Welcome to my blog!
My name is Vivek Gupta and for all those who want to relate to me, I am just another middle-class guy who loves to keep exploring new things in life. Just another person who was doing a 9-to-5 job (oh, sorry I mean arriving at 9 but no end time. That’s how it works in private companies, right?) and thinking of breaking the mundane. If you are reading this, I am sure you are either looking for ways to convince yourself if you should move to a new country or are in the process of evaluating ways to immigrate to Canada. I have been through this situation and hopefully, my experiences help you in the next steps.
I have written this blog as I wanted to pen down my entire story:
- for myself, so that I don’t forget the journey and relish it at a later stage, and
- for all those who are looking for information desperately on the internet which is genuine and first-hand
This is a real-life story of three friends, including me, and our families (all of us are now in Canada). All of us were born and brought up in a city of nawabs, Lucknow, a slow-paced city enriched with culture, heritage and food. Amit and I are friends since childhood, right from school days and Pravi met Amit during his college days and has been a common friend every since. We lived together after college in Gurgaon (now Gurugram) and worked in call centers. Fast forward 10 years, all of us are in our late 30s and very well-settled in our well-paid jobs. We have families and started living in the NCR (National Capital Region, New Delhi) in 2014.
Ever since the family get-togethers became a routine and we used to meet at least twice every month. It was Diwali of 2017 when we met during a post-Diwali celebration. As usual, there were discussions from all walks of life and starting from the good old school days, our first jobs, the journey, current affairs, family, fun and future. However, this party/get-together actually changed all our lives. After a few rounds of basking in the glory of past and present, we reached a point where the discussion started about the future and especially future prospects about our children. So here comes the sensitive discussion….
If you live in Delhi NCR or even know about it, I am sure you must have heard about the pollution and its impact on the people. Almost every child (including mine) in NCR was struggling big-time with allergies and is at the doctor’s clinic regularly. The primary cause was pollution and for the past 2-years or so was the most discussed topic on the news and general discussions.
- Air Quality and Climate
Pollution during Diwali is more prominent and reasons included industrial/vehicular pollution, season change (from warm to cold), stubble burning in farms around the city and firecrackers. The air is so bad that on many occasions you could feel it choking and was extremely hazardous for patients suffering from lung disease.
So, here comes the first trigger point, Clean Air. Canada has one of the best natural resources and clean air in the world. Plenty of open spaces, pollution-free environments make Canada a great place to live and raise your family.
- Employment Opportunities
Next, was the sense of Job security. India being a developing nation has a lot of employment and business opportunities. However, with more and more people entering the job market every rapidly rising salary level at the top level makes you worry as the skill set is rapidly changing and the newer workforce is far more equipped with the latest trends and technology knowledge. Now the argument here would be that the experience matters. Of course, it does! However, in private companies, at my level (earning well with little technical expertise and no street smartness), I have seen many being derailed by the incoming competition. In order to be relevant in the industry, you have to continue to be relevant and changing your career is almost non-existent. You will be judged on various fronts if your career is derailed. This re-directed us to start thing about a place that is open for more opportunities and allows more flexibility in terms of what we want to do.
Note: Make no mistake that the sense of job security in Canada is no better than in India, however as no job is treated big or small, hence survival and self-respect doing any job are intact.
- Free Primary Education
We then steered towards the rising Education expenses. If you have two children and live in a metropolitan, you would agree that education is through the roof. For a middle-class family, if only one of the partners is earning, it builds unnecessary financial pressure. This sometimes becomes a reason for depression. In fact, for many, getting their children into a reputed school is a nightmare. With the basic education being free and with the right to education in the nearest school for all children makes one less thing to worry about. I can say this now as I am already in Canada and experiencing what it means.
Children in Canada can attend public elementary schools (grades 1–6) and public secondary schools (grades 7–12) for free. This means that you will have more money to spend on your children’s extracurricular activities and will have more money set up for your children’s post-secondary education.
