of these simple figures, it is easy to say that the problem of the French government should not be to limit immigration (which is essential for the growth of the country), but rather to carry out more controls on the family ties of foreigners. Because I will not be made to swallow that all foreigners who come to work in France have, on average, a spouse and more than 2 children. One-year Swiss Immigration Accounts For About 1.5% Of The Swiss Population The figures of immigration to Switzerland are impressive, relative to the population (Swiss immigration in one year represents about 1.5% of the total population, compared to less than 0.2% for France). But to ensure its growth, the country has no real choice and needs these foreigners. In any event, I find Swiss concerns on the subject more than legitimate, unlike France, whose policies seem to play more on emotion and fear than on actual statistics. And without wanting to make politics, we can ask the following question: without immigration problems, the FN no longer exists. However, the only real chance for the French president to re-elect for a second term, currently, would be to find himself in the second round with Marine Le Pen. Which may explain why we’ve been talking so much about immigration lately. The Question Of Integration All this does not appear in these statistics, but it is also questionable whether the fundamental question would not be rather the integration of foreigners: while in France their number is particularly small, in comparison with the population, compared to Switzerland, it seems quite obvious that the policy of integration in France is a stinging failure. In Switzerland, even though more than 20% of the resident population is foreign, we must still admit that the system works, despite some problems. Perhaps it is time for the French authorities to take inspiration from Swiss methods. But I’ll tell you about it in another post. What do you think of these numbers?

Behind Every Immigrant, An Exceptional Story

By Tilde Berg

Success is individual I am probably not the only one who, somewhere in the middle of his thinking, has looked at Canada in these terms: “People without exceptional talent, with fewer qualifications and fewer experiences have done well in Canada. So if it’s going well for them, it should definitely be fine for me.” Who hasn’t spent time gleaning statistics or checking average procedure times? What immigration candidate isn’t as eager as a child on Christmas Eve to be in Canada when they hear that newcomers are finding their first job only a few days after their arrival? We’re comparing each other. We’re reassuring ourselves. But in the end, does it really make sense? No two immigrants are the same. No two courses are the same. The requirements that had to be met last year may have nothing to do with those that will be effective in a few weeks. Each case is unique. Trying to compare what, by nature, is completely different leads to random conclusions. The unemployment rate among immigrants, the high number of separations and all these announcements on Kijiji/Craigslist of people selling their property to finance a return to square one are there to attest: the success of some does not imply the success of others. Extraordinary encounters Averages and other statistics are misleading. There is no such thing as a model immigrant! What has been successful for some is by no means a guarantee of success for others. Nevertheless, here are some meetings made in recent months that I find particularly inspiring: During the holidays, we were invited to the Quebec City area. From the outside, the house looked like everyone else. Nothing exceptional. Until I discover at the turn of a photo, that the discreet mother of the family is the daughter of a head of state. Immediately, I wondered where were the marble walls, the luxury cars and all the bling bling mentioned in people magazines. But it was just an ordinary family in Canada. I like the idea that every immigrant, regardless of his or her past, can forge a new life for themselves. Immigrating is an opportunity to make a fresh start. “20 minutes from Vancouver, I met P., of Swiss origin. He became a multi-millionaire by selling his portfolio management computer application to a national company. In my knowledge, many Canadians (mostly English speakers) are engaged in a second activity in their basement or garage: cabinet making, painting, ironwork, music classes, hairdressing salon, tax returns, etc.  It’s a great idea, I think, to invest the space you have at home. Rather than piling up gadgets and dust, it’s rather clever to make it a playground, become his own boss and who knows how to lay the foundations of a company that will conquer the world. I met K. in Victoria. His children all grew up in Canada. Sometimes he thinks of introducing them to their Dutch origins. Maybe they’ll make this initiation trip one day. Meanwhile, her sons run a cranberry plantation in their spare time and her youngest is selling on facebook. This gives them a nice extra income to finance their extras: Caribbean cruises, winter sports week, etc. Since we have been in Canada, we too have been trying to develop the entrepreneurial spirit with our children. arrived in Sherbrooke in the 1980s to study at university. Today, he heads several businesses. His business is thriving. It can be found in many associations: chamber of commerce, Christmas parade, neighbourhood parties, community actions, etc. A very involved actor in social life, he is also a particularly generous patron. And as if that wasn’t altruistic enough, he still finds time to help newcomers achieve their projects. A former immigrant who in turn helps other immigrants. arrived in Quebec a few months ago with her husband recruited from Sri Lanka. She has not been taking French-language courses for a long time, but she must be heard. It’s just awesome! She is now able to do a telephone interview in French when less than a year ago she did not know a word of it. So his CV is relegated to the level of an anecdotal accessory. Just to hear it, we can only be convinced that, in a very short time, it is able to identify a problem, assess its priority and make every effort to solve it. So obviously, in the face of her show of effectiveness, the employers fought for her to offer the job she wanted. Efforts pay a to good use. It is a pleasure to meet immigrants so determined to overcome prejudice. It’s the kind of meeting that makes you always want a lot more. And there are no shortage of challenges: permanent residence, a house, citizenship, six-figure income, a vacation in Cuba, a cottage, an apartment in Florida, etc. In 1992, P. fled the war with only a few pounds in a suitcase. He landed with his family in the Sherbrooke area. The lack of professional perspective, the complexity of French and the cold pushed them out of Quebec. Currently in Ontario, their eldest is a pilot in the Canadian Air Force and their youngest is completing her medical studies. They have a spacious house, new SUVs in their driveway, a 27-foot boat to enjoy the summer… Yet their gaze is sad, sometimes off. How can we be happy, they tell me, when everything they have reminds them that their village has been literally razed and their loved ones killed before their eyes? The abundance they have here cannot replace what little they have lost in the horrors of war. Immigrants, we all have a unique story There may be lessons to be learned from these experiences. But the most important thing for me is this: behind every immigrant, there is an exceptional story to discover. These testimonies, more than anything else, are great motivators in my immigration career. I like to be challenged by the experience of others. So no doubt this year will be another opportunity for new adventures and new and memorable encounters.

