‘Japa’: Canada Opens Doors To Over 1 Million Immigrants

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The Canadian government is planning to bring in 1.45 million permanent residents in the next three years.

Canada’s minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, Sean Fraser, announced this at a conference where he unveiled the 2023-2025 immigration plan.

Although the original plan is to ease labor shortages and offset an aging workforce in the North American country, Nigerians who are usually eager to relocate abroad will see this as a huge opportunity.

On the heels of poor standard of living and insecurity in the country, Nigerians are relocating abroad in droves with countries such as United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Germany, among others being their choice destinations.

Data from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) indicated that 12,595 Nigerians relocated to Canada in 2019.

In its July 2021 report titled ‘Of Roads Less Travelled: Assessing the Potential for Migration to Provide Overseas Jobs for Nigeria’s Youth,’ the World Bank disclosed that about 50 per cent of Nigerians are willing to leave the country for a better economic future abroad.

One common diction many Nigerians, especially youths and young families, now use often is Japa, a street lingo for excessive desire to escape from Nigeria’s wobbling socioeconomic conditions.

According to Canada’s migration plan, in 2023, 465,000 new permanent residents (PR) will be welcomed into the country. This target will rise to 485,000 new Canadian PRs in 2024.

In 2025, Canada is aiming to welcome 500,000 immigrants to this country.

The plan also aims to attract newcomers to different regions of the country, including small towns and rural communities.

Over the years, Canada’s open-door immigration policy has helped its population grow at the fastest rate among Group of Seven countries. But some immigrants have accused the government for using them as a form of “cheap labor” and many still face challenges finding jobs that match their skills and qualifications.

Fraser said the increased targets will be supported by the rollout of new tools next year that will allow governments to start targeting newcomers in specific occupations to ensure better matching with industries suffering the most intense labor shortages.

He said, “This year’s immigration levels plan will help businesses find the workers they need, set Canada on a path that will contribute to our long-term success, and allow us to make good on key commitments to vulnerable people fleeing violence, war and persecution.”

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