Canada is built on the love and labour of immigrants from all over the world, but new immigrants are no longer feeling as welcome as they once did.
A new poll conducted by Leger on behalf of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) demonstrates this worrying pattern: 30% of new Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 say they’re likely to move to another country in the next two years.
Plus, 23% of immigrants with a university education also plan on leaving around the same time.
A new national survey conducted by @leger360 on behalf of @inclusion_ca — Canada’s leading citizenship organization & the world’s foremost voice on citizenship and inclusion — challenges cherished Canadian assumptions about immigration and citizenship. https://t.co/u9WGYYjbAd 1/7 pic.twitter.com/hOS0Q7eTna
— Institute for Canadian Citizenship (@inclusion_ca) March 23, 2022
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Immigrating to Canada is a labour-intensive and expensive process, requiring attestations, police checks, degree evaluations, language tests, and extremely detailed records of the applicant’s travel, residential, and sometimes family history.
Even the most competent workers must find ways to have enough points to qualify for Canadian immigration programs, such as the express entry program, to find a safe haven in the True North they can call home.
Why then, after all that work, do so many want to leave?
Leger’s survey shows that Canadians (immigrants and non-immigrants) believe the country provides immigrants with a good quality of life. That said, Canadians have a much more positive outlook on the nation’s immigration policy compared to new Canadian immigrants — the group that has toiled through.
“New immigrants are more likely to believe that Canadians don’t understand the challenges that immigrants face and feel the rising cost of living will make immigrants less likely to stay in Canada,” the ICC report reads.
Newcomers with university degrees tend to have less favourable opinions on matters related to fair job opportunities and pay than other immigrants.
That tracks with the fact that most foreign aspirants have to send their degrees to evaluation bodies like World Education Services (WES) or International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS), which create Canadian equivalencies for them.
The process is expensive and often demotivating, as sometimes foreign degrees are not recognized at all. Your master’s degree may also be downgraded to a bachelor’s degree.
Leger also mentions that newcomers who “would not recommend Canada as a place to live” say their reasons include the current leadership, the enormous cost of living, and the fact that their foreign work experience is not really recognized.
Furthermore, 25% of new Canadians feel that the anti-government-mandate trucker convoy made them feel less welcome in the country.
“The data suggest that younger, highly skilled immigrants in particular are starting to fall between the cracks,” said Dave Scholz, executive vice president at Leger. “We need to continue working hard to ensure that we are welcoming newcomers with the resources they need to succeed, and that we continue to be a country that provides opportunity.”
Read the full report here.