COVID Hasn’t Impacted The Decision To Move – Study Finds

According to a new survey conducted by World Education Services Canada (WESC), over 13,000 prospective immigrants say they are still interested in moving to Canada.

In August 2021, the WESC, a provider of Education Credential Assessments for Canadian Immigration, created a survey related to education-based immigration during the COVID-19 pandemic. They aimed to understand how the pandemic might have impacted the motivation to move to Canada.

After analysing the results, WESC did not find any evidence that indicated a decrease in motivation. Nearly 52% of respondents noted that the pandemic has not impacted their plans of moving. In fact, almost 93% said that the pandemic would either have “no impact” or make them “more interested”.

Within the surveyed group, only 33% of respondents believe the pandemic would negatively impact job availability in Canada. In contrast, 35% of people felt that the pandemic would increase job availability, which is up from the 27% reported in 2020.

Many migrants’ attitudes surrounding Canada’s job market was more positive than the outlook in their home countries. As a result, about 77% of respondents said that Covid-19 wouldn’t affect their occupation or sector. That said, the top three reasons shared by participants for delaying immigration to Canada were:

  • The increase of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada processing times;
  • Travel restrictions; and
  • A decrease in jobs in their field in Canada.

“Canada Is Better With Handling Patients”

Despite the pandemic, challenging economic situations, and personal circumstances, most respondents said they still planned to pursue Canadian permanent residency. For example, 74% of responders expressed interest in obtaining permanent residence regardless of the economic recession. However, part of that response stemmed from the perception that Canada is better equipped to combat the pandemic and care for patients.

In 2020, Canada was looking to welcome 341,000 immigrants, but after the pandemic hit and travel restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus were imposed, new immigrant landings were only 184,000 for the whole year.

Since then, most travel restrictions have been lifted and Canada’s economy managed to improve in 2021. The country currently has the highest job vacancy rate on record, offering nearly a million available jobs.

Despite the IRCC’s enormous backlog, the lifting of restrictions has helped the country resettle 401,000 new immigrants in 2021. As a result of this success, more ambitious goals are being set. The current plan aims to welcome 411,000 new immigrants, 60% of which are set to arrive under the economic class. However, a new target will be announced by February 4, 2022, under the Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024 which will reveal the number of new immigrants Canada aims to welcome this year, along with the categories they will fall under.