“I already know what questions and obstacles I may face when I arrive in a new country,” says Abnoos matter-of-factly. Her confidence comes from experience. In the past ten years, Abnoos has immigrated no less than four times around the world before coming to call Canada her home. “It is a big transition,” she says but “a pleasant change”. What tips does this veteran newcomer have to share with other newcomers to Canada?
- If you don’t have a place to stay at first, go for a safe option. Services like AirBnB are a “bit pricey but at least you will arrive in a hopefully clean and comfortable temporary place until you get on your feet and look for a more permanent accommodation.”
- Strengthen your connections in your current workplace. “They will be your references and contacted by your future employers when you are looking for jobs in Canada,” says Abnoos.
- Set money aside for a winter jacket! The winter jackets from Abnoos’s former home simply did not cut it here in Canada.
- Plan your health care in advance. “For the first three months you will not have public health coverage, so plan in advance, get your health insurance in place” cautions Abnoos.
- Beware of the flood of offers. Newcomers can be deluged with deals, discounts, and credit card offers warns Abnoos. “Study and consider all offers,” advises Abnoos. “Start with one credit card and build up your credit score before taking more.”
- Don’t feel pressured to settle as fast as possible. “A lot of people may push you that you have to buy a house as soon as possible, or that you have to get a car immediately,” says Abnoos. “You really do not have to and need to make big decisions immediately”.
- Take the first steps toward financial stability. “Study and investigate the common savings and retirement opportunities such as TFSA and RRSP” advises Abnoos. “You can always go wild and do something bold with money but as a start I think these options help a lot with settling in.”
One thing that sets Abnoos’ immigration to Canada apart from the other countries she’s lived in is that, “none of the previous countries [she] moved to provide comprehensive pre-and-post-arrival services for newcomers.” Despite her many experiences with immigration, she still wanted to know how we could help her plan for life in Canada and what she could learn from the program. “I was thrilled to know that we can get support, advice, and recommendations as newcomers.”
Abnoos and her husband connected with us at Next Stop Canada after discovering us on the Canadian Government website, Canada.ca. “It was a combination of planning and curiosity to see how these programs work,” she explained. “We provided them with our CVs, career-related questions and aspirations, and asked for specific types of information around the topics of empowerment and professional networking for when we arrive in Canada. Then we started receiving videos, links, and some personal and tailored recommendations.” Whenever Abnoos had a question, she reached out to us by email and live chat. “These are swift services,” she comments, “I usually get some helpful direction.”
Today Abnoos calls herself a successful newcomer and continues to build her career in her profession of choice.
Are you interested in starting your journey on the right foot? Start with us at NextStopCanada.ca to find out more.