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Canada is a nation built on immigration. We have welcomed a steady flow of immigrants since our first days as a nation and have embraced broad immigration policies which are reflected in our ethnic diversity.
One of the biggest sources of Canadian immigration is India. According to the federal government, in 2013 Canada welcomed 33, 00 people from India comprising 11.2 % of immigrants. Only two other nations outnumber India as a source for Canadian immigration: China (12.8 %) and Philippines (12.7 %).
14,000 students and more than 130,000 visitors also traveled from India to Canada during that time period. The number of student visas issued to Indian nationals has seen a steady increase in recent years. Current levels are 14 per cent higher than they were five years ago.
Overall, these numbers represent an increase in Canadian visa services across the board. Since 2006, Canada has enjoyed the highest sustained levels of immigration in its history, a trend that appears to continue for years to come.
Canada’s broad immigration policies and need for skilled workers attracts many people from India. In addition, fast-track processes have been instituted to expedite processing of visas for designated business travelers and students applying to designated publicly-funded post-secondary colleges and universities in Canada.
Partly as a result of the Student Partners program, India was the second largest source of students destined to Canada in 2011 when 12,210 study permits were issued, more than four times the number in 2007.
In an effort to reduce the frequency with which frequent travelers must apply for visas, the maximum validity of the temporary resident visa has been increased from five to ten years (subject to passport validity). A new Super visa for qualifying parents and grandparents allows for visits of up to 2 years without the need for the holder to renew status.
The majority of Indian immigrants coming into Canada are classified as economic immigrants meaning that they are highly skilled and educated professionals. Skilled immigrants help to boost Canada’s economy and fill gaps in the labour market.
Many new arrivals from India speak impeccable English and possess experience in key industries like information technology, science, and medicine. These skills, combined with the Indian community’s strong support network, means that many newcomers are often able to quickly find jobs and settle into their new homes after arriving in Canada.
The Indo-Canadian community is largest in British Columbia and Ontario, with members playing prominent roles in politics, sports, and business.
If you have any immigration questions or concerns, Ashton College runs a monthly free Immigration Law Clinic. For more information, please visit our webpage here.