According to a 2021 report from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), there were 281 million international migrants globally in 2020. In 2000, these figures were at approximately 173 million. In 20 years, a lot has changed. It seems more people are choosing to emigrate than ever before, whether for free education, better healthcare or career opportunities.
“People are migrating to top-tier nations in search of better opportunities, or it may be the monotony of living in the home country that is prompting them to move,” says Canadian barrister and solicitor Shahrukh Abbas.
“Some people may find themselves lacking some necessities in life, such as food, shelter or medical care in their home country,” adds Abbas, who is the Managing and Founding Partner at Ace Luxury Immigration Solutions. “The desire to upgrade their lifestyle may also influence people to migrate, as it’s true that moving to a more developed nation can improve one’s quality of life. There are many reasons people might migrate, each with its underlying rationale.”
Just as people have their own reason for emigrating, each country offers different benefits. For example, Canada is a place many migrants choose for its prosperous lifestyle.
“Canada offers top-quality healthcare, education and good work opportunities, which make life easier and more comfortable for immigrants and their families,” Abbas explains.
While select countries provide immigrants with a stable safe haven, immigration policy changes are taking place worldwide to attract workers who are essential to the country’s framework. Canada and Australia have some of the most favourable policies, including advantageous start-up visas for entrepreneurs.
“Canada is a leading force behind migration for many immigrants due to its stable political environment, cultural inclusivity, and overwhelming desire to develop and diversify business opportunities,” Abbas says.
Canada’s long-term immigration strategy is focused on attracting the best and the brightest immigrants to the country. Any future initiative will be aimed at addressing labour shortages that potentially hamper both economic growth and recovery. “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a backlog of immigration applications, yet the Canadian government has invested heavily in helping resolve the backlog and streamline the immigration process,” Abbas adds.
In the IOM report, statistics suggest that 73 per cent of the migrants in 2020 were of working age (between 20 and 64 years old), 15 per cent were below 20 years old, and 12 per cent were 65 years and above. With the highest number of migrants being of working age, it is clear to see that many are chasing employment opportunities.
“Canada offers 1.2 million jobs as it has an incredible number of growing industries and is in need of a massive number of individuals to fulfil the labour market demands,” says Clint Khan, Managing Director of immigration and visa consultants Y-Axis. “This whopping rise in demands is attracting many candidates to migrate and settle in Canada with a Permanent Residency (PR).”
Khan says there are several investment migration opportunities available in Canada, including the start-up visa programme, an international mobility programme, a provincial nominee entrepreneur programme and investor visa options. In-demand occupations in Canada include IT, software and development engineers, finance and accounting, HR, hospitality, sales and marketing, healthcare and nursing, and teaching professions.
Interestingly, Australia has an identical list of in-demand occupations to Canada, equally with many opportunities available. “One of the world’s most urbanised country, Australia welcomes many immigrants worldwide as it has a wide range of job openings,” Khan says.
Indeed, whether skilled or investment-led immigration, there are many possibilities for immigrants.
With start-up visas ideal for those over 40 who might not be eligible for other programmes, and select countries opening up immigration policies, there will no doubt be a continuing drive in global migration for people of all ages in future.
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