Credential Recognition For Canadian Immigration Requires A New Approach

24 Sep 2019

Canadian Immigration

Credential recognition is a decade old problem in Canada, that is at present costing the economy $50 billion annually

Canadian immigration needs a new approach

The wage gap between local workers and immigrants has increased two folds in the past 30 years, as per the new Royal Bank of Canada report in spite of the federal government placing emphasizing on economic immigration.  Immigrants on an average are earning 10 percent lesser than Canadians. This was only four percent in 1986. The difference costs Canada $50 billion annually in GDP that is the overall cost of immigrants who are not finding work in their domains, or never reach wage parity.

A 1966 White Paper on Immigration, states that the public opinion must recognize the economic advantage of mobility. The challenge has continued for so many years. An improvement in Credential recognition is an election promise this year and all the political parties accord it a priority. It falls under provincial jurisdiction, and the federal government plays a limited role in this matter.

The barriers in Canadian immigration

The barrier all immigrants face when they enter the labor market is that the regulatory bodies and local employers face a struggle in assessing the level of overseas work experience and credentials in comparison to standards in Canada. Canada at present welcomes professionals from 175 countries annually, making this task more difficult.

Another challenge is Discrimination substantiated by research. An experiment of University of Toronto that sent 13,000 resumes to various employers in Greater Toronto Area established that applicants born in Canada with English names heavily received an interview call for jobs. Also there is a concern that applicants from China, India, Pakistan or Greece may lack language skills to do the jobs well.

Efforts of the Federal Government

The federal government has made important changes to select immigrants. Since January 2015, when the Express Entry system was launched it ranks potential immigrants on the human capital like education, age, language skills, and work experience. It also selects the top ranking candidates who have a good chance of integration in the labor market.

The Provincial Nominee Programs in Canada allow employers and provinces to play a great role for selecting immigrants. Ottawa also increased the settlement funding during the last 20 years and presently has funding of $1.5 billion to strengthen the human capital of  fresh arrivals to help in finding work proportionate to their skills.

Canadian immigration and the role of provinces

Among the provinces Four (Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba) have implemented a fair legislation, that creates fairness offices with an aim to ensure objective process for credentials. They audit regulatory bodies and provide suggestions for development. If the other provinces and territories adopt similar laws the better credential practices can be further promoted across Canada.

Also the regulatory bodies can offer help through educating newcomers, who are overseas on the recognition of credential process, or, help them in beginning the process before they arrive in Canada. The stakeholders and immigrant-serving organizations must educate employers regarding the benefits of engaging immigrants.

Also the employers must be placed face-to-face with job-seekers to address the common concerns, and soft skills required for integration in Canadian workplaces. A multi-faceted solution that involves provinces and territories, stakeholders’ regulatory bodies, educational institutions, employers, and immigrant-related organizations, is the need of the day.


Evidence like the employment and wage outcome of newcomers presently suggests that the challenge may lessen in the next five decades when the Canadian economy becomes heavily reliant on immigrants. We bring all the relevant surveys and trends and our patrons can contact us. 


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