Two-Step Immigration: Temporary foreign workers who work in Canada before making a permanent move earn more money and are more likely to remain employed, according to two new research.

In Two-step Immigration Selection: Pre-arranged Jobs vs Skilled Work Experience, the fifth of Ottawa’s Economic Insight Series of studies, the writers noted having a pre-arranged job and previous work experience at a good-paying job before coming to Canada is a surer way for immigrants.

“With otherwise similar characteristics, people with a pre-arranged job earned fifteen (15) per cent more than those without a pre-arranged job in their first two years after immigration, while those with high pre-landing Canadian earnings earned about two times as those without pre‑landing Canadian earning,” wrote the study’s writers.

During the past twenty years, there has been a growing trend in Canada to choose economic immigrants from among temporary foreign workers.

That’s resulted in the share of immigrants moving to Canada with previous Canadian earnings jumping from twelve (12) to fifty (59) percent in the eighteen (18) years ending in 2018.

Those immigrants who had previous work experience as skilled workers before obtaining their permanent residency were also revealed in this study to tend to have higher initial earnings than immigrants admitted directly from overseas.

But this study also reveals this was only true for immigrants who had previously managed to snag higher-paying Canadian jobs, earning more than $50,000 in 2017 dollars.

Those with medium and low-paying jobs didn’t do any better than immigrants who had never worked in Canada before putting in for permanent residency.

Researchers for that study looked at how economic immigrants selected under Canada’s Express Entry system in 2015 and 2016 fared.

Both Canadian work experience and pre-arranged employments are key requirements in the selection of candidates under that program.

Their results are in consonance with those of another study in the Economic Insight Series, Two-step Immigration Selection: Why Did Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes Varies by Admission Programs?

It looked at how economic immigrants to Canada fared under three main programs: the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

In the last seven years, about two-thirds of immigrants picked from the PNP and almost all immigrants selected from the Canadian experience class were former temporary foreign workers and so had worked in Canada before getting their Canadian permanent residency.

But only about twenty-five (25) percent of those who came to Canada as permanent residents via the FSWP were former temporary foreign workers.

That made a big difference in the new immigrant’s ability to land a job and hang onto it once they get to Canada.

According to that study, ninety-three (93) percent of immigrants selected from the PNP and ninety-five (95) percent of immigrants selected from the CEC found employments in their first full year in Canada after gaining permanent residency compared to only eighty (80) percent of those who came to Canada under the FSWP.

The authors say that previous Canadian work experience is responsible for up to forty (40) percent of the thirteen (13)-percentage-point difference between immigrants selected from the PNP compared to the FSWP and about two-thirds of the fifteen (15)-per cent-point difference observed between immigrant selected from the CEC compared to the FSWP.

Previous Canadian work experience also account for at least ninety-four (94) percent of the earnings differences observed between those who arrived under the PNPs and CEC programs compared to immigrants chosen from the FSWP during the first year after immigration.

Jointly administered by the federal government and the provinces, the PNP programs were introduced in 1998 to make the immigration system more responsive to regional and sectorial skill shortages. The CEC was established in 2008. Until then, the major stream for economic immigration to Canada was the FSWP.

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