Early 2010, I realized everybody must be sick of my immigration story, so I decided to interview other immigrants from all over the world who had made Canada their home. Newcomers and new Canadian citizens from Argentina, Brazil, the U.S, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Morocco, Georgia, Colombia, and England patiently answered my questions and brought a new perspective on immigration.
Today, the series is back by popular demand. Ten more immigrants to Canada agreed to answer questions and talk about their new life in Canada.
A new interview will be published every Saturday, starting today. Enjoy the new Ten More Immigrants for Ten More Interviews series!
We will start today with Nui, from Thailand, who recently arrived in Ottawa. After years on the move around the world, Nui and her Canadian-German husband decided to settle in Canada. They lived in Kingston for a while and are now in Ottawa, where Nui is launching her small business.
1) What brought you to Canada?
Well, we have been on the move for a while and I don’t know when we will stop!
While living in Finland, we planned to move to other countries to gain more experience and to get to know different parts of the world. Since I had been living in countries where I only understood less than 50% of what was going on around me for a decade, I wanted to be in an English speaking country. We were actually thinking of going to Australia. Whereas I always need a visa wherever I go, Alex, my partner, has two passports—German and Canadian. I joked that he should give me one for the sake of traveling. He said “Germany will be difficult. Perhaps, Canada would be easier.” Although that was not the reason we are here now, it was a starting point that made us consider Canada. We came here for a holiday in 2009 and fell in love with the country.
We filed the sponsor application for Alex and a permanent residence application for me at the end of April 2010. The applications sat in the queue for two months before immigration services started to look into it and sent it to Germany for further processing. As soon as the application reached Germany, Citizenship & Immigration sent all the support photos and paperwork back to us. So, I wasn’t hoping to get my permanent residence visa soon. Strangely enough, I was called two weeks later and I was told my visa was ready—although I wasn’t ready myself! We landed in Canada on September 2, 2010.
2) Did you find the immigration process difficult?
You got the answer from the answer above. we didn’t use any other resource than the Internet.
3) So, what’s the deal with your business?
I always wanted to have my own business. I worked for other people for over 20 years, and that’s more than enough.
For the first few months we enjoyed our new country. After that, I started to research entrepreneurship rules and regulations and I attended workshops. Since we were in Kingston, a small city in Eastern Ontario, not much happened for the first few months.
We moved to Ottawa in February. Then, we started to get to know more people and attended more networking events and more workshops! I was happy to learn that there is lot of support for immigrants from many organizations. For me, the entrepreneurship centre was a great start. I started my business in March to import/wholesale natural products, ranging from skincare to household items. You can read about my company, Bee Glorious, at www.beeglorious.com.
4) Where did you learn French/ English? What was your second language level when you first came to Canada?
I will start to learn French as soon as things calm down with my business. I am taking business English writing class at the moment.
5) What was your biggest culture shock?
Nothing specific comes to mind.
6) What haven’t you gotten used to yet in Canada?
The Canadian way of giving feedback! I prefer more direct talk as in Finland or Germany or some other European countries to this Canadian politeness. How should I know if I did something wrong if everything is so “awesome”! That is a bit annoying.
7) Did immigrating to Canada match your expectations?
Yes and no. I kind of knew most of the things beforehand. We did not expect that it would take this long to be able to settle somewhere (and we are still in a tiny temporary flat.)
8) Do you find life expensive in Canada compared to your home country?
Compare to Thailand, yes, life is expensive. But it isn’t so bad compared to Finland or Germany.
9) If you are not a Canadian citizen yet, are you planning to apply for Canadian citizenship when you will meet the requirements?
I will. There are more benefits to it and I don’t need to give up my birth citizenship.
10) What advice would you give to someone from your home country interested in immigrating to Canada?
ศึกษาข้อมูลให้มาก ๆ และเตรียมตัวให้พร้อมที่สุด In English, research, Research and research. Be prepared.