Record number of permanent residents arrives in Canada

by Ray Clancy on February 15, 2011

Record number of immigrants to Canada

A record number of permanent immigrants arrived in Canada last year, some 6% more than planned, the latest figures show.

In 2010, Canada welcomed 280,636 permanent residents, Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and Parliamentary Secretary Alice Wong announced in Toronto and Vancouver.

‘While other Western countries cut back on immigration during the recession, our government kept legal immigration levels high. Canada’s post recession economy demands a high level of economic immigration to keep our economy strong,’ said Kenney.

He added though that Canada would continue to crackdown on illegal entrants and take action to maintain the integrity of Canada’s immigration system with the introduction of the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act.

Kenney also said that the number was in line with his announcement in June of last year that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) would adjust its 2010 immigration plan to meet the need for economic immigration. The 280,636 number is about 60,000 higher than the average annual intake of permanent residents the Government of Canada admitted in the 1990s.

‘It’s important to understand that the ranges are for planning purposes only. The key is the number of immigrants that Canada actually admits into the country. For 2010, that number is 280,636, with the growth coming mostly from skilled economic immigrants,’ said Wong.

The high number of economic immigrants in 2010 has helped CIC decrease application backlogs in the federal skilled worker category, reduce wait times under the Action Plan for Faster Immigration, and better meet labour market needs.

Before the Action Plan for Faster Immigration, which Minister Kenney announced within one month of becoming Immigration Minister in November 2008, Canada was obliged to process every immigration application it received, even if it meant creating large application backlogs in popular immigration categories. For example, in 2008 Canada had a backlog of over 640,000 people in the federal skilled worker category waiting as long as six years to be processed.

‘Last year, the backlog of people who applied before the Action Plan was drawn down to 335,000 applicants, which represents close to half the number of people who were awaiting a decision in 2008. I’m very pleased that a higher number of admissions in 2010 means that more people are now out of the line-up and well on their way to beginning a new life in Canada,’ said Kenney.

A recent evaluation confirmed that immigrants selected under the federal skilled worker programme are faring well in Canada and filling gaps in the work force. It found that skilled workers who already had a job offer when they applied for permanent residence fared best of all, earning on average $79,200 three years after arriving in Canada. About two thirds of those admitted in 2010 in the permanent resident category were economic immigrants and their dependants.

‘Since 2006, our government has allowed for the provincial nominee program to expand significantly, from 8,047 people in 2005 to 36,419 in 2011,’ added Kenney.

Canada continued to welcome a high number of temporary residents, including 182,322 temporary foreign workers and 96,147 foreign students. That is 28,292 more foreign students than in 2005. And with the creation of the Canadian Experience Class in 2008, eligible foreign students can apply for permanent residency from within Canada.

According to a study commissioned by the Government of Canada entitled Economic Impact of International Education in Canada, foreign students are estimated to contribute more than $6.5 billion to Canada’s economy every year.

‘We continued to admit an increasing number of foreign students to Canada last year through joint efforts among the federal government, provincial governments and other partners. Our government’s initiatives such as the Student Partners Program have also helped to attract and admit a high number of foreign students, particularly from China and India,’ added Kenney.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Smith Dean April 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm

'Keep our economy strong'

How about, 'keep our culture strong'.

Oh yeah – I forgot – we have no culture.


SC May 16, 2015 at 4:35 pm

We have MANY cultures in Canada, just saying!
Cheer up, bud, the immigrants will pay for your pensions and care for you (if you end up in a hospital or care home).


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