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Rising Living Costs in Canada Spark Reverse Immigration Trend

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As a country built on immigration Canada is experiencing a concerning rise, in the number of individuals departing from the nation. This trend has the potential to undermine the Trudeau government’s objective of granting residency to a record breaking 2.5 million people within an eight-year span. The enticing promise of achieving success in Canada has now transformed into a battle for survival for immigrants as they face escalating living costs and limited housing options leading to an increase, in emigration figures. This shift suggests that an increasing number of newcomers are renouncing their adopted home.

Despite 263,000 people arriving in Canada within the same period, the steady growth in emigration numbers is causing concern among some observers. In conversations with Reuters, several individuals revealed they have either left or are preparing to leave the country due to surging living costs. One such example is 25-year-old Cara, a Hong Kong refugee who arrived in Canada in 2022. She now spends approximately 30% of her income on rent for a one-room basement apartment in Scarborough, Toronto.

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made immigration a key component of his approach, to addressing Canadas challenges posed by an aging and slowing population there are indications that a shift in this trend is gradually occurring. Official data shows that 42,000 individuals departed from Canada during the half of 2023 following a total of 93,818 departures in 2022 and 85,927 exits in 2021. According to the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) an advocacy group, for immigration the rate at which immigrants are leaving the country reached its point in twenty years in 2019. Although this rate decreased during pandemic lockdowns, it has begun rising again according to Statistics Canada.

Warnings From Lawyers and Immigration Consultants

According to Daniel Bernhard, CEO of ICC, fostering positive experiences during the early years can encourage immigrants to stay in their adopted country. However, many immigrants in Canada attribute skyrocketing housing costs as the primary reason for considering a move to another nation.

In fact, a September report by RBC revealed that Canadians need to allocate around 60% of their household income to cover homeownership expenses. This percentage increases dramatically for residents in Vancouver and Toronto, reaching 98% and 80%, respectively.

Myo Maung, a Myanmar immigrant with over three decades in Canada, plans to retire in Thailand due to concerns about maintaining his standard of living on his retirement income. As a successful real estate agent and restaurateur, he represents many who share these concerns about the high cost of living.

Phil Triadafilopoulos, an immigration specialization professor at the University of Toronto (UofT), believes that rapid immigration contributes to the housing shortage. Consequently, those who have alternative options may either return to their home countries or migrate elsewhere.

In an attempt to mitigate this issue, Prime Minister Trudeau’s government recently limited its target for new arrivals at 500,000 per year starting from 2025. However, for some immigrants like Justinas Stankus from Lithuania, pursuing his doctorate degree at UofT, this adjustment is insufficient. Stankus is considering relocating to Southeast Asia due to the lower cost of living and difficulty affording basic necessities on a graduate student’s budget.

Despite these measures, some immigrants still feel trapped and are eager for any opportunity to leave Canada behind. As Cara from Hong Kong expresses her sentiment: “Whenever I get a chance to leave, I will take the chance.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, exclusively written and published by IntraSource. The published information is sourced from various trusted platforms, such as news agencies and online media, mainly the Government of Canada and Canadian online media/websites, and should not be considered as legal or professional advice. IRCC’s requirements may change, so consult a lawyer/s and receive professional advice before making decisions or applications.

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