Why immigrants prefer Canada?

By Vijay Lala



Immiboards ― Is it true that immigrants prefer Canada? Data shows the number of people immigrating to Canada has increased by 23% between 2015 and 2019 and will rise higher as the country seeks to overcome its ageing workforce.

Canada has announced plans to increase the number of immigrants it accepts each year.

“Immigration is essential to getting us through the pandemic, but also to our short-term economic recovery and our long-term economic growth. Canadians have seen how newcomers are playing an outsized role in our hospitals and care homes, and helping us to keep food on the table. As we look to recovery, newcomers create jobs not just by giving our businesses the skills they need to thrive, but also by starting businesses themselves. Our plan will help to address some of our most acute labour shortages and to grow our population to keep Canada competitive on the world stage.”


Canada has increased its legal immigration target to 421,000 a year, a rise of 149,165, or 55%, from the 2015 level of 271,835.

Historical immigration to Canada

Indians who became permanent residents in Canada increased from 39,340 in 2015 to 85,590 in 2019, a rise of 118%, according to an Immiboards analysis of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada data.

Canada is undoubtedly benefiting from a diversion of young Indian techies from the U.S. primarily because of challenges in obtaining and renewing H-1B visas and finding a reliable route to U.S. permanent residence.

India is the leading country of citizenship for immigrants to Canada, followed by China, with more than twice as many immigrants as China in 2019. The Philippines took the third spot with 27,815 immigrants. Nigeria was fourth, with 12,595 immigrants choosing Canada, and the United States was at the fifth spot with 10,800 immigrants moving to Canada from the U.S.

Country of Citizenship20152016201720182019
China, People’s Republic of19,46026,78530,25029,71030,245
United States of America7,6558,4859,14010,90510,780
Korea, Republic of4,1054,0103,9804,8006,105
United Kingdom and Overseas Territories5,3605,8055,3105,6605,635
Canada – Admissions of Permanent Residents by Country of Citizenship, 2015 – 2020

For the quarter ending March 2020, June 2020 and September 2020, India continues to be the top source of immigrants for Canada.

Country of CitizenshipQ1 2020Q2 2020Q3 20202020 Total
China, People’s Republic of6,6303,5002,99013,120
United States of America2,4351,4351,3055,175
Korea, Republic of1,1456906852,520
United Kingdom and Overseas Territories1,1959406852,815
Canada – Admissions of Permanent Residents by Country of Citizenship, Q1 – Q3 2020

Canada and the United States are headed in the opposite direction in terms of immigration. 

With its Express Entry program, Canada admits approximately three times as many immigrants compared to the United States. “Higher immigration produces a larger, younger, and more diverse population, while the absence of immigration over the next four decades will have the opposite result.” according to a U.S. Census study.

The U.S. Census report underlines the importance of immigration to America’s long-term economic prospects; however, the current immigration policies are not in sync with the conclusion of the Census Bureau.

Legal U.S. Permanent Residents: FY 2016 to 2018

Canada’s Express Entry system of immigration offers opportunities to more legal immigrants and works extremely well.

The process is extremely methodological and transparent, with clear policy guidelines on who can be admitted.

The processing times are reasonable and the potential immigrant can expect to land in Canada and start contributing to the economy within a year or two. This provides a level of certainty to the immigrant as well. The current processing time for landed immigrants in Canada to receive their permanent resident card is 127 days.

Canadian immigration now attracts more talented foreign workers and dedicated programs have been created to attract the right talent to augment the labour force in Canada. Minimum wages in Canada have also seen upward revisions.

Canada acknowledges the fact that immigrants will play a pivotal role in its labour force growth and long-term economic growth, which reflects in the 2021-2023 immigration levels plan whereby Canada is aiming to admit 1.2 million immigrants.

Canada’s focus on immigrants

Canada’s focus is clearly on immigrants to drive the post-pandemic economic recovery. Apart from being one of the most inclusive countries in the world, Canada embraces multiculturalism and immigrants.

Universal healthcare, clean air, world-class education, the booming tech industry, safety, stable democratic system are some of the key elements which make Canada a preferred immigration destination and thus immigrants prefer Canada.

Vijay Lala is the founder and editor-in-chief of Immiboards.com. Dual master's degrees in Political Science and Economics, along with a decade of Canadian immigration research experience, have equipped him with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of immigration law, policy research, and settlement issues. Linkedin  Twitter

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