It was one of the most important decisions of Natasha Thompson’s life. She had just learned she was expecting her first child, and her employer was retiring: She had nine months to decide where her life was headed.
As a constituency assistant to MP David Kilgour, she had been working primarily on immigration issues and recognized the need to help people enter and settle in Canada. She decided to train through Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants, the only body that certifies professionals for this relatively new industry. She completed the full training during her pregnancy.
Natasha started Monarch Consulting in 2006, intent on working at home and spending time with her son. She was so busy that finding an office became a necessity. As one of only 14 registered consultants in Edmonton, she is filling a void created by the province’s hot economy, assisting employers who require foreign workers. She also works with people who want to remain in Canada, and arranges visas for students and travelers. But, Natasha’s greatest joy is in reuniting families.
She cites the case of a Canadian woman who married a man from Africa. The couple was split by thousands of miles and forced by immigration rules to somehow prove their relationship even though they could rarely take the long, expensive journey. Natasha worked tirelessly to reunite them and recalls the best part of her job. “The look on someone’s face when you call them in… and say, ‘You got it, he got the visa.’ It’s like Christmas!” Now, the couple has children and, like many of her other clients, keeps in touch.
The 29-year old admits it is difficult balancing her time between work and home. In addition to advocating for her clients, she handles all the business-related tasks such as bookkeeping and advertising. But, the extra responsibility makes her more focused and moves her, and her business, forward.
Currently, Natasha is expanding her practice into Ghana in West Africa. “Canada is looking for educated individuals,” she says, “but some parts of the world are not being tapped for that.” She is in discussions with the embassy there and setting up an office to help qualified people through immigration procedures so they can create new lives here.
Natasha is dedicated to making dreams of better lives come true both overseas and in Alberta.