Miguel fell in love with Canada when he was just 16 years old. He came here to learn English, and eventually obtained permanent resident through his partner by applying in the sponsorship category.
Miguel lived in several cities in Canada but at the end, settled in Quebec City. The values and general way of life in French-speaking Canada are more in line with his expectations.
1. Why did you decide to immigrate to Canada?
I came to learn English when I was 16 and I was quite impressed with the order, cleanliness and quietness I experienced here. It was then when I decided I wanted to live in Canada.
2. Did you find the immigration process difficult? Which immigration category did you apply for, and how long did it take for you to get permanent residence status?
Not really difficult, very straightforward BUT extremely slow. First, I got a work permit thanks to my skills. Then I applied as a skilled worker first, got desperate. Since my partner is a Canadian citizen, I applied in the sponsorship category and eventually, eight months later, I was granted permanent residence.
3. Are you currently working? If so, did you find a job in your field easily?
Yes I am—I work in digital marketing. Actually I started my own business almost at the same time I arrived here. I worked for a company in the morning and used my spare time to build my business. All in all, it was kind of easy to find a job. I started as an ERP consultant implementing big software to companies.
4. Do you speak French? Where did you learn English?
I do speak French and I use this language on a daily basis in Quebec City. I learned English in Mexico in school, and came here to be able to practice my language skills.
5. How do you find the cost of living compared to your home country?
I lived in several cities in Canada. Toronto is as expensive as Mexico City, but there is a lot of money to be made in that city and things don’t seem so expensive. Actually I think that Mexico City is way more expensive than any city in Canada! Besides, making money here is easier than in Mexico.
6. What has been your biggest culture shock so far?
The social life, personal space and the working culture are big, big differences from where I come from—for instance individualism and competitiveness in every aspect of life. And I know that many people don’t want to hear this, but I arrived here without really knowing the country and I personally feel way more comfortable living in French Canada than in English Canada. In Quebec, the values, the way of life, social activities and work environment are more compatible with my culture and personal beliefs.
7. What aspect of life in Canada did you adopt right away?
The respect of time, the value of money and the business-like mentality.
8. What’s one thing you don’t like in Canada?
How extremely regulated everything is, how there seems to be a lack of spontaneity in general. I personally feel that people really don’t like to be intimate with other people. It is extremely difficult and it takes time to make friends and have a social life. Once again, I should stress that my integration has been easier in the French part of the country.
9. What’s the best part about living in your city?
People here they are nicer in general, very polite, more open to talk to you, more welcoming and in general more “latin-minded”.
10. What advice would you give to someone starting the immigration process?
Don’t you ever hire an immigration lawyer/consultant! Learn the language at the highest level you can, don’t come without some money, be patient and constant. Don’t desperate–you will get what you are looking for.