(StatsCan on % int’l students becoming permanent residents)
(StatsCan findings: close to 30% eventually become PR)
(StatsCan: latest cohort TFW/IMP transitioning at higher rates)
(StatsCan on int’l students, earnings growth)
(Federal Gov’t education strategy 2019-2024)
(Status of “Temporary” Foreign Workers transitioning to PR)
(Program launched in July 2019: PR-Path for illegals)
1. Important Links
CLICK HERE, for StatsCan, info on Int’l students ==> PR.
CLICK HERE, for StatsCan, immigration, earnings.
CLICK HERE, for Federal education strategy 2019-2024.
CLICK HERE, for StatsCan: status when obtaining PR.
CLICK HERE, for StatsCan, more on transition rates.
CLICK HERE, for CTV, Gov’t to start collecting exit info.
CLICK HERE, for CBSA policies on exiting Canada.
CLICK HERE, for CBSA cancelling old arrest warrants.
CLICK HERE, for amnesty for illegals announced.
CLICK HERE, for Canadian Labour Congress on illegals.
CLICK HERE, for 41,000 illegals gone missing.
CLICK HERE, for an estimate of total illegals.
Annual Immigration Reports To Parliament
(a) 2004 Annual Report to Parliament
(b) 2005 Annual Report to Parliament
(c) 2006 Annual Report to Parliament
(d) 2007 Annual Report to Parliament
(e) 2008 Annual Report to Parliament
(f) 2009 Annual Report to Parliament
(g) 2010 Annual Report to Parliament
(h) 2011 Annual Report to Parliament
(i) 2012 Annual Report to Parliament
(j) 2013 Annual Report to Parliament
(k) 2014 Annual Report to Parliament
(l) 2015 Annual Report to Parliament
(m) 2016 Annual Report to Parliament
(n) 2017 Annual Report to Parliament
(o) 2018 Annual Report to Parliament
(p) Archived listings of Reports
2. Context For This Article
The topic of “temporary” mass migration to Canada is discussed here a lot. This is partly because of their size, and partly because various “temporary” programs actually lead to Permanent Resident status.
Three groups which receive regular attention are these:
(a) Temporary Foreign Worker Program;
(b) International Mobility Program;
(c) Student Visas
Now, it has been asked several times: how many of these people actually do stay? Of course, this is a logical follow-up question. Obviously, not everyone will stay after their work of schooling ends.
However, it’s not so easy to answer. Yes, we have data suggesting that approximately one quarter or more (25-30%) do attain PR status. That is pretty straightforward information to get a hold of.
But after that, things are much less clear. Until 2016, Canada did not track people leaving the country (only entering). Even today it does not cover everyone. This is unlike nearly every other developed nation, which tracks both entry and exits across borders. Also, the Federal Government does not make easily available (if it even knows), how many people apply for other visas or programs. Worse, it has been discovered that the CBSA deletes older arrest warrants. Additionally, there is little reliable information accessible on how many people are working illegally, or receiving public benefits illegally.
Back to the question of: “How many people stay?”
My answer: At least 25-30%. Probably a lot more.
3. People Leaving Canada Aren’t Tracked
In 2016, the Federal Government announced plans to start collecting exit information from people leaving the country. This really is common sense. While we (theoretically) know how many people, who, and when, are ENTERING Canada, until now they Government doesn’t track who is LEAVING. Perhaps we just take it on face that everyone leaves when they should.
And one of the major benefits stated is to help reduce immigration fraud. If a person is “counting time” towards living in Canada, but doesn’t actually live here, then the Immigration Ministry should know about it.
When this does get implemented, then a gaping hole in Canadian border security should be fixed, right? Maybe not.
This still isn’t fully implemented, and won’t be until at least 2020. That’s right, these changes were announced in 2016, and over three years later, are not fully implemented. Guess the potential fraud and security risks aren’t that great.
Right now, departures by air are not recorded by CBSA. Unless someone is travelling to the United States, (and even then not always) he/she is flying in a plane. Boating isn’t really a practical solution for international travel to and from Canada.
4. CBSA Cancels Old Arrest Warrants
The Canada Border Services Agency apparently cancels warrants for people wanted for immigration violations, if the warrants are old.
