Canada—Top Country for Skilled Workers Despite Pandemic Hurting Immigrants the Hardest

Surveys done at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Canada shows that immigrants were hit harder than Canadian citizens. Yet, Canada continues to remain the preferred destination for skilled workers and young students across the world. What’s the reason for this divergence?

Surveys done in April, June, and August 2020 covering close to 7,500 recent immigrants showed around 30 percent of the responders had either lost their jobs or had to work fewer hours for lower pay.

One in five persons had trouble finding affordable housing while one in ten were finding it difficult to buy essential products like groceries and medicines.

Yet, Canada is widely considered as a very immigrant-friendly destination. Skilled workers are applying for work permits as well as permanent residence in large numbers. Further, Canada has become the top study destination for foreign students across the world.  

Policy Stability

The pandemic’s disruptions happened despite and not because of Canada’s immigration policies. Canada has a very stable, predictable, and transparent immigration system where a foreign worker can easily identify the right path towards a work permit or permanent residence.

In contrast, policy stability is one thing that’s been missing in the US with frequent rule changes combined with controversial proposals making it impossible for immigrants to anticipate how their future will look.

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Demographic Factor

Canada needs immigrants to overcome its demographic disadvantage of low population of working-age individuals. The pandemic and the economic disruption that it caused has not changed this requirement.

This means the job losses and other hardships are just temporary and that the long-term prospects for immigrants in Canada are still attractive.

Pandemic’s Unique Impact  

The pandemic’s disruptive impact has not been the same across all sectors. Businesses in hospitality industry like restaurants, bars, and hotels have been forced to remain closed longer as compared to manufacturing, construction, or other sectors.

Since sectors like hospitality and entertainment and retail employ a higher proportion of immigrants, the adverse impact of the pandemic on employees of these sectors has been significantly higher.

If you are a skilled worker who wants to move to Canada, then there are two ways to tackle this situation.

One, you can treat this disruption as an act of god and hope that these issues don’t occur when you are in Canada on a work permit.

Or, you can use professional immigration services to identify measures to safeguard your position from even such unprecedented disruptions. Keep the following points in mind to ensure you are not the first to lose your Canadian job when a downturn hits the economy.

Secure the Right Job in Canada

The NOC matrix is extremely important for immigration because choosing the right NOC code and getting your occupation right is essential to land the right job. You must identify your key responsibilities, find out the right occupation code and number applicable to you, and search for jobs accordingly.

If you add value to your job, then your employer would try to retain you even if the business is not doing well. Similarly, applying through the right program is equally important. The TFWP is not the only program through which you can get a Canadian work permit.

The IMT i.e. International Mobility Program is a LMIA-exempt program, which means getting a new job after being let go by your existing employer will be a lot easier compared to positions that require mandatory LMIA.

High Wage is Good!

Try to shift from low-wage jobs to high wage positions as quickly as possible. If required, invest in a study program in Canada to give yourself a better chance of landing a job that falls in the high-wage category in Canada.

Temporary jobs and low-wage positions are invariably the first to be hit during troubled economic times. So, such a transition will give you an extra edge of

Move from Work Permit to Permanent Residence ASAP

Canadian PRs were eligible for the financial assistance provided by the government to pandemic-hit businesses. Work permit holders, on the other hand, struggled to enjoy the same benefits.

This means qualifying for an ITA and getting your PR application into the system can help you avoid unnecessary complications and issues. So, don’t delay matters and put your career and Canadian dreams at risk by sticking to your work permit.

The smartest way out is to rely on professional immigration assistance from the first day. With so many programs and streams open for temporary and permanent workers, play it safe to keep your Canadian dream alive.

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