Since 2016, the number of Indians who received a permanent residence to Canada as of 2021 has more than doubled. Canada is generally said to be the mecca for Indian expats as the country has had a very welcoming and less rigid immigration policies compared to other western countries such as USA and UK. India remains one of the largest source of immigrants streaming in droves to Canada.
Known for its socially cosmopolitan environment, Canada has always ranked high in Human Happiness Index. According to the World Happiness Report (WHR) released annually by a team of independent researchers a country’s happiness index is weighed upon six variables: income, freedom, trust in government, healthy life expectancy, social support, and generosity. Canada has a premium ranking in all of these variables.
A report in 2020 found that overall migration to the nations that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, mostly Western wealthy countries has increased significantly by 10% in 2018 almost entirely because of the number of Indians migrating to Canada.
What’s in store for Indian Immigrants?
In a recent Forbes report, The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship data in the National Foundation for American Policy said that the number of Indians admitted as Permanent Residents to Canada went up to 105% from 2016 to 2021. The number of Indian international students in Canada has also significantly increased by 127% between 2016 and 2021, according to the Canadian Bureau for International Education.
There is a very low chance of long-term unemployment in Canada even for the migrants of other countries, according to The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report points, another important reason why Indian immigrants should choose Canada. While most immigrants in the European Union and the US, especially immigrant women, remain at a higher risk of unemployment, the risk of exclusion from labour market is statistically quite low in Canada.
In 2018-19, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada updated the policies on the selection and sponsorship of newcomers to be more inclusive and diverse. Under the updated policy, fewer applicants with disabilities will be deemed inadmissible on health grounds. This is another attracting factor for migrants from Asian countries as the ‘anti-racism’ laws makes the country more accommodating of different backgrounds including language, culture and religion.
The Canadian government is also in partnership with the Rainbow Refugee Society, an organisation which supports people seeking refugee protection in Canada because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or HIV status.
Canada also runs a number of different programmes encouraging migrants, particularly Express-Entry System Nationwide Visas for more detailed info on this) that offers permanent residency invitations to highly skilled workers, even if they have not secured a job in the country. A significant number of Indians aspiring Permanent Residency rely over this program as it allows companies to process work permits and visas in a matter of weeks.
Would the current Pandemic hamper my immigration?
Even in the pandemic, IRCC and provinces and territories across the country have continued to process new and existing immigration applications. This is to complete the processing of as many applications as possible in order to allow permanent or temporary status. The second reason why Canada’s governments are processing applications now is to enable the country’s immigration system to recover as quickly as possible following the pandemic.
In October 2020, Mendicino (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship) announced the most ambitious immigration targets in Canadian history under the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada aims to welcome at least 401,000 new immigrants per year, enabling Indian immigrants with success rates of getting Canadian PR through the Express Entry system. Provinces and territories are employing a similar approach through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and in Quebec.
In addition, the travel restrictions contain a number of exemptions which allow certain individuals such as the close family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to immigrate to Canada during the pandemic.
Canada had been welcoming nearly 300,000 new immigrants annually in the years leading up to the pandemic. The country’s immigration rate stood at about 0.9 per cent, that represents three times as many new immigrants per capita as the United States. Canada’s immigration rate fell to 0.5 per cent in 2020 as the country welcomed under 200,000 immigrants for just the second time since 1989.
Statistically speaking, Canada’s immigration levels are expected to be exceeded by 200,000 newcomers in 2021 as IRCC has since adapted to the pandemic. The pandemic will continue to have an impact on Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan, but we can expect levels to surpass 401,000 annually once COVID-19 has been contained globally. In the meantime, IRCC and provinces and territories continue to issue new immigration invitations. Express Entry draws are still taken out consistently by IRCC.
Canada’s 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan:
|Target||Low Range||High Range||Target||Low Range||High Range||Target||Low Range||High Range|
|Overall Planned Permanent Resident Admissions||401,000||300,000||410,000||411,000||320,000||420,000||421,000||330,000||430,000|
|Economic||Federal High Skilled||108,500||81,000||110,250||110,500||96,250||112,900||113,750||100,000||114,500|
|Economic Pilots: Caregivers||8,500||4,900||9,250||10,000||4,500||10,500||10,250||4,500||11,000|
|Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program||6,000||3,300||6,250||6,250||3,000||6,750||6,500||3,500||6,750|
|Provincial Nominee Program||80,800||64,000||81,500||81,500||63,600||82,500||83,000||65,000||84,000|
|Quebec Skilled Workers and Business||See the Quebec immigration plan||To be determined||To be determined|
|Family||Spouses, Partners and Children||80,000||61,000||81,000||80,000||60,000||81,000||81,000||60,000||82,000|
|Parents and Grandparents||23,500||15,000||24,000||23,500||14,000||24,000||23,500||14,000||24,000|
|Refugees and Protected Persons||Protected Persons in Canada and Dependents Abroad||23,500||17,000||25,000||24,500||19,000||25,000||25,000||19,500||25,500|
|Resettled Refugees – Government-Assisted||12,500||7,500||13,000||12,500||7,500||13,000||12,500||8,400||13,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Privately Sponsored||22,500||14,900||23,000||22,500||15,400||23,000||22,500||15,500||23,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Blended Visa Office-Referred||1,000||100||1,000||1,000||100||1,000||1,000||100||1,000|
|Total Refugees and Protected Persons||59,500||39,500||62,000||60,500||42,000||62,000||61,000||43,500||62,500|
|Humanitarian and Other||Total Humanitarian & Compassionate and Other||5,500||4,000||6,000||5,500||5,000||6,000||6,000||5,500||8,000|
|4.4% of total admissions outside Quebec||12,144||16,544|
The Express Entry system still persists as the most important way of welcoming skilled immigrants through the Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Trades programs, know more about it at Nationwidevisas.
It is important to note here, 95 percent of those welcome through Express Entry are employed, and 80 percent of those in their fields of specialism. Other programs such as the hugely Global Talent Stream also help in welcoming new skilled workers, who can go on to become permanent residents through Express Entry.
Mendicino also mentioned of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and the Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot in encouraging new immigrants to spread out around Canada and not concentrate themselves in major urban areas such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The major takeaway here is that Canada can expect more of the same on the immigration file under his stewardship.
Canada’s immigration system is lauded as one of the best in the world, and the country clearly intends to keep it that way.
What are the best ways to get your Canadian immigration?
Express Entry – Federal Skilled Worker
The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is for those with at least one-year of skilled work experience. It uses the Comprehensive Ranking System to give all applicants a points-based score. Only the most competitive applicants will be selected for immigration. In 2019, 47% of all invitations through Express Entry were issued to Indian nationals, mostly under the Federal Skilled Worker stream.
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
Each of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories runs its own immigration programs, called Provincial Nominee Programs, or PNPs. All these provinces have varying labour requirements, populations and economies, their immigration programs are unique and built to fit their economic and demographic needs. PNPs is a popular option because they can be a relatively easier way to Canadian permanent residence.
Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW)
The province of Quebec runs its own skilled worker immigration program. The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSW) is an immigration program managed by the province of Quebec for candidates who have skilled work experience and will be able to make lasting contributions to Quebec’s economy as members of the workforce. Just as Express Entry, candidates are ranked using a points system and then certain candidates are invited to apply.
Work Permits / Intra-Company Transfers
Indian nationals can also be eligible for Canada’s work permit if they already have a work invitation or a job. Most popular amongst this is intra-company transfers. If your employer is part of a multinational corporation with office in Canada, you could be eligible to be transferred to its branch in Canada.