Last year I moved to Canada from India and it’s nearly been a year since I’m here. I want to share what I feel about the country, my journey and few observations that you might find interesting.
So far it has been better than expected, and I am glad I made the move. I came here on a student visa and now have a work permit till 2025 and am working for a Canadian company. I hope to get my Permanent Residency and eventually citizenship at some point. These are few things to keep in mind if you are in the same shoes that I was couple of years ago.
Find a solid reason to move
Moving to a different country is a huge commitment in terms of time, money, effort. You need to find a good enough reason why you want to move. For a lot people who have a decent job, family in their home countries it may not be a good idea. I know many people in this category who moved and were dissatisfied with the decision. For me it was because law and order in my home country was really bad. I got into a dispute that ended up going to High Court. You can read more about it here. I had made my mind then to leave the country and find a better place to live as the situation was untenable.
Next thing you need to look at your options and find out why you choose a particular country. There are multiple options on the market-some requiring more money than others, some easier than others. I chose Canada because of three key reasons – it was close to my family in USA, it was English speaking and there was a clear and easy pathway to me to eventually get citizenship. A lot of countries with similar point based systems make it really hard for someone without a degree to move, which ruled them out for me.
You will have to start over
When you move to Canada, you will have to restart your life in every way possible . Most employers won’t recognize your previous work experience, you will have to make new friends, you will have to re-start your dating life if you can’t take your spouse over, likely you won’t be able to take your parents with you. In some ways it provides you a fresh start to life. It may be a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it.
It’s not as easy as it looks. Most people don’t have friends other than from childhood. But it’s easier in Canada as a lot of people are first generation immigrants themselves. Making new friends and meeting new people needs a little bit of effort but it is possible.
You will need money
There are two ways to move to Canada – as a student(which would eventually give you enough points to get Permanent Residency) or directly as a Permanent Resident. Most people will have to choose the former option, which may not be a bad thing as school is a good way to get adjusted to a new country.
The education system in Canada serves the dual role of both educating the population and acting as a residency by investment program. As such, you can expect to pay hefty fees. I had to pay 35,000 CAD for my 2 year program. This is in addition to living expenses, which would be 1200-2000 CAD/month in Toronto, depending on your lifestyle. You can very easily make this amount back after you start working.
What’s great and what’s not
The quality of life is amazing. Common frustrations that I would have back in India are non-existent here. The corruption is very little. The education system is much better. Infrastructure and roads are very good. The nature is amazing. People are very friendly. The money you make here is a lot more valuable in non-first world countries. As for the downsides, the weather in fall and winter can get depressing. It’s not the temperature but lack of sunlight that bothers me. Not having family around you is a negative. Things are much more expensive.
I recently went on a road trip across Canada. I have attached a few pictures below that you may find interesting. Thanks for reading!