“They were really helpful throughout my journey, and they taught me a lot. When I want to travel to a different place, I usually go with my colleagues. They are my good friends.”
Manish’s work friends celebrated with him when he achieved his permanent residency (PR) in January 2022 through the Rural Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP). He says they are the best part about his job at Safety Net Security at Teck’s Trail Operations, where he works as a security guard and administrator.
Manish is eager to seek more opportunities within Teck and recently aced his first aid level three-course. “I’m thinking of going into Occupational Health and Safety. I’m hoping to take more courses,” he says eagerly.
Attending Selkirk College for accounting brought him to Canada from Punjab, India, in 2017. He’d heard about the college from an agent from back home and was impressed with the tuition fees compared to his other options. “I researched the college on Google and found that it’s a good college surrounded by a good community.”
It’s the beauty of Canada that helped inspire his interest in photography. Manish is stoked that he gets to show his uncles around town when they visit him from Ontario in June. “I really enjoy living in the mountains,” he says. “It’s totally different from where I’m from. I love going to the lakes and visiting different places.”
Even though he’s excited about his uncle’s visit, he admits he wants to be with his family sooner. He’ll be visiting his sister and grandma in India later this year and hopes that one day they’ll be able to move to the Kootenays so that they can be closer together.
“It’s the best and easiest way to get your PR,” says Manish about RNIP. “I had some friends who, before RNIP, had to move to different provinces when they were done school. I want to say that the program gives lots of opportunities for students to come here, and I think it increases the interest of those students who select this community and want to see it evolve and contribute to it. It gives us the opportunity not to start over again from scratch.”
He also says how grateful he is to Erin Rooney, the program manager at RNIP, who was always there to help him out. “I asked her a bunch of questions and emailed her so many times. She always wrote back right away. She was very helpful and gave me directions on filling out my applications.”
Manish is one of the applicants that successfully made it through the West Kootenay RNIP, a program that changes lives.