Survey conducted by WES unveiled the changing interest and intention of immigrants as the pandemic unfolds. The survey confirmed that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, prospective immigrants gained interest in immigrating to Canada between April and August 2020. This was evident as the number of immigrants interested in moving to Canada grew from 38% in April to 46% in August.
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences beyond the spread of the disease itself, ranging from challenging the healthcare system to the falling economy. The study revealed that prospective immigrants expect worsening of economic conditions and the rise in unemployment in their home country to be worse than in Canada. Aggregated responses highlight that 49% of respondents are inclined to immigrate to Canada due to the economic recession in their home country, while other 32% state worsening of economic situations in their home country has no impact on their decision to immigrate.
Nearly, 80% to 81% of respondents stated that COVID-19 will negatively impact the economic conditions in their home country. Prospective immigrants are more willing to endure an economic downturn in Canada than in their home country, as 48% of respondents indicated a recession in Canada will have no impact on their immigration choice, while interestingly 22% stated that their interest would increase in Canadian immigration irrespective of economic fallout.
According to research conducted by Financial services provider Remitly using Google search data, Canada is the most desirable place to live on Earth. People from 29 countries wish to immigrate to the true North, due to friendly locals, beautiful scenery, safety, low unemployment, and high immigration options. Despite travel restrictions causing severe disruption in international mobility, hopeful immigrants do not seem to be reconsidering their immigration plans and timelines. Additionally, the WES survey gained insights that immigrants are less likely to delay their immigration plans to Canada. Among 480,822 respondents, 32% stated delaying their immigration plan in June, while this number fell to 12% in August despite the prevalent crises.
Canadian government’s commitment to recovery and resilience can be driving immigrants towards Canada. Among all applicants who opt WES for credential evaluation, the majority are Indian citizens, followed by citizens of Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, United States, and The Philippines. Furthermore, India stands out as the top country of citizenship for immigrants who received an ITA through Express entry in 2019.
Canada needs newcomers as their impact on the Canadian economy is profound; immigrants support the economy and meet the necessary labor market needs in terms of workforce availability. Immigrant-focused financial recovery plan should be at the forefront of Canada’s post-pandemic goals to ensure long term recovery.