Moreover, there appears to be no tracking of how many warrants get cancelled either. Just a hunch, but it probably looks bad in the CBSA’s eyes if they have a lot of outstanding warrants. Makes them look slow and unproductive. Alternatively, this could be a deliberate attempt to make sure that people in the country illegally and/or committing other crimes won’t be deported.
5. Scale Of Illegal Aliens Unknown
The Toronto Star reported in 2008 that 41,000 illegals in Canada had been lost track of.
The Toronto Sun reported in 2017 that there somewhere between 200,000 to 500,000 illegal workers in Canada. Not illegals altogether, just illegals working.
Although the focus of this article is not on illegals, or people overstaying their visas, there is an important point to be made here: we don’t really have a clue how many people do stay.
6. Amnesty Program Started July 2019
The Canadian Government announced in July 2019 a pilot program to give 500 illegals (and their families) a pathway to permanent residence in Canada if they were to work in construction. Yes, we are talking about an actual amnesty program that will lead to PR, and eventual citizenship.
The Canadian Labour Congress supports this initiative. Why wouldn’t they? It will result in an inflation of workers, and allow employers to push down wages. It really is about more cheap labour.
This program is stated to target 500 people (and their immediate family members). But we should not be naïve. Once this is launched, the next question will be how to upscale it.
7. Government Making Illegal Entries Easier
This article isn’t really about illegal entry into Canada (see the Federal Court cases for more). Nonetheless, a major act of hypocrisy must be pointed out.
The Federal Government makes the absurd statements that the Canada/U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement is necessary to protect Canadian borders, but also claims that citizens have no standing to make a claim to close the loophole.
Yes, the agreement must be enforced at all border crossings, but if someone were to GO AROUND those checkpoints, then it is direct entry into Canada.
To summarize where we are right now in the article:
(a) About 25% of students/temps become permanent residents, and
(b) Canada doesn’t track people exiting the country
(c) CBSA cancels old arrest warrants
(d) Number of illegals in Canada is unknown
(e) Amnesty for illegals is starting up
(f) The Canadian Government wants to keep S3CA loophole open
Now that we have covered how the Canadian borders are at best dysfunctional, let’s take a dive into the research into just how many people are staying in Canada (legally). At least this will be considerably more definitive
8. Annual Reports To Parliament
(Page 22 of 2004 Report to Parliament)
(Page 23 of 2004 Report to Parliament)
Worth noting that for “temporary” workers and students, the reports emphasize that these are to be temporary, and that the resident is expected to return to the home country afterwards. Remaining in Canada is not to be the goal.
One other point is that the 2004 report makes no mention of any temporary worker or student/graduate transitioning to permanent resident.
The 2005 report (page 29) reiterates that these temporary workers and students are expected to leave once their designated time is up. It is also stated that changes were made so student visas would be for the full duration of the program.
The 2005 report (page 31) talks about a rule change that allows some graduate to work in Canada for 2 years now after graduation. I’m confused. I thought the point was that these students were to return home after graduation, not work in Canada afterwards.
These students are supposed to be in Canada “temporarily”, but the Government makes rule changes so they can work in Canada afterwards. Almost like they can become permanent residents.
The 2006 report (page 10) explains how Saskatchewan took off the cap of its Provincial Nominee Program.
The 2006 report (page 11) states that students enrolled full time in college or university programs are now allowed to work off campus.
The 2006 report (page 23) states that students can be a valuable source of future immigrants. But I thought these “temporary” residents were going home after graduation.
The 2007 report (page 4) states 2 things.
First: new measures will be enacted to bring in cheap, foreign labour even faster and more cheaply.
Second: we’ll make temporary workers and students eligible for permanent residence.
The 2007 report (page 9) reiterates the plan to make students and temporary workers eligible for permanent residence.
The 2007 report (page 10) tells how Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador had their Provincial Nominee Program caps removed. Saskatchewan did so the year earlier.
The 2007 report (page 13) repeats the intention to make students and temporary workers eligible for permanent residence. It’s a common misperception that they will be going home afterwards.
The 2008 report (page 5) repeats the pledge from the last report to make it easier for temporary foreign workers and students to transition into permanent residents.
