Although most Canadian temporary foreign worker programs did not include provisions that allow participants to apply for permanent residency until recently, a substantial number of temporary foreign workers have become landed immigrants since the 1980s. For instance, from 2008 to 2012, about 32,000 temporary foreign workers gained permanent residency each year, accounting for 13% of the total inflow of landed immigrants.
Immigrants who had prior Canadian skilled work experience had a very large initial earnings advantage over economic immigrants who were selected for permanent residency directly from abroad, no matter whether the comparison was made from the year of landing or the year of arrival. In their first full year after immigration, they earned even more than the average among Canadian-born workers. Their advantage is likely related in large part to labour market institutional selection in terms of the role of employers in selecting foreign workers and of subsequent on-the-job screening, and to self-selection among skilled temporary foreign workers. The earnings advantage of immigrants with prior Canadian skilled work experience over immigrants without any prior Canadian experience narrowed rapidly in the initial years after landing as the latter group experienced more rapid earnings growth, but the advantage did not disappear.
Immigrants who had both prior Canadian skilled work experience and study experience also had superior labour market performance after landing. They had a large initial earnings advantage over immigrants without any prior Canadian experience. This advantage narrowed gradually in the first 10 years after landing but expanded subsequently. Although their initial earnings advantage at the time of landing was much smaller than that of immigrants with only prior Canadian skilled work experience, their earnings growth was more rapid. They surpassed immigrants with only prior skilled work experience within 10 years after landing.
By comparison, immigrants with prior Canadian study experience but without prior Canadian skilled work experience had only a small earnings advantage at the time of landing over immigrants without any prior Canadian experience, and this advantage was entirely attributable to their longer stay in Canada. Immigrants with only prior Canadian non-skilled work experience had significantly lower earnings at the time of landing and slower earnings growth after landing than did economic immigrants without any prior Canadian experience.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The Earnings Advantage of Landed Immigrants Who Were Previously Temporary Residents in Canada