A new study has found that one in six immigrants believe the Canadian dream has died, and have since returned to their homeland or gone elsewhere.
According to Statistics Canada, 5.1% of immigrants who became permanent residents between 1982 and 2017 emigrated within five years of their admission. That jumps to 16% of newcomers within 20 years of residency.
"While some immigrants may have planned to leave Canada at some point, emigration may also attest to the difficulties many immigrants encounter in integrating into the Canadian labour market or society," reads the study.
Older cohorts, those from Taiwan, the United States, France, Hong Kong or Lebanon, and those permitted entry through investor and entrepreneur categories, are more likely to emigrate, it said.
The federal agency also contends the rate of emigration is more rampant between three and seven years of residency. "This period may reflect the length of time that immigrants try to integrate into Canada by attempting to find a job and a place to live and adapting to life in Canada," stated StatsCan in a press release.
Of those from the aforementioned countries, one in four leave within 20 years. "These countries can continue to be attractive to their nationals because of a higher standard of living or because settling in Canada was part of a larger migration strategy," wrote StatsCan.
Whereas immigrants from the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka or Jamaica are less likely to leave Canada.
Sweta Regmi, CEO and founder of Teachndo, a career development company specializing in helping newcomers, attributes many who leave "were sold a lie — fake dreams and everything" by immigration consultants and recruiters of questionable character.
Immigrants also leave in search of a more lucrative career elsewhere, she said. "Sometimes it's a good thing to leave because it's all about what they want."
In addition, at least one in three (30%) of immigrants from the investor and entrepreneur categories emigrate within 20 years of admission.
"These categories include wealthy immigrants who tend to be highly mobile and who may — even when they are admitted — intend to leave Canada in the future," notes the report. The departure of highly skilled labour negatively impacts the country's economic growth, StatsCan explained.
Conversely, less-educated immigrants, refugees and those admitted through caregiver streams are more likely to stay.
According to policy expert Don Drummond, adjunct professor at Queen's University, Canada welcomes among the highest number of immigrants per capita in the world.
However, he blames inadequate economic integration strategies for the higher rates of emigration.
"Slowness and in the extreme, failure to recognize foreign credentials is high on the list," wrote Drummond. "But here too, progress is being made, as evidenced in the acceleration of recognition of foreign nursing credentials. Too bad it took so long to make the improvements."
The professor also attributes Canada's housing shortage to the exodus, especially in metropolitan hubs.
"Houses and even rent is very expensive in Canada. The large numbers of immigrants exacerbate the problem by adding to housing demand," he said.