Hoping to immigrate to Canada? Let’s take a look at the statistics to see who is getting in.
Just looking at permanent residents, about 250,000 immigrants enter Canada and obtain permanent residency every year. In 2013 this number broke down approximately as follows:
- 84 000 skilled workers and their families
- 64 000 other economic applicants, including CEC, PNP and business class
- 80 000 family class, including spouses, parents and children
- 30 000 refugees and other humanitarian categories
It can be seen that the economic categories, including skilled workers, business class, provincial nominees (PNP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) compose the largest group of immigrants entering into Canada. Currently these programs are in flux, as the immigration department intends to introduce a new “Express Entry” program to replace the Skilled Worker category in January 2015. Similarly the business categories such as entrepreneurs and investors are currently under review and new programs are planned for 2015. It is unclear whether the CEC program will remain intact after January 2015, however it is likely that the PNP programs will remain unchanged. Those hoping to apply under the economic category may wish to wait until 2015 to see if they can qualify under the new rules once they are released.
The second largest group of immigrants is the family class. These are family members of people who are already living in Canada as citizens or permanent residents. Of these the spousal/common-law/conjugal partner sponsorship category and the child sponsorship category remain effective, although the immigration authorities recently reduced the maximum age of sponsorable children to 18 from 21. The parental sponsorship category is on hold until January 2015 when it is anticipated that it will reopen but will be capped at a certain number of applications for the year. Canadian citizens or permanent residents who wish to sponsor their parents to Canada may consider opting for a super visa application for the time being to allow their parents to at least enter the country as visitors.
The last category is refugees and other humanitarian applications. These numbers are expected to diminish over time as the immigration authorities have made it much more difficult for refugees and others seeking humanitarian status to make their case. Those interested in making refugee claims may wish to communicate with legal counsel in Canada prior to arriving in order to assess whether their case is strong enough to justify making an asylum claim.