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Seven Secrets to a Successful Immigration

Posted on Mar. 12th 2009 by AshleeK
views: 651, comments: 1
The below is a list of 7 secrets to a successful immigration and settlement in Canada, by a immigration magazine publisher. I foudn it in a larger article, but I thought I would share this section with all of you:

Canadian Immigrant magazine publisher Naeem "Nick" Noorani spoke of his Seven Success Secrets for Canadian Immigrants:

1) Learn English. "The most important thing is the language," Noorani said. "I don't care how well-qualified you are. You need to know the language."

2) Stay Positive. "It's so easy to become negative. Canada doesn't choose immigrants, we choose our future citizens."

3) Embrace Canada. "This is your country for the rest of your life. You need to fall in love with your country."

4) Have a Plan B. In other words, don't put all your career options in one basket, Noorani said.

5) Move out of ethnic silos. "Embrace all communities. The more people you have as friends who are outside of your ethnic circle, the more success you will have."

6) Take risks. "We're natural risk-takers. We've left everything behind. We've left our families and our friends behind, but not just because we are risk-takers, but because we are visionaries."

7) Volunteer, Mentorship, Networking. Get to know as many people as possible while gaining as much Canadian employment experience as possible, Noorani said.

the original article can be found here: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2009/02/21/8474276-sun.html

Great Story on Afghan Immigrants in Canada

Posted on Mar. 11th 2009 by AshleeK
views: 1699, comments: 0
I recently read an article a friend in Toronto forwarded me from their local newspaper, the Toronto Star.

The article, “Afghans build a new life” by Lesley Ciarula Taylor, highlights the difficulties that many immigrants from Afghanistan face when arriving in Canada. Many of these immigrants have spent much of their lives in refugee camps, and have faced extreme violence. Even the lifestyle changes, especially understanding the amount of freedom given to Canadians, can be a difficult thing to adapt to.

There is an incredible community of Afghans that are now settled Canada who are willing to help. They are the ones who best understand the challenges newcomers from their home country face, and can provide incredible support and guidance on how to succeed in their new community.

I have copied the article below, or you can read it at:


TheStar.com | GTA | Afghans build a new life
The first wave of refugees, now settled in, hopes to help troubled young newcomers
Mar 09, 2009 04:30 AM

