Meet the Tuteja family. Amit and Harsimran live with their son, Arjunvir, in West Vancouver. Amit is a licensed builder with Shivalik Homes, and Harsimran works at UBC.
Why did you decide to immigrate to Canada?
After living in India for most of our lives, what compelled us to move to Canada was a desire to ensure that our kid grows up in a safer, cleaner, and healthier environment.
Which year did you immigrate?
We immigrated in November 2020.
What were your first impressions of Canada?
We visited Vancouver in 2018 for a short leisure trip and were mesmerized by its beauty. However, things are different once you move here as an immigrant; while the positives stay, the struggle starts and takes a toll on your mental health. But as Brian Tracy says, "If you can dream it, you can do it. Your limits are all within yourself." It was a choice we made.
Where did you stay when you reached Canada? Hotel, relative, or friend's place?
We got lucky as our cousin, Randhir, lives in Surrey. He really helped us in settling down.
What difficulties/challenges did you face when you and your family moved here?
Moving to another country is not easy. We packed all we could in a few suitcases and moved here. Excitement and anxiety go hand in hand. The weather, house chores, housing costs, absence of family and friends, job searches, learning new skills, gaining qualifications, and high taxes are small and big challenges that almost every new immigrant faces. We did, too. But, over time, we've started feeling more at home in Canada. We are incredibly grateful to my husband's mentor, Gurinder, from Shivalik Homes, whose guidance helped Amit establish himself in his new career as a licensed builder.
How long did it take to get used to the people, weather, or surroundings?
It varies from person to person. For instance, our son is already quite happy and comfortable here. For us, it might take some more time. Although we have adjusted, we're mindful of being in a new culture and environment.
How was your experience getting a job here? Was it easy or difficult?</p
Fortunately, getting a job was not hard; we came to Canada in November 2020, and by January 2021, my husband and I had jobs. But the overwhelming part was that we had to start in junior roles and completely different fields than what we were used to.
What do you like and dislike most about this country?
We live in BC, and it is BEAUTIFUL, but at the same, it is the wettest city!
We appreciate the work-life balance approach, multiculturalism, clean air, clean water, women's safety, and the outdoors. For now, we are focussing on what we like about Canada.
How do you see your future in Canada?
We are hopeful that after a few years, when we look at our life, we will be proud of our decision.
How has your overall journey in Canada been so far?
It's been great! The last few years have been our life's most exciting and challenging time.
Biggest obstacle faced so far in Canada:
Making a fresh start can be challenging. It is an expensive country. We're currently living in rented accommodation and still need to buy a house, and buying a home in BC seems like a nightmare.
Advice for immigrants:
Educate yourself – don't hesitate to learn new skills
Keep a positive attitude
Be prepared to build a new identity
Learn to be independent