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Moving to Canada: Immigrants Are Earning Higher Salaries

A Statistics Canada study has indicated that the median income of newcomers without Canadian experience is considerably lower than that of those who have previously worked or studied in the country.

According to the study, pre-admission Canadian experience, especially work experience, is vital to lift newcomers’ wages.

This is because they have better knowledge of the Canadian labor market and are more likely to acquire language skills.

Generally, newcomers with study and work permits earn a median entry wage of $44,600, while those without Canadian experience earn a median entry wage of $25,700.

Immigrants who became Canadian permanent residents in 2018 earned a median wage of $31,900 in 2019. This was about 4% higher than that of immigrants that became permanent residents in 2017 earned in 2018. Furthermore, the wage was the highest immigrant wage since 1981.

Other Influences

Besides previous work and study experience, the median wage for immigrants living in Canada is dependent on other influences, including economic dependents, refugee flow, and family-sponsored applicants. All these factors can help determine an immigrant’s wages in Canada.

Skilled migrants considered major applicants in the economic category in 2018 earned a median age of $43,600 in 2019. This was 12.4% higher than their Canadian counterparts who earned $38,800.

The median immigration wages for refugees were $19,200. This was lower than refugees accepted in 2018 and higher than refugees accepted the previous year ($18,700).

Immigrant’s Wage Difference Between Men and Women

New immigrant’s wages in Canada have been trending upward for both genders from 2010 to 2019.

The annual median wage for female immigrants increased at an average rate of 9.3%, from $24,500 in 2010 to $44,900 in 2019.

Male immigrants’ median wages also saw a rise from $32,500 in 2010 to $62,300 in 2019, at an annual increase rate of 10.2%.

With time, the median wage gap between men and women widened for economic class applicants.

While the women’s median wage started lower, men’s median wage increased faster.

However, for Canadian immigration categories like refugees, economic dependents, and family-sponsored, the women’s median wage started lower but drastically increased more than men’s.

Consequently, the median wage gap between women and men increased over time.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate for new permanent residents in Canada went down by over 45% in 2020.

During 2021, however, a record Canadian immigration goal was achieved, with 405,000 immigrants becoming new permanent residents of Canada.

The Canadian immigration target for 2022 is even higher, as Canada’s government would like to grant permanent residency to 411,000 immigrants.

Approximately 60% of the people who will immigrate to Canada in 2022 will be skilled foreign workers and their immediate family members (i.e., spouse or partner and unmarried children under 22 years of age).

The most popular Canadian immigration programs for expat workers include the Federal Skilled Worker Program and Provincial Nominee Program, along with the Quebec Skilled Worker Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

These new immigrants, as well as people already living and working in Canada, have the opportunity to earn even more money, because Canadian employers are paying higher salaries to recruit workers due to the country’s labor shortage.

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