Baker, realtor, musician, lawyer, counsellor, soccer player, writer – in any conversation with Afghans in Greater Toronto, they will say, "The first thing you have to remember is we are a resilient people."
Such a conversation will invariably be accompanied by a glass of tea. Afghans are also hospitable people.
After a generation of steady, sorrowful immigration to Canada, as one war bled into another in their homeland, the Afghan community in Toronto is coming of age, producing a homegrown band of young professionals.
Despite their accomplishments, they are mindful of just how damaged the newest émigrés are, the ones who arrived in the post-9/11 third wave. (The first wave came after the Soviet invasion of 1979, the second from 1991-96, during the civil war eventually won by the Taliban.)
When Dwajid Taheri arrived 23 years ago, he was 14, alone and spoke no English. Now he's one of the first Afghan-Canadian lawyers in Toronto, wearing monogrammed shirts and Burberry ties in an office with a fireplace and leather chairs.
But he knows how to play hardball with today's high school kids from Afghanistan, who run with gangs, fight, skip school and get arrested.
"The newer arrivals, the young people, have been raised in violence. A full generation has had no schooling. They've been back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan (refugee camps) two or three times. And they are so angry at everything. When I was in high school, I was like that. I have a heart-to-heart chat with them.
"I am more than just Afghan. I have a deep loyalty to this country. I owe it to these people to help."
Like his compatriots here, Taheri appreciates the intentions of the Canadian troops in his homeland but wishes Westerners had a deeper grasp of its history.
"My heart goes out to those soldiers. These deaths are not necessary," he said. "Talk to any Afghan. I have not found one person who believes the military option is a solution.
"It is a misguided assumption that the Taliban are in Afghanistan. They're not. They're in Pakistan. You can kill as many as you want and the door is still open for more."
There were 14,000 Afghans in Toronto in the 2001 census and 23,230 in the 2006. On average more than 2,000 have arrived into the GTA every year since 1996, with a peak of 3,934 in 2001.
Mariam Mahbob fled Afghanistan 15 years ago. She started the first local Afghan newspaper, Ar Zarnegaar, and has published a book of short stories about women and their lives – a sort of Afghan Alice Munro.
She and her husband, a poet, are financing an association in Kabul to help writers and poets.
"Democracy means nothing for people who have nothing to eat," she says. "If I have the money, I will help them."
James Hussaini, who arrived with his family in 1997 at age 20, says adapting to a new country is not easy. He would rather have been a lawyer, but as the eldest son, he had to help support the family. Selling real estate pays the bills.
"No matter how hard I try, I can't think, talk, walk like I grew up here," says Hussaini.
His passion is to bridge the gap between young Afghans and their parents, "who are physically here but mentally still in Afghanistan."
He's hopeful. He named his new daughter Tamana – "hope."
Neelofer Hajran, a customer service manager at TD Canada Trust, knows well the tug-of-war between old and new world values.
"It was very hard for my family to accept so much freedom here," the 26-year-old said via Facebook. "My family still doesn't like seeing their kids going out with friends or watching a movie in theatres."
Then there's Roain Satarzadeh, gelled hair and leather jacket but sporting a keychain with a photo of his 8-year-old brother. His solution for the damaged, angry teen immigrants? Run them ragged.
Last year, in their spare time, Satarzadeh, 22, and two friends created the Canadian Afghan Sports Association for soccer, volleyball and basketball. They staged the second Canadian Afghan Cup at the Hershey Centre last December.
On March 14, they launch the first Afghan Chess Tournament at the Habib Banquet Hall in Scarborough.
Satarzadeh's organization has the advantage of being able to draw upon former professional soccer stars in the émigré community as coaches.
"The level of stuff that used to happen is down," Satarzadeh says. "Support is the main thing."
A seminal 2005 study found nearly a third of Afghan teens in Toronto reported experiencing war trauma and nearly two-thirds said their families had. Three-quarters said they had problems adjusting at school; 21 per cent reported being suspended or expelled from school, most often for fighting.
Three years ago, Zarsanga Popal, 30, helped write a report on how to help Afghan youth.
At the time, she was a social worker affiliated with Sabawoon – a community organization created several years ago after a wave of suicides among alienated Afghan youths in Toronto.
Married now with a house in Oakville – "the immigrant dream is the 905" – Popal is more determined than ever to fix misconceptions about Afghan immigrants.
"A lot of people portray us as a poor-victim, suffering community. Yes, we've been disadvantaged, but a lot of people miss where this community is going, its strengths."
Social life revolves around weekly worship at the mosque and big weddings – big, as in 500 or more and guests. (They have come to appreciate Italian wedding halls.)
"Everybody gets invited, your next-door neighbours, business acquaintances, family, friends," says Maryam Alesi, who is on maternity leave from the Afghan Women's Organization but does bookings for the Afghan Women's Catering Group.
"In times of instability and devastation and sadness and loss, a wedding is the start of a new life for a couple," says Popal, who has a newborn daughter. " Weddings are a big part of our culture."
Farid Asghary makes the "very fancy" five-tier cakes for those weddings at his Arya Home Bakery & Sweets, at Danforth Ave. and Main St. In seven years, he has built up a broad multicultural trade, offering Afghan bread and sweets, Indian sweets, and Greek and Turkish pastries, along with his own creations.
It's an outlet of sorts for a man who, when he arrived in Toronto, was renowned in Kabul as an artist who staged exhibits, before he realized he couldn't make a living here as a painter.
Unlike Asghary, Vaheed Kaacemy can still make a living with his art.
Kaacemy was a high-profile musician in Kabul who fled the threat of death at the hands of the Taliban. "They didn't like music," he notes.
He played stadium concerts in 1984 and still writes songs, teaches and performs around the world.
He used young local voices to record 16 songs in four Afghan languages. The songbook and CD, funded in part by the National Geographic Society, were launched at a gala in 2006 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Thousands of copies have been distributed to children in Afghanistan.
He would love to do more to preserve a musical legacy at risk of being obliterated by war.
"There is a musician, a singer, who is very old, 107 years old. He lives in Baluchistan (lying partly in Afghanistan). If we could spend five, six, seven hours with him, recording what he knows, we can preserve our culture.
"If he dies, we have nothing. If we wait for war to end in Afghanistan, it will not get done."