My Expat Tips To Make It Easier For You To Do Business

By Jacinta Jovanovic

Any preparation for a possible expatriation requires an inevitable phase: that of gathering all the documents required to have the opportunity to fulfill one’s dream. This is the phase that any person who does not wish to end up with a visa or work permit is dreaded simply because of a “sheet of paper”. To facilitate this phase and allow you to prepare serenely, I have gathered all my tips and habits. List All Your Travels On A Travel/Flight Diary It was only recently that I took the time to gather all the information about my previous trips, I wish I had been able to start it before. Today, for many, flights are booked online, so it’s easy enough to track his/her travels in emails. But since in my case, I had the will to list all my trips since 2000, and that at that time, online booking was not extremely common, the task was not simple. Having a travel/flight diary is essential and will save you many hours of research when your future country of expatriation asks you where you are going to walk in recent years. Often, for a residency application, you can also be asked for your travels over the last 10 years (this is the case for the USA). I advise you to prepare for it. Scan And Backup Your Important Documents Online Scanning documents regularly should be a habit and practice taught in school! For years, I’ve been used to scanning all my documents on an online storage space like Google Drive, totally free and easy to use regardless of your age. Nowadays, you can easily use your phone to scan any document. Free apps like Adobe Scan, Microsoft Office Lens or even Evernote Scannable only for iOS, allow you to identify the type of document and save or share it easily. Passports (all written pages), identity card (back),,s proof of residence, invoices, bachelor’s notes, diplomas, work certificates, payslips, plane tickets, tax sheets, documents in your wallet. All of these documents are important, and I would say that even if you do not emigrate or more, getting into the habit of storing these documents can make it much easier for you to take future administrative steps. Learn The Basics Of How A Pdf File Editor Works The PDF format is an electronic format that allows for the fairly simple sharing of documents.  Often you also have the option to download documents in JPEG, PNG formats that are image formats. But it’s always easier, especially for the person who receives the documents to receive the files in PDF format. If it’s not already installed on your device, you can use the free Acrobat Reader software or find a host of other free software that allows you to convert an image format into a PDF, insert an image, write in the document… Very often, instead of printing documents (and for lack of a printer), I open them in a reader/pdf file editor and write on forms as if I were doing it by hand. A photo of my signature was imported into this document and here I am with a fully filled document, which I can easily send and save on my computer and online. The few tricks you can learn like filling out a form (if it’s not already ready to be filled out) or adding an image (your signature for example) will often be useful to you and can save you valuable time (in addition to helping to protect the planet by printing less) Take A Picture Of Yourself Often In the majority of your steps, you will be asked for a photo in the ID format. If you get into the habit of taking photos in identity format, this will allow you two things: Have one on hand if you need it, to be able to make a nice montage over several years of your physiological evolution. Yes, it’s a lot these days… You don’t need to go to the photographer’s house every time (except for a permanent residence application), but try to follow the instructions to avoid having your file rejected due to a blurry photo or incorrect dimensions. Anticipate Your Future Steps Preparing all your documents for a work permit or student visa application is great! But being able to anticipate your future steps is even better. Taking a look at the list of documents needed for future steps can be essential. For those who have lived in other countries like me, it must be considered that some steps also take longer in some places.  