top of page

From English Student to PR - A success story | Learn Jackie’s path to Permanent Residence

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

The interesting part about Jackie’s story is that she never thought of herself as an ideal candidate for PR. She originally came to Canada because her English was so bad that she couldn’t get into the training program she originally wanted! We’ll tell you about her ups and downs and how she ended up conquering her fear of English, successfully landing a job, and getting a PR 💪.

“It is important for you when you start thinking about studying and living abroad to know your goal behind it because that will help you make smarter decisions. So for me, my goal was to learn English, yes, but I did not want my whole life to start all over, so I wanted to be able to work while I studied.”

Jackie is from Brazil and came as an international student in 2017. Initially, with the intention to improve her English, she arrived in Kelowna, BC, to do a 3-month program and start her life as an international student in Canada.

Towards the end of her program, Jackie decided to practice her English by getting job interviews. Little did she know she would get offered a position at a local company! Even better, the company told her they would find a way to work out her visa situation.

Having this opportunity made Jackie so excited that she did not apply to the training program she wanted to attend in the first place, but two weeks later, she would come to regret this decision. The company contacted her to say they would not be able to hire her, landing a blow to Jackie’s heart. The news was so upsetting that it affected her health, and she ended up having labyrinthitis, with which she could not handle light or walk by herself without falling. And this is when Jackie fell apart and wanted to give up and go back to Brazil.

“Community is really important because when you are by yourself here, it can be really lonely. It can be really sad. There are a lot of times in which you want to give up, and like my teacher was there for me at those times, my friends were there for me, you know? When I thought my English was not good enough… they were there, and they helped me go through all of it.”

If that were the end of the story, Jackie wouldn’t be our student of the month.

“I ended up applying to the training program in Vancouver and passed the English test, but they changed the initial date, which affected my ability to find a job, and my savings were almost gone. The solution was to freelance remotely until my course started.”

Having studied English for only 3 months, Jackie’s English was far from perfect. She moved to Vancouver and started her program, froze in front of her class during her first presentation, cried out of frustration, picked herself up again, and forced herself to speak more English by volunteering to be a brand ambassador for the school.

Despite still not having the best English (her words, not ours 😬), her professionalism and experience eventually led her to occupy a position as the Head of Marketing for a Vancouver tech startup. This job ended up giving her the opportunity to apply for PR, so we asked what was her suggestion to students wanting a PR.

“Well, first of all, people need to know that PR is not usually the final goal! Citizenship is actually the final goal. PR and citizenship are different things. Yes, the PR helps a lot, but it is a status you need to renew every 5 years, so citizenship is the good one! Also, do your research on what your immigration options are towards PR, ‘cause depending on where you are from, there are different ways to get it.”
“As a Brazilian, I knew I had to take my opportunity because it was basically the only way I had to stay. There were no other paths (I got the PR through provincial nomination, also known as PNP, so if you are Brazilian, make sure to look that up 😉).”

Then why, after all this time, going from being an English student with no intention of staying in Canada to working for a successful multinational company and having a PR, does Jackie want to stay in Canada?

“Well, it was a couple of things. First, I’ve already had the experience of being a Marketing Director here in Vancouver, and I realized that’s not really what I want for my life. Living here with so many people from so many different cultures helped open my mind, and I wanted to explore more, you know?
The second started when I went back to Brazil for the first time. I love Brazil but going back home made me realize there is no “home” for me anymore. After 2 years away, I realized having an international experience had changed my perspective of the world and its problems.
That was the moment I decided I wanted to give it a try in Vancouver. I still think there is no place like Brazil with energy and lovely people, but now I feel I belong to the world and not a specific land. I have so much to see and explore, and living in Canada is so much easier to travel.”

Jackie currently works as a marketing manager at Microverse, an online coding school. At the same time, she is building her path toward being one of the best comedians out there!! She has been doing comedy IN ENGLISH over the past few years and has incorporated her English level as part of her act! She is not ashamed or nervous about it anymore; on the contrary, she embraces it!

Note: Want to take a peek at Jackie’s comedy? Follow her on Instagram at @thejackiejoy for her content in Portuguese 🇧🇷 or @thebraziliancomedian for her content in English 🇨🇦.

Did you enjoy this article and find it useful? Join our THRIVVE community on Slack. Help is just a question away!

77 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page