Alberta a Good Bet for Foreign Workers/ L’Alberta : un bon choix pour les travailleurs étrangers

Posted on Mar. 11th 2009 by Loonie
views: 385, comments: 0
It is projected that the province of Alberta will be short 100,000 works in the next 10 years as baby boomers retire. To aid the labour shortage situation, the federal government has given Alberta instruction to ‘make a case’ for temporary foreign workers.

Albertan employers are able to apply for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO), a certification that enables them to hire and import temporary foreign workers to fill their labour needs. The LMO is granted if the employer is able to show that despite advertising, they have been unable to fill the vacancy with Canadian candidates, and allows them to hire foreign workers to fill the vacancy. Foreign workers immigration to Canada is expedited with this process.

From October to December 2008, the Government issued 7,159 LMO’s to Albertan employers, the vast majority for positions in retail, restaurant, labour and nanny positions.

Skilled workers, including engineers, architects and health-care workers, who are currently working in the United States on an H1B visa also have a fast-track process by which they can immigrate to Canada. They can move to Alberta without a job offer when their U.S. contracts expire. Since April 2008, over 200 applicants have come to Canada with this process.


Comme partout ailleurs, les baby boomers d’Alberta partent en retraite et la province risque un déficit de 100,000 travailleurs au cours des 10 ans à venir. Pour remédier à cette possible pénurie de main d’oeuvre, le gouvernement fédéral a demandé à l’Alberta de faire valoir le cas des travailleurs étrangers temporaires.

Les employeurs albertains ont la possibilité de demander un « Avis relatif au marché du travail » (AMT), une certification qui leur permet de faire venir et d’engager des travailleurs étrangers temporaires afin de combler les postes pour lesquels ils manquent de main d’œuvre. L’AMT est accordé lorsque l’employeur est en mesure de démontrer qu’en dépit de ses efforts de recrutement, il n’a pas été en mesure de combler le(s) poste(s) avec une main d’oeuvre canadienne. Il lui permet alors de recruter des travailleurs étrangers. Dans ce cas précis, et par le biais de ce programme, les formalités d’immigration sont alors accélérées.

Entre octobre et décembre 2008, le gouvernement a accordé 7 159 AMT à des employeurs albertains. La vaste majorité des postes à pourvoir concernait les secteurs de la vente, de la restauration et de la garde d’enfants.

Les travailleurs qualifiés, y compris les ingénieurs, les architectes et les travailleurs de la santé, qui travaillent actuellement aux États-Unis avec un visa H1B verront eux aussi leurs formalités d’immigration vers le Canada simplifiées. À l’expiration de leur contrat de travail américain, ils pourront désormais s’établir en Alberta avant même d’avoir reçu une offre d’emploi. Depuis avril 2008, plus de 200 candidats sont venus au Canada de cette façon.

Alberta to Receive Additional Funding / L’Alberta doit recevoir des fonds supplémentaires

Posted on Mar. 11th 2009 by Loonie
views: 352, comments: 0
The province of Alberta is a focus for immigration in the 2009-2010. Federal funding will provide the province with $59 million to support immigration, settlement and integration programs, a 21% increase over the previous year.

Immigrant-serving organizations in Edmonton will receiving an additional $2.3 million announced Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney this week.
This will enable newcomer’s better access to language training, employment assistance, information and guidance on community integration.

Organizations that will most benefit from the funding include the Bredin Institute – Centre for Learning, the Alliance Jeuness Famille de l’Alberta, the Edmonton Catholic School District and the Edmonton Immigrant Services Association.

The settlement of over 1,000 newcomers will be helped with this additional funding.

La province de l’Alberta mettra l’accent sur l’immigration entre 2009 et 2010. Le gouvernement fédéral doit en effet octroyer à la province la somme de 59 millions de dollars pour soutenir les programmes d’immigration, d’établissement et d’intégration. Cela représente une hausse de 21 % par rapport à l’année dernière.

