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!
Darwin is a 32 year old Lead Architect from El Salvador. After working in IT for 8 years, he had been planning on coming to Canada with his girlfriend and after 5 years they realized their dream. He has been in Canada for about 6 months.
Originally we had tried Express Entry and I was part of the pool for about two months. Unfortunately by the time we had completed the process, our IELTS had expired so we were out of the pool.
I was able to relocate with help from my current employer.
The process itself was pretty straightforward.
The difficult part was with my education credentials. I had to get my education credentials assessed which took some time, but I have the equivalence of a BA in Computer Science Engineering so it was accepted eventually.
Well the whole process took around 4 months. At first I ordered my transcripts, had them translated and sent them in myself which was the wrong way — I didn’t know that my transcripts had to be sent directly from the University, not from me so it took longer.
There were several challenges. My girlfriend and I brought our dog and found a place through AirBnB but it took longer than expected because a lot of places are not pet friendly. We stayed in that first place for about a month, because we began to look for better options.
I didn’t know that when looking for a place to rent in Canada, a credit score plus first and last month’s rent is required. As immigrants, this was hard because we had no credit history in Canada. We were able to pay for first and last with our savings.
OHIP was also difficult to get at first because they ask for a fixed address. Because we were living in temporary housing for the first month, we had to wait until we found a more permanent place first. I also didn’t know that there is only one major office in Toronto that processes first time OHIPs for immigrants and went to the wrong place! I waited in line for over an hour before it was my turn and they told me I had to go to 777 Bay St, Toronto.
I was surprised at how quick everything went. Besides my transcripts, once all the paperwork was in order, Josh was on top of it. I was surprised I had to present my resignation letter to my previous employer after a month and a half – Josh did a really good job!
No, my girlfriend and I didn’t know anyone when we came to Canada. It was really hard because we were the first from our family to come here. Once I was able to travel to client offices through work, I started meeting people and expanding my network. It’s harder for my girlfriend because she works from home so she doesn’t have many opportunities to meet people. When we take our dog to the dog park, we’ve also started working on making friends with other people with dogs too.
My girlfriend and I both got job offers through the same employer so that was helpful. I think I wished I paid more attention and done more research to understand how much living in Canada was going to cost. Ontario and downtown Toronto is very expensive. If both of us weren’t working it would be tough.
No I don’t think so. The whole experience was great despite the small challenges. I think it would be a good idea for newcomers to get a welcome kit that better helps them understand what they need to do once they’re here. I love my dog but bringing a dog here was hard, it’s definitely easier to bring a dog with a partner.
The first would be to research and understand how expensive Toronto really is.
It’s also important to know your value when you apply to a job. Even though I consider myself a senior developer – when I started going to interviews here in Canada, I learned that senior developers have more experience.
The last advice is to come prepared. When applying through the Government of Canada website they suggest at least 12k per person to get settled here. That’s accurate but also to account for 1-2 months extra to cover expenses like rent.
Darwin has kindly volunteered to become part of Visto’s Mentor Network which aims to help newcomers with the transition of moving to Canada and answering any questions they may have. If you’re interested in moving to Canada or learning about our Mentor Program, make sure to sign up and join the community here!
Are you interested in changing the lives of skilled newcomers? We’re always looking to expand our network! Send us a message here and we’ll get in touch!