Before 9/11, the United States of America was considered to be a dream destination for millions around the world, especially for students. However, the aftermath of 9/11 changed the face of international politics along with immigration policies. And now when President Trump has tightened the immigration policy, Canada, in contrast, has loosened restrictions on immigration policy.
In 2016, Canada announced its foreign students’ policy which was/is appreciated and encouraged. One of the friendly nations, Canada is becoming a hub of immigrants; calling and accepting people across the globe. It is the most generous nation for immigrants and has the highest per capita admission rate in the world.
By accepting more than 200,000 immigrants yearly, for a decade, Canada now enjoys a global reputation of an ‘Open Arms’ attitude.
Let’s have a look at the history of Canada Immigration.
Immigration has always been a shaping factor in society and culture for countries like Canada. A desire and need for expansion emerged looking at the small population of the country. In the past, most of the immigrants would settle in the rural and frontier areas but Canada reconsidered its immigration policy in early 20th-Century. Canada started to control the inflow of immigrants and refugees by adopting new policies that would help in excluding applicants were not European Ethnic.
However, in 1976, once again Canada had to redeem its policy by removing the ethnic criteria. By making this amendment, Canada became a destination for immigrants across the globe until today.
UN report which was released in 2006, declared Canada 7th country worldwide among 28 countries which are hosting 75% of all international immigrants.
Who can Immigrate to Canada?
Anyone fulfilling the criteria of immigration can move to Canada. 200,000 immigrants have been granted a permanent residency by Canadian Government each year. It yet aims at maintaining a higher or similar number. Majority of immigrants are from Asia, particularly China, India and the Philippines. A prominent number of people also come from Pakistan, Iran, Britain, US and African countries.
Muslims immigrants have been warmly welcomed in Canada since 1996. In recent years, the number of Muslim Immigrants have significantly increased. The data shows that over 175,000 Muslims have immigrated to Canada from 1996 to 2001.
How Canadian Immigration Policy Works?
Canadian Immigration Policy has been divided into three categories:
2. Family Reunification
Let’s discuss each in details.
A large number of applicants apply for this category. This category represents a large number of immigrants applying yearly.
The selection criteria are purely based on immigration points. Points are further divided and spread across different categories.
- Level of Education
- Job Experience
- Language (English and French)
Each category is assigned with some specific points. For immigrating to Canada, one needs to attain those points to meet the applicable acceptance criteria.
Talking about the marketing trend across Canada, it is becoming more IT-based as the manufacturing sector is declining. This shift is enabling flexibility of transferable skills over a specific occupation.
2. Family Reunification:
This category was introduced for those who are already living in Canada and want their families to join them. After Economic, it is the second-largest group of immigrants moving to Canada each year.
If your spouse is already working in Canada, his/her presence can ease the immigration process. Similarly, parents can apply for their kids and vice versa.
under this category, Canada recognizes same-sex couples as well, even if they are not married legally due to restrictions of the country they are coming from.
Refugees are all dealt with within this category. Though there are many reservations on this particular policy of Canadian immigration but nothing absurd has surfaced yet. This category includes humanitarian resettlement programs and asylum protection.
You can claim your asylum on borders and airports, once your asylum claim is accepted, the Canadian government then allot you a permanent residency.
How these Immigrants are Accommodated in Canada?
Canada provides its immigrants with best facilities like access to language training, national health care and social welfare programs. These facilities help immigrants to settle well in Canada.
But, a few economic indicators are raising concerns over the skillset of the immigrants entering into Canada. Economic shift all over the world has changed many things since the 1990s. It is a technological and digital era. Conventional jobs have their perks but the technological shift is demanding different skillset.
It is reported that immigrants who had arrived in the 1990s faced more hurdle in finding a successful career than those immigrated in 1980s.
Some reports also show that despite getting educated and professionals in Canada, many struggles with finding a job that matches their skill level or qualification.
Conference Board of Canada has estimated that 340,000 approx. immigrants get affected by underemployment every year. This is costing them $4 billion in lost earnings.
Another issue which is faced and reported by the Canadian Immigration Office is that some of the people have a foreign qualification which is not recognized by Canada.
Canada’s Guest-Worker Program:
Canada has introduced seasonal worker program. It is a temporary program that is offered agricultural workers, live-in caregivers and construction workers. These temporary work programs aimed at addressing industry-specific labor need. The only glitch of this program is that labour is less-paid.
Although the guest-worker program is not intended to lead to permanent immigration of residency but it does not prohibit temporary workers to apply for permanent residency but often they don’t qualify due to points criteria which makes a way for educated workers. Temporary workers lack the required education and language to live in Canada.
Illegal Immigration to Canada:
Anything that is illegal is of no use. In fact, it brings more harm than one can think of. Similarly, illegal immigration to Canada or any country can put in hot-waters for the rest of your life.
Reports suggest that 100,000 to 200,000 people are labelled as undocumented immigrants that are living in Canada. Companies are warned of hiring any undocumented immigrant. They can face strict action from the authority; fines or even jail.