Par ailleurs, Jason Kenney, ministre de la Citoyenneté, de l’Immigration et du Multiculturalisme, a annoncé cette semaine que les organismes d’assistance aux immigrants recevraient 2,3 millions de dollars supplémentaires. Voilà qui devrait permettre aux nouveaux arrivants de bénéficier d’un meilleur accès à des formations linguistiques ainsi qu’aux services de recherche d’emploi, d’information et d’intégration.

Parmi les organismes qui bénéficieront le plus de ces investissements, on compte le Bredin Institute – Centre for Learning, l’Alliance Jeunesse-Famille de l’Alberta, L’Edmonton Catholic School District et l’Edmonton Immigrant Services Association.

Grâce à ce nouvel investissement, ce sont plus de 1 000 nouveaux arrivants qui bénéficieront d’un soutien.

Helping Prospective Immigrants / À l’aide des immigrants potentiels

Posted on Mar. 11th 2009 by Loonie
views: 729, comments: 0
The Canadian Government has released a video regarding their zero-tolerance approach to immigration consultant fraud, a growing problem internationally.

The video hopes to educate prospective immigrants on the reality that fraud exists and ways to ensure that applicants who choose to use an immigration consultant to aid them when applying to immigrate to Canada have chosen a registered consultant.

Currently in English, the video will soon be available in multiple languages.

Though hiring an immigration lawyer or consultant to represent you through your application does not guarantee that you will be granted permanent residency in Canada, many applicants do choose to hire a representative to aid them with the often confusing application process. Consultants are also important if ones application is more complex.

If you are going to hire an immigration consultant ensure that:

1) They are registered with the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (http://www.csic-scci.ca/)
2) Fees paid for the services are not exorbitant
3) The services that will be rendered are clearly defined and understood
4) That you are given frequent updates on the progress of your file

To view the video, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s site: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/multimedia/video/becoming_canadian/fraud/fraud.asp


Le gouvernement canadien a lancé un clip vidéo sur le thème de l’approche «tolérance zéro » vis à vis de la fraude au sein de certains services de consultants en immigration, une fraude qui serait en progression partout dans le monde.

Avec ce clip, le gouvernement espère éclairer les immigrants potentiels sur le fait que les fraudes sont bien réelles et encourager ceux qui choisiront d’avoir recours aux services de consultants pour les aider à immigrer au Canada à ne choisir que des personnes agréées.

Uniquement disponible en anglais pour le moment, le clip sera bientôt présenté dans plusieurs langues.

Bien que le fait d’engager un consultant en immigration ne soit pas une garantie pour obtenir le statut de résident permanent au Canada, de nombreux requérants choisissent de retenir les services d’un consultant pour les aider à gérer des démarches administratives souvent laborieuses. Les consultants jouent également un rôle important dans les cas de dossiers particulièrement complexes.

Si vous choisissez de faire appel aux services d’un consultant en immigration, assurez-vous bien que :
1) Il ou elle figure au registre de la Société Canadienne des Consultants en Immigration (http://www.csic-scci.ca/)
2) Les tarifs pratiqués ne sont pas exorbitants
3) Les services qui seront rendus sont clairement définis et compris
4) Vous serez tenu(e) informé(e) régulièrement des progrès de votre dossier

Pour voir le clip vidéo, rendez-vous sur le site de Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada : http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/multimedia/video/becoming_canadian/fraud/fraud.asp

Saskatchewan a Hot Spot for Jobs in Canada / La Saskatchewan : une province canadienne qui résiste à la crise

Posted on Mar. 11th 2009 by Loonie
views: 363, comments: 0
Despite the economic recession, Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate fell in January. It is the only province to record positive improvements in employment. The provincial government’s job website Saskjobs.ca was showing nearly 6,000 private- and public-sector jobs this week. Premier Brad Wall is proud of his provinces ability to maintain its economic strength during such a difficult time.

“It’s a great time to come to Saskatchewan” said Wall.

