I first arrived in Australia on a tourist visa to visit my sister in Canberra. She asked me what I thought of Australia and I said “I love it and I want to study here”. I then applied for a student visa and spent about 3-4 years studying and doing a placement in my field. After this I decided to apply for permanent residency. I felt this is a good start for a new life. I have a job I love. My employer is very supportive and treats me well.

In my heart I feel great relief knowing that I now have a real future here. There were times when I did not think this would happen. I am really excited to know that I can work in my field as a permanent resident. I am also dreaming of owning my own place one day. It is so good to know that I can stay here and see my family whenever I want, unlike before when I was always sacred that I may have to leave and not be able to see them again.

The day I received my PR was life changing. I have so many choices now. I feel free to have the kind of life I want. I can work, go out with my friends, go to the gym and enjoy the beautiful beaches in Adelaide.

It was worth it, because although it cost a lot of money and time, and the process was difficult, it was the people around me who helped me with my visas who made the difference because they really cared for me. They were on the journey with me. Michelle always had time for me, no matter how busy she was. She takes the time just to have a chat or coffee with me because she really cares about me. I can still phone her anytime with any questions … and she doesn’t charge me! She always said she thought of me as her friend and she proved it. I feel so fortunate to have worked with her and have her by my side, especially during the difficult times when I cried a lot. Now we can smile together. I am so happy.