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SUCCESS opens its doors for Chinese-Canadians in Beijing on Sep. 2

August 13, 2015

By Chuck Chang, Vancouver Sun |

VANCOUVER — The SUCCESS pre-arrival immigrants service centre in Beijing, announced earlier this year as the first facility of its kind in China, will officially open its doors on Sept. 2, officials said Thursday. However, a second facility scheduled to open in Shanghai may not open until next year.

The facility, officially named the Active Engagement and Integration Project (AEIP) Service Centre, is designed to offer services such as foreign credential recognition, employment and health care familiarization for new Canadians already approved by Immigration Canada but still physically in China. The aim, said SUCCESS chairman Doug Purdie, is to ensure immigrants will be well prepared for their new lives in Canada before stepping on a plane.

Purdie said the centre is not there to recruit potential new immigrants.

“We are not there to attract new Canadians, but to help new Canadians,” he said. “Taking the proactive approach, SUCCESS is one step ahead of other organizations in offering new Canadians help prior to their arrival to Canada … this will provide an excellent opportunity for immigrants from China to better settle and integrate in Canada.”

This is the first pre-arrival immigration services centre operated by a non-profit group that is officially licensed in China, officials said Thursday. According to SUCCESS CEO Queenie Choo, new Canadians from Mainland China make up 38 per cent of the organization’s client base.

SUCCESS, the Vancouver-based immigration services non-profit, first announced the pre-arrival centre in March after winning the contract from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The contract also covers pre-arrival services in countries such as Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, and SUCCESS officials said the group’s increased presence through the Beijing office will allow better service to new Canadians throughout Asia.

The non-profit organization has two overseas offices, in Seoul and Taipei. Through those two office, SUCCESS has assisted more than 6,500 new immigrants on their move and adjustment to Canadian society and systems.

The original March announcement also included a second centre in Shanghai, but officials said Thursday that they have been focused on getting one office opened at a time, which means the Shanghai location is slated to open its doors “later this year or early 2016.”

“We only have the capacity to open one office at a time,” Purdie said, noting the importance of making sure each pre-arrival centre is set up for optimal operational conditions. “How licensing and processing happens is different in each city, so we’ve got to do one at a time. We also want to make sure we … work the kinks out, before we replicate that process.”

Once fully operational, each SUCCESS office in Mainland China is slated to employ 10 staff members, which would double the organization’s current overseas operations.

Liu Fei, China’s consul-general in Vancouver, said the potential of the Beijing office goes well beyond China itself, noting that the country is increasingly becoming a central hub for business activity and human-to-human contact between diverse regions and cultures.

“Sometimes I go to the airport to meet friends coming in on Air China,” Liu said. “What I was surprised to see is that many of the passengers are tourists from India and Pakistan. So I was asking them why, and they said flights through Beijing are more affordable. It shows China is increasingly the hub of Asia, and this is a very good choice for SUCCESS.”

chchiang@vancouversun.com

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