On a warm morning in July, I took the elevator down to the bottom of the building and found myself in the waiting room of a tiny office.
It was empty, save for a couple of desks and a couple more chairs.
I walked up to the desk in the corner, picked up my paperwork and sat down.
Then I opened the door and walked to the doorframe.
I saw the face of my future boss.
“I have a great idea,” he said, smiling broadly.
I didn’t need to hear a single word from him.
I had arrived.
The job that I was about to embark upon was going to be my first job in Canada.
I was going home.
A year later, I still remember the moment with some trepidation.
After all, I was a young and ambitious immigrant from a small country who was looking to start a new life in Canada, where I would be reunited with my family and friends.
But I was excited about the possibility of a job that had so many advantages.
I could earn enough money to support myself, with my fiancé and three children on the way.
I also had a solid job security plan, so I knew I would have enough time to complete the job.
So I took a seat in the chair and waited for the call.
Hello, we just had a phone call with the company.
It’s our first time here.”
I was not ready for this, I thought.
I should be happy.
I hadn’t really imagined what my future would hold.
But the call was not about my visa.
It had nothing to do with my job.
I wanted to speak to my supervisor, who I had just met.
And I wanted him to know about my upcoming visa application.
As soon as I stepped inside, I saw him in his office, standing beside a desk.
“You want to apply?” he asked.
He was not going to say a word.
He just stared at the wall, with a serious expression on his face.
“Good luck, you have my full attention.”
I walked out, not knowing what to say.
I knew my time was coming.
I have a bad feeling about this.
I am a Canadian citizen.
I do not belong to any political party or organization.
I want to be a Canadian.
But, I’m worried that Canada’s immigration system will be completely dysfunctional in the next five years, if this happens.
The system will collapse.
I know this because my Canadian Citizenship Act has already been changed so that it doesn’t give me the right to apply to Canada’s permanent residency or citizenship.
This means that even if I am granted permanent residency, I will not have the right of entry into Canada and the right for permanent residence.
It means that I cannot go to Canada and be part of a team with people from other countries.
That means that we will not be able to go to events and conferences like this.
The same goes for travel, which will also be restricted.
In the future, I am going to lose all of the benefits of Canadian citizenship, and even if we are able to come back to Canada, we won’t be able travel in the same way.
It will be harder to visit my parents and my siblings.
It is going to take longer for me to get married and start a family.
It won’t matter if I have an education, because I am not a Canadian at all.
This is going too far, I realized.
I looked around the office and saw that I would not be the only one who had these concerns.
The fear was so intense that even the other employees at the office started asking each other: What if this happened?
What if I had to go back to my home country to work?
I felt as though I was at the end of my rope.
As I left, I did not know if I would ever see my family again.
I left the office in tears.
I don’t want to leave this country, I said.
A month later, in September 2018, I returned to the United States to live in my new home.
The thought of returning to my family made me feel as if I was back home.
But this time I was feeling a little more comfortable.
I felt more connected to my new family.
I made a list of things I would need to do, and I kept them in my wallet, in case I had any future questions about my status.
I bought a new pair of shoes.
I started planning a new career.
I took on a new job.
When my new boss called me on the phone the next day, he told me that I had done a very good job in my visa application and that I should go home now.
“Congratulations,” he told my fiancée.
“The visa was approved, so you are now in Canada.”
She was excited.
She asked me what I would do if the visa wasn’t approved.
“Well, you can go home, of course