"We landed in the midst of Covid. The limitation of staying at home and not being able to visit family and friends was definitely unnerving. Our family was separated for six months because my wife and daughter were not able to join me in Canada because of flight restrictions. This was one of the biggest challenges that we faced."
Khush Dhillon is a Mortgage Broker at True North Mortgage
Jashan Kaur is an Office Manager at Gilco Real Estate
Arwyn Kaur Dhillon is 3
Why did you decide to migrate to Canada?
We started thinking about moving to Canada the year our daughter, Arwyn, was born in 2017. My wife and I have close family in Canada and were aware of the strong community presence, way of life, opportunities, challenges, and future prospects for our kids with respect to healthcare, education, and safe environment to grow. Given this, we knew moving to Canada was the right decision.
Where did you stay when you reached Canada?
On our first trip we stayed in Burnaby at my Fufadji and Bhuaji’s (aunt and uncle). We loved the city. We also visited my wife’s Massar and Masiji (aunt and uncle) in Surrey. Surrey gave us a feeling of familiarity; a Punjab away from Punjab.
What were your first impressions of Canada?
We loved the warm welcome we received when we reached the immigration office at Vancouver airport. Our daughter was crying after a long flight and we were called to the front of the queue. We were really moved by this gesture. We noticed how friendly people are here! Every single person starts a conversation, no matter how random, with “how are you today?" and a smile from strangers is a new normal here.
Describe your professions before moving to Canada.
I worked as a Manager in HMEL (HPCL – Mittal Energy Ltd.). My wife Jashan, worked as an Assistant professor in Computer Science at Maharaja Ranjit Singh University.
What challenges did you face when you and your family moved here?
Like many newcomers to Canada, getting a driving license was a hurdle. We did the road test a couple of times before getting the license. Also, we landed in the midst of Covid. The limitation of staying at home and not being able to visit family and friends was definitely unnerving. Our family was separated for six months because my wife and daughter were not able to join me in Canada because of flight restrictions. This was one of the biggest challenges that we faced.
How long did it take to get used to the people, weather or the surrounding?
As the Covid situation got better and we started leaving the house, visiting new places and meeting new people, we became accustomed to the weather and the multiculturalism of Canada.
Personally to us, Canada didn’t seem much of an alien place. Wherever we go, we see familiar faces; hear familiar languages such as Punjabi and Hindi. This made getting used to Canada even more easier.
What aspects do you like/dislike most about this country?
We like the healthcare, education facilities, and government programs for children and the multiculturalism of Canada. We dislike the fact that most of Canada has harsh weather and there are few options to settle in temperate weather.
How was your experience getting a job here?
I got my license to work as a Mortgage Broker before moving to Canada.
After moving here, I started working as a self-employed professional. My wife who was working as a Computer Science professor in a University is waiting for the right opportunity to get a job in her field of education and experience. University hiring is low due to Covid-related reduction in student admissions.
What do you miss the most about your homeland?
We miss our family and friends back home. We also missed festivals when family and friends got together. Our first Diwali in Canada was tough.
How do you see your future in Canada?
We understand that though the initial couple of years could be challenging but the future holds better opportunities in personal and professional space. The key is to keep trying and attain/upgrade education credentials as per the Canadian job market. For children, this country has ample opportunities. We are very hopeful for a better future for our children.
How has your overall journey in Canada been so far?
Our journey so far has been bittersweet. There have been many tough days due to Covid and separation that our family endured. There have been many brighter days spent without extended family here, first Halloween, first Thanksgiving dinner, first Diwali, and first Christmas tree decoration.
What resolutions were made for yourself or family?
We have decided to give our best to establish our careers here; make connections in respective industries and be open to opportunities and challenges that come our way. Any advice for future immigrants? We would suggest that those who are interested in moving to Canada and calling this country their new home, research about job prospects, the education up-gradation required, and where they want to settle in detail. If possible, they could visit Canada for a short duration before moving here permanently.