The virus, mutations and all, has run its course and the pandemic is unlikely to cast its shadow on 2022 as well. In such a scenario, it may be time to take a closer look at your Canada immigration strategy.
Where should you immigrate in Canada? More than half of all immigrants entering Canada prefer just three cities—Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. So, does that mean you too should blindly choose one of these three cities?
Or, is there more to selecting the right city or province to settle in Canada? And how exactly should you make your choice?
Do Skilled Immigrants Always Settle in Big Cities? Not Really!
Between 2013 to 2019, there was a 45 percent increase in the number of immigrants settling in smaller cities in Canada.
There was a 40 percent increase in immigrants settling in Census Metropolitan Areas in Canada. These Areas often includes communities and towns surrounding the cities.
In contrast, immigration into Canada’s four-biggest cities rose by just nine percent between 2013 and 2019.
Toronto and Vancouver have 163 and 128 immigrants per 10,000 residents respectively. This is not as impressive as it sounds because there are 14 other smaller Canadian cities that had an immigration rate of more than 100 per 10,000 residents.
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Conclusion—Immigrants Do Settle in Smaller Cities of Canada
The pandemic may have highlighted the negatives of living in congested cities with stretched public services and other facilities. However, the numbers clearly show that there is a clear shift in choice of cities for skilled immigrants entering Canada.
So, the whole big-cities-are-the-best point just doesn’t make sense. Instead, it’s time to analyze the advantages and benefits of choosing the right city to immigrate into Canada irrespective of its size.
Immigrants Grow When Cities Grow
No city, province, or region can continue to grow permanently. Growth attracts skilled talent. Then growth stagnates as more and more people settle in the city. People leave seeking better options. And then favorable government policies and other factors kick start growth and the cycle begins all over again.
The smartest way for you and your family to grow in Canada is to choose a city or destination that has not yet reached its saturation point. Big cities like Toronto and Vancouver may seem like a good choice today but will it remain so for the next 20 years?
This is the question you need to ask when comparing cities in Canada.
Where Does the Government Want Immigrants to Settle?
Employers in Toronto are under no obligation to offer any settlement assistance to immigrants. On the other hand, the Atlantic Immigration pilot makes it mandatory for employers to work with settlement service providers and help immigrants move and settle in Canada.
So, where do authorities want to boost immigration—Toronto or the Atlantic Provinces? The answer’s pretty obvious, right?
Between 2009 and 2019, provinces that attracted most immigrants enjoyed the fastest economic growth. This means there is intense competition among Canadian provinces to attract skilled immigrants and it is up to you to use this to your advantage.
Here’s Your Immigration Action Plan
Have an open mind when comparing Canadian cities. Just because a city is small or not talked about does not mean it’s the wrong option for you.
Is it safe? Are there enough jobs? Is there scope for you and your family to live well? What about education facilities? How good are the public facilities? Are employers offering higher than average wages?
If yes, then obviously choosing such a city is better than blindly sticking to Toronto or Vancouver.
Next, use the link between immigration and economic growth to weed out unsuitable options. A city that is attracting skilled immigrants will obviously grow faster than its peers. This means you can skip low-growth cities as they are unlikely to offer good growth opportunities for you.
Finally, recognize the importance of working with experts. You need somebody who understands Canada, its economy, its immigration setup, and how all these have to be analyzed together when creating your immigration strategy. An immigration professional who can help you find a job in Canada, compare cities and provinces, analyze different immigration programs and streams, and help you in the application process can make a huge difference to your chances of quickly immigrating to Canada.