As immigrants integrate into the Canadian labour market, many initially face difficulties finding employment.

A new study by Statistics Canada reveals that some university-educated immigrants between the ages of 25 to 54 who arrived in Canada within the previous five years were less likely to be employed in 2007 than their Canadian-born counterparts. This was true regardless of the country in which they obtained their degree.

However, the study found that immigrants who were educated in Western countries were more likely to find work than those educated elsewhere.

Gap narrows with time

The study also found that the employment gap between degree-holding immigrants and the Canadian born narrowed the longer that an immigrant has been in Canada.

Statistics Canada says university-educated immigrants who have been in Canada for more than a decade had employment rates comparable to native-born Canadians.

Studies have shown that it is often difficult for newcomers to Canada to find work because of language barriers and their foreign credentials not being recognized.