The pandemic may have disrupted job markets across the globe but a Feb 2021 Statistics Canada report has highlighted that things were looking up for new skilled worker immigrants entering Canada.

As per latest data, the median wage for new immigrants entering Canada for the year 2018 was at record highs. The median wage is the midway point where 50% of the immigrants earn more than the median wage while the other 50% earn below this figure.

And until the pandemic struck, median wage levels for new immigrants entering Canada was making setting a new record high in every new year.

The 2017 report indicated that immigrants landing in 2016 were earning a record-high median wage of $26,500 per year. The 2018 report for 2017 landings showed that this figure was surpassed with the median wage for 2017 at $30,100 per year.

Further, those with a study permit and a work permit i.e. those who studied in Canada and then got a job here had a median wage of $44,000 per year.

Those without a Canada degree who had got a job and work permit here had a median entry wage of $39,100.

The most impressive thing was that these two figures were more than the median entry age earned by a native Canadian worker in 2018—$37,400 per year.

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Actionable Points for Your Canadian Dream

It’s important to look beyond the numbers and understand the important actionable points underlying this data.

For starters, entry wage for a worker with Canadian study experience and work permit is significantly higher than similar wage for a native Canadian. So, your first preference should be to complete a study course in Canada before moving on to a work permit.

Remember, the figure in the report is the median wage, which means you can easily focus on getting a job with a much higher wage. And being the entry wage, you can plan for significant increase in your earnings as you gain more experience in Canada.

Secondly, your chances of getting a job and work permit in Canada is higher if you focus on high-wage positions. So, if you are in a low-wage position, the smartest option is to boost your qualifications, skills, and experience to shift to high-skill high-wage position.

You will probably need the assistance of an immigration professional to identify the right NOC code for you and will need to enhance your key responsibilities and duties accordingly. This means the preparation to qualify for an ITA must begin years before you actually get a job and move to Canada.

Thirdly, Canada experience matters. The median wage for immigrants without any experience in Canada is significantly lower as compared to other immigrants as well as native Canadians. The median wage for an immigrant without any Canadian experience is just $22,600.

The median wage for new immigrants has been steadily rising since Express Entry was introduced in 2014. This clearly shows that Canada’s immigration system is geared towards skilled workers who can attract high wages from Canadian employers.

To succeed, you must focus on joining the category of these workers instead of hoping that you will just get lucky and qualify for a low-skill low-wage position.

If gaining Canadian experience is not feasible, then good alternate options to boost your immigration prospects including learning French, considering self-employed work permits, or Intra-Company Transfers to get that valuable one-year Canadian work experience that will help you qualify through the FSWP or the CEC programs.  

Canada’s Long-Term Potential Remains Intact

The most important takeaway from this report is that Canada was a great option for immigrants through 2017 to 2019. The pandemic has hurt the economy but Canada’s economic potential for immigrants remains stable and attractive.

With Canada likely to conduct more monster draws like the one held in Feb 2021, you should focus on getting into Canada as soon as possible. This will ensure you don’t lose out on such fantastic opportunities restricted to those eligible under the Canada Experience Class program.

Finally, the onus in upon you to upskill yourself. Low-wage positions can and will be filled by native Canadians. The country lacks highly-skilled talent, which means the right candidate can easily name his/her price and get a job with a hefty salary in Canada.

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