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New Immigrants Outpace Canadians in Income Growth, Report Finds

Ashley Shelton

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New Immigrants to Canada

The Insights from the latest report commissioned for the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer of Canada reveal that the incomes of new immigrants to Canada are not only on the rise but are growing at a faster pace than those of their Canadian counterparts.

According to the report titled “Income Dynamics of New Immigrants To Canada,” covering the period from 2014 to 2018, the relative income of immigrants surged from 55% to an impressive 78% of that of all Canadian tax filers. This substantial increase signifies a broad-based boost in the economic well-being of newcomers to the country.

Delving deeper into the data, it becomes apparent that immigrants from Asian countries, including India, the Philippines, and China, have experienced the most substantial gains. Furthermore, individuals with higher education, particularly those securing professional occupations such as engineers, applied scientists, teachers, accountants, and physicians, have played a pivotal role in narrowing the income gap within one year of landing.

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Pre-Immigration Factors: A Game Changer

One noteworthy observation from the report is the positive impact of strong family networks in Canada before immigration. The ability to work as temporary foreign workers or international students before obtaining permanent residency also emerged as a crucial factor contributing to the accelerated income growth among immigrants.

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“The Canadian experience of immigrants just before landing was an important correlate. An increasing number of immigrants are working in Canada temporarily, and then gaining permanent status,” the report states.

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Provincial Success Stories

Geographically, newcomers settling in Ontario and British Columbia, both boasting large immigrant communities, have witnessed the most significant economic strides. The importance of family ties and pre-existing social networks is highlighted as a key factor influencing immigrants’ economic outcomes.

Looking Ahead: Immigration Trends and System of Canada

As of November, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reported that Canada had welcomed 434,360 new permanent residents, projecting a year-end total of 473,847 – surpassing the 2022 figure by 8.3%. The upcoming years reveal ambitious immigration targets, with plans to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024 and an additional 500,000 in 2025.

Canada’s immigration landscape operates on a two-tier system, comprising the federal Express Entry system and the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) of its ten provinces. The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program, and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) are instrumental in attracting skilled immigrants, while the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and International Mobility Program (IMP) cater to foreign workers seeking employment in the country.

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For those aspiring to contribute their skills to the Canadian workforce, the Global Talent Stream (GTS), an integral part of the TFWP, stands out. With expedited processing, this program can lead to the issuance of Canadian work permits and visa applications within an impressive two-week timeframe under normal processing conditions.

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The report’s findings paint a resounding success story for new immigrants to Canada, with their incomes outpacing national growth rates. The unique interplay of pre-immigration factors, regional settlement choices, and the Canadian immigration system’s diverse pathways has contributed to this remarkable trend.

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