Canada is famous for encouraging immigration to boost the country’s workforce and economy. President Justin Trudeau and the new minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Sean Fraser, have publicly stated that immigration programs are a high priority. The IRCC invites hundreds of thousands of foreigners to become permanent residents every year. In 2021 that number was 411,000, and this year the aim is to ‘land’ 430,000 foreigners by giving them Canadian permanent residency.
However, things might be different once the paperwork goes through and you land in Canada. Public commentary sites are filled with people asking the same question:
Is life in Canada hard for foreigners?
While the answers vary from “This is, the worst” to “Canada is the best, ey,” all these answers are based on personal experiences from people with vastly different backgrounds and positions in Canada. Many commentators touched on the ‘expectations’ they had. In general, people who had unrealistic goals and dreams felt blindsided, while those who arrived with a solid vision prospered.
Canada has always been open about its motivation to increase the population. Although second in the mass area in the world, spanning 9,985 million km², Canada only has a population of 38,388,419. That’s only four people per km². The small population can be attested to the low birth rate, and the decrease in the labour workforce can be traced back to a declining population and early retirement.
Ironically, a significant population declining factor is immigration. Specifically, to the country’s southern neighbour, the USA, where young people think they’ll find better opportunities and richer diversity. Although, you’ll be surprised how immigrants are just running from the cold.
Canada’s Immigration Policy
Looking at the numbers, Canada reported having over 7 million foreign-born individuals in the 2016 population census. That’s one in every five people living in Canada who originally came from a different country. While most of the foreigner population originally flocked from Asia and Africa, Canada admits thousands of immigrants from all over the world every year.
One of the reasons for this may be due to the country’s open and fair immigration policies. Some of the top Canadian immigration programs include the famous Express entry system and Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs). If you’re eligible to apply for one of these immigration programs, your chances of being accepted to become a permanent resident in Canada are relatively high.
Because Canada needs both skilled and unskilled workers, there’s something for everyone. Altogether the country has more than 100 immigration and visa programs that cater to students, business people, university graduates, farmers, drivers, tradespeople and more.
The result of this attitude toward a county’s immigration policy is that many foreigners choose Canada to make their new homes. Indeed, there are many benefits of living in Canada, the biggest one being a stable and secure economy. Overall, the biggest reasons for emigration are economical and social instability back home, and Canada allows immigrants to start again, offering them a strong economy, cultural diversity, and social acceptance.
While it is not an easy task, Canada has set structures in place like provincial settlement programs to assist in integrating the immigrant population. As a result, while life in Canada for foreigners is undoubtedly challenging for many, it also statistically gets better, resulting in generational integration.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Living in Canada
Canada is a wealthy country with a strong economy. It has amazing public benefits, excellent public transport, it’s affordable if you have a good job, and offers plenty of job opportunities. If you have children, then you’ll benefit from an exceptional standard of education and be able to eventually send them off to one of the world’s best universities.
For foreigners worldwide in search of better opposites and a better life, Canada is an appealing option. It markets itself as being a tolerant, diverse, and wealthy option in hopes of attracting a bigger labour force.
Overall, the standard of living is hands down one of the best on the rock. Canada is placed 8th on the nominal GDP list, with a total of 1.643 trillion USD (2020), and a Human Development Index of 0.929, placing it at 16 out of 189 counties.
However, people still complain about the cold. It makes sense that many immigrants coming into Canada are from warmer countries, such as is the case in many parts of Africa, Asia and South America. Many also find that adjusting to a new culture has been difficult. Across the board, any immigration process requires a period of adjustment.
Finally, while job opportunities are plenty, many immigrants feel disillusioned with the idea of having to work as a barista while they wait for their medical qualifications to get registered, for example. So, while the benefits of living in Canada outweigh the disadvantages, it’s important to be realistic and research both sides before making such a crucial decision.
Ultimately, if your reasons for immigrating are based on social and economic factors that alienate you from your home country, then corresponding pull factors from Canada that attract you should be sufficient to convince you that Canada is a good option.
Ready to see what life in Canada for foreigners is like? Head over to the immigration consultant agency CanadianVisa.org and take your advice from the experts in Canadian immigration.