Tag Archives: nick noorani

Top 8 things you need to know before you go to Canada!


Nick Noorani, always a happy chap

Reprinted by kind permission of the smiling gent above who started Prepare For Canada.

This year is the beginning of my seventeenth year in Canada. Seventeen years of working to help immigrants succeed and thereby give back to the country I adopted. Here are some tips beyond my 7 Success Secrets!

1) Get all your papers ready. Starting from your educational documents, birth, and marriage or divorce documents. Driver’s license, valuables, good to follow all critical. For a complete list, go here.

2) Research your location. Most immigrants go to where they have a close or distant relative which is good but not ideal from a career perspective. Find out the labour market demand for your profession and choose your location accordingly. Remember, with Canada being so big (second largest country in the world by landmass!) once you land moving becomes pretty expensive.

3) Research your career — is it a regulated or unregulated career? If it is the former and you go through the process of getting your credentials recognised, do remember that this changes form one Province to another. In other words, if you move from Ontario to British Columbia you need to see whether your credentials still meet the requirements.

4) Choose your landing time if you can. I hear of so many who land in December or January when the weather challenges will distract you from the whole settlement process. Additionally, that is not a time you want to be going out looking for a job. The ideal time is mid-year when it is summer and just right before schools open in September. You get to go familiarize yourself in new city, connect with a settlement agency and hopefully make friends!

5) Get your finances organized. If you have attended our webinars you know that we work exclusively with Scotiabank as we believe they provide a superior product and customer service for newcomers. Find out more about their StartRight program here.

6) Have realistic expectations. Many immigrants migrate at the peak of their career and, understandably, want to pick up where they left off when they move to Canada. Have realistic expectations, but aim for the sky. Here’s the point: It took me 23 years to reach where I was in the advertising industry in my home country, so I cannot realistically expect I will instantly be at the same point immediately in a new country!

7) Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Not exclusive to migrants, fully understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses and being truly self-aware is not always easy. As human beings, we often find it difficult to face up to reality, accept when we’re wrong, admit to making mistakes, and acknowledge we may not be very good at something. To thrive in a new country, it’s critical to put down your defenses and to objectively reassess your skills in a new light — a Canadian light.

8) Seek help and advice. The first thing you should do is connect with a credentialing service that will help you get started on having your education qualifications recognized. Click here to get started. Next, ask for assistance from the many immigrant settlement agencies. They will help you with an accurate self-assessment of your soft skills which you can elaborate on in job cover letters and interviews. And don’t just stop there! Get a mentor, start networking within your profession and get on your way to success one step at a time.

So there you have it. More tips to help you succeed in Canada! Every month, I will be talking more about this in our newsletter. The only way to get it is to subscribe here.

Lastly, don’t forget to attend our Know Before You Go webinar and prepare for success in Canada!


Say hello to Nick Noorani, founder of Canadian Immigrant magazine

Caption here

This man’s forgotten more about Canadian immigration than you’ve had Sunday roast dinners

This is our new feature where we say hello to someone who — although they may not be a Brit — has made an important contribution to the life of Brits in Toronto somehow.

Hello Nick Noorani!

You’re probably most well-known for starting Canadian Immigrant magazine. What made you realize there was an outlet for that kind of subject matter when you founded the magazine?

From the time I landed in 1998 (from Mumbai, India), I was intrigued with the lack of information for immigrants … and so was born Arrival Survival Canada — a handbook for immigrants written by an immigrant!

The idea for the magazine came to me in a 3:00 a.m. dream in March 2003. I wrote down the idea and later that year when I was laid off I started the magazine. By that time I had been in publishing for five years and with a background in advertising and marketing, I felt well equipped to start the magazine.

I did extensive research with immigrants and saw a very clear niche — a magazine for all immigrants — not any one ethnic group. Something that would reflect Canada!

The magazine went on to change the media landscape as well as the information and motivation that immigrants needed, but I felt more needed to be done in the pre-arrival area so in 2010 I left the magazine (that I had by then sold to the Toronto Star) and started www.prepareforcanada.com.

We conduct monthly webinars in various countries including the U.K.! Check us out!

A lot of highly skilled immigrants come to Canada and end up in survival jobs, doing security or driving taxis. What advice do you have that can enable them to realize their true potential?

For the love of God please do research your profession before you come here! Most immigrants search jobs before they come, not their profession, and then find that they have years of studying to do in order to get their degree recognized!

Secondly, be prepared to start one or two rungs lower. Remember it did take you years to reach where you are in your home country … it may just take a few in comparison.

And lastly, have a cheerful disposition and the challenges will seem easier to deal with!

If you could go back to 1998 when you immigrated to Canada and give yourself some advice about what to expect in the years ahead, what would it be?

Again, I would say the things I said before: research your profession, choose the location based on labour market information, be prepared to start one or two rungs below, be flexible and go out and make lots of friends!

What’s your thoughts on the new Express Entry system being introduced in January 2015?

Express Entry will move the process to a demand-based one rather than a supply-based one. When immigrants come to Canada with jobs in hand, the settlement process is much faster and everyone benefits.

Open question: this is your chance to share some wisdom on being a successful immigrant to Canada.

Get involved. This is now your country, and sitting on the sidelines will always make you feel a stranger who is, well, sitting on the sidelines! I volunteer, mentor and am involved on several boards where I continue to try and make a difference in my new adopted home!

Favourite pub in Toronto?

The Spotted Dick.

Excellent advice, Nick, and keep up the good work you do to help immigrants to Toronto/Canada!