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1 in 4 who got Canadian permanent residency last year was an Indian

February 13, 2020 07:02 AM


1 in 4 who got Canadian permanent residency last year was an Indian

One in four foreigners granted permanent resident (PR) status in Canada last year was an Indian.

Of the 3.41 lakh such individuals admitted in 2019—exceeding Canada’s immigration target by some 10,000 —85,585 (25.1%) were from India. In fact, it was the second consecutive year that Canada has granted permanent residency to more than 3 lakh foreigners.

PR is akin to a US green card, with the family acquiring the right to live, work or study anywhere in Canada. Later, on completion of five years as a PR, they can apply for Canadian citizenship.

The overall 2019 figures show a rise of 6.2% over the 3.21 lakh admitted in 2018. When compared with the 2.86 lakh figure of 2017, it denotes a rise of just over 19% (see table).

More Indians rush in as Canada opens door wider

The trend is expected to continue; the admission target for all immigration categories set by the Canadian government for the current calendar year is 3.41lakh and 3.5 lakh for next year.

Indians continued to top the chart of source countries (based on citizenship) opting for PR, showing a rise of 22.3% over the previous year and 66% when compared to 2017. The PR-seekers include not only those migrating directly from India, but also H-1B visa holders in US, who owing to challenges relating to renewals and decades-long wait for a green card move to Canada. TOI had spotted and reported this trend in its edition of June 15, 2018.

China, with just 30,260 being admitted as permanent residents, was a distant second, accounting for nearly 9% of the total number. Philippines, Nigeria and US rounded up the top five source countries of new permanent residents.

Past trends show that a significant portion (80% plus) of eligible immigrants go on to obtain Canadian citizenship. A person who is in Canada temporarily, like a foreign student, is not a permanent resident. Of the 3.41 lakh individuals granted permanent residence during 2019, 58% (1.96 lakh) were admitted under the economic class; 27% arrived through family sponsorship; and remaining 15% were refugees granted permanent residency.

“Canada continues to welcome higher levels of immigration to support its economic growth. Indian nationals comprise a larger share of Canada’s immigrants since majority are eligible for more than 80 economic class pathways operated by Canada,” David Cohen, senior partner at Campbell Cohen, a Canadian immigration law firm, told TOI.

For instance, the Express Entry point-based immigration system was introduced in January, 2015 to enable skilled immigrants to obtain a permanent residency and is a popular route for Indians. However, immigration experts sound a word of caution. Canada opening its doors to immigrants has resulted in scams across the globe (including India) and people have been duped by dubious agents with job offers and fake visas.

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