Murtaza and his wife are a multicultural couple: Lucile is from France and he is from India. They found a country in their image: Canada.
After a relatively quick immigration process (only one year), they picked Montreal as their new home. They only arrived a few months ago but they are slowly adapting to their new life in North America. Getting a job will be their next challenge. Murtaza is the founder and editor-in-chief of DZine Trip, an online design magazine, and he is looking for creative jobs. You can see his profile on LinkedIn.
1) What brought you to Canada?
Canada, and more precisely Montreal, was a logical choice for us. My wife, Lucile, is French and I’m Indian. We met in Mumbai in 2007 while she was an exchange student and we got married in 2009 in India while she was on a work visa. We lived in Mumbai city for 2 years.
We found Montreal was a great melting pot of different cultures and it is a bilingual city (French and English).
It took us a year to complete the immigration process and we arrived in Montreal on April 8, 2011.
2) Did you find the immigration process difficult?
The information on various websites, such as Citizenship and Immigration, was very useful. The process was very simple as my wife was the principal applicant. Since she has a French passport, things went smoother than expected.
3) Are you currently looking for a job in Canada? What are some obstacles you are facing?
Well, at the moment, my wife and I are both unemployed and we looking for jobs in our respective fields. She is looking for a job in marketing and has been interviewed by a couple of companies, but nothing has happened yet. People say summers are slow and everybody is in holiday mood, but lots of opportunities arise in September.
My biggest obstacle is French language considering we are in Montreal. Also it’s difficult for people in creative fields to get their dream job anywhere in the world.
4) Where did you learn French/ English? What was your second language level when you first came to Canada?
My wife is perfectly bilingual. I’m taking a French course with Immigration et Communautés culturelles Québec.
5) What was your biggest culture shock?
We didn’t experience any culture shock because I lived in Canada before in 2005 on a student visa and knew the country and its culture very well before arriving.
My wife didn’t have a shock either because she comes from France—it’s always easier for people from the western world to adapt to Canada.
6) What haven’t you gotten used to yet in Canada?
The fact that Canadians plan everything in advance and you have to set an appointment for everything, even to meet with your friends.
7) Did immigrating to Canada match your expectations?
It’s still too early to tell, we only arrived in April. But, we are very happy with the big move so far.
8) Do you find life expensive in Canada compared to your home country?
Compared to France, NO! Compared to India, YES!
9) Are you planning to apply for Canadian citizenship when you will meet the requirements?
We do intend to apply for a Canadian citizenship once we are eligible.
10) What advice would you give to someone from your home country interested in immigrating to Canada?
Well, all I’d like to say is think twice before you decide to apply for immigration to Canada. Think about the future opportunities and research well. Immigration is lengthy process and it sometimes takes up to 5 or 6 years. Consider a lot of things in advance and then decide if you are really prepared for the big move.