According to a recent survey, interest in moving to Canada remained robust during 2020 and 2021, despite COVID-19, with the country’s handling of the pandemic being a big draw for respondents.
The poll, performed by World Education Services (WES) in August 2020 and 2021, featured over 36,000 respondents from various nations, with the Philippines, Nigeria, and India ranking first, second, and third, respectively.
Respondents’ top three countries of residence were India, Nigeria, and the United Arab Emirates. The overwhelming of respondents were in the age group of 25 to 34, followed by those between the ages of 35 and 44.
As per the survey, 97% of respondents in the Philippines said the pandemic had no negative influence or increased their interest in emigrating to Canada in 2020, followed by 96% in 2021.
Among Nigerians, the figure was also 97 per cent in 2020, before falling to 94% in 2021. India accounted for 93% in 2020, with a little decrease to 92% in 2021. Similar findings were obtained for Koreans, with 95% reporting that the pandemic had no influence or made them more eager in emigrating to Canada in 2020. In 2021, that figure had fallen to 84%.
According to the data, although only 5% of respondents in Korea stated the pandemic made them less interested in emigrating to Canada in 2020, that figure increased to 16% in 2021. Similarly, 5% of respondents in Pakistan stated they were less interested in emigrating to Canada in 2020, with that figure rising to 13% the following year.
“Further research is needed to better understand the reasons for this decreased interest,” wrote the study’s authors.
As per the 2021 survey, 58% of respondents were more interested in relocating to Canada due to the government’s and the country’s healthcare system’s abilities to control the pandemic and care for COVID-19 patients. Because of the availability of vaccines and the country’s high immunization rates, 47% of respondents stated they were interested in emigrating to Canada.
Even if COVID-19 infection rates were high in Canada, 65% of respondents claimed it would have no effect on their desire to immigrate. Between 2020 and 2021, the pandemic played a smaller role in delaying immigration plans to Canada.
Initially, 35% of respondents in 2020 claimed that COVID-19 would cause them to delay their immigration to Canada, but that number reduced to only 21% in 2021.
In 2020, 45% of respondents predicted that the pandemic would have a negative influence on the availability of jobs in their industry in Canada. The following year, that figure fell to 33%. In 2021, however, 35% of respondents said they anticipated the pandemic will have a favourable influence on the availability of jobs in their sector, up from 27% the previous year. The majority of those polled worked in professional, scientific, and technical services, health care and social assistance, and finance and insurance.
When asked whether a drop in employment availability in their occupation would influence their decision to move to the country, 69% of respondents in 2020 answered it would have no impact or made them more interested, followed by 74% in 2021. In 2020, 77% of respondents who were already living in Canada at the time of the analysis were on temporary work permits, which fell to 71% in 2021.
In 2020, 96% of these respondents stated the pandemic had no influence or made them more interested in immigrating to Canada, a figure that fell to 94% the next year.
“These findings suggest that there continues to be a high level of interest in pursuing immigration and obtaining permanent residency on the part of individuals living in Canada with temporary resident status,” the authors explain.
In terms of whether the pandemic would have a good or negative influence on their immigration costs, 53% thought it would have no effect in 2020, dropping to 50% in 2021.
“These findings help to dispel the assumption that economic hardship would contribute to a decreased interest in immigrating to Canada,” the study reads. “Even in the face of a reduced ability to pay immigration costs, interest in immigrating to Canada remains high.”
The survey concluded with an interesting finding: many respondents were divided over the influence of the pandemic on how Canadian culture accepts newcomers.
In 2020, 36% of respondents felt the pandemic would have a negative influence on Canadian society’s openness to immigrants. Just 32% of those polled in 2020 believe the pandemic will improve Canadian society’s openness.
In 2021, however, 38% said the same. Thirty-two per cent of participants predicted that the pandemic would have no effect in 2020, followed by 30% in 2021.
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