For example, in France, applying for a court extract is done online, and you receive your act in the mail in less than two weeks (depending on the destination of course). In Mauritius, it can take between one and two months and you must have someone on site to take care of it. Two months is a long time. Don’t Stress, There Is Often A Solution To Everything You may have travelled a lot, or your apartment may have caught fire one day and you may have lost your important documents. Don’t panic! Administrative procedures are part of any immigration process, and the majority of people know that. Are you missing a document? Consider a way to get a copy back: there is always usually an alternative or possibility to recover or have access to an important document. Don’t put any more unnecessary pressure on yourself and try to follow the tricks I share with you. I assure you that your steps will be less stressful and easier to face. Do you have other tricks or habits that have made your life easier or your expatriation process? Please leave us a comment.

Saving Migrants is an Obligation of Solidarity

By Jacinta Jovanovic

For days and days, the Open Arms ship has been criss-crossing the Mediterranean Sea in search of a port where its singular passengers disembark, which are called migrants for the convenience of language when they are simply damned from the earth. For days and days, European capitals such as low-level rag-pickers have been arguing over who should welcome them. For days and days we have been blaming Italy, Spain, France, without being able to agree on humanitarian provisions capable of putting an end to all this sinister circus. How can we fail to see in all these petty procrastinations the exact reproduction of past behaviours when in the last century other seas and oceans were home to makeshift boats where Jews were crapped as plagues that no one wanted? How can we not compare these migrants today with the plight of the shamed populations that, in the aftermath of the Second World War, people were cradding in camps for displaced people in search of an impossible solution? How can we not be moved that western countries are once again seeking by all means to pass on these migrants as if they were lepers, scarecrows who once they reached the mainland would sow disorder and chaos? Same selfishness. Same fantasies. Same irrational fears. Even chilly. As if the very principle of hospitality were a vain notion just good to be included in some Gospels without ever being put into practice. Finally, who will be led to believe that these thousands of migrants could pose any danger to countries as opulent as France or Italy? Is there not, therefore, an obligation of solidarity, in the name of human life, in the face of this spectacle of human beings crammed like cattle on ships which we suspect are anything but cruise ships? How can Europe, this continent of human rights, enlightened democracies, allow us to see human beings so tossed around, despised, sent back to their sad condition without even reacting, without doing anything to ease the burden of their pain? Recalling Europe has its duties As we know, behind each of these individuals are hidden unspeakable tragedies. No one ventures far from his native country for reasons that would not be of the order of compelling necessity. They flee war, the smell of blood, chaos, abuses, bombings, the impossibility of eating to their hunger; the irreducible despair that eats away at hearts and plunges souls into a distress from which nothing ever comes out of them. They are men, women, children, human beings like us whose only fault has been to be born in the wrong place, under the black sun of countries left to the disorder of history when it condemns individuals to live an existence made of begging, renunciation and unrelenting mourning. It is not a question of welcoming all the misery of the world, nor of pouring into a bleating humanism, but simply of reminding Europe of its duties. How can a continent of nearly 500 million people, most of whom live in relative ease, deny hospitality to tens or even hundreds of thousands of migrants without renouncing themselves, without giving up what it is in essence: a lighthouse whose light is supposed to guide the whole world? It doesn’t matter who these migrants are. It doesn’t matter what color their skin is, what their religious affiliation is, why they’re exiled. It doesn’t matter where they come from. It doesn’t matter what language they speak. They look like us. They are our past, our present, our future. To turn away from them in order to ignore them better would be like smearing the human race as a whole. To save them is to save ourselves.

