IRCC is testing a new tool that may help immigrants decide where to live in Canada
Researchers are working on creating a tool that will help immigrants identify which Canadian city they are most likely to succeed in.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been working on a research project with the Immigration Policy Lab (IPL) at Stanford University since 2018. This project may lead the way for this tool, GeoMatch, to come into effect.
Most immigrants end up choosing to live in Canada’s major cities because that is what they know. According to Statistics Canada, more than half of all immigrants in Canada currently live in Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal.
However, there may be better job opportunities for these immigrants in other parts of Canada. The prairies and rural areas are great for trade workers.
The project aims to repurpose an algorithm that is used in resettlement efforts to work for Canadian immigration. The project uses historical data to help immigrants choose where they may thrive.
GeoMatch uses machine learning capabilities to make predictions. It considers factors such as previous work history, education level, and personal characteristics. Then, it finds patterns in the data by focusing on how these factors were related to economic success in various locations.
GeoMatch will then be able to predict an immigrant’s likelihood of success in different locations across Canada.
Research suggests that an immigrant’s initial arrival location plays a key role in shaping their economic success in Canada. Typically, the first location that immigrants choose is not optimal for their expected income.
Immigrants can choose not to use the GeoMatch tool. Something to keep in mind is that GeoMatch takes into consideration not just data-driven predictions but immigrants’ location preferences as well.