"We love it here. Canada is our home now. We both feel that we are in the best part of the world and that moving to Canada was the best decision of our lives.”
Anuj Anand is a Software Architect at Aramark Healthcare
Jyoti Anand is a Client Manager at Aylett Grant Tax LLP
Aarushi is 13 and Saiba is 7
Why did you decide to migrate to Canada?
Before moving to Canada, we were living in Chicago, IL. It was a pleasant life in USA, but we always felt away from home. I was on a work visa and having to renew it every few years used to always bother us as it made us unclear about our future. We wanted to have a stable life and as my daughter was growing up, we wanted her to be closer to the extended family. My parents and brother were already settled in Canada, so we planned to provide her the same experience of close-knit family values which we grew up with. Our move to Canada in 2012 gave us both.
What were you first impressions of Canada?
When we landed, we were welcomed by the friendliest border officials we ever dealt with and found that friendly attitude is carried over everywhere in Canada. Canada is very welcoming and full of warm people and happy lives and we still experience this in our day to day lives wherever we go.
What challenges did you face when you and your family moved here?
Lack of job opportunities – as I am into software development, I used to feel there were not enough software development companies in the Greater Vancouver region and most of them were concentrated in Toronto. However, my impression has changed a lot in recent years since many Fortune 100 companies have setup their offices in Vancouver area.
How long did it take to get used to the people, weather or the surrounding? Overall, it was a pleasant expe-rience and it did not take us long to get used to surroundings since we had some close friends and family already living here who never hesitated to help us. Chicago has harsh weather in winters, but BC has a pleasant weather most of the year. We love nature and the nice weather allowed us to experience outdoor activities throughout the year. The surroundings are beautiful and it’s every nature lover’s paradise.
How was your experience getting a job here?
It wasn’t too bad – we both eventually found jobs matching our skill sets and are still working with the same companies that we joined originally. The work culture here is great and provides a good work-life balance.
What do you like and dislike most about this country?
We like the welcoming nature of the country a lot, the local community of Surrey, presence of all the gurudwaras around us. We had always heard that the Canadian health care system is one of the best and after living here for few years we 100% agree to that. However, we feel the indoor family friendly facilities are limited. We also feel that there is an imbalance between the job opportunities with the growing number of migrants and work force.
What do you miss the most about your homeland?
While, we are lucky enough to have some childhood friends already settled here but we constantly miss our old friends and extended family members from India. We feel, wherever you go and grow in the world and meet any number of new people, the childhood buddies and fun together are irreplaceable and always missed. We often visit India to meet our dear ones and take our kids to the places where we grew up and share our memories.
How do you see your future in Canada?
We love it here. Canada is our home now. We both feel that we are in the best part of the world and that moving to Canada was the best decision of our lives. We like that even though we are living in a western country, our kids experience the same cultural values that they would have experienced in India.
What was the biggest obstacle faced so far in Canada?
Housing – we felt that house prices were way too high and initially waited for it to come down (which never happened). We finally bit the bullet and glad and thankful to God to own a home in Canada.
What resolutions were made for yourself or family?
Life is full of roller coaster rides with sudden turns and events, so be prepared for changes. Education and learning always helps to overcome these hurdles easily and makes you confident to face them. Our resolution is to always welcome any learning opportunities that come your way. We received a lot of support and help in our initial journey here; we look for ways to give it back to the community at different levels and teach our kids to do the same in their own little ways.
Any advice for future immigrants?
Canada is a land of opportunities. You might face some initial hurdles, but one needs to remain persistent. The local community and the government programs provide lots of help here, but you will need to be prepared to learn extra skillsets and gain Canadian-recognized certifications or accreditations in your own field. We welcomed any learning opportunities that came our way and advise any new immigrant to do the same. In the end you will find that its all worth it and you will achieve your dreams in no time.