Canada remains a destination of choice for visitors, students and business travellers from India with more than 130,000 visas being issued to people coming to visit family, friends or as tourists last year.

There were also almost 14,000 student visas granted and more than 33,000 Indian citizens who became permanent residents of Canada, according to the latest figures announced by Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.


He said that for over a century Canada has benefited from the talent and hard work of newcomers from India. ‘Tens of thousands of Indians continue to make the journey to Canada every year to help us build our country, our economy and, in many cases, to settle permanently and become Canadians,’ he explained.

‘The government has been making changes to facilitate legitimate travel, welcoming more visitors, businesspeople and students to Canada than ever before,’ he added.

This includes the Business Express Programme (BEP) that was introduced in 2008 and created to ensure faster processing of visa applications for business people. The Worker Express Programme, which provides expedited service to applicants sent to Canada by companies under the BEP, was introduced in India in June 2009 and has since benefited more than 7,200 Indian citizens.

In addition to the BEP, in July 2011, the government extended the duration of multiple entry visas from five to 10 years allowing visitors to enter and exit Canada for up to six months at a time over a 10 year period.

The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa remains a fast and convenient option for parents and grandparents who want to spend longer periods of time with their families in Canada. By the end of February 2014, more than 31,000 Super Visas had been issued, and almost 97% of qualified Super Visa applicants were approved.

The figures also show that the number of Indians becoming permanent residents has increased by 17% since 2008 and the number of visitor visas issued in 2013 to Indian citizens represents an increase of 14% since 2008.

Nearly four times more Indian students entered Canada in 2013 than in 2008 when 3,566 Indian citizens entered Canada as students and more than 50,000 parents and grandparents came to Canada during 2012 and 2013. Canada plans to welcome 20,000 more over the coming year.

‘Our government is proud to announce that Canada continues to attract visitors, students and business travellers from India. The impressive scale of visitor visas and study permits granted to travellers from India is an indication of the strong ties that exist between our two great nations,’ added Alexander.