Are you a skilled worker struggling to get an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence? Or, are you focusing on a work permit but are struggling to get a job offer from an eligible Canadian employer?
Perhaps you are making the same mistake that millions of skilled workers across the world make—focusing on Canada’s big cities only.
Ontario gets more than half of the total immigrants who settle in Canada. About eight out of every ten immigrants who move to Canada settle in one of its big cities. These two data points suggests over-concentration of immigrant talent in the urban areas of just two or three Canadian provinces.
Working-Age Immigrants—Needed Across Canada
Canada needs immigrants because its population is aging and the rate of youngsters entering the labor face is far less than the rate of aged seniors retiring from work. And this need is not restricted to just the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario or just the capital cities of big provinces.
From communities in rural Quebec to the interiors of Nova Scotia to the four Atlantic provinces—lack of skilled workers is a problem that exists across Canada.
So, the simplest way to boost your chances of getting a job offer or an Invitation to Apply is to simply look beyond popular cities for immigrants and explore less-popular options.
As long as you get a good job that combines opportunities for professional growth with good remuneration, does it really matter whether you are in a big metro or a smaller town in Canada?
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Don’t Blindly Reject Other Options
There’s nothing wrong in searching for jobs in the big cities of Canada. However, don’t blindly reject opportunities in smaller cities and in rural areas. If it fits your job profile and future plans, then applying for such a job can help you to move and start working in Canada.
Exploring the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and the Rural and Community Pilot programs will help you avoid overcrowded immigration destinations and boost your chances of getting a work permit or an ITA.
These options become particularly attractive if you have study or work experience in any of the four Atlantic provinces or in one of the communities participating in the Rural pilot. You don’t need to bother about CRS cut-offs and whether you qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker program under Express Entry.
Your biggest challenge will be securing a job offer and tackling this will open a smooth route to direct permanent residence in Canada.
Go Strategic with a Canadian Degree
Think strategically and consider joining a degree or diploma in a specific community or province to boost your immigration prospects. This may push your work plans in Canada by an year or two but the Canadian experience can help you qualify for provincial nomination or a direct PR ITA from the community without any hassles.
If you are young enough, then this can be a very smart move that can help you overcome all the obstructions to your immigration chances and secure your long-term future in Canada.
Don’t Ignore the Covid-19 Impact
Congested and overcrowded cities have been worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Smaller urban areas and rural communities are better-positioned to continue routine economic and social life despite social distancing restrictions.
This means skilled workers within and outside Canada may have already begun shifting their focus from big cities to the interiors. In such a scenario, sticking to a big-city-only plan can actually put you at a significant disadvantage over the long run.
Look for Sector-Specific Hubs within Canada
Toronto has become one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in North America today due to focused efforts by the government and tech companies to create a vibrant ecosystem in and around the Greater Toronto Area.
So, look for similar hubs in sectors like automobile manufacturing, life sciences, oil and gas drilling and refining, and even service sectors in other parts of the country. This approach will help you bypass the competition and secure a job in an upcoming hub very easily.
Once you are in Canada and once you have the advantage of Canadian work experience in your resume, you can explore other options and even consider moving and settling in a big city if you still wish to do so.