Do you wish to immigrate to Canada but are worried about many issues? I’m sharing in this article our top reasons why we are glad about our decision to immigrate to Canada.
Living in Canada has been one of our family’s dream. It could be one of yours, too, but for some reason, maybe you’re hesitant to start chasing for it.
Perhaps it’s because of the stories you’ve heard from other immigrants who believe that moving here is a huge mistake.
As some may ask, why immigrate to Canada when you have a high-paying job elsewhere?
Or probably the weather. I’m fascinated with the beauty of sparkling snow. But shovelling it every day during winter just to get to your car? Not fascinating.
Before we decided to immigrate here, believe me… we’ve also heard lots of reasons why it’s a terrible idea to immigrate here.
But despite all that, we dared anyway to immigrate to Canada. And luckily, it was a win for us!
Here are our top reasons why we never regretted our decision to immigrate to Canada:
Living in Canada has been one of our family’s dream. It could be one of yours, too.
1. Canada provides lots of support to newcomers
When we arrived here in Canada, we learned about the various benefits offered to newcomers like us. Among these benefits is the bridge training program that Ontario is offering for eligible immigrants.
This bridge training program is designed to “bridge” newcomers’ international training and experience with access to the supports we need to get a license or certificate to work in our profession or trade in Ontario.
In other words, newcomers can register in schools offering this program and the government pays for it. This program would allow you to continue working for your profession or trade even if you don’t have a Canadian work experience.
So if you’re asking yourself, “why should I leave my flourishing career here and immigrate to Canada?”, then here is the answer.
Immigrating here in Canada doesn’t mean saying goodbye to that career you’ve worked so hard to nourish.
My husband took advantage of this program when he enrolled at Humber College and took a 10-week program in Supply Chain Management. He’s working now at DHL Express as a data analyst.
Getting a job in a multinational company like DHL may not be the direct result of him graduating from Humber College, but this just proves that you can actually get a job in the same profession or trade you’re in.
Aside from this, each province and cities have their own program designed mainly to support newcomers. The City of Toronto, for example, has settlement worker programs and employment services to help newcomers in finding a job, a place to live, etc.
When we visited the Toronto Public Library, we met one of these settlement workers who invited us to attend seminars for newcomers. These seminars are free networking events (with free snacks, lol) where you can meet other people from your profession or trade.
It’s not only the support we got as newcomers that we appreciate but the support Canada gives (along with its provinces and cities) to its permanent residents and citizens in general. Like these ones I’ll mention next.
Immigrating here in Canada doesn’t mean saying goodbye to that career you’ve worked so hard to nourish.
2. Canada offers free education from elementary until secondary school, and financial assistance for post-secondary studies
Even before moving here to Canada, this is among the reasons why we wanted to immigrate here. Knowing that our kids will benefit from having a world-class education for free gives us assurance as parents that they will have a better future.
Of course, having a good future still depends on a lot of factors, but having an internationally recognized education from a first-world country is already a good start.
While I was editing this article, my son just started his first year in kindergarten, although due to COVID-19, he’s attending the virtual classes which the school districts offered as an option. So far, as a parent, I’m satisfied with this arrangement and based on a quick look at Ontario’s curriculum for kindergarten, I can see how the lessons are still consistent with it.
Going back, education is only free up to secondary school, but most colleges and universities offer a reasonable price for tuition fees which I’m guessing any parent can afford to save early on (in York University, for example, tuition fees start from around CAD 7,000 per year for citizens and permanent residents).
Speaking of saving early on, Canada also offers what they call the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG). This is money that the Government adds to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) which is a saving/investment plan that you can open to save for your kids’ college funds.
We received a letter months ago informing us that if we open an RESP for our kids, the Government will give us $500 each in our account. It’s a great incentive to initiate parents to open up an RESP account, although for now, we haven’t open one yet.
Aside from this, if you live in Ontario, your kids can avail of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and receive a grant and a student loan to pay for their college tuition fees and school expenses (which of course they’d need to pay back later on).
Knowing that our kids will benefit from having a world-class education for free gives us assurance as parents that they will have a better future.
3. Children under 18 years receive a monthly child benefit allowance
Depending on your annual family income, each of your kids can get up to around $600 every month until before they reach 18, or what is called the Canada child benefit.
For me, this is one of the most remarkable benefits Canada is giving to children of permanent residents and citizens and is such a massive help to our family’s expenses.
As your family’s income grows, the amount of allowance the kids receive decreases. But that’s not bad news, right? Because that just means that your family’s income is growing.
On top of the child benefit allowance, if you live in Ontario, you’ll also be entitled to receive the GST/HST tax credit and the Ontario Trillium Benefit, which for us is around an additional $1,000+ for an entire year.
So if you have young kids now, this is why you should not delay your plans to immigrate to Canada.
4. Public health insurance is available both for permanent residents and citizens
On top of free education and monthly allowances, your kids (plus you and your spouse) also get free access to most health care services.
