18 June 2015 is the date that I will never forget. It was the day when I with my sweet daughters Sarah and Aleeza became Australian citizens in a beautiful ceremony at Holroyd Centre, Merrylands. The best thing was that it was the 1st of Ramadan 1436.
How I chose Australia to live in is a very interesting story. It was in 2001 when I used to work in an engineering consultancy in Lahore named as NEC. I had two senior colleagues Mr. Habib ur Rehman and Ms. Bushra Waheed who had studied in Sydney. During the break time they both used to share the memories of their time spent in Sydney. I always had a strong desire of getting immigration of some developed country for giving a better future to my kids. Most of my friends were applying for the Canadian immigration those days. After listening the beautiful stories about Sydney I asked Habib that if there was any opportunity for me to get Australian visa so that I could visit Sydney as my parents could not afford paying for my education overseas. Habib, out of my surprise, informed me about the Australian immigration. He added that it was not much popular between the engineering professionals because of tough requirements.
My younger brother Majid (late) in March 2002 left for Melbourne for completing his Computer Sciences degree. Till that time I was undetermined about migrating to Canada or Australia. Australian immigration was difficult as engineers had to write a very difficult technical report that had to be approved from the Institute of Engineers Australia before applying for the immigration. Majid before leaving for Australia advised me to take a final decision about migrating. In his love I decided to apply for the Australian immigration. I prepared the CDR at my own without having even a sample with me. My report writing skills and Allah’s special blessings got the report approved within a week, without a single comment. Then I applied for the immigration. We were awarded immigration in December 2003. In March 2004 I joined Majid in Melbourne, which is the second largest city of Australia. It was a very beautiful city but unfortunately couldn’t prove lucky for me. In June however I left Australia as I could not have been able to get an engineering job. However before leaving I visited Sydney for just 3 days and I fell in love with the ‘Harbour City’.
Later Majid also left Australia and returned back to Pakistan. I once again visited Australia in September 2007 for just 8 days. I stayed four days each in Sydney and Melbourne. In Sydney my friend Mohsin arranged my stay in Lakemba. He took great care of me during my stay there. That was the time when I got strong desire of living in Australia but I had to return because I had to join a very good organisation in Dubai.
Majid passed away in 2009. In 2007 we had moved to Dubai. Later in December 2008 my Australian visa got expired and I lost any hope of moving back to Australia again in my life. In those days my very nice friend Dr. Mohsin Iftikhar was on his visit to the UAE and he also visited me in Sharjah. Mohsin showed me his Australian passport and insisted on getting the Australian citizenship at any cost. Long story cut short, I in September 2010 applied for the Resident Return Visa from Dubai. I was interviewed in Australian Consulate General by Mr. Michael Kelly (the name that I can never forget) for about 45 minutes and he advised me to wait for a week for the decision. However it took a long time and the day I had my flight from Abu Dhabi to Lahore for my permanent exit from UAE, I got his call around 7:00 pm in which he greeted me on getting my immigration restored.
On December 28, 2010 I landed in Sydney and started living here. Mohsin arranged my initial accommodation with some students in Lakemba. Later I applied for my family’s visas and they joined me here on the 21st of April 2012. We started living in Merrylands. I love Australia although I passed through many challenges since my arrival here. This is a country where there is rule of law and no one is above the law. All Australians are treated equally. I am very happy to share that Dr. Mohsin Iftikhar has also returned back to Australia after getting a job with Charles Stuart University. I am thankful to Allah SWT for His blessings on me and my kids. In friends I am highly thankful to Mohsin and Nasir who provided their ongoing support and showed sincerity during my thick and thin. I am sharing some memorable pictures here for showing my love for my own AUSTRALIA!!!!