Canada was recently ranked as the most-preferred destination for foreign skilled workers across the world. One reason why Canada displaced the US as the world’s preferred immigrant destination was the anti-immigration policies and rhetoric of Donald Trump.
But the US no longer has a President who feels foreign skilled workers steal jobs from Americans and that skilled worker programs like the H-1B should be terminated. So, is it time to shift your focus back to the US when considering foreign study/work/immigration options?
To choose the US over Canada is probably the biggest and worst mistake that you can make when planning your immigration strategy. The US maybe claiming to be an immigrant-friendly destination again. But, there’s a huge difference between actually being a great destination for skilled immigrants and simply claiming to be one.
No Immigration Shutdown Despite the Pandemic
There’s no real connection between the pandemic, job losses, and immigration. Yet, the US rushed to shut down its immigration programs in a bid to save jobs for pandemic-hit Americans.
Canada, on the other hand, kept its immigration programs online and did its best to encourage foreign skilled workers to apply for work permits/permanent residence in Canada.
This is very important because you don’t want to choose a country that treats foreign skilled workers with valuable skills and abilities as an unnecessary and avoidable burden.
Skilled Workers Always Welcome
Canada deployed numerous measures and policies aimed at boosting immigration into Canada. All procedure deadlines were extended so that no qualified applicant loses out merely due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Procedural relaxations apart, Canada conducted a monster CEC-only Express Entry draw that saw more than 27,000 Invitations to Apply being issued to skilled workers.
Further, Canada has announced six new PR streams for healthcare workers, non-healthcare essential workers, and international graduates. Open for a period of six months, these streams are expected to help around 90,000 skilled workers to qualify for Canadian permanent residence.
Extended PGWP Opportunities for Foreign Graduates
The Post Graduate Work Permit is an open work permit available for most international graduates in Canada. Recognizing that the pandemic’s impact on the job market, Canada extended the validity of PGWP work permits for those graduating during the pandemic.
This move gives international graduates an additional 18 months to live and work in Canada. This sensible move is expected to increase the pool of young skilled workers with Canadian study and work experience for Canadian employers to hire.
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More Power to Provinces and Communities to Boost Immigration
Canada’s immigration system avoids excessive centralization of powers with the Federal Government. Instead, provinces too are free to setup and run their own immigration programs This has helped provinces focus on occupations facing shortage of skilled workers and create a positive link between skilled immigration and economic growth.
Even Quebec, which is probably the most conservative of Canadian provinces when it comes to immigration, has announced three new pilots aimed at different occupations including healthcare and tech workers.
No Lowering of Immigration Targets
Canada could have easily chosen to cut its immigration targets after the pandemic. Instead, Canada has resorted to aggressive measures like massive EE draws and temporary PR programs to boost immigration.
This clearly underlines that Canada needs immigrants and is willing to do all that is necessary to achieve its goal. So, what are the actionable takeaways for you?
Canada ticks all the points that people consider for when comparing immigration destinations.
- A transparent and predictable immigration system
- Multiple immigration programs and streams
- Multiple options at federal, provincial, and local level.
- Easy immigration options for skilled workers, international graduates, and entrepreneurs.
- The country needs immigrants for strong economic, demographic, and social reasons.
So, Canada should be your first choice when exploring immigration to a foreign country.
Canada has a very ambitious target of more than 1.5 million immigrants over the next 2-3 years. This means a skilled worker with strong work experience and good transferable skills stands a very good chance of landing a great job in Canada. This can easily be the first step towards a permanent life in Canada.
So, check out your eligibility today and work with an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney to explore all available programs, streams, and options today.