Those who work with immigrants in New Brunswick say creating more jobs is what's needed to attract more immigrants to the province.
The New Brunswick government released a paper this month asking the public for suggestions on how to bring more immigrants to the province and retain young people.
Daniel Perez came to Fredericton from Venezuela to work as a software developer and didn't have difficulty finding work. But it has been difficult for his wife to find a job, a situation that is not uncommon for immigrant couples.
"If you don't have a specialty … it could be difficult to find a job," said Perez.
Perez's wife Carolina used to work as a secretary at a university, but still hasn't found permanent work in her field.
"For my profession, it is difficult looking for a job because [of] my English," she said.
The New Brunswick Multicultural Council says about 2,000 immigrants move to the province every year. About 20 per cent of them return to their homeland, or move to other provinces where there are more jobs and better pay.
Immigrants account for 3.9 per cent of New Brunswick's population according to Statistics Canada, far below the national average of 20 per cent.
Rowland Moreno works with New Brunswick's Filipino community and says many of them are seasonal workers who would like to make New Brunswick their home.
"What we would like to see from the government is to put a lot of investment on not only attracting people to work with us, but to create more jobs in New Brunswick."
Leentje Deleuil, managing director of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council, agrees.
"The most difficult part for us is to keep the immigrants, the newcomers in New Brunswick," said Deleuil. "It has been extremely difficult, mostly due economic situations."
The government will take the input it receives from its discussion paper and incorporate it into a five-year plan to attract more people to the province.