A study by World Education Services (WES) has revealed that prospective immigrants to Canada are better educated and younger as a result of immigration changes in recent years. Prospective immigrants also initiate their credential assessments sooner than before in accordance with the recent changes in immigration rules, the study shows.
WES, an agency that evaluates immigrant credentials, did a survey of 28,851 prospective immigrants who were referred to it by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The survey was designed to analyze the impact recent immigration policy changes had on immigrant profiles.
According to WES, 80% of its work was done for foreign-based candidates last year, a sharp increase from only 16% in 2012.
The survey, which involved a questionnaire completed by 3,200 candidates, also reveals that 95% of the prospective immigrants to Canada belonged to 25-44 age groups, an increase from 84% before 2013. Of those surveyed, 59% had a bachelor’s degree, 42% had a master’s degree and 3% had a doctoral degree. Prior to 2012, only 34% of the immigrants had a bachelor’s degree, 18% had masters and 5% had a doctorate.
The WES study also says that 47% of the respondents expressed intent to settle down in Ontario, while 22% chose Alberta. 12% chose British Columbia and 4% wanted to settle down in Nova Scotia.
Among reasons to immigrate to Canada, “better standard of living” was answered by 90% of the survey respondents, while 70% said they were searching for better career opportunities.
Most respondents of the survey were optimistic about their employment prospects in Canada and one out of five believed that they would find jobs matching their skills in one to three years. Insufficient information about the Canadian job market and lack of work experience in Canada were identified as major hurdles to immigration by most survey respondents. Only 11% felt that language requirements in French or English would be a barrier, which came as a surprise as language skills have generally been identified by several studies as the top hurdle for employing foreign workers.
Following the introduction of the Express Entry system earlier this year, WES reports that between January and April there had been a 66% decline in the number of credential assessment requests it had received from overseas, and a 20% increase in such requests from within Canada.
Canada introduced the new Express Entry immigration system in January this year to meet its skills shortage in the job market. The new program is a points-based system that tends to favor those who have job offers in Canada.