Shortly after Fexey Xavier’s first child was born in 2017, her desire to leave India was solidified. Her career as a registered nurse in the province of Kerala didn’t offer enough compensation for her family to live comfortably, and the economy troubled her. She says, “Nursing salaries are less there compared to Canada. If my husband and I were to settle in India, we would need more secure jobs – government jobs. Neither of us had a government job, so we felt migrating was a better option.”
After consulting an agency that suggested she move to Canada, Fexey enrolled in the Gerontology program at Selkirk College and arrived on a student visa in 2019. Her husband and daughter reunited with her in 2022, followed shortly after by the birth of their second child.
Fexey couldn’t have been more grateful for her newfound community during her second pregnancy and postpartum recovery. “Community groups on Facebook did so much to help me. Whenever I asked something, I would always get a response.”
After five weeks of recovery, she was overwhelmed by the mess in her house and decided to reach out for help. “A woman from Slocan came over and helped me arrange everything. She cooked lunch and brought snacks for me,” Fexey smiles. “I was so grateful. I also received so much stuff for my baby, and it was all given freely. People are always ready to help. That’s just the community. I have no words to express that.”
“Everyone here is so calm and cool. People in Nelson take their time to consider us, and everyone has time to consider others,” Fexey continues. “If you walk into a shop, people hold the door for you. When I walk through the streets, they always say hello and good morning. People really take the time to appreciate others.”
Fexey gives back to her community and makes a living by working as a care aide at Mountain Lakes Seniors Community and hopes to transition back into nursing. “It’s a little bit difficult to become a registered nurse as an international nurse, but now the government is offering bursaries,” says Fexey, diligently preparing for her nursing registration exams.
Fexey could not have received her permanent residency (PR) without the help of the West Kootenay Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program. “ It was hard to meet the desired criteria for other immigration programs, even with a high demand job in BC,” she says.
The RNIP program also helped Fexey bring her family along with her. “The process was so easy. Within six months of applying, I got my PR without any tension. Otherwise, I would have been waiting a long, long time to bring my family here. I know so many people who are still waiting.”
Fexey is one of the many deserving applicants that successfully made it through RNIP, a program that changes lives.