Though noting that the province is not immune to the recession, Wall stated that the provinces economic success is due to careful financial planning, low taxes and incredible opportunity for industrial development.

Saskatchewan is the second largest exporter of oil in Canada, selling more oil to the United States in recent years than Kuwait. Uranium and potash production are also main industries in the province.

In order to keep the economy strong, Wall announced a $500 million infrastructure program and tax reductions for 2009.

“[Saskatchewan] is a beautiful, big place where life is great and right now there’s also opportunity” said Premier Wall. “I’m very, very biased, but I can’t imagine a place I’d rather be, especially with what’s going on economically around the world.”

Learn more about the province of Saskatchewan by visiting the Canada Facts page on Saskatchewan: http://www.loonlounge.com/about-saskatchewan/


Malgré la récession économique, le taux de chômage de la Saskatchewan a baissé en janvier. C’est la seule province qui connaisse une amélioration dans le secteur de l’emploi. Cette semaine, Saskjobs.ca, le site web gouvernemental de la province, affichait près de 6 000 offres, secteurs privé et public confondus. Le Premier ministre Brad Wall est fier de la capacité de sa province à maintenir sa force économique dans un contexte difficile.

« C’est le moment de venir en Saskatchewan », estime M. Wall.

Tout en reconnaissant que la province est elle aussi touchée par la récession, M. Wall insiste sur le fait que le succès économique de la Saskatchewan est imputable à une gestion financière prudente, à un faible taux d’imposition et aux larges possibilités de développement industriel.

La Saskatchewan est la deuxième province exportatrice de pétrole au Canada. Ces dernières années, elle a vendu plus de pétrole aux États-Unis que le Koweït. La production d’uranium et de potasse sont également d’importantes industries pour la province.

Pour que l’économie de la province reste forte, le Premier ministre a annoncé la mise en place d’un programme d’infrastructure de 500 millions de dollars ainsi que des réductions d’impôts pour 2009.

« [ La Saskatchewan ] est un endroit immense et magnifique où l’on vit bien et où, en ce moment, des opportunités sont à saisir » a déclaré le Premier ministre, avant d’ajouter : « Je suis très subjectif, mais je ne voudrais vivre nulle part ailleurs, surtout quand on connaît la situation économique mondiale actuelle ».

Pour en savoir plus sur la province de la Saskatchewan, cliquez sur ce lien : http://www.loonlounge.com/about-saskatchewan/

Some good information for IELTS preparation

Posted on Mar. 5th 2009 by MaryTeacher
views: 616, comments: 4

I'd like to share this website with you for IELTS preparation.


The site focuses mainly on preparing for the speaking test, and provides a lot of valuable information. The website owner is a former IELTS examiner who now teaches IELTS prep in China. The information is updated regularly, and provides some good links to other resource sites.

I hope you find this helpful!

Take care,

Credential Evaluation for immigrants in Canada

Posted on Feb. 27th 2009 by andy30
views: 748, comments: 5
Before you come to Canada, it is very crutial to have your academic documents such as diplomas, transcripts and certificates evaluated. As an immigrant, you may need to evaluate your credentials for the following purposes:
1- Immigration, for skilled or Economic categories.
2- Employment.
3- Licensing with Professional Association.
4- Entry to Apprenticeship training programs.
5- Higher Education and/or Continuing Education.
The process for getting your credential evaluated will depend on whether you want to enter a regulated or not regulated occupation., or pursue continuing education. As a general rule, if your chosen occupation is regulated, the recognition of qualifications will be determined by the appropriate provincial or territorial regulatory body, while for a non-regulated occupation, recognition is normally at the discretion of the employer.
You can find out more about the specific requirements for recognition of your qualifications in your profession/trade by doing the following:
1. Contact the professional association governing your occupation in your own country to find out if there are any links with similar associations in Canada. Consult the publication entitled National Occupational Classification at the closest Canadian diplomatic mission to find out more about employment requirements for your occupation.
2. Find out the name and address of the professional regulatory body governing your profession/trade in the province or territory where you intend to settle by enquiring with CICIC.
3. Write to the regulatory body and ask about the specific requirements and costs for licensing, certification, or registration, as well as the recommended procedure for an assessment. The regulatory body will advise you concerning the required documentation and the fees for assessment.
You should be aware that the recognition process is different in each province and territory and for each profession/trade. It can be a costly and time-consuming process; so it is important that you obtain all the information you need to know about the process and specific requirements before undertaking an assessment.

