In September 2014 I moved from Brazil to Montreal with my wife and my son, who was 3 years old at the time.
It was the beginning of a new life, full of challenges and discoveries.
The application process took a long time, more than 4 years! In my case, I first applied to Quebec and, once approved, applied for the federal level.
Normally it does not take so long, but at the time Canada was closing their immigration office in São Paulo and moving personnel to Mexico.
I guess I was not very lucky on that regard.
But the delay gave me plenty of time to prepare, to study French and to try to make sure that I was making the right decision.
Because no matter how much you plan, life has a way to lead you through very different paths.
“The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew.”
Robert Burns, 1785
Roughly, the first 5 years of an immigrant in Canada is spent in integrating into the society.
Everything is new, you don’t know many people, your support network is on another continent.
So you learn a lot. I could see it even on my son, who was a toddler back then,
Being exposed to new languages, new people, new places. It was like I could see him grow before my eyes.
What I did was to document this process. All the things that I had to learn after I came, the tricks of the trade, sort of speak, in order to adapt.
How to integrate in the society
How to purchase big things like furniture and a car
How credit score works in Canada
How to find work
How to plan for the future
I collected resources, hints and opinions in a one hour and a half long screencast.
After 6 years I have to say my vision of immigration is a little different.
I am happy to have immigrated.
I come from Brazil, and there is no argument that the level of security and social organization are better in Canada.
My son, now 8 years old, speaks three languages, has access to excellent education in a public school, along with several complementary activities we are capable to provide to him, like piano lessons.
Canada is a multicultural society, and the contact with people from all over the world is invaluable.
Above all, the pandemic of 2020 painted a very clear portrait of the differences immigrating made into our lives.
When it comes to the impact of the Coronavirus, Brazil is one of the most affected countries in the world, both in number of cases and economically.
Being in Canada certainly put us in a privileged position.
But immigration doesn’t come without set backs. The biggest of all is the distance from family.
It is not easy to leave everything behind, no matter where you come from.
Even though your experience will certainly be different from mine, there are a few things I learned that I think are worthy of being shared.
This is not the official “to do” list you find in sites from the Canadian Government.
It is my personal experience, opinion and advise.
I hope you find it useful.
Screencast: end of life 2021.
July 08, 2020.