The profile of immigrants to Canada can vary between admission years. Immigrants can face challenges when they arrive in Canada, such as acquiring the ability to speak at least one of the official languages or getting their foreign credentials recognized.
The immigrants admitted to Canada in 2015 earned the highest entry wages of any cohort admitted since 1981. The median entry wages of immigrant tax filers admitted in 2015 was $25,400 in 2016. The previous high was $24,800 for those admitted in 2014. Median entry wages are measured as the median wages one year after admission to Canada as permanent residents.
These findings are from the 2016 Longitudinal Immigration Database, which allows the analysis of immigrant groups over time and across different admission categories, such as economic immigrants, immigrants sponsored family or refugees.
Immigrants with work permits prior to their admission in Canada have the highest entry wages
A rising proportion of immigrants have pre-admission experience in Canada, as evidenced by the fact that they held at least one non-permanent resident permit (for example, work permit, study permit or refugee claim) prior to their admission as a permanent resident.
For immigrants admitted to Canada in 2015, one-third had pre-admission experience, compared with 20% for those admitted a decade earlier in 2005.
For the 2016 tax year, among the immigrants admitted in 2015, tax filers without pre-admission experience had median entry wages of $19,800, compared with $34,400 for tax filers who had a previous work permit. As the proportion of immigrants with pre-admission work experiences in Canada rises, the entry wages of immigrants are increasing.
Wages rise with the number of years since admission to Canada
The wages of immigrants increase with the number of years spent in Canada across all admission categories. The median wages of immigrant tax filers admitted to Canada in 2006 were estimated at $19,100 in 2007, one year after admission. For the same cohort, wages increased to $25,700 five years after admission, and $31,700 a decade later. This was also true for refugees, where the median wages of those admitted in 2006 as government-assisted refugees were $8,200 one year after admission, $16,800 after five years and $21,000 in 2016, a decade after admission. In comparison, the median wages of privately sponsored refugees admitted in 2006 were $20,600 one year after admission, $22,900 after five years and $25,800 in 2016.
Chart : Median wages of the 2006 cohort of immigrant tax filers, by citizenship status in 2016 and sex, tax years 2007 to 2016