BALJINDER Kaur and her husband Harsharnpal Singh left India 11 years ago. On Australia Day the mother of three will finally receive her citizenship.
Hailing from Punjab in North India, the couple left their family and friends and embarked on a journey for a better life down under.
Baljinder was six months pregnant when they arrived in Queensland.
"I came over as a student, despite already obtaining an Master of Business Administration in India, I was unable to find a job and the casual work pay was very low," she said.
Times were tough while Baljinder studied accounting for three years and her husband worked as a taxi driver. When Ravneet was born, the couple made the painful decision to send her back to India to be raised by her grandparents while Baljinder finished her studies.
"We were staying with friends, and I was only allowed to work a few hours a week while studying, our money went to food and we were saving for our permanent residency visa," she said.
The mother saw her daughter once in four years before Ravneet returned to Australia.
"It's been a long journey but we finally got our permanent residency in 2013," she said.
During this time, Baljinder's parents died - something she remembers with sadness as she was not able to be there with her father when he died.
"It's hard to move, leave family and friends - we got PR but I lost everything else."
Despite having a MBA and a degree in accounting, Baljinder works as a carer and her husband is now a truck driver. The couple had two more children, Asees, 5 and Harpal Singh, 3.
But she said Australia is now her home and she does not wish to return to India.
"I have more freedom in Australia and the system works. I know my children will able to study and get good jobs. We also love the hot weather in Queensland," she said.
Baljinder and Ravneet will make the Australian citizenship pledge at the Logan Council Australia Day ceremony on Tuesday.