Qazim and Johanna's Story

[ Nederlandse versie Hier]

We are Qazim and Johanna from the Netherlands.

We met each other about 5 years ago at a cafe in Assen, where we talked and found out that both of us were interested in Canada. Qazim already visited once and Canada was on my list of countries that I would like to visit. We saw each other every so often and after 1.5 years we started a relation and about 6 months later Qazim told me that he was going to Canada (B.C.) where he had friends because he wanted to see if he could build a future there. I also went for about one month for the first time (2007) and we rented a car and saw a lot of British Columbia and Alberta. Qazim came back after a few months as he was there as a tourist and could not stay any longer and wanted a future with me. At the end of 2007 we moved in together, Qazim started a job as an electrician and I still worked as a team leader in a nursing home.

The subject of Canada and most importantly immigration was still in the forefront. In 2008 we went to the emigration fair in Niewegein and visited a stand from South West Alberta where we talked with Henk van Ee from Economic Development. Henk told us that there is likely a job available for Qazim in Fort Macled (the town where Henk lived). We were planning on applying for a temporary work permit for Qazim and an open work permit for myself. We went to a meeting with an emigration bureau where they suggested that I apply for a temporary work permit as there is a shortage in health care. If you want to work in Canada on a temporary basis then you must first have a job offer.

In the summer of 2009 we flew to Alberta to look around, make a few appointments and to have a holiday. We met with Henk van Ee again who took us to a few employers who might have a job opening for Qazim. We also met Rick Matheson who took us to hospitals and nursing homes and gave us a tour. Henk knew of a private home for the elderly in Fort Macleod and Rick took us there for a tour and to introduce us to the manager, Lorraine Segboer. Rick then asked her if she was still hiring personnel from outside Canada and Lorraine said immediately sure! I had my C.V. (resume) with me and left that with her. After two days we were in B.C. on route to Kelowna when we received an email from Lorraine, she had a contract ready and asked if I could come and sign. That was very fast, we had not counted on it so I phoned her and said that at the end of our holiday we would be back in Fort Macleod and that I would come and sign. When we signed the contract Lorraine had to apply for a LMO and she told me that would take a few weeks and that she would probably see me again at the end of September (this was the beginning of August). That took us off guard because we were still working jobs in the Netherlands and we were planning on getting married.

We went home and discussed everything thoroughly and also informed our families. Lorraine encountered a few delays with the LMO (labour market opinion) so everything took a little longer than expected (fortunately). We picked our wedding date, November and still had to arrange everything for the work permit application. I had a lot of banked hours at work as well as holidays so I resigned from my job as per November 1 and my last working day was beginning of October. I started to arrange everything such as: request birth certificates, translate diploma’s, send the LMO and work permit to Berlin, made an appointment for a medical exam (only for me as I was in the health care field) en arranged a lot of things for our wedding as well. Qaxim was still working but did inform his employer that he would be leaving but we did not know an exact date yet. His employer was very happy that he could work until we had a date. In November we got married and had a small group of family and friends there, beginning of December everything was sent to Berlin (embassy) and at the end of December I had my medical exam where it got send to Wenen and then the end results to Berlin. I had reported that I would be needed in Canada on January 15 and on January 14 we received an email that we could leave the next day. We did not expect that they would be prompt with the date so this went a little too fast for us as we still had to give notice to the landlord (which we did immediately on January 15) and we sold our furniture, gave it away or had to throw it out. We had bought tickets for February 14 to Calgary and contacted Lorraine who arranged transportation and shelter for the first month.

So February 14 was the day, said goodbye to family and friends and Qazim’s brother took us to Schiphol and our adventure started. After flying for 9 hours we landed in Calgary, Alberta en went to our new home, for at least 1 year. We were picked up and were brought to our new workplace/home, we could stay in the basement at the nursing home were I was going to be working. I had said that I wanted to adjust for 2 weeks and that I would start working on March 1. Qazim had an open work permit and thus could work anywhere, I had a contract for 1 year with an employer. Henk and his wife helped us get familiar and Henk took Qazim job hunting. In the first 2 weeks Qazim had already found a job with LF Collision Repair, Qazim did not have any work experience in this field but everything was going fine.

We have now been in Canda for about 1 year, we got our Alberta drivers license and I took my IELTS test for immigration, our 2nd LMO was positive and Chantal Blokpoel has applied for our work permit extension. We met Chantal Blokpoel at the bank (CIBC) in Fort Macleod and she is an immigration consultant. She also immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands with her parents. After we have received our work permit extensions we will apply for our permanent residency. We both would like to stay in Canada and build a future here.

There is a lot to be arranged with documents and it does bring stress with it but we really want to stay and it is worth it.

Qazim en Johanna