How Expenses could scare off the New Immigrants Whom Canada wants to retain
Franco Rayo, a Nicaraguan born when migrated to New Brunswick as a new immigrant and international student in 2017, was planning and willing to settle in Canada.
In 2018, Rayo graduated from his MBA program at the University of New Brunswick and managed to secure an auditing job with a decent $45,000 a year. Rayo says, Although having dual degrees from Canada and USA, finding work was quite difficult and the pay which he was offered was unsatisfactory.
“My problem was that they offered me entry-level jobs,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s because I’m from another country.”
Initially Immigrant families dip in their savings before eventually moving back to their Country
Steadily, 33 old Franco dipped into his savings to keep up the lifestyle for his family including a wife Natalie Rayo, 29, and a young son, ultimately leading to a drastic change in their lives. About a year into the pandemic, the family moved back to Nicaragua.
Even though the increasing living cost with inflation reaching as high as 6.7% affects all Canadians, the fact is that the condition of new immigrants leaves a lot to be desired as their salary is still less than the general population.
Recently a survey conducted by a ledger in collaboration with the ICC advocates that the cut could hit the retention of new immigrants.
“Canada tells a story about being this haven for newcomers, and we wanted to see how true that was,” said Daniel Bernhard, CEO of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC).
Planning to leave
The migration retention was not tracked by the federal government, but Statistics Canada suggested that almost 50% of international students left the country a year after their graduation as there were no tax records of them.
Moreover, the ICC survey points out that 23% of new Canadians planned to leave the country in the next two years of their university education.
Rayo, along with his family runs his own business and settled in Managua, though they retained his status of permanent residency in Canada. His wife Natalie, a New Brunswick who grew up, says the Moncton lifestyle has better quality and is enjoyable, feeling less financially unprepared.
“I didn’t expect to move to Nicaragua, but as far as our future, my husband, me, and my son, it was the best option for us,” she stated.
A survey suggests that the Cost of living will drag immigrants to leave!
Although, reports of employment-related challenges have been consistent among immigrants with many being pushed into low-skilled positions regardless of their foreign credentials.
In 2018, the median pay of immigrants admitted to Canada was $31900 as per Canadian statistics. However, it is the highest level of income since 1981, but it is still lower by a margin of 18% than the median income of the general population.
How appealing is Canada for new immigrants? This raises the question as newcomers also face trouble with record inflation and housing affordability.
Bernhard said the survey results should give Canadians “pause”.
If Immigrants in Canada not able to earn their potential, How long will they be able to Survive in Canada
“We have to ask ourselves what advantages Canada offers to immigrants because we are competing with the rest of the world,” he said.
“People are not able to earn their real potential,” he said. “The standard of living they could reasonably expect or even have in their home country is becoming less and less attainable.”
The survey suggested that 64% of new Canadian immigrants concur with the statement “the rising cost of living in Canada means that immigrants are less likely to stay in Canada”.
By Statistics Canada, around 1/3 of the new immigrants paid out more than 30% of their salary in accommodation about 18% of the general population.
No sufficient data on retaining immigrants
University of Waterloo’s Economist, Mikal Skuterud says concluding the surveys is quite difficult due to the insufficient data from preceding years.
This underscore has to be tracked by the federal government to check the number of immigrants who are leaving the country and their reasons to leave.
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“A big part of the challenge for Canada and policymakers is not just attracting immigrants with high levels of human capital, but also retaining them,” Skuterud added.
Although, the economist believes the cost of living is less likely to drive the immigrants away en masse
Canada’s inflation percentage climbs to 6.7%, the massive jump since 1991
The inflation rate of Canada peaked at 6.7% in March, attaining a 31-year high. Borrowers are warned by Economists that there may be further increases in interest rates bank of Canada attempts to rein in rising inflation.
“When people are choosing where to move or if they are moving, what they are doing is assessing their economic well-being in one place versus another,” he stated, adding that most countries around the world are striving with high inflation right now.
“Migration is very expensive and inflation is a temporary phenomenon,” he added. “The idea that people will suddenly uproot themselves and go somewhere else, I don’t think is believable”