How Can I Help Migrants?

By Gavin Bon

Thousands of refugees need help on a daily basis. Here are some initiatives and associations with which you can act or express your solidarity. In 2015, the cities of Calais, Bodrum in Turkey, the islands of Lampedusa in Italy, Kos in Greece, and the Hungarian or Serbian borders, saw hundreds of thousands of Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, Eritreans and Somalis seeking refuge. Stories, journeys, tragedies, marked us, revolted or saddened as when Europe woke up this summer when it discovered the photo of the lifeless body of little Aylan on a Turkish beach. Many of us then have the desire to act and help. We offer a non-exhaustive selection of initiatives to help refugees, accessible to all those living around the Golden Drop. But anywhere in France, you will find different associations to turn to. The newspaper Libération has put online a very complete map of the structures in France, with skill and type of aid offered. Of course, there are several key humanitarian organizations that operate internationally or nationally. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which assists refugees in their efforts in host countries, is making a special effort to reduce situations of forced displacement in countries of departure. The Red Cross and people’s aid are devoting part of their resources to helping migrants, among other missions. Finally, France Terre d’Asile has a network of settlements in 36 cities to help asylum seekers, from accommodation to legal aid. The association also has an office at the Goutte d’Or, at 4 rue Doudeauville (reception platform and accommodation). Acting close to home On a day-to-day basis, if you’re looking to take action by turning to local initiatives, there is no shortage of opportunities to get involved. In the neighbourhood, several associations are working to improve the reception of migrants, whether they have been settled in France for a long time, wherever they have just arrived in the region. Several actions are carried out to meet different needs: language training (Laghouat Home, Golden Drop Home, Language Island, Red Castle Solidarity), social mediation and administrative support (Laghouat Home, AGO, Ayyem Zamen), medical follow-up (URACA-Basiliade), food aid (The Open Table). The list of actions and associations cited is not exhaustive. Other collectives are more specifically dedicated to migrants who have recently arrived in the country. The La Chapelle Migrant Support Committee collects material donations (food, hygiene, clothing, etc.) and may potentially need volunteers to provide French courses, administrative and legal aid, medical services or entertainment. The BAAM (the Office of Reception and Support of Migrants) is a new initiative led by a solidarity support group of migrants settled and then evacuated from the disused high school Jean Quarré on the 19th in Paris. The association seeks to provide a better reception for refugees by offering french workshops, legal aid, cultural outings and redirecting migrants to health care systems. Help via the Internet Several initiatives have been built on the Internet, reaching a wider audience and facilitating the call to action. Since January, the Singa association has developed an online platform to connect citizens wishing to house asylum seekers and refugees in search of a place to sleep, through the “Like at home / CALM” project. Helpmigrants is an international social network that allows refugees and Europeans to get in touch as simply as possible. Through this site, you can donate clothes, medicines, food or various services. “The solutions lie in all of us, citizens of Europe,” they write.

