Dahlia, Franklin, and their son Lance became Canadian citizens in February 2023, after a long and winding road.
Dahlia came to Canada in 2013 from the Philippines as a live-in caregiver. Her employer helped her by giving her an information package, which included the address of the Immigrant Welcome Centre. Dahlia was encouraged by her employer to apply for permanent resident status, a decision that to Dahlia felt scary and overwhelming due to the amount of paperwork involved.
“When I tried to fill out those piles of paperwork, I almost gave up. But I was motivated by my employer, that kept telling me how good the future could be for my family if we all lived in Canada,” Dahlia said.
IWC’s settlement practitioner Ana helped Dahlia with the paperwork. “Ana was very accommodating, respectful, and informative,” she said. “She encouraged me to never give up on my goals, and to do my part to put together all the information required by IRCC to complete the application for my family.”
Eventually, Franklin and Lance landed in Canada in August 2016 as permanent residents, and IWC provided information on how to access services and programs, including medical, school, and community services. Right away, Franklin found his first Canadian job, and Lance started school in September. “At the beginning,” said Dahlia, “it was tough, challenging, and exciting to be reunited and live our life together in a foreign country, but my family was able to overcome the ups and downs.”
In just a few months after being reunited, Dahlia and Franklin were able to advance their careers. Franklin got hired as a tattoo artist, a job he had 20 years of experience in the Philippines and which he loved, and Dahlia decided to try the health care field, pursuing education as a registered Health Care Assistant.
“With our stable jobs, we are now able to provide financial support to our family. Our son graduated from high school in June 2022. All of these have happened because of all the support we had received from our employers, friends, IWC, and the community. Our family’s success is one of the proofs of why the Immigrant Welcome Centre and their settlement services are essential for the community,” Dahlia said. “I’m very grateful and blessed that the Immigrant Welcome Centre came into our lives!”