Here at Visto, we love to showcase real success stories of people who went through the process of relocating to Canada to start new lives. Read the interviews with our users and mentors to learn about what the process was like for them, and how they’re settling in to Canada!
Lucas is a software engineer with over 8 years of experience with Ruby, Ruby on Rails and Linux platforms. He moved to Canada with his wife over a year ago from São Paulo, Brazil to Kitchener, Ontario. His wife is a former pharmacist but has changed careers and is studying illustration here in Canada.
It was actually through my wife to be honest. She first came to Canada 10 years ago and stayed for 2 months. Since then she has always wanted to move to Canada. When we started dating she told me about her idea. I liked it and last year we decided to go through with it.
I was actually impressed with the application process because it was very straightforward, unlike government websites in Brazil, or even the US website. I didn’t really experience any difficulties.
Before my wife and I applied for a work permit, we had all of the documents required but they were outdated so we needed to get new ones. After we had all of our documents in order it took 4 weeks! I had heard from outside Canada that the government wants to bring in more people. We met Josh through a recommendation through VanHack (a recruitment agency that helps people get jobs). It was nice, Josh was awesome to work with.
The cold was never a problem for us. It’s all about knowing when to layer clothes, t-shirts, hoodies, and jackets. What was challenging was how annoying it was to have to learn new things sometimes, even though we did our homework. We were very organized, and had made a to-do list of things to do when we landed, later that week, and later in the month. It was a good plan when we moved.
We moved in October just before Halloween, and the city (Kitchener) was crazy beautiful with autumn. There aren’t that many weather changes during the season in Brazil so my wife and I were excited to plan things to do for each season in Canada. In the winter, we’re planning snowboarding and skating at City Hall.
I think the government website was a surprise – I was expecting to see confusing websites. The Government here seems to really care about families as well. There is a part in the application where you can add family members so I added my wife.
I didn’t know anyone here but my wife has a friend in Mississauga and we’ve met up a couple of times. I’ve met people through meetups, specifically developer meetups, work the Christmas markets, and meeting other Brazilians in our building. My wife and I are Christian so meeting people through the Church community helped us find some of our good friends.
Before we came here, we did a lot of research, on Youtube and Google. When we planned to get our PR, we were looking up all of the things we needed. Josh has videos about going through the process which is really helpful. The numbers provided in the Government website are accurate – but since I’m a budget guy, I also try to save money to have more wiggle room. You never know when surprises come up.
My wife got sick in the 1st month and we like to be prepared for unexpected things. We didn’t have OHIP when we first came because we didn’t have a permanent fixed address but we did have 3 months of health insurance from Brazil.
Yes. In Brazil, having a car is not a commodity, but a car is a necessity in Kitchener. I wish I had my driver’s licence before coming here to make things easier.
Be prepared to do your homework! Go the Canadian Government website and talk to people who have gone through the process. Talk to people that live in the same city that you will be living. That is very helpful.
Expect surprises and account for them. I didn’t know that to get an apartment here you need a Hydro account. In Brazil, services like Hydro just transfer over. But here in Canada you need a hydro number to give to the landlord.
A big thanks to Lucas for sharing his story. If you’re ready to get started on your own, make sure to sign up for Visto for free to get started!