Canada is an immigrant-friendly country with scores of immigration programs at federal and provincial level for skilled workers and entrepreneurs. The country has an immigration target in excess of a million migrants for the next three years.
But will it last? Will the pandemic and its huge job losses lead to a U-turn in Canada’s immigration? Will Canada’s pro-immigration approach continue in the future as well?
Well, you will have these concerns only if you don’t understand why Canada is so focused on boosting skilled immigration. The truth is that Canada needs immigrants and it needs them in huge numbers. Let us take a look at the various economic, social, and demographic reasons behind Canada’s pro-immigration policies.
No Population Growth in Canada without Immigration
Virtually all provinces of Canada are staring at the twin problems of an aging population and very few births. This means Canada already doesn’t have enough working-age individuals and this problem is only going to get worse ahead.
This is why Canada’s preferring skilled workers over semi-skilled or unskilled individuals living in foreign countries. Canada needs people in manufacturing, agriculture, logistics, construction, and various industries with varying skills and experience.
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of having a strong and vibrant healthcare system in the country. Not surprisingly, a survey done in Nova Scotia found that nine out of ten residents want more foreign doctors to settle in the province.
And just one out of every four Nova Scotia residents felt that the province should not accept more immigrants. The other three wanted immigration levels to rise to boost economic growth in the province.
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Canada’s Decentralized PNP System
The residents of Quebec voted for a party that promised to bring down immigration, even skilled immigration, into the province. Nova Scotia, on the other hand, wants to boost immigration. The best thing about Canada is that provinces have a say in the country’s immigration policy.
The Federal government has immigration agreements with each province that define the distribution of immigration powers and responsibilities between all the stakeholders. This framework allows provinces to setup their own immigration programs as per their unique economic and demographic requirements.
So, when Nova Scotia found that it needed more heavy equipment operators as the pandemic subsided, it included this occupation in its In-Demand Occupations PNP stream. This meant allowed Nova Scotia to modify its PNP stream at the peak of the pandemic and list heavy equipment operators as an In-Demand Occupation. As compared to CLB 7 for other streams, this PNP stream of Nova Scotia requires language proficiency of just CLB 4.
As these positions get filled, the province can remove the occupation from the list and require workers to fulfill tougher requirements to qualify for immigration. And this setup exists in all provinces across Canada.
Permanent Always Better Than Temporary
Before Express Entry was introduced, Canada’s immigration system was focused on temporary workers. But now, Canada wants more and more permanent residents. This is why its immigration system allows people to qualify for direct permanent residence.
Some PNP streams even offer a route to permanent residence even if you don’t have a job in hand, provided you have enough settlement funds to take care of yourself and your family in Canada.
Canadian employers can hire foreign workers through work permits. But, low-wage LMIA approval fixes the proportion of foreign workers to Canadian workers in the organization. And high-wage LMIA approval requires employers to submit a transition plan showing how the business will either appoint a Canadian worker in the future or help the foreign worker
All Economic Workers Welcome
Any skilled worker or even a student who wants to become a skilled worker are welcome in Canada. This is why Canada has programs for skilled workers seeking jobs, entrepreneurs seeking business opportunities, innovators with disruptive startup ideas, and even students graduating from Canada.
You can also explore LMIA-exempt work permits where you can expand your business into Canada and appoint yourself as its employee. If you are a productive worker, a young student, or have a great business idea, then you should serious consider contacting an experienced immigration attorney. This will make it very easy for you to explore the numerous options available to settle in the country.