40 per cent of immigrants who entered Canada in the skilled worker or business class left Canada within 10 years. Reasons for leaving include better job prospects or caring for family members in their country of origin.
By Baisakhi Roy, Canadian Immigrant
It is a perennial dilemma for newcomers. Should you stay on in Canada, a place where you’ve come after much struggle for a better life but find disappointing, or should you go back to your country of birth to be a dutiful son or daughter, or even just because, as it turns out, there are better job prospects outside Canada?
Canadian Immigrant spoke to new and old immigrants, some who feel let down by the system here and are leaving to explore better options and some who acknowledge that there is no other country like this one and will come back one day.
Is discrimination real?
Zain Mir (name changed for privacy) is at a senior position at a top educational institution in Saskatchewan. He is currently pursuing his PhD, is happily married and is a Canadian citizen. Yet, the 40-year-old Pakistani-born immigrant is all set to leave Canada for good in 2013.
He’s not alone. According to Wendy Cukier, founder, Diversity Institute in Management and Technology at Ryerson University, a 2008 study spearheaded by her, shows that 40 per cent of immigrants who entered Canada in the skilled worker or business class left Canada within their first 10 years.
A previous study by Statistics Canada indicated that one-third of male immigrants (aged 25 to 45 at the time of landing) left Canada within 20 years after arrival. More than half of those who left did so within the first year of arrival.
“I feel like my career is going nowhere. I am overqualified for the position that I have currently,” says the marketing professional who has already networked with professional organizations in places like Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle East. He feels he will get a more deserving position there.
hireimmigrants.ca note: The two statistics about immigrants leaving Canada in the article above come from the same 2006 Statistics Canada study. The study examined men who immigrated to Canada between 1981 and 1996 and who were aged 25 to 45 at the time of arrival.
It found about one-third leave Canada within 20 years of their arrival and 60 per cent of those who leave do so within the first year. Those admitted to the country under the business and skilled worker classes were most likely to leave,with four in 10 leaving within 10 years of their arrival.