What if Canada stops accepting so many skilled immigrants? What if it cuts its immigration targets and shuts down the various immigration programs and streams currently available to skilled workers and international graduates? What if, like the US, Canada decides it too doesn’t want any more skilled immigrants?
A country may accept refugees and asylum seekers out of pity and a sense of charity towards the needy. However, skilled immigration is a different point altogether. Canada’s love affair with skilled immigrants is based on solid economic and demographic factors, which means it’s likely to continue for a long time ahead.
Skilled Immigration—Replacing Canada’s Aging Population
By 2060, more than a quarter of Canada’s population will be aged above 65 years while youngsters will account for just 15 percent of the population. This means the social and economic cost of caring for elders will be spread over a small group of working-age individuals.
Further, Canada needs a fertility rate of 2.1 births per woman for its population to remain stable and not decline. Currently, Canada’s fertility rate is just 1.5 births per woman, which means Canada’s total population is set to decline in the coming decades.
Canada wants to boost skilled immigration primarily to negate this demographic disadvantage. Young skilled workers will create economic value in the country, boost economic growth and progress, and make it easier for the country to take care of its senior citizens.
Further, these young skilled workers will start families here and this will help further negate the demographic disadvantage.
Skilled Immigration—Taming Inflation
Long-term benefits apart, boosting skilled immigration is very important for Canada to keep various short-term economic data points under control.
Basic economics teaches us that high demand and low supply will push prices higher. Low supply of workers for skilled positions in Canada and high demand among Canadian employers will automatically force companies to pay higher wages to attract talent.
High wages means higher cost of production for Canadian manufacturers and service providers. This means Canadian products and services will be more expensive in the global market and Canadian exports will suffer.
Inside Canada, high production costs will mean costlier goods and services, which means an average Canadian will have to earn higher wages to afford them. This will lead to further high costs for companies and set off an unending increase in inflation.
Canada needs skilled workers to avoid this vicious inflation cycle, which means a US-like sudden and unexplained drop in skilled immigration is just not going to happen in Canada.
Skilled Immigration—Balanced Growth across Canada
Like all countries, there are some parts of Canada that are more developed than others. Developed provinces attract more skilled labor and financial capital than the less-developed provinces and this contributes to further imbalances.
Programs like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot help the Canadian government boost influx of skilled workers beyond the top two or three Canadian provinces. Boosting skilled immigration creates more opportunities, which will, in turn, attract more international students and foreign entrepreneurs.
Unlike those already living in the country, it’s easier for the Canadian government to get foreign workers to settle in less-developed provinces of the country. All this will contribute to faster and more sustained economic growth across Canada.
Skilled Immigration—Boosting Cultural and Social Diversity
Modern technology has transformed the world into one big village. Adopting an insular and restrictive approach towards movement of people into a country just doesn’t make sense today.
Unlike refugee or humanitarian immigration, skilled immigration involves fewer economic and social complications. A productive addition to society is always welcomed as compared to one who requires social and economic support.
For Canada, boosting skilled immigration is the easiest way to boost social and cultural diversity across the country. This strategy ensures Canada has a young and productive population with various demographic and economic problems under control along with the added benefit of greater social tolerance and diversity among its citizens.
What makes Canada unique is that its decentralized immigration setup prevents a mismatch between the requirements of its employers and the type of skilled workers being admitted by the government.
So, stop worrying about whether Canada immigration opportunities will continue in the future or not. Instead, plan your immigration/foreign study strategy today so that you too can look forward to a happy and prosperous future as a permanent resident in Canada.