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OECD report highlights strengths of Canadian immigration system

by Dominic 05/12/2012 13:25:00

The OECD's report will be released
on Monday in Paris.

A report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) due to be published next week will highlight Canada's successful immigration and integration programs.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation of 34 of the world's strongest economies. A major study to be released by the organisation has compared how well immigrants adapt and succeed in member nations.

The study, which takes into account both first and second generation immigrants, compares factors such as income levels, health, education and integration into society.

In almost all aspects, Canada ranks either top or near the top.

The full details of the study are expected to be released in Paris on Monday but it is believed that Canada is top in the percentage of immigrants who eventually take up citizenship - almost 75%  - as well as the equality of opportunity afforded to the children of immigrants.

Immigrants moving to Canada on average are also the best educated with over half having a degree; conversely, Canada also accepts the smallest proportion of uneducated migrants.

"Canada is doing quite well. That should not come as a surprise," said Jean-Christophe Dumont, head of the International Migration Division of the OECD.

Mr Dumont said Canadian immigration policy of selecting migrants with the best potential to succeed paid dividends; Canadian immigration criteria consider language skills, education levels and qualifications.

"The type of migrants Canada receives compared to other OECD countries, particularly Europe, is quite different," said Mr Dumont.

"Canada receives more skilled migrants, more migrants from Asia, who tend to perform quite well and especially their children perform quite well.

"The other element is that the labour market situation is much better overall in Canada than it is in a number of European countries.

"Overall, the finding is that immigrants are well-integrated in the labour market and have fairly good results in health, education and civic engagement."

Australia, which has a similar system to Canada, ranked second to Canada in many categories but Mr Dumont says immigrants and their children are better able to integrate into society in Canada than Australia.

"Canada is above Australia and all other countries in this respect," said Mr Dumont.

"If there are problems, they don't necessarily go from one generation to the next. It obviously takes time to settle in the country of landing, but in Canada after one generation and even before, most of the integration is on a good track."

- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Canadian Visa Bureau.

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