In terms of international student enrollment, Canada is the fourth most popular destination in the world. Students come to Canada to get internationally recognized degrees and diplomas from institutions such as the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University, Humber College, and Centennial College. This is an excellent path to PR as you get a Post-Graduate Work Permit after your studies for up to 3 years, and eventually PR options with Canadian experience.
- Best-in-class and free Primary Healthcare
Primary Healthcare is free. With growing age, comes vulnerability to diseases. India, although has a good network of private and public hospitals, however, the allied costs are exorbitant. In addition, profiteering in this profession is rampant and you just don’t know if the treatment is given to you is actually warranted. I experienced it myself on a few occasions, although I came out of it without any huge loss yet I know a few who were not that fortunate. Especially the pandemic situation really exposed the system’s vulnerability, when people lost their loved ones and could do nothing.
In Canada, healthcare is provided through the provincial and territory public-sector healthcare systems, known colloquially as Medicare. Universal access to publicly funded health services is regarded by Canadians as a basic need that assures national health care insurance for everyone, regardless of where they live. All residents can visit a doctor whenever they want without having to pay anything. This is relevant for only primary healthcare. Note: Every province has its own regulation and in British Columbia, International students (including dependent children), pay $75 per month for the Medical Service Plan (MSP), as of today. This changes if you are on the Work Permit, PR or citizen; no fees are applicable for them.
One of my personal experiences in Canada was that my neighbour suffered a heart attack one evening and the first responders (911) were called. I was amazed at the speed; an ambulance, fire truck and a police car arrived in dot 6 mins. and the person was in hospital in next 15 mins. It actually reminded me of the ambulances stuck in traffic for hours back home and how helpless you feel if you are in from of the ambulance and have no space to move on either side, to give way.
- Safe place to Live
You are more worried about your kids’ Safety and Security than yours. In December 2012, the horrible gang rape and murder of a young Indian woman made international headlines. News of molestation, sexual harassment, kidnapping etc. take on your nerves on various occasions. Especially, if you live in north India. Although, no place in the world is safe and misadventures may happen anywhere yet it prompted us to think about an alternative place that was safer.
According to the World Population Review, Canada is one of the top ten most peaceful and safe countries in the world. Thousands of people come to Canada to escape internal conflicts, political instability, and high crime rates in their home countries. According to a Gallup poll from 2018, 84 percent of Canadians believe their country is safe.
As per the Worldpopulationreview 2021. The top 10 safest countries in the world are as follows:
- New Zealand
- Czech Republic
- Natural Abundance
Natural Beauty and places to explore. Alchemist is one of the books which had a deep impact on me. One of the takeaways for me is to explore new places. I love travelling and like to explore as much as I can. India is beautiful and I have travelled as much as I could (though not enough!). The next step was to expand the horizon; from a small city to the bigger and from one country to another. There are 48 national parks in Canada, as well as 31,752 crystal clear lakes, which are the perfect antidote to stress and will help you clear your mind after a long week at the office. Canoeing, hiking, ice skating, skiing, ice hockey, river rafting, cycling, surfing, and even waterfall climbing are all popular outdoor activities in Canada.
- Immigration Friendly Country
After evaluating a few countries with a friendly and transparent immigration system like Australia and New Zealand, we zeroed down on Canada primarily due to an English-speaking country, and its close proximity to the US.
The country is amongst one of the most liberal and immigration-friendly nations in the world. As per the past record, Canada intended to consistently increase its targets for admission of immigrants each year for at least the next 10 years. So the opportunities seemed enormous in this sparsely populated country with a population of fewer than 40 million people in the second-largest country by total area
As per Canada.ca #ImmigrationMatters, Canada values Immigrants as they:
- Contribute to the economy and create jobs for Canadians
- Deliver and improve our health and social services
- Are thoroughly screened and respect our laws
- Settle in communities across the country Immigrants integrate fully into Canadian society
Note: These were the primary reasons for a life-changing journey to another part of the world. This blog will always be a work-in-progress and I will keep adding my experiences which I feel will help you come to Canada. Please leave your comments and tell me what you would like to know more and will try to write my thoughts about it.
So very well articulated Vivek…
Thoughtfully crafted and insightful too 😊
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