The 2008 report (page 28) talks of expanding the Post Graduate Work Permit Program from 1 year to 2, and of issuing more permits altogether. The goal is to “spread the benefits of immigration” as they call it.
There are many other passages in these reports obviously, that support the claim that “temporary” workers and students aren’t really temporary. However, the point has been made, so let’s move on to how many temps and students are transitioning to permanent residents. In these first 5 reports, there is no mention of any of it.
9. Transitioning To Permanent Residents
Intake of: (a) TFWP; (b) Int’l Mobility; (c) Students from 2015 to 2017
Transitions from Temporary Foreign Worker or International Student Status to Permanent Residence (from 2018 report, covering 2015 to 2017)
Not only are the numbers of students and “temporary” workers increasing, but they are obtaining permanent resident status in higher numbers.
The Provincial Nominee Program, which grants permanent residence, is a very common choice among post secondary school graduates.
Now, all of the above data comes from the 2018 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, and covers the years 2015 through 2017. But what about the longer term implications? In the big picture, how many students and temps are getting PR?
10. StatsCan Research On Transitioning Rates
India and China are the top 2 source nations for student visas to Canada. This should be obvious to anyone who visits a college or university.
The research conducted by Yuqian Lu and Feng Hou is too lengthy to go over entirely here, but it is very interesting. Long term, is suggests that roughly a quart of international students will eventually become permanent residents of Canada.
An interesting fact noted: 49% of people who obtained a post-graduate degree (a Master’s) obtained PR status. It has to do with the added points in the immigrtion system.
11. When Exactly Did This Start?
But wait a minute. The above research by Yuqian Lu and Feng Hou cover international students that have transitioned to permanent residents since 1990. However, the Annual Reports to Parliament on Immigration spoke of this new option in 2006/2007. (See below)
That is a screenshot from the 2007 report. It refers to this transition to permanent residence as something to happen in the future.
The transitions to PR have been happening under the Provincial Nominee Programs primarily. The announcement in the annual reports must have just been to boost the numbers, by adding other categories.
12. Transition Rates Increasing For Temps
The 2005-2009 cohort, is the most recent one available from this StatsCan research, and could easily hit 25-30%, if the same pattern is demonstrated. This graphing attempts to demonstrate collect trends of transitioning to permanent residence after a given time.
Bear in mind, that new programs are available can boost this and future cohorts higher.
13. Most “Temp” Workers Had Current Status
Another StatsCan research piece documents the status of so-called “temporary” workers who held visas at or before the time that they transitioned to permanent residence.
It is broken into two periods: 1990 to 1999, and 2000 to 2009. Although it does not give the totals, as a percentage, around 87% of people who transitioned to permanent residence had current status.
Although the International Mobility Program existed well before the 2013 TFW scandal, participants were still able to become PR.
14. Students/Temps: 25-30% Will Get PR
Based on the information provided by StatsCan, it is safe to say that 25-30% of students and temporary workers will eventually get their Permanent Resident status. Transitions do start out at a fast rate, and understandably peter out. This is based on research done by some StatsCan researchers.
Now, a few caveats must be talked about here to make the picture more complete. This is not the end of the story.
First, rule changes by successive Federal Governments have expanded the number of programs, and eased the restrictions and numbers available. It stands to reason that rates will increase from what has been shown before. The information given about previous years may be obsolete.
Second, this information does not take into account people who have remained in the country but not transitioned to Permanent Resident status. While the common belief is that students will return home after their schooling is done, or workers will return home after their work term ends, that is simply not the case. Even StatsCan admits that people from lower GDP countries are more likely to stay given the higher standard of living in Canada.
Third, these findings do not consider people now living illegally in Canada. Inexplicably, we still have no real exit tracking system. As such, the Federal Government, or at least the Immigration Ministry, doesn’t know who is leaving Canada and when.
Fourth, this is all predicated on the assumption that the Government puts out truthful and accurate findings. This type of “backdoor immigration” system is not popular with the public, so minimizing the scale of it isn’t much of a stretch.
In short, 25-30% of temporary workers and students (officially) will stay in Canada. But take that conclusion with a grain of salt. It may be much, much higher.