Politics & Policies

Immigration in Canada – How it really works

To get a handle on Canada’s immigration policy, we first need to address two misconceptions surrounding Canadians’ understanding of how their country’s immigration system works.

When the government announces that close to 340,000 immigrants will be admitted1 in a given year, many interpret this to mean 340,000 new arrivals that year. This is the first misconception. The reality, as revealed by a recent OECD study, is that – outside the context of the pandemic – hundreds of thousands of people arrive in Canada each year on a temporary basis, and this pool of people accounts for around 35 per cent of all those in the annual planned immigration total, including close to half of those accorded permanent residence in the economic category.

To be precise, in 2019, of the 341,180 people who obtained permanent resident status in Canada, 120,535 or 35 per cent were already legally in the country with some form of temporary status, broken down in table 1. The remainder were outside the country when they obtained their permanent residence visas; most of these were admitted through the family and humanitarian categories (see figures 1 and 2). The result is that many included in the overall immigration numbers are not new arrivals. They have been working or studying in Canada for at least two years and may well be settled with a spouse and children; some of those children are native-born Canadians.


Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ How Immigration Really Works in Canada – Inroads by BY ANNE MICHÈLE MEGGS


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