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Navigating Canadian Postsecondary Education for Economic Immigrants: A Decade's Insight

Canadian Postsecondary Education for Economic Immigrants

Canada's economic growth and societal fabric have been significantly enriched by the contributions of immigrants. The integration of economic immigrants into the Canadian labour market is a subject of great interest, and education plays a vital role in this process. This article explores the Canadian postsecondary education experiences and labour market outcomes of economic immigrants admitted in 2010, shedding light on trends, challenges, and opportunities.

In 2010, Canada welcomed 278,210 immigrants and refugees, with the majority falling under the economic immigrant category. Specifically, 27.4% were principal applicants, and 39.5% were spouses and dependents. The focus here is on the economic principal applicants, who were selected based on their potential to contribute to the Canadian economy.

Among the 76,170 principal applicants, 13.7% graduated from a Canadian public postsecondary educational institution after admission. Interestingly, female economic principal applicants were more likely than men to graduate, with the largest gap observed among those born in Europe.

The level of education pursued in Canada by these immigrants often aligned with or was lower than their educational qualification at admission. For example, among those with a bachelor's degree at admission, 65.4% completed an educational qualification below a bachelor's program in Canada.

Canadian Postsecondary Education for Economic Immigrants

Quebec stood out as a region where economic principal applicants were more likely to obtain a Canadian educational qualification. This could be attributed to Quebec's unique immigration agreement with the Government of Canada.

The study also revealed that economic principal applicants admitted with a bachelor's degree and who completed a Canadian postsecondary educational qualification had higher median employment income nine years after admission. Those who graduated from a Canadian bachelor's program had the lowest rate of low income in 2019.

While the proportion of economic principal applicants obtaining a Canadian educational qualification after admission was relatively small (13.7%), the data suggests that some immigrants faced difficulties in getting their educational qualifications recognized in Canada. This highlights the importance of further analysis to understand the underlying reasons and to develop supportive policies and programs.

In conclusion, the integration of economic immigrants into the Canadian labour market is a complex process, influenced by various factors such as gender, region of residence, and previous education. The insights from this study can guide policymakers, educators, and employers in creating more inclusive and effective pathways for economic immigrants to thrive in Canada.

If you or someone you know is navigating the Canadian immigration process and seeking guidance on education and career opportunities, Mesidor Canadian Immigration Services is here to assist. Our expert team understands the unique challenges and opportunities that come with relocating to Canada and is committed to helping you achieve your Canadian dream.


  1. Original Article: Canadian postsecondary education and labour market outcomes of 2010 economic immigrants to Canada:

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