WHEN Farooq Mohammed migrated to Sydney eight years ago, he never imagined how his life would change.
The Indian expat, originally from Bangalor, now resides in West Hoxton with his wife Smita Umer and their two children.
The pair are both doctors, and Dr Umer works as an obstetrician serving the local community.
This Saturday, they will become Australian citizens.
Mr Mohammed said the greatest part of receiving his citizenship was that he and his family would become part of a country that respected and accepted citizens from all walks of life.
"Australia has offered us a great many opportunities and I couldn't have achieved what I have here if I was still in India."
Mr Mohammed said the major differences between life in Sydney and Bangalor was the emphasis put on social status.
"In Bangalor, we were considered a middle-class family," he said.
"The class system is very important in India, as there is a huge gap between rich and poor.
"Even though the gap is narrowing, and the middle class is growing, the opportunity to better yourself is limited."
He said ever since he arrived in Australia, the opportunity for progression had always been within reach.
"Both of our children were born here, and they are very fortunate to be exposed to a good quality of life straight away.
"We have found Australia to be a fair and welcoming place, free of discrimination and persecution.
"I really love that you can be an Australian and still keep your cultural values."