Job offer becoming less important for Canadian immigration

The number of Canadian immigrants who move to the country with a pre-arranged job offer has fallen dramatically over the past 18 months.

The latest immigration data shows that far fewer applicants with job offers have been invited to apply for a visa since changes in application criteria made in November 2016.

In the nine months before these changes – which included a reduction in the points awarded for possessing a job offer – almost 40 per cent of applicants had a pre-arranged job. Since then, the number of applicants with a job offer accounts for around just 10 per cent of successful applicants.

The changes to the system place a greater emphasis on so-called human capital — personal attributes such as age, education and language proficiency.

This has led to a large increase in the number of international students studying in Canada, as higher emphasis has been placed on Canadian education and qualifications.

“It is difficult to predict an economy’s long-term needs. A skill shortage now may not be a skill shortage five years from now,” Kareem El-Assal, senior research associate specialising in immigration policy at the Conference Board of Canada, told the Toronto Star. “But we know someone who is young, educated and fluent in our official languages is going to adapt to any economic condition.”

Candidates from India have accounted for the largest share among those selected for immigration, with their share jumping to 22,760 or 43 per cent of the total from January to May in 2017 from 8,901 or 31 per cent in 2016.

Both China and Nigeria have also seen their numbers up exponentially. The former more than doubled to 5,231 from 2,055 while the latter almost quadrupled to 2,900 from 815. China and India are the two leading source countries of foreign students.

Article published 13th February 2018