My Canadian immigrant story: The foreign credentials struggle

In News by MIIC

Ramanuj Basu passed the bar exam in Ontario

Last month, the BBC Canada team asked readers about their immigrant experience in Canada as the country celebrates its 150th anniversary. In this story, we look at the difficulty even highly-skilled immigrants face getting work.

Ramanuj Basu arrived in Canada in 2013, excited to begin a master’s degree in international business law.

At 29 years old, he had already studied law at the University of London, and had gained practical experience at a Delhi corporate law firm as a senior associate.

But Basu and his wife Veronika decided they wanted to try another country and chose Canada for the “quality of life”.

“We looked to it with excitement,” he says, even though they were leaving behind family and friends. “You’re making the move with great expectations.”

They knew there would be some sacrifice. Veronika worked two jobs to support the couple as Basu completed his degree at Toronto’s York University. Basu left behind his parents and sister in Delhi.

His father, Manoj, says they were “optimistic” about their success in a new country. Like so many other families separated by distance, he adds, modern communication is a blessing but not the same as seeing his son and daughter-in-law in person.

Basu knew he would need to prove his credentials. So he joined as a summer intern at a big business law firm, despite doing more advanced legal work in India.

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