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Marshia Akbar

Research Area Lead on Labour Migration
EducationPhD, York University. MA, Carleton University

Marshia Akbar’s research broadly encompasses economic and social integration of migrants in Canada. She is particularly interested in analyzing how migration and settlement policies shape the labour market integration of migrants across Canadian cities.

Marshia Akbar came to Canada as an international graduate student in 2007. During her tenure as a MA student at Carleton University and as a PhD student at York University, her research focused on how identities (such as gender and race) influence the social and economic opportunities and challenges facing migrants. One of her strongest skills is her ability to analyze qualitative data using NVivo and large quantitative data sets using SPSS and STATA.

As a post-doctoral research fellow at York University, she provided research support for the SSHRC partnership titled ‘Building Migrant resilience in Cities in Canada (BMRC)’, which included analysis of settlement policies and integration challenges in Ontario and Quebec, collaborative research, knowledge mobilization and project management. Her doctoral and postdoctoral research findings have been published as journal articles and web-based reports.

Working with settlement agencies in major urban areas, she aims to assess the policies about eligibility for permanent residency and settlement services and their impacts on the employment outcomes of different categories of temporary residents, such as international students, foreign workers and refugee claimants. The research will advance knowledge of location-specific labour market challenges for temporary residents and help identify required policy interventions.

In 2022 Marshia received the Contract Lecturer Teaching Award for inspiring her students in her course “Immigration, Borders, and Belonging.” The award was presented by Faculty of Arts, Toronto Metropolitan University.

Journal Articles and Research Reports

(2023).  (PDF file) Best Practices in Supporting International Students enrolled in Toronto-area Colleges (external link) , Intergovernmental Committee for Labour Force Development (ICE) Report.

With Deegan, H. and Aziz, A. (2023).  (PDF file) Labour migration policies: Case study series Canada (external link) , PICUM - the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants, Belgium. 

With Perzyna, M., Ellis, C., Monteiro, S., Nalbandian, L., & Smith, C. D. (2022).  (PDF file) Immigration policy ‘on the fly’: A critical review of pandemic policymaking in Canada (external link) . Working paper.

With Niraula, A. & Triandafyllidou, A. (2022). Navigating Uncertainties: Evaluating the Shift of Canadian Immigration Policies during the COVID-19 Pandemic. (external link, opens in new window)  Canadian Public Policy.

(2022). Temporariness and the production of policy categories in Canada (external link, opens in new window) Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1-18.

(2022) Who are Canada’s temporary foreign workers? Policy evolution and a pandemic reality (external link) International Migration, 00, 1– 13. 

With Preston, V., & Shields, J. (2021). Migration and resilience in urban canada: Why social resilience, Why now?. (external link)  Journal of International Migration and Integration, 1-21.

With Preston, V. (2021). Entrepreneurial activities of Canadian Bangladeshi women in Toronto: a family perspective (external link) Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1-20.

With Preston, V.  (2020/10). Labour Market Challenges and Entrepreneurial Activities of Bangladeshi Women in Toronto: A Family Perspective (external link) . CERC-RCIS Working Paper No, 10,  September 2020.

With Ray, B., Rose, D., & Preston, V. (2019)  (PDF file) Industry of Employment by Immigration Status: A Comparison of Major Cities in Ontario and Quebec (external link) , BMRC Report 2.

With Preston, V. (2019) Migration and Resilience, Exploring the Stock of Knowledge: Review of Literature 2000-2016 (external link) , BMRC Working Paper.

(2019). Examining the Factors that Affect the Employment Status of Racialised Immigrants: A Study of Bangladeshi Immigrants in Toronto, Canada (external link) South Asian Diaspora11(1), 67-87. 

With Ray, B., & Preston, V. (2018)  (PDF file) Trends in Immigration Class: Census 2016 (external link) , BMRC Report 1. 

With Preston, V., Phan, M., Park, S. and Kelly, P. (2011)  (PDF file) How does Full/Part-Time Employment Affect Labour Market Outcomes Over Time? (external link)  TIEDI Analytical Report 25.

With Preston, V. Phan, M., Park, S. and Kelly, P. (2011)  (PDF file) Continuity of Employment for Immigrants during the First Four Years in Canada (external link) , TIEDI Analytical Report 24.

With Kelly, P., Park, S. (2011)  (PDF file) Profile of Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Immigrants to Canada, 1996-2009 (external link) , TEIDI Analytical Report 26.

Policy Brief

With Deegan, H. and Aziz, A. (2024).  (PDF file) Labour migration policies: case study series Canada (external link) , Picum, March. 2024.

With Alboim, N. and Cohl, K. (2024)  (PDF file) Ontario Colleges and international students: A pivotal time, CERC Migration Policy Brief 18, Feb. 2024.  

(2022).  (PDF file) Ensuring the Success of International Students: A collaborative model between governments, post secondary institutions and the settlement sector. CERC Migration Policy Brief 08, Aug. 2022.

Policy Reviews

With Preston, V., Bedard, T., Hutfless, I. and Wayland, S. (2020) Building System Resilience: Learning from Local Immigration Partnership’s Environmental Scans and Service Inventories (external link) .  

With Preston, V. (2020)  (PDF file) The Social Characteristics of Temporary Foreign Workers Living in Ontario and Quebec (external link) , BMRC.

With Preston, V. (2020) The Social Characteristics of International Students in Ontario and Quebec (external link) , BMRC. 

Blogs and Infographics

(2020) We need responsible multifaith solidarity to fight the pandemic, Blog on Pandemic Borders, Open Democracy (external link) 

With Charles, N. (2019) How Did Immigrants Admissions Changed in Canada? (external link)  BMRC.