Ottawa — Canada welcomed more than 500,000 permanent and temporary residents in 2009, according to preliminary data released by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) today.
“Momentum toward a full economic recovery continued throughout 2009, and immigration will continue to support that momentum,” said Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. “The Government of Canada is maintaining immigration levels to meet Canada’s short-, medium- and long-term economic needs, help offset our aging population and low birthrate, and sustain our workforce.”
Canada admitted 252,124 permanent residents in 2009, well within the government’s planned range of 240,000 to 265,000 new permanent residents for the year. This number is about 30,000 higher than the average annual intake of permanent residents in the 1990s. About 60 percent of those admitted were economic migrants.
An additional 178,640 temporary foreign workers and 85,131 foreign students came to Canada in 2009. Many temporary foreign workers, as well as foreign students who graduate in Canada, may apply to stay in the country permanently through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). CIC accepted 2,544 CEC applicants in 2009. Many temporary foreign workers are also selected to remain in Canada permanently through provincial nominee programs.
“The number of foreign students who came to Canada grew by seven percent last year, resulting in the highest number of foreign students ever admitted to Canada,” said Minister Kenney. “To be a more innovative society able to compete and prosper in a global, knowledge-based economy, Canada needs people with an international outlook, skills and experience. Attracting more international students is a priority for our government.”
Last year, Canada also welcomed 22,844 refugees. This included resettling 7,425 government-assisted refugees and 5,036 privately sponsored refugees. The government also landed 10,383 refugees in Canada who had made successful asylum claims, and their dependants. Proposed refugee reforms will, if adopted, see the number of government-assisted and privately sponsored refugees resettled in Canada increase by 20 percent.
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada
May 13, 2010