Moving to Canada with a Job Made This Newcomer’s Journey Easier
Excerpt from an interview with Vishveshwar Jatain
Vishveshwar Jatain, who was born and raised in India, moved to Canada with his wife, Sugandha, in January 2020. Their application and relocation experience went smoothly thanks to their organized and methodical approach to the process. Since Vishveshwar kept his job with his Indian employer after moving to Canada, this helped provide financial security in their first six months. Here he shares how he and his wife prepared for the move, adjusted to life in Canada, took a big step and overcame obstacles along the way.
I grew up in India, living in many different cities throughout my childhood because my father was in the military. I eventually settled in Delhi and lived there for about six years before moving to Canada. My wife and I had been married for about a year when we decided to leave India. Our conversation was quite hilarious. We were sitting on the balcony after work and one of us—I can’t remember who—said “hey, you want to try moving to Canada? The other said “yes”. And then we rode with it!
We both had our own reasons for wanting to move and a certain disillusion with our country of origin. There is also a lot of industrial pollution in Delhi which we didn’t like. We were convinced that we would find better opportunities in Canada. There’s the technology corridor between Waterloo and Toronto which is known as the biggest hub for technology and engineering jobs outside of Silicon Valley. I’ve worked in tech-related jobs, so I knew there might be opportunities in that market.
Organization is the key to planning and preparing for your move
My wife and I reviewed all the different immigration options and pathways available to us. We chose to apply via Express entry. We found the application process simple and the required documents clearly defined. I know people immigrating from India to other countries hire an immigration consultant, but we didn’t feel the need. A month after submitting our application, we received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency. We spent the next two months gathering the required documents and submitting our PR request.
We then had to figure out the logistics of sorting and disposing of anything we didn’t need to bring to Canada. My wife is much more organized than me, so she took the lead. We had an excel spreadsheet that broke down our tasks by month, including paperwork, application materials, what we had to sell, and any other business that we had to settle before the move. This is something I would recommend to everyone: organize all your moving-related tasks so you don’t miss a thing. When our Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) arrived, we had a clear game plan for our move and were able to land in Canada less than three months later.
My wife and I arrived in Toronto Jan 30, 2020. A friend of mine from college picked us up and dropped us off at the Airbnb we had booked in North York. It was snowing when we arrived. Although I had seen snow before, it was when I was a child. I hadn’t seen it as an adult and it was magical. When we arrived in our neighborhood, I felt like I was in a Christmas movie.
Over the next few days I saw different animals – a raccoon, a skunk and rabbits. This was unique for me as Delhi has a very high population density and it is almost impossible to see wildlife in or around the city. It was a special moment; we were both very excited about our move. I was also pleasantly surprised that the cold didn’t bother us as much as we feared. I learned early on that if you sleep properly in winterit’s not that difficult.
Moving to Canada with a Job Adds to Financial Security
I was fortunate that the company I worked for in India decided to continue my employment in Canada. It was the parachute we needed, and I’m grateful. My advice to someone moving to Canada is to try to get an internal job transfer before moving here, rather than quitting your job and trying to find one here. It’s the most transparent way to do it. It is useful to have your income strategy finalized before your move, if possible.
Even still, during our first six months as my wife looked for a jobwe were worried about our finances with one income. Compared to India, the cost of living in canada is much higher, and even though we had anticipated this and taken some of our savings with us, we still had to be frugal. After Sugandha started working, I started my search for a job that matched my skills and was hired by a Canadian company in the same industry that I was working in.
One of my fears was whether I would fit in once I started working in a Canadian workplace— not only in terms of communication, but also culturally. This is something that worries anyone coming from a different culture or country. The people I work with, however, have been very welcoming.
Find a home without a credit history
Our initial plan was to rent a shared Airbnb for a few months, but shortly after moving in, our landlord decided to sell his place. He refunded some of the money we had prepaid and gave us two weeks to move out. We had always planned to rent our own accommodation, but this accelerated our schedule.
We chose an apartment near Liberty Village in downtown Toronto. The tram stop was right in front of our building which was amazing. We didn’t have a car, so public transport was important. When we were doing the paperwork to secure the place, we encountered a challenge. We were so new to Canada that we had no credit history again. Instead, I provided my tax returns and bank statements to prove that we had enough savings to pay our rent. A few hours after submitting all the financial documents, we got the place.
We lived there for about a year during the pandemic so most places were closed in the city. I remember we were walking out and noticing how empty the roads were. But we enjoyed walking everyday to the Liberty Village market and walking to the nearby Tim Hortons for coffee. The lake was also nearby and we also went there regularly.
Achieve a major milestone
One of our financial goals was to buy our own place. After living in downtown Toronto for about a year, we started looking for condos in different neighborhoods in Toronto. We found a condo in North York that was close to public transit and within the price range we had in mind.
Our first memories of arriving in Canada were shaped by North York, so we were happy to return to the same region. We purchased the condo just over two years after arriving in Canada. This is a big milestone for us as it is the first home we have ever purchased as individuals or as a couple.
I have the impression that we are now fully anchored in Canadian life. We recently got a puppy, which is a big second milestone for us. All in all, it was a positive decision. Without a doubt, our lives have improved and for the most part have gone smoothly. I think it helped that we were fluent in english.
Since moving here, we’ve traveled through Alberta, driving the Trans-Canada Highway from Jasper to Banff. We also visited Prince Edward Island. Once our pup gets a little older, we want to continue exploring different parts of the country. Canada is so big and full of natural beauty and there is still so much to see.