Permanent Residency for Temporary Skilled Foreign Workers

The Transition to Permanent Residency for Temporary Skilled Foreign Workers

The 2022 issue of Economic and Social Reports by Statistics Canada brought to light an important topic for immigrants. This is the transition to permanent residency by lower- and higher-skilled temporary foreign workers. According to the study, the pathways varied significantly for low and high-skilled temporary foreign workers.

In the 2010-to-2014 cohort, the higher-skilled workers who transitioned to permanent residency by 2019 were primarily through provincial nominee programs (PNPs) and the Canadian Experience Class. Meanwhile, the lower-skilled workers who made the transition by 2019 were primarily through PNPs, the Live-in Caregiver Program, and the family class.

Rates of transition from temporary foreign workers to permanent residents

  • Over the 2000-to-2014 period, Canada had more higher-skilled temporary foreign workers. However, these workers had a lower rate of transition to permanent residency compared to lower-skilled workers.
  • During 2010-to-2014, the arrival of higher-skilled workers declined to 44% while the share of lower-skilled workers increased to 39%.
  • Moreover, in the 2010-to-2014 period, the composition of temporary foreign workers who became permanent residents was similar. 47% of higher-skilled workers obtained PR while 45% of lower-skilled workers got their PR. Workers with undetermined skill levels accounted for the remaining 8%.
Pathways to Permanent Residency for Skilled Temporary Foreign Workers

The five-year transition rate increased from 18% to 25% between the 2000-to-2004 and 2005-to-2009 cohorts.

Lower-skilled workers during the pandemic

In the past, many economic immigration programs and pathways to permanent residency relied on highly educated immigrants. However, the pandemic showed that lower-skilled temporary foreign workers in essential industrial sectors contributed considerably to Canada.

Moreover, due to the restrictions on international travel, Canada focused on temporary foreign workers and international students who were already in the country. As a result, the rate of transition to permanent residency among temporary foreign workers, especially lower-skilled workers, might increase considerably. Of course, we can only confirm this when more data become available. But, in the meantime, you can explore more recent data about the labour demand in essential work here:

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