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Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton Have Highest Immigrant Retention Rates

According to Statistics Canada, immigration retention in metropolitan areas like Toronto, Vancouver, and Edmonton have the highest rates.

This data is based on the taxes filed in 2019 and Canadian immigration admission in 2014.

Furthermore, the agency looked at statistics for five years of immigration to Canada.

Vancouver Has Highest Immigrant Retention

Vancouver had the highest Canadian immigration retention rate (86.1 percent) among the other metropolitan areas in Canada, such as Toronto and Edmonton.

StatsCan defined urban areas as places that hold 100,000 residents. with a minimum of 50,000 residing in the center.

Vancouver also held the highest rate of immigrant sponsorship for families and refugees, while Edmonton had the highest retention rate for economic immigrants (i.e., skilled foreign workers).

Thousands of foreign workers immigrate to Canada each year through Canadian visa programs created for economic immigrants, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Provincial Nominee Program.

The highest immigrant retention rate for refugees and family-sponsored immigrants was held by Montreal, Quebec.

Based on the StatsCan data, most tax-filing immigrants reside in the province, where 85% of them who were admitted in 2014 stayed in the same area.

Provinces with Highest Immigrant Retention

The province of Ontario has the highest rate of immigrant retention (93.7 percent), followed by British Columbia with 89.7 percent and Alberta with an 89 percent retention rate.

On the other hand, the provinces with the lowest rate of immigrant retention were in Atlantic Canada.

For example, the immigrant retention rate for Prince Edward Island is only 28.1 percent.

Key Factor: Employment

According to Marshia Akbar, cultural, economic, and social factors influence the migrants’ decision to move.

Yet, the most critical element of their decision is employment in Canada.

Canadian work permit holders admitted in 2014 decided to stay in their respective provinces as they already found a good job in Canada and had a sense of belonging, so they did not feel the need to move to another province.

Moreover, a Canadian immigration lawyer in Edmonton mentioned that a retention rate as high as 80% for Edmonton was no longer a surprise as most immigrants have already established a career and home in Edmonton.

StatsCan based its findings on the database of longitudinal immigration, but it does not address why immigrants decide to stay.

However, Akbar and her team are investigating why most migrants have decided to stay for ten years and above in provinces and small towns in such places as Saskatchewan and Ontario.

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