Jul 22, 2021

How I Immigrated to Canada as a Dentist

How to Immigrate to Canada as a Dentist with Canada Arrivals sign, COVID-19

Dreams don’t work unless you do.

Remember, we shared a dream? Receiving a Doctor of Dental Studies degree. Well, I had to work hard to turn it into reality. 

The first step towards my vision was to immigrate to Canada through permanent residency (PR).

A quick google search gave me the following prerequisites including:

– The creation of an Express Entry profile;
– An equivalency evaluation of my university credentials with World Education Services (WES);
– An IELTS score of 7 or higher;
– And steady financial resources to undertake the journey.

When deciding to move to a new country, support from my family became the backbone of the transition. Being a young dentist, I couldn’t afford to shoulder the expense of immigration plus the cost of settling in Canada on my own. Fortunately for me, my parents decided to tackle the money monster so I could work towards my DDS dream. 

However, that wasn’t all. There was also the dilemma of whether uprooting myself from my comfort zone was necessary? As a practicing dentist, should I give up a clinical practice, everything I worked so hard for from the tender age of 17, and move to a new country where I’d have to recertify and prove my credentials again? What about the settling struggle? Since my degree would be non-accredited, I wouldn’t be able to step foot into a dental office to even be an assistant without first getting an assisting (HARP) license. I had to be ready to do odd jobs to support myself. How would I silence the voice in my head that would constantly tell me, “But you’re a doctor in India, and you’re serving coffee in Canada?” Not to forget the fact that my peers would have finished their Master’s by the time I was only halfway through my licensing.

Would the DDS be worth it all? 

The decision wasn’t easy but for me, it had to be made, and I agreed to give myself a fighting chance. Ten years down the line, I did not want to wake up with the regret of not trying just because I was scared of the struggle. Time was going to run its course, and I’d get older anyway. Why not try and achieve something I really wanted in the meantime?

In an attempt to put my best foot forward, I decided to engage with two immigration services to help me with my application process for a PR visa. They were my first contacts with the Canadian world, answered all my doubts patiently, and held my hand every step of the way, making sure there were no complications with my profile. If this was what Canadian culture was all about, boy, was I excited to immigrate!

Once my profile was created, it was time to start working on my supporting documentation. I immediately applied to take my IELTS exam and got in touch with my alma mater, Manipal University, to have my academic records sent to World Education Services. Fortunately, there weren’t any hiccups and my decision to engage in professional services felt right.

Once all the documents had been submitted, the waiting games had begun. From being picked in the draw to my visa application approval, the process took almost 14 months and my peace of mind. Since this wasn’t in anyone’s control, my application was life’s practical lesson in patience and I learned it the hard way!

Before then, I was naive enough to believe that I had weathered the storm. However, the visa was just a wave in a pre-stormy sea.

Little did I know that the real storm was going to be the NDEB

Dr. Pallak Razdan is a dentist and the Social Media Director at EDMS Dental. She is a contributing Prep Doctors’ writer focusing on her journey to Canada, the NDEB equivalency process, and a broad scope of Canadian dentistry.