Monday, January 31, 2022

WES: Canada’s Enduring Appeal to Prospective Immigrants in the Face of COVID-19

In 2017, I became fascinated by the question of how the election of Donald Trump would affect our country's ability to attract and retain international students. My empirical paper on the topic (Opportunities & Anxieties: A Study of International Students in the Trump Era) came out the following year.

At the time of researching and writing that piece, I was living in North Dakota, and a significant percentage of my law students were Canadian citizens. Thus, it was very apparent to me that migrants dissatisfied with our country's political climate had a very real and very nearby alternative option: Canada.

With this background, you can understand my absolute fascination with this recent report from World Education Services--Canada’s Enduring Appeal to Prospective Immigrants in the Face of COVID-19. Because while Trump has come and gone in the years since my 2018 article, U.S. immigration hasn't exactly normalized. One big and continuing monkey in the works has been Covid. And you know what else hasn't changed? Canadian awesomeness.

Here are some of the report's key findings:

Interest in immigrating to Canada remains high. Survey results show no decrease since 2020 in respondents’ interest in immigrating. Between 2020 and 2021, the proportion of respondents who indicated that the pandemic would have no impact on their immigration plans rose from 48.3% to 51.5%. In both years, the proportion of respondents who indicated that the pandemic would either have “no impact” or make them “more interested” was over 90%.

Respondents anticipate a positive impact on the availability of jobs in their occupation/sector in Canada.The proportion of respondents who expected that the pandemic would negatively impact job availability in Canada decreased from 45% to 33% year over year, while those who expected a positive impact rose from 27% in 2020 to 35% in 2021.

A positive perception of the ability of the government and health care system in Canada to manage the pandemic is having a positive impact on interest in immigrating. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of respondents indicated that they were more interested in immigrating to Canada because of the ability of the CanadianGovernmentandhealthcaresystemtomanagethepandemicandcareforCOVID-19patients.


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