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TRANSITIONS: The impact of pre-landing experience and settlement services on employment outcomes for immigrants

Employment advisor speaks to a woman at a desk

The study investigates how permanent residents with “pre-landing” experience (work or study experience in Canada before receiving permanent status) use settlement services and whether the use of settlement services impacts their employment outcomes. Taking a comparative approach, the study further explores how the use of settlement services and employment trajectories differ between permanent residents who arrive as “landed immigrants” (those who receive residency status at the time of arrival) and those who have “pre-landing” experience. By examining the relations between migration status, transition paths, use of settlement services and employment outcomes in urban centres of different sizes, the study aims to contribute to location-specific policies on settlement programs. 

  1. Does the use of settlement services in Canadian cities differ between landed immigrants and permanent residents who have pre-landing experience, and is there a difference between those who had previous experience as temporary foreign workers or as international students?
  2. How does the use of settlement services influence the employment outcomes of landed immigrants versus permanent residents who have pre-landing experience?

A significant portion of recent permanent residents in Canada have pre-landing experience as temporary residents. The number of temporary residents who gained permanent status as economic immigrants increased from 13,551 in 2016 to 56,739 in 2017. By 2018, 59% of economic principal applicants had worked in Canada before landing (up from 12% in 2000). Permanent residents who transitioned from temporary status are playing an increasingly important role in Canada’s economy. Pre-landing Canadian work and/or study experiences differentiate them from landed immigrants in the labour market. Transitioning from temporary to permanent status allows this group to access government-funded settlement services, such as language training, employment training, network building opportunities, and job placement and internship opportunities, which are considered to be important factors in enabling immigrants to settle, adjust and integrate into the Canadian labour market. However, little information is available regarding the use of settlement services and the labour market integration of permanent residents with pre-landing experience compared to that of landed immigrants in Canadian cities.

Statistical analysis of the integrated Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) and Settlement Services Modules (SSM) will be undertaken for the study. This is a recently released database from Statistics Canada that links IMDB with service-provider-level and person-level data on a range of pre- and post-arrival services received by landed immigrants and permanent residents with pre-landing history since 2013.

The project is on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions in accessing the Research Data Centre at the University of Toronto. Data analysis is expected to start in August/September 2021.

Based on previous analysis of the IMDB data [conducted during postdoctoral fellowship with the Building Migrant Resilience in Cities (BMRC) partnership], the following two research reports on the transition of temporary foreign workers and international students are published.

August 2022

CERC Migration

transition, settlement services, employment outcomes, Canadian cities, IMDB- Settlement Services Modules