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Gurleen Kaur moved to Canada in August 2020. Planning for Canada’s pre-arrival services gave her a realistic view of the country and what to expect after she lands. “They told us about the initial phase and challenges one can face, and helped us set employment and settlement goals. All at no cost,” says Gurleen.

Country of origin: India
Immigrated to Canada in: August 2020
Currently lives in: Brampton, Ontario
Occupation: Teaching / Customer Service


Why did you decide to immigrate to Canada?

My husband and I started thinking about moving to Canada in 2017 because a lot of our friends had moved here. We did some research and started our immigration process. We also have some family in Canada, which motivated us further.

What do you like about Canada? Is there also something you dislike?

Like:

We landed here in the month of August and quarantined for 14 days. Because of the pandemic, we couldn’t explore a lot. But we did go to some lakes and parks, and visited Niagara Falls later. Canada is so beautiful. We love taking pictures of its beautiful landscapes. Another thing I like a lot is the multiculturalism here. Our landlord is from The Philippines and we learned so much about each other’s cultures. Also, Indian food is easily available, so we don’t feel homesick.

Dislike:

The job market here is unpredictable, especially now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And I’ve noticed the hiring process takes quite some time here.

Did you face any specific challenges after you landed in Canada?

Since we landed during the pandemic, there were some obvious challenges of not being able to go outdoors and explore the place. All the processes and services were online, too. Besides that, we took some time adjusting to the weather. In India, we could head out at any time without worrying about the weather. But here in Canada, one needs to check the weather and be dressed suitably before going outside in the chilly winds and snow.

When did you avail of Planning for Canada’s (PfC) pre-arrival services? Was the time that you had enough to absorb all the information?

After receiving our Confirmation of Permanent Residence in January 2020, we reached out to Planning for Canada. Our family and friends who are here in Canada had also told us about PfC. We attended the sessions in February and so we had enough time to avail their services.

What was Planning for Canada’s role in your immigration preparation?

We had a very good experience with them. PfC told us about the initial phase in Canada, everything regarding the job market, resume, interview tips, housing, health services and taxation. They gave us a realistic view and told us about the challenges one can face. Through that, and in our one-on-one session, we were able to ask any questions we had, and we set our employment and settlement goals. We also networked with others in our group session.

How did these services assist you in your settlement and integration journey in Canada?

The great thing about this pre-arrival service was that they not only helped us before we moved to Canada but also provided support after we landed and connected us to agencies that can cater to our specific needs. Even today, whenever I feel confused, I read the Action Plan that PfC made for us – for me to get into the teaching profession and for my husband, the banking sector. I reached out to Access Employment on their advice, received employment support, and landed a job soon after.

 

Please tell us about your employment journey in Canada.

Currently, I am working as Customer Service Representative, but I have a background in teaching, and I have registered myself here in Canada to complete my certifications and license. My long-term goal is to be a teacher here.

Any tips or learnings that you’d like to share with future immigrants?

Immigrating to another country is a huge transition in life. It will require a lot of research, hard work and family support. You have to be very patient. There will be some disappointments, but you will need to be flexible and adapt to the situation and you will begin to enjoy the process, will have a smooth life. Also, be open to volunteering roles and start networking with people – it’s really important in Canada!