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A recent study on Canadian immigration policies has found that immigrants who move to Canada as independent skilled immigrants had the highest earnings of four categories of immigrants studied: independent primary skilled immigrants, accompanying economic immigrants, family class immigrants, and refugees.
The study, entitled Immigrant Earnings Differences Across Admission Categories and Landing Cohors in Canada, was conducted by Queen’s University. The study examined the first ten years after immigrants landed in Canada in three different time periods: 1982, 1988, and 1994.

“The ten-year average of median earnings levels of skill-assessed economic immigrants exceeded the average median earnings levels for all immigrants by 30-37 percent across the [three periods studied] for men and by 39-56 percent for women,” the study noted.

Refugees and family class immigrants had the lowest earnings of the four immigrant categories. However, refugees had the higest earnings growth rates for both male and female immigrants during the first ten years after arriving in Canada.

Immigrants who landed in Canada during 1998 generally had the lowest earnings growth rate and the highest growth rate was in the 1994 study period.

The study also noted that “since skill-assessed independent economic immigrants had substantially higher earnings levels throughout their first ten post-landing years, Canada should continue to place heavy weight on skill-assessed immigrants and not reduce the proportion of new immigrants admitted in the skilled worker category.”