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WES Weekly Roundup February 28, 2023

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World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and career goals in the United States and Canada. The weekly roundup includes research, stories, and events of interest to the Canadian immigration and settlement community. This content has been created by WES and is reproduced here with their permission, in partnership.

Proof Point: Canada is failing to put immigrant skills to work (RBC Economics)

While immigration targets in Canada decreased during the onset of COVID-19, trends indicate a powerful rebound to numbers in the pandemic recovery period. In 2021, nearly 90% of all population growth in Canada was driven by immigration and Statistics Canada forecasts that it will account for 100% by 2050. Immigrants tend to be younger and comprise much of the “working age” population which is advantageous as Canada faces a growing aging population. However, despite their age and high levels of education, the challenge remains that immigrants are more likely to work in jobs that are not commensurate with their related training and education. Particularly for those with degrees in medicine, immigrants are six times more likely to work in jobs that do not require their extensive training. This report emphasizes that the poor recognition of international credentials is still a primary obstacle for immigrants in Canada. More work must be done to eliminate the barriers and ensure Canada is utilizing the skills of these individuals to its full potential.

Black Business Owners in Canada (Stats Canada)

Using available data through the census and national business register, this report aims to provide more information and a socioeconomic portrait of Black business owners in Canada. The research shows that in 2018, there were an estimated 66,880 Black business owners in Canada with a majority being male (70.4%). Sixty-four percent of Black male business owners tend to be immigrants, while for Black female business owners, 46% are more likely to be born in Canada. When compared to their counterparts from other racialized groups, the incomes of Black male business owners are lower than average at $56,100, earning significantly less than other groups. Meanwhile for Black female business owners, when compared to the same counterparts, there is no significant difference. The report also revealed that the top five countries of origin among Black immigrant business owners are: Nigeria (14.2%), Jamaica (12.1%), Ethiopia (10.5%), Haiti (10.2%) and Somalia (4.7%). These countries alone represent more than half of the Black business owners in the country. Finally, the vast majority of owners also tend to be located in Ontario or Quebec which could be explained by the greater representation of immigrants and diverse communities in these provinces.

IRCC invites Canadians to directly influence future immigration policies and programs

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada has announced the start of a new public engagement initiative, "An Immigration System for Canada's Future" that will debut late March and continue throughout spring 2023. The venture will center collaboration in utilizing collected public input through dialogues, workshops, and a survey to develop a more equitable and transparent immigration system to ensure that, "policies and programs are aligned with the needs of our communities". The engagement aims to capture a diversity of perspectives from a broad range of partners including policy makers, businesses, higher-ed, settlement organizations and other relevant stakeholders. A strong and comprehensive immigration system is needed now more than ever. Recent population and census data indicates that Canada welcomed a record-high number of new permanent residents (437,000), where immigrants represent 23 percent of the population.

Refugee Resettlement

Canada will fast-track immigration applications from quake-hit areas of Turkey, Syria  

IRCC will fast-track visa applications for displaced persons as a result of earthquakes in Turkiye and Syria. This builds on recent announcements that a resettlement plan is under development for individuals seeking refuge in Canada. The federal government continues to monitor the situation, but plans prioritize affected persons for temporary and permanent residents, and refugee applications. As of February 8, nearly 16,000 applications have been in the system from both countries. Among these applications, approximately 1,700 (750 permanent residents and 920 temporary residents) were within the zone impacted by the earthquake and will be moved to the front of the queue as priority. There is little indication so far as to how many will ultimately get accepted.

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