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Bringing His Family to Canada

Aamir Mirza

Time 0:04:05


I told all my family members that there is a lot of instability, political and places not secure in Pakistan right now because the whole region is, in under fire, war, and because of Afghanistan and Pakistan all those, troubles some time. It’s not going to get better, even though my brother, my sister, my other brother they were all well established and they had no intention to come and start from scratch. But I told them my assessment is that it is going to get worst, if not for yourself, for your children. Maybe you need to move. And there is an opportunity that I can go to Saskatchewan and reunite, we can all reunite, there is less chance that I’ll move back to Pakistan. If you want to come to Canada, it’s good for your children, for you children’s future, and it’s secure so get out if this is the right time.

They wouldn’t agree but my younger brother, he agreed, and his, he was working for USAID having same, background, Yasir my brother. He is also a trainer, um he does TOTs and all that kind of work. He said, “Yes, I can get out. If you think I qualify.” And I did this assessment, you can do online I said, “Yeah you qualify.”

So, then instead of going to Mississauga I came to Saskatoon. And found jobs here much easier, at that time. It wasn't that—the competition was not that high, and luckily found job in one place and then IWS(??) another NGO and then this NGO. With Open Door, and it’s a lengthy process. You have to stay in Saskatchewan for one year independently and then you sponsor them, they have to qualify, it’s like skilled worker, it’s not sponsorship. They have to have certain education, English language proficiency, work experience and all that.

So they all qualified, all three of my brother sisters they’re all educated and have work experience and speak good English. So, I applied for all of them, so my brother and sister they’re here, my parents are here, they came to visit me because, once my—they never wanted to come, and travel that far. But once my one brother and other sister and me, all the kids and family is here, that attracted them to come here, so we were very happy except one brother. All of them are here, so I hope that he joins us too. So my moving to Saskatoon was, on the basis that we will all reunite, um also that, it will help them to give the children good education.

For our family, I don’t know it might sound funny or something, it’s all about education, education, education. So every time I tell them, “Oh the schools are wonderful there and kids will enjoy and they can go to any university in the world they want to.” And things like that, that’s when they get attracted, they say, (laughs)“Okay. We’ll come.” And it’s true my—the schooling system here, my sister, my brother’s two sons are still very young, they’re not school going age, but they have been to school that’s the first thing they wanted to come and look. They’re still struggling, looking for work and, getting training and all that but, it’s much easier for them as compared to when I came here.

Aamir Mirza was born in 1969 in Quetta, Pakistan. After high school, Aamir completed a bachelor of arts, a degree in law, and a master’s in international relations. In Pakistan, Aamir worked as a teacher and in community development. He applied to immigrate to Canada because he was interested in studying abroad.

Aamir arrived in Canada on May 31, 1999 and first lived with his father’s cousin in Cambridge, Ontario. After struggling for five months to find work, he moved to Mississauga where he got a job in a factory. While living in Mississauga, Aamir met an employment counsellor from Pakistan who helped him find work at an organization that supported new immigrants. Aamir continued working for the next few years for various organizations assisting newcomers. In 2002, Aamir went back to school at Humber College for a program in international project management.

After the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, Aamir returned to the country with his wife and daughter to work with the Save the Children organization. The family came back to Canada in 2008 and moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Aamir’s parents, brother, and sister eventually joined him in Canada. Aamir currently lives in Saskatoon with his wife and three children and works as an employment counsellor at the Saskatoon Open Door Society.

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