2012: Canada’s Record-Breaking Year for Immigration

CIC News
Published: March 13, 2013

2012 was a record-breaking year for Canadian immigration programs across the board, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). From visitors to immigrants, workers to students, Canada continued its tradition of welcoming hundreds of thousands of temporary and permanent residents from around the world. Last year continued a 7-year trend of successive record-breaking, welcoming over 257,000 new permanent residents alone. Here is a summary of some other initiatives that in 2012 smashed previous records:

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Almost 10,000 permanent resident visas were issued through the CEC last year, making it Canada’s fastest-growing immigration program. Issuances exceeded the government’s target of 7,000 by 34%, marking an increase of over 50% from 2011.

India, China, Philippines Receive Record Visa Issuances

Canada receives its highest numbers of immigrants from China, India, and the Philippines. In 2012, all three countries saw the numbers of visas issued to nationals skyrocket.

Almost 33,000 permanent resident visas were issued to Chinese applicants, in addition to 235,000 visitor visas and over 25,000 study visas. These numbers made China the largest source country for Canadian immigration overall.

The Philippines was the second largest source country for Canadian immigration last year. Almost 33,000 new permanent resident visas were granted to Philippine nationals, as well as 44,000 visitor visas and 941 study permits.

India was the third largest source country for Canadian immigration in 2012. Indians received almost 29,000 permanent resident visas, 130,000 visitor visas, and 13,000 study permits.

International Students

For the first time in Canadian history, over 100,000 study permits were issued to international students. This represents a 60% increase from permit issuances since 2004.

Parent and Grandparent Super Visa

Since its launch in December 2011, the Super Visa has seen a steep rise in popularity, with more than 15,000 visa issuances to date. At present, over 1,000 visas are issued to the parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents every month.

Visitor Visas

The Canadian government approved almost 1 million visitor visas last year. This astounding number represents a 40% increase since 2004. Visa popularity has risen in part due to the fact that multiple-entry visa lengths have been extended from five to ten years for eligible applicants.

The Overseas Orientation Program

Through the Overseas Orientation Program, Canadian Permanent Residents may now avail themselves of the opportunity to prepare for their settlement in Canada before arriving in the country. The program has to date graduated 20,000 participants.

“Canada’s record-breaking year is further proof of the country’s commitment to welcoming individuals from around the world, whether for a short stay or for a lifetime,” said Attorney David Cohen. “I expect 2013 will continue this upward trajectory.”

CIC has already announced its immigration goals for 2013, indicating a sustained interest in keeping immigration levels high. The introduction of new programs, as well as the overhaul of popular immigration classes, will ensure that those who enter Canada do so with the full support of the Canadian government and the Canadian people.

To find out if you are eligible to apply to one of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment. 

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