The coverage depends on each province’s health insurance system (in Ontario for example, visits to doctors, hospital stays, dental surgeries, certain eye-health services, and ambulance for medical emergencies are covered).
Besides getting free health insurance, you don’t need to worry about the quality because Canada’s basic healthcare is said to be equivalent to the US.
And even if you don’t have public health insurance yet, there are clinics offering free basic services to those who don’t have insurance. When I was pregnant and still waiting for my health card (during the 3-month waiting period for newcomers), I went to walk-in clinic and was later referred to WestEnd Midwives. I didn’t spend a single dollar on my check-ups and laboratory tests.
If you happen to work in companies offering health insurance, then some of the medical expenses that are not covered by the government card will usually be covered (like eye-care and dental services).
5. Citizenship is attainable after several years
Unlike with other countries, living in Canada as a permanent resident for three (3) out of the last five (5) years can allow you to apply for citizenship. Aside from being able to vote, this means you can get a Canadian passport that would allow you to travel to several countries without the need to get a visa. If you’re dreaming of travelling the world (like us, *fingers-crossed*), isn’t this exciting?
Even if you don’t want to give up your citizenship and just remain as a permanent resident, you can stay in Canada for as long as you want and would not need to worry about your visa (as long you renew your PR ID every five years). You’ll still be entitled to the benefits given to citizens such as education and healthcare.
6. You can sponsor your parents and grandparents
If you’re earning the minimum income required by IRCC, you can sponsor your parents and grandparents to come to Canada either as a permanent resident or through a super visa.
A super visa is much like a visitor visa, but this one allows holders to stay in Canada up to two years straight at a time (compared to only six months if you’re a visitor visa holder). This is the next option if you still can’t sponsor your parents or grandparents (because the required income is higher, plus you need three years of tax assessment).
The good news is that you don’t need to be a citizen to sponsor your parents or grandparents. As long as you’re a permanent resident living in Canada and are eligible to sponsor them, then you can go and apply for their sponsorship.
Just last October 2020, Canada opened their 2020 Parents and Grandparents Program, which for sure is terrific news for those who can’t wait to sponsor their parents and grandparents. This 2021, they are re-opening this program again.
7. It’s a place where you can really settle for good
Aside from what I’ve mentioned above, Canada can be a place where you and your family can actually live and stay permanently. You can buy your dream house here and finally call it your home.
After our first year here, I’m happy to share that we were able to buy our first ever house. And we also know a lot of other permanent residents who were able to purchase their own homes after a year or so.
So it’s also possible for you to find here a place you can call your own.
(Watch: How to Buy a House in Canada)
As what they say, there’s really no place like home (for us, it’s the Philippines) and you’ll probably return to your beloved home country again and again. But if nothing is waiting for you there, why turn your back on something that could give your kids a better future?
If you’re going to pursue your plans to immigrate to Canada, and then someone asks you, “why?”, ask them back with, “why not?”.
Our final words…
There are other reasons why it’s a brilliant idea to immigrate to Canada especially for families, but for us, these are our top seven reasons.
Most people get discouraged because they worry that their career would take a full U-turn and then they’d start somewhere else. That’s true – most professionals, like doctors and engineers, end up working in a totally different industry and go back to entry-level positions.
If you’re not ready for that, that’s fine.
In our case, we have to give up the career we’ve built in the UAE, but we’ve already accepted that. We were prepared to start from scratch, go back to school, then work our way up the career ladder. When we arrived here, we found out that there are actually ways for you to be able to work on your profession and trade.
My husband, for example, got a job at DHL Express as a Database Administrator then later became a Database Analyst. Now, he’s been promoted again.
You might say your family is earning more than enough in wherever country you are now and that you’re not ready to give up that yet, and that’s also fine. If we had a better situation back then where we receive school allowances for our kids’ tuition fees and company-provided accommodation, we might have considered staying back.
But it’s not just the case for us. And after this tragic pandemic, we were more than grateful for our decision.
Just so you know, I’m not trying to convince you to immigrate to Canada (though why not, right?). In fact, here’s a video by The Maple Diaries showing some reasons NOT to move in Canada. I suggest that you watch this so you know what you’re getting into. I’ve also shared my two cents on the pros and cons of living here as immigrants.
Now, if you decide to pursue your dream of immigrating to Canada, just know that with hard work and faith in our Almighty God, nothing is impossible.
If you’re ready to start a new chapter of your life and think that Canada might just be the place, then why not consider applying for a permanent residency?
PS: Last June 2021, we celebrated our second year here in Canada. You might want to check these 7 important lessons we’ve learned so far.
About the author:
JK Legaspi is a permanent resident of Canada since 2018. She and her family lives in the beautiful Niagara Region. As the founder of Detour To Canada, she aims to help aspiring and future immigrants reach their Canadian dreams by sharing her family’s own immigration and newcomer story.
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