What’s the most important factor that a foreign skilled worker or entrepreneur must consider when exploring immigration destinations? Choosing a country to immigrate is a complex decision, but the most important factor to consider is—does the country need immigrants?
When you consider this parameter, you will quickly realize that Canada is a must-include in your list of potential immigration destinations. For Canada, attracting and accepting immigrants is beyond just filling vacant job positions.
Canada’s unique status in terms of its geography, demography, public policy, and economy makes immigration an essential and integral component of a functional and effective growth strategy.
Canada is the second-largest country in the world but is ranked 229th out of 240 regions across the globe in terms of population density.
Further, Canada’s unique geography means population distribution is very uneven. Some urban centers and regions are more densely populated than some European countries while the population density in the northern regions swings to the other extreme.
This means Canada, despite all modern advancements, remains a treasure trove of natural economic resources waiting to be explored and utilized.
Canada’s Unique Demography
Complicating matters for Canada is the twin problem of an aging population and low birth rate. This means more and more aged Canadians are existing the labor force but not enough youngsters are stepping in to replace them.
This demographic situation creates an obvious problem in terms of shortage of labor for Canada.
Shortage of Labor
The skewed distribution of population combined with the demographic issue contribute to the acute shortage of labor that Canada faces. Jobs may be scarce in the more urban centers while the Canada that exists beyond the big cities is struggling to find labor to keep the economy running.
Between 2008 and 2020, Canada’s debt to GDP ratio grew by 32.5 percent as compared to an average increase of around 14 percent in other developed countries.
The combination of high public debt and a rapidly-aging population can lead to prolonged economic stagnation, as was witnessed in Japan post the boom in the 1980s.
Till date, Canada has avoided the worst of its geographic, demographic, and economic disadvantages by being an open and inclusive society for foreign skilled workers.
A specialized immigration program like the Atlantic Immigration program helps balance the population imbalance by attracting skilled workers specifically to sparely-populated areas.
Entrepreneur streams of provincial nomination programs require lower minimum investments from applicants prepared to setup their business in rural or non-urban centers of the province.
Canada has rolled out a Rural and Northern Immigration pilot program, which goes a step beyond PNPs and allows rural communities to select its immigrants.
Unlike other developed countries, Canada needs immigrants as much as immigrants need a friendly destination like Canada. While immigration programs may be modified to ensure movement of workers to regions facing labor shortage, it can be safely said that Canada’s immigration-friendly policies are likely to continue in the future as well.