My Journey As Software Developer From India To Canada, During The Pandemic
My name is Sandy, the name my friends know me by. Today, I will be sharing with you the story of how and why I ended up in Canada as a skilled worker employed in software development. That too, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Migrant by compulsion, not choice
Happy with my life in India, I had actually never given a second thought to immigration. Well, why should I? I was happy with the salary that I was already drawing, looking at a bright prospect before me.
It was all good. So it seemed.
The COVID-19 changed all that. Shattering my dreams, making me review my future, forcing me to explore backup options. That time, I had no backup plan at all.
I was laid-off simply just like that.
Never expected it, to be honest.
One day I was busy working on a project, maybe a week or two later I was out of work. My company kept assuring me that I would be taken back in as soon as things got better. But, I somehow felt let down and started looking at other options.
My friends suggested I think of migrating overseas to Australia or Canada. We were under lockdown anyway. So, there was enough, rather more than enough, time for exploring.
I read up all I could find online. Immigration advice, real stories, good as well as bad experiences of migrants, even immigration frauds and visa scams.
Why migrate to Canada?
The pandemic that time had hit things pretty bad. Gradually, as things got somehow under control, immigration seemed to be a more attractive option as the days passed.
Canada, all through the pandemic, had gone practically out of their way to make it easier for Canada immigration hopefuls during those trying times.
The federal government of Canada had, by this time, begun giving various concessions and relaxations to people applying under the Express Entry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
I still remember when Canada imposed travel restrictions on March 18, 2020. I came to know much later that only a week ago Canada had announced an ambitious plan for welcoming immigrants over the coming years.
Still, Canada did not stop inviting newcomers even during the coronavirus pandemic.
Applying for Canadian permanent residence through the Express Entry system is by invitation only. All you can do is to make an Express Entry profile. However, you can only submit your Canada PR application when invited by Canada.
Invitations to apply by Canada are issued to candidates that have the most potential of successfully settling in Canada.
Migration during the pandemic
I made my Express Entry profile myself. But, I could not afford to take any chances.
I had to get my Canada visa application right the first time itself.
So, I decided to take counselling from a professional. Due to the pandemic, I could not take any counselling session in person.
Some consultants were offering online counselling sessions at a certain price. Some were giving it for free. I took both the paid ones as well as the free immigration counselling options.
I still remember, the paid online counseling that I got was from one of the best immigration consultants in Delhi. What really put me off about them was that they would not explain anything properly. I mean, after all, it is my money on the line, so I had a right to know. Didn’t I?
But, those people keep telling me you just sign on the PDF document to be sent by email and we will get you a ‘guaranteed’ visa. As if they were printing it themselves!
Anyway, almost fed up with the commercial attitudes of the majority of consultants, I decided to go for someone who knew what they were doing. I was even willing to pay a bit more, if I could get confidence on the person handling my immigration file.
Why Y-Axis? Well, why not?
At that time, I did discuss my future plans with some of my closest friends. Many of them did not understand why I had opted for Y-Axis.
Simply because Y-Axis people were not talking over my head.
They took the time to explain. I know I kept asking the same thing over and over again. I had been laid off. I was desperate to begin a new life in Canada.
Y-Axis consultants gave me confidence to make it to Canada, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. I took the complete Canada immigration package from them. I opted to pay in EMIs option.
Their Y-Axis Jobs website is also trustworthy as they have 100% verified Canadian employers listed.
Job in Canada in the pandemic
Much against what all believed at that time, I did manage to get a job in Canada even during the pandemic. Software developers are in high demand in Canada.
Even with the pandemic situation, IT companies in Canada were hiring international workers.
I got my Software Developer job in Victoria, British Columbia.
PNP: A guaranteed Canada PR
As suggested by my consultant at Y-Axis, I had mentioned an interest in settling within the province of British Columbia on being granted my Canadian permanent residence.
I had made my Express Entry profile before I came to Y-Axis. But changes can be made at any time later. To be on the safer side, I marked an interest in ‘ALL’ provinces. I could always settle in that province under the Provincial Nominee Program, and move after some years to another place within Canada.
Things were in my favour, it seems. For the most part of 2020, the federal government of Canada turned its attention to those who might already be in Canada. These were those eligible for the Canadian Experience Class, that is, someone like an international student in Canada who had remained on a Post-Graduation Work Permit.
Provincial Nominee Program or PNP nominees also were issued most of the IRCC invitations to apply in 2020.
I got my invitation soon after from the BC PNP. Apparently, with many job vacancies projected between 2019 to 2029, BC has a high demand for skilled foreign workers.
COPR exempt from Canada travel ban
Once I got my Confirmation of Permanent Residence or COPR from IRCC, it was indeed time to look ahead to a new life in British Columbia as a Canada PR.
International travel was still banned by Canada, but there were some exceptions under the travel ban. Those with a COPR could travel to Canada at that time.
Setting foot in Canada
With all due COVID-19 protocol followed and due precautions taken, at the airports here in Delhi as well as in Vancouver, I finally landed in British Columbia. My flight was only till Vancouver. I had to make it to Victoria from there on my own somehow.
My 14-day quarantine was arranged by my employer in a hotel accommodation in Vancouver itself.
Finally, I’m back on my feet. Doing what I look doing the best. Developing software.Working from my company-arranged accommodation at the moment.
Hope to be joining office full time soon.
Disclaimer: No Deccan Chronicle journalist was involved in creating this content. The group also takes no responsibility for this content.