A Canadian Immigrant’s Story

Immigrant Circle Blog Star Series 3

I am a Banking and Finance professional with extensive experience in Banking, Finance and logistics. My experiences and knowledge enabled me to set up a logistics company back home with contracts from multinational companies. On the other hand, my wife worked with major multinational Logistics companies and resigned as a Client Operations Manager. We were a middle class family back home in Nigeria; a family of five (5) comprising of my wife, our three (3) children and I.

We were however dissatisfied with the economic recession, poor health care, insecurity and lack of qualitative yet unrealistically expensive cost of children’s education.  These amongst other factors encouraged us to move away from our perceived comfort zone and from the known to the unknown. It was a big risk for all of us because we were doing pretty much okay and the children were doing well at school too but we looked beyond all these to a brighter future ahead. We believed God and relied on our skills and professional experiences.

My wife initiated the move for us to relocate to Canada to fill up the gaps already identified and largely to secure our children’s future. She handled all the documentations and we pooled resources together to move to Canada. Before departing Nigeria, we attended an orientation programme for Canadian Immigrants, which was organized by Canada Immigrant Services. It was at the orientation that we were given basic information and education about Canada and Canadians. The information also covered topics like scheduling your flight, things to pack for your trip, the history of Canada, the population, the languages, number of provinces in Canada, the culture, their currencies, opening account and volunteering. There was a lot of information and that orientation equipped us with the information and direction to take towards settling in Canada. It was helpful because like they say, “Knowledge is Power”.

We arrived Canada on July 15, 2017 and commenced all necessary documentation; from the airport to Service Canada (for our SIN), then our health card, bank account etc. We enrolled into the provinces’ settlement and career programmes, which provided information, links and direction. Our resume, which was about 5-10 pages (the Nigerian way), was compressed and summarized into one (1) page but captured all the necessary details. Time and punctuality was a major feature of our settlement programme and has become a culture I have imbibed ever since. While we were still attending the settlement and career programme, my wife attended a couple of interviews, got her first job in August, and subsequently moved to another job in September. I also got my first job in September. The best part is that none of the jobs we got were “Survival Jobs” as all the jobs were based on our resume and skills. Technically, by the end of September we were already settled and earning money and by our third month we were relatively comfortable. The children settled in fast in school, we signed up for our family doctor and then took a step further to integrate into the community and social life through the church and other organizations. The children got involved with church and school activities, volunteering and other programmes.

My advice to “would be immigrants” is to please keep an open mind and not settle for less. Take advantage of this website and blog as a guide that is professional and unbiased and take advantage of the various settlement programmes available to you. Listen actively, ask questions and follow instructions.

Finally, I want to thank God and give all the glory to God because we committed our relocation to God in total submission while doing what was expected of us and everything has worked out fine for us.

 

 – Unigwe Stanley

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