Migrate to the US as an Accountant

How to Migrate to the US as an Accountant?

By Tilde Berg

Migrating to the US might be the best move for you as an Accountant. The US absorbs people from different nationalities all over the world. In contrast to the records of some decades ago, the population of immigrants has increased. The US recorded about 14 percent as the immigrants’ population in 2017. This population includes individuals of their working-age with different skills and academic qualifications. This population has been reported to impact the US positively. As an accountant seeking to immigrate, there are different options for you in the US. It is also essential to be well informed about the processes. Migration Using a TN Visa This option is considered the best for accountants from Mexico and Canada who want to work in the US. Based on nationality, academic qualification, and more, accountants can apply for different Visas. You can sponsor your visa yourself, or the company would do that for you. In this scenario, application through the TN visa is the best bet. The following are required to apply for a TN Visa; Bachelor Degree CA Certification (Chartered Accountant) CMA Certification (Certified Management Accountant) CGA Certification (Certified General Accountant) Licenciatura Degree in Accounting CPA Certification (Certified Public Accountant) Migration Using an H1B Visa Using the H1B visa is a good option for engineers. The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa. It is also a good option for those who want to get an accounting degree. The H1B visa avail individuals without degrees the opportunity to immigrate to the US. This option is available, provided the individual has experiences that qualify them for such. Migration Using a 0-1 Visa Immigrants that possess extraordinary skills or laudable achievement are granted the 0-1 visa. The 0-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for foreigners. For immigrants to qualify for this visa, their ability is checked. There must also be a job offer for an individual immigrant. This visa includes two categories, 0-1A and 0-1B. 0-1A is for people with exceptional abilities in education, science, business, and also athletics. 0-1B includes people with extraordinary art abilities in the media industry and motion picture. Therefore, as an accountant, you are in the 0-1A category. You might need to use some help and professional advice to get your visa. Professional service would save you from avoidable mistakes. You can also get your visa with more ease. How to Work as an Accountant in the US? Moving to the US is one thing and working as a professional is another. As an accountant, essential degrees in accounting are required. It would help if you also decided to practice as an accountant or a Certified public accountant. Would you want to work with a firm or be independent? Beyond the essential degrees, practicing in some states requires advanced certifications. People need to become CPAs. A Certified Public Accountant carries out all the functions of an accountant and more. A CPA can represent a person before the Internal Revenue Service, audit accounts, and review statements. Every CPA in the US must pass all CPA exams. These exams are; Audit and Attestation Business Environment and Concepts Regulations Financial Accounting and Reporting Getting an internship or an entry-level job will help boost your resume. It would help you build a stable career in the industry. Your LinkedIn profile must also be updated with necessary information about your career. LinkedIn would help you connect with opportunities in your field. Getting a job shouldn’t make you comfortable. It is wise to take deliberate steps towards career growth. It might require you to go for higher certification. Accountants and Certified Public Accountants records and inspects the accounts of individuals and corporate organizations. These include government parastatals and companies. Accountants and CPAs in the US can be self-employed or work with large organizations. There are individual owned CPA firms all over the US, just like CPA Virginia beach. You can also work as an accountant or a CPA on a full-time or part-time basis. Tax seasons usually comes with a lot of work for the accountant or CPA. It is similar to what is obtainable towards the budget year-end. Conclusion Immigrating to the US as an accountant might be the boost you need for your career growth. There are numerous opportunities for professionals who want to work in the US. The US welcomes individuals with practical skill-sets. With the required professional certification, you can always find a place for you. You might need to start from an entry job and grow from there, depending on your certificate.