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WES Weekly Roundup March 7, 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.

Socioeconomic outcomes of immigrants admitted to Canada as children, 2019 (Stats Canada)

This report examines the socioeconomic outcomes of immigrants who came to Canada as children based on income tax data in 2019. For 20-year-old immigrants admitted as children, their post-secondary education participation rate was 70.3%, which is higher than the overall Canadian population (58.9%). At the age of 25, the participation rate dropped to 32.7% for immigrants admitted as children and 26.6% for overall Canadian population. The research suggests that the younger children are admitted to Canada, the more likely they are to enroll in higher education. Various factors also impact this outcome including academic preparation, and knowledge of official languages. Furthermore, immigrants admitted as children under the economic immigrant class tend to have higher post-secondary education than their counterparts admitted through other categories such as family reunification and refugee classes.

Soon a Canadian citizenship oath could be just a scroll and click away (New Canadian Media)

A new proposal from IRCC could mean that as early as June 2023, new Canadian citizens could take their citizenship oath without the need for a citizenship judge. It is part of the modernization and digitalization of Canada’s immigration process and it is expected to significantly reduce citizenship processing times. This is also an attempt by immigration officials to reduce overall processing times and backlogs. Under this new change, the Minister of Immigration would have discretion to allow citizenship applicants to take their oath through other means and not witnessed by an authorized individual such as a citizenship judge. Since the pandemic, citizenship ceremonies have shifted to a virtual format but some ceremonies have since returned to in-person. Critics argue that this change dilutes the meaning and the symbolic significance of becoming a Canadian citizen.

“A Missing Part of Me” A Pan-Canadian Report on the Licensure of Internationally Educated Health Professionals (National Newcomer Navigation Network, N4) 

Canada's healthcare system continues to be under significant strain, with challenges in recruitment and retention of critical staff amidst chronic labour shortages, an aging population, ongoing impacts from the pandemic, and inequitable employment practices. There are several barriers that exacerbate the current health human resource crisis; namely the underutilization of internationally educated health professionals. Through consultation with a range of health human resource stakeholders, the following recommendations are surfaced: 

  • Strengthen commitment from provinces to fund system navigators to guide IEHPs through the correct pathways to practice; partnership with federal and provincial governments to enable sustainable and sufficient funding. 
  • Integrate licensure and immigration pathways to connect foreign credential recognition and training upon arrival, facilitating licensure process completion in parallel with immigration.
  • Enhance current mentorship and peer support to enable better mental health and wellbeing outcomes.

This report is one of many in line with commitments of the N4 ITP Community of Practice co-chaired by Joan Atlin, Director, Strategy, Policy, Research at WES, that will address barriers to licensure and advocate for systems level change.

Refugee Resettlement

UN seeks Canadian help for ‘enormous’ needs as number of refugees doubles (CTV News)

Global displacement crises continue to fuel humanitarian responses. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is calling on Canada to continue its efforts in supporting the protection of vulnerable displaced persons, citing that the needs will be much greater in 2023 than in previous years. In light of the recent earthquakes in Syria and Turkiye, many countries are looking for ways to support. Canada has announced plans to accelerate temporary resident pathways for those fleeing earthquake zones.  Additionally, the federal government unanimously voted to support the resettlement 10,000 Uyghur refugees beginning in 2024. The motion, however, is non-binding, meaning that there has not yet been a concrete commitment but planning is underway for the details of the process. Under this schema, Canada would be welcoming displaced Uyghurs within two years. Many allies of the Uyghur community are welcoming this commitment but urge decision makers to expedite the plan. In the interim, the UNCHR has expressed a desire for the Canadian government to continue to prioritize resettlement and increase funding supports for such initiatives in the next federal budget.

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