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Immigrating to Canada can be a long and complex process. The reality is that there are over 60 different immigration pathways to Canada and it's easy to get lost. Most programs are province specific, so it can be helpful to identify provinces that you are willing to relocate to. It can also be useful to remain open to various possibilities.
All provinces and territories accept immigrants and they all have their own unique set of programs. A simple way to look at it is to consider how many immigrants were accepted in a certain province recently and to compare that figure to the total population of that province. The higher the ratio is, the less stringent and competitive the process could be as the province has been relying on immigrants in recent years to grow and fill jobs. Of course, each submission is unique and two different individuals could have a very different outlook in their immigration process regardless of all factors. It can be incredibly useful to hire a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant to demystify the process and identify the best ways forward.
That being said, it is interesting to look at the data from the last census to determine where immigrants are the most needed to meet local needs.
Where immigrants are the most used to meet local market demands
The Prairies stand out for foreign nationals with specialized skills
Overall, the Prairies (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) have relied more on foreign nationals in recent years to fuel their economy and sustain their growth. Their unemployment is among the lowest in Canada and it went down in the past three years. It can be expected that these provinces will continue to put an emphasis on recruiting top candidates from around the world to help them prosper. It can also be expected that recent immigrants can find others with similar experiences more easily given that they have the highest RIR.
The Prairies should be top of mind for skilled immigrants that have a unique skill set that can contribute to the Canadian economy. There are mechanisms in place to facilitate your transitions and the provincial nominee programs allow for a relatively important number of immigrants to come in yearly.
Ontario and British Columbia remain top destinations for immigrants
Ontario remains a top destination for immigrants. With a relatively low unemployment rate and a higher than average RIR, it stands out as a safe value. It is also the most populous province of Canada and includes both the biggest city and the capital of the country. There are countless opportunities to grow professionally, strongly established support services and communities, and a rich and multicultural setting.
With a decreasing unemployment rate and a strong legacy of immigration pioneering, we can expect to see the RIR increase in British Columbia and to notice more flexibility around provincial programs, including the BC PNP Tech Pilot. British Columbia remains a steady option for new immigrants with its strong and diverse economy, enjoyable weather and proximity to the American market and Asia.
Atlantic Canada eager to join the movement
Although the RIR is lower in Atlantic Canada, it does not seem that the region should be disregarded. In part, it means that immigration remains somewhat underutilized. The region has a weaker economy, which can make it harder to attract foreign nationals. That being said, there is a real need for population growth to counterbalance a significant exodus of young people and population ageing. This is one of the reason why the region launched the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, which facilitates immigration and accelerates the permanent residence process. There is also a recent focus on entrepreneurship and international student retention , particularly in Newfoundland and Labrador.