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Vaibhav and Sanvi learned about employment opportunities and ATS-compliant Canadian resumes in Planning for Canada’s pre-arrival sessions and applied it in their job search. “I landed at 9 AM and my first interview was at 1 PM the same day,” says Sanvi. “I applied from India for a voluntary opportunity in Canada, completed my volunteering and landed with Canadian work experience,” adds Vaibhav.

Country of origin: India
Immigrated to Canada in: August 2020
Currently lives in: Toronto
Occupation: Marketing Consultant (Vaibhav) and Software Engineer (Sanvi)


Why did you decide to immigrate to Canada?

We chose Canada for a number of reasons. It’s one of the most immigrant-friendly countries in the world; everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunity. Also, the quality of life is better than where we come from, and health care too.

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

Like:

Everyone is so welcoming. One thing we really like in Canada is that when you take cabs, if the drivers learn that you’re a newcomer to the country, they guide you a lot about where to shop, whom to reach out to for assistance, etc.

Vaibhav: One driver gave me his number and asked me to call him in case I needed any help. His gesture made me so happy.

Sanvi: Another great thing here is that you don’t miss Indian food, especially in Toronto. There are a lot of Indian grocery markets and restaurants around our home.

Dislike:

It was shocking for us to see that Toronto has so many homeless people. Hopefully, the situation will improve with time.

What was it like to move to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We were planning to move in May 2020, but because of the travel restrictions at the time, we did not get tickets. I (Vaibhav) finally got a ticket for Canada in August; Sanvi arrived a month later. It was difficult to wear a face mask and shield for a 18 to 20-hour-long flight. There was also a fear that we don’t have many friends or relatives in Canada to support us during a time like this.

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?

I think we had reached out to PfC around 45 days before leaving India, which was quite okay for us, as we were able to get a good amount of information.

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

Their sessions were really helpful. What we liked a lot, was that the sessions were interactive; they understood our specific needs and gave us advice. And on top of it all, the services are free. From resume building and how to find a rental accommodation to answering our questions about which internet connection or bank to opt for. They helped us with everything.

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

Vaibhav: Planning for Canada gave us an overview of the country and its culture. During my quarantine phase at an Airbnb, I applied for SIN because PfC had told me that the process is now online. Based on the information they had shared, I was able to look for rental options, connect with brokerage firms, and take decisions about opening a bank account and getting a mobile connection in the first 14 days.

Sanvi: By the time I landed, Vaibhav had figured everything out. The way PfC’s sessions helped me was that I got information that’s not easily available online. Like how there are two types of jobs here – contractual jobs and permanent jobs, with different pros and cons. It helped me in my job search and interview preparation. I landed at 9 AM and my first interview was at 1 PM the same day.

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

We were lucky that everything got streamlined very quickly for us. But COVID-19 posed a challenge. Everything was closed – the restaurants and the service centres. So, we had to do everything online. It was a struggle to find a rental apartment during the pandemic.

Please tell us about your employment journey in Canada.

We both found jobs fairly soon after arriving.

Sanvi: I am into software engineering, basically Java coding, so while I was in India, I connected with a lot of people from my field in Canada on LinkedIn to learn about job openings. I also attended a lot of virtual events.

Vaibhav: I learned about volunteering during the PfC sessions. And with all positions being remote of late, I applied from India for a voluntary opportunity here in Canada and completed my volunteering before landing. So, in a way, I gained Canadian work experience.

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

We would highly emphasize that if you’re moving to Canada, don’t wait till you land here to start working on your resume or prepare for job interviews. You will come here with limited finances so your focus should be on finding employment as soon as possible. Also, after you land in Canada, it’s important to set up the basic infrastructure for interviews – have a local SIM card, a stable internet connection, a good webcam and at least, a basic table and chair where you can sit confidently and give interviews.