Hoping to secure a better future for his family, Brian Andrade applied for Canadian immigration under the Skilled Worker category 15 years ago. Within a year, he and his wife, Deon Almeida, got a permanent resident visa, and they moved to Canada from India in 2001. “Canada was where we wanted our home and family to be,” says Deon, further explaining their decision to migrate to this country.
Having relatives in Halifax, Brian and Deon decided to start their journey as residents of Canada from the capital city of the province of Nova Scotia. Upon arrival, they stayed with their relatives for two months, before renting an apartment.
Recollecting the day they reached Canada, the couple describes it as being “very cold, but beautiful.” “When we landed in Halifax, it was fall then, we felt that God had taken a paintbrush and coloured the country so beautifully. We felt very blessed to become permanent residents. It is a memory that has been etched in our mind, and one that will never go away.”
Lack of Canadian experience made it hard for Brian and Deon to get a job immediately. Besides that, they had difficulties finding a place to rent as well. “We had brought our dog from India too – there weren’t many places that allowed pets,” explains Deon.
Back in India, Brian worked as a marketing executive for Jet Airways in Mumbai, and Deon was an environmental consultant at Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute Of Environment Education and Research (BVIEER) in Pune. But in Canada, the couple was willing to work anywhere to gain the Canadian experience, as they were aware that it was difficult to get a job in the field they were qualified in.
Eventually, they both got a job, which not only supported them financially, but also gave them an insight into the people around. “We were first employed by a call center which helped us gain a better understanding of the people here, as we interacted with a lot of people on a daily basis,” says Deon. They also volunteered with various organisations, which helped them network with many people. “I think it was destiny, as that paved a way for a secure future here in Canada,” adds Deon.
Brian and Deon lived in Halifax for the first two years. They then moved to Calgary in Alberta for better opportunities, and lived there for nine years where Brian worked in the oil and gas industry and Deon for Intact Insurance. They moved to British Columbia four years ago when Deon got a promotion and transfer to the Vancouver office.
Having lived here for so many years, Brian and Deon love the cultural diversity present in this country. “It’s been a journey of hope and new beginnings – making new friendships with people from so many other countries, and learning about the different cultures. We have made friends for life here,” says the couple, sharing their experience so far in Canada.
“We have learnt a lot here, and also had the opportunity to share our experiences,” sums up Deon.
The severe weather, and learning and adapting to the Canadian way.
To work hard for a better and secure future for our family.
Make sure you volunteer and network with people in your temple, church or workplaces, as you will meet a lot of great people who are always willing to help at some point or another. Also, take advantage of all the opportunities that come our way.
Memories of Homeland:
Miss the weather, family, friends and the food.