Canada welcomes highest number of legal immigrants in 50 years
According to February 13, 2011 Citizenship and Immigration Canada news release, in 2010 Canada welcomed the highest number of legal immigrants in more than 50 years, at 280,636 permanent residents. The 280,636 number is about 60,000 higher than the average annual intake of permanent residents the Government of Canada admitted in the 1990s.
"While other Western countries cut back on immigration during the recession, our government kept legal immigration levels high. Canada''s post-recession economy demands a high level of economic immigration to keep our economy strong", said Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.
The high number of economic immigrants in 2010 has helped CIC decrease application backlogs in the federal skilled worker category, and reduce wait times for an immigration application processing. For example, in 2008 Canada had a backlog of over 640,000 people in the federal skilled worker category waiting as long as six years to be processed.
"Last year, the backlog of people who applied before the Action Plan was drawn down to 335,000 applicants, which represents close to half the number of people who were awaiting a decision in 2008", said Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and Parliamentary.
"At the same time, we did our part to meet the needs of provinces and territories through a record number of immigrants in the provincial nominee program, representing an increase of 20 percent from the previous year. Since 2006, our government has allowed for the provincial nominee program to expand significantly, from 8,047 people in 2005 to 36,419 in 2011", said Minister Kenney.
Also, Canada continued to welcome a high number of temporary residents, including 182,322 temporary foreign workers and 96,147 foreign students. That is 28,292 more foreign students than in 2005. And with the creation of the Canadian Experience Class in 2008, eligible foreign students can apply for permanent residency from within Canada.
In 2010, Canada also maintained its humanitarian tradition by welcoming 7,265 government-assisted refugees and 4,833 privately sponsored refugees. This represents 63% more privately sponsored refugees than in 2005.
For more information, please visit CIC website.