Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Canada sees its highest sustained level of immigration

by RAY CLANCY on MARCH 6, 2012



Canada continued to welcome a high number of immigrants in 2011, according to preliminary data just released by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
There were 248,660 permanent residents in 2011, well within the Government’s planning range of 240,000 to 265,000 new permanent residents for the year. There were 156,077 economic immigrants and 56,419 family class immigrants.
This figure is consistent with the average of about a quarter of a million immigrants admitted to Canada annually since 2006, the highest sustained level of immigration in Canadian history.
‘Canada’s per-capita immigration rate remains one of the highest in the world. Immigration has always been a sustaining feature of Canada’s history and continues to play an important role in building our country,’ said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.
Meanwhile the new Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is proving popular with more than a thousand applications approved in less than three months since the Super Visa programme began. There has been an overall approval rate of 77%.
‘I’m pleased that the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is working as intended and giving large numbers of eligible parents and grandparents an opportunity to spend extended periods of time with their families in Canada,’ said Kenney.
He explained that the process for getting a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is simple and straightforward. Applicants for the Super Visa must submit proof that the host child or grandchild meets a minimum income, demonstrate that they have purchased comprehensive Canadian medical insurance and undergo the Immigration Medical Examination. Almost 99% of Super Visa applicants who met these requirements also went on to meet all other standard admissibility criteria which are required for all visa applicants.
The aim is to allow parents and grandparents to follow a natural flow between Canada and other countries without creating an unnecessary burden on the Canadian taxpayer or spinning families into unnecessary stress.
As of February 26, 80% of the finalised Super Visa applications were processed to a final decision within 41 calendar days, well below the target of eight weeks. As application volumes ramp up, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will continue to aim for a Super Visa processing time of eight weeks or less, added Kenney.