There are several evaluation services that can help you in assesssing your credentials in comparison with the canadian educational standards.Some of the organizations that perform credential evaluations in Canada are:

International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
Alberta Employment, Immigration and Industry
9th Floor, 108th Street Building
9942 - 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J5 Canada
Tel.: +1 780 427-2655
Toll-free in Alberta: 310-0000 ask for 427-2655
Fax: +1 780 422-9734
Web site: http://employment.alberta.ca/cps/rde/xchg/hre/hs.xsl/4512.html

British Columbia
International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)
3700, avenue Willingdon
Burnaby, British Columbia V5G 3H2 Canada
Tel.: +1 604 432-8800
Toll-Free within North America: +1-866-434-9197
Fax: +1 604 435-7033
Email: icesinfo@bcit.ca
Web site: http://www.bcit.ca/ices/

Academic Credentials Assessment Service - Manitoba (ACAS)
Manitoba Labour and Immigration
Settlement & Labour Market Services Branch
5th Floor, 213 Notre Dame Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 1N3 Canada
Tel.: +1 204 945-6300
Toll-Free within North America: +1-800-665-8332
Fax: +1 204 948-2148
Web site: http://www.gov.mb.ca/labour/immigrate/work/recognition/acas.html

Comparative Education Service (CES)
University of Toronto
315 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A3 Canada
Tel.: +1 416 978-2190
Fax: +1 416 978-7022
Costs for service
Site Web : http://www.adm.utoronto.ca/ces/

International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS)
Ontario AgriCentre
100 Stone Road West, Suite 303
Guelph, Ontario N1G 5L3 Canada
Tel: +1 519 763-7282
Toll-free: +1 800 321-6021
Fax: +1 519 763-6964
Email: info@icascanada.ca
Fees and Services
Web site: http://www.icascanada.ca/

World Education Services-Canada (WES Canada)
45 Charles Street East, Suite 700
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1S2 Canada
Tel.: +1 416 972-0070
Fax: +1 416 972-9004
Toll-free: +1 866 343-0070 (from outside the 416 area code)
Email: ontario@wes.org
Web site: http://www.wes.org/ca/

Centre d'expertise sur les formations acquises hors du Québec (CEFAHQ)
Ministère de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles
255, boulevard Crémazie Est, 8e étage
Montréal (Québec) H2M 1M2 Canada
Tel.: +1 514 864-9191
Elsewhere in Quebec (toll free): +1 877 264-6164
Fax: +1 514 873-8701
Email: renseignements@micc.gouv.qc.ca
Web site: http://www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/education/comparative-evaluation/index.html

International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
Alberta Employment, Immigration and Industry
9th Floor, 108th Street Building
9942 - 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J5 Canada
Tel.: +1 780 427-2655
Toll-free in Alberta: 310-0000 ask for 427-2655
Fax: +1 780 422-9734
Web site: http://employment.alberta.ca/cps/rde/xchg/hre/hs.xsl/4512.html
* The Government of Saskatchewan provides this service through an interprovincial agreement with the Government of Alberta.

Territoires du Nord-Ouest
International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
Alberta Employment, Immigration and Industry
9th Floor, 108th Street Building
9942 - 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J5 Canada
Tel.: +1 780 427-2655
Toll-free in Alberta: 310-0000 ask for 427-2655
Fax: +1 780 422-9734
Web site: http://employment.alberta.ca/cps/rde/xchg/hre/hs.xsl/4512.html
* The Government of the Northwest Territories provides this service through an interprovincial agreement with the Government of Alberta.

The government’s Foreign Credentials Referral Office website (www.credentials.gc.ca) features a useful search engine called” Working in Canada”. You can type in your occupation and the search engine will bring up a comprehensive report that tells you whether this occupation is regulated in Canada and whether you need to be licensed by a regulatory body. Then it will tell you where in your region of choice you can get licensed.
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