As soon as Bhargav was approved for permanent residency (PR), job offers seemed to come flooding in for his field of study. And this guy certainly deserves to be working in his chosen field! He came to Canada in the first place to expand his knowledge in accounting. “I wanted to experience more knowledge; how accounting strategies and things like that work outside of India,” he says.
After taking a postgraduate course in accounting at Selkirk College, he says he initially couldn’t find a job in his field because he didn’t have experience. “I’d been living in Castlegar for six months, and there weren’t many options for jobs. I moved to Trail with a couple of my friends, and after getting my PR, I got two job offers! It was kind of like a jackpot for me,” he says.
Hitting the jackpot indeed! Bhargav now works at both of these accounting jobs. He works as the administrative accountant at Monticola Forest Ltd. and a store administrator at Shoppers Drug Mart.
Even with two jobs on the go, he found he couldn’t completely let go of one of his earlier jobs in Canada and still works part-time at the Prestige Hotel in Rossland. “I really love it there,” he says. “I’m not working as a housekeeper anymore. It’s more like front desk, maintenance, and night audit. We’re really part of a work family.”
Bhargav is originally from Gujarat, a western province in India. He chose to live in the Kootenays because of its similarities in size to Gujarat. “I decided to live in a smaller city instead of going to a city like Vancouver, Calgary or Toronto,” he says. “It’s not a really big city. The people and the environment surrounding them are similar.”
But there are a few differences between Gujarat and the Kootenays, Bhargav says. “If I want to go hiking or biking or something like that, it’s all nearby. I would have to go somewhere far from my hometown for that.” Living near nature is one of his favourite things about living in the Kootenays. “It’s the most beautiful settings I’ve experienced living in.”
He’ll be plenty busy with his three jobs, but he hopes he’ll have time for his newfound interest in snowshoeing this winter and wants to go skiing too!
When Bhargav tried to get his PR through the Provincial Nominee Program, COVID-19 triggered changes in regulations for the hospitality industry, delaying the program for about six months. Then Bhargav heard about the Rural Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program from a friend.
“When I emailed RNIP, Erin got back to me the very next day,” he says. “She explained the whole process and the criteria. Her explanations were very detailed. As immigrants, we have so many questions, and the process is quite lengthy. We don’t know what to expect. If I didn’t have someone who could explain everything properly, it could have ended in disaster. RNIP helped me from the very first day until the last.”
Bhargav is one of the applicants that successfully made it through the West Kootenay RNIP, a program that changes lives.