New information has been revealed that details how immigrants to Canada integrate into their new society. The facts and figures, which were obtained through the Access to Information Act, show an immigrant population that is among the most successful in the world.
“Canada’s immigration system is designed so that those individuals who become Canadian Permanent Residents are well-suited to settle quickly upon their arrival in the country,” said Attorney David Cohen. “While I can personally think of many immigrant success stories, it is always nice to see statistics that demonstrate this to be true.”
Individuals can become Canadian Permanent Residents through one of the country’s 60-plus immigration programs. Once permanent residency is acquired, an immigrant is free to live and work anywhere in Canada.
The most economically successful newcomers generally arrive through Skilled Worker and Provincial Nominee programs. These programs grant permanent residency on the basis of applicants’ potential to succeed in Canada’s labour market. Factors such as work experience, language skills, and age are assessed. Research has proven that individuals who score high in areas such as these are more likely to transition easily to the Canadian job market.
Once in Canada, immigrants on average volunteer more hours and give bigger donations to charity than Canadian-born citizens. In every province, there are a number of organizations that are created by and for immigrants. These may be cultural (like the Chinese Canadian National Council), religious (like the Council of Sikh Organizations) or settlement-related (like the Immigrant Center Manitoba), to name just a few.
The Next Step – Canadian Citizenship
For many immigrants, the final step in their Canadian journey is applying for and receiving full Canadian citizenship. One difference between permanent residents and citizens is that only citizens are given the right to vote in Canada and to fully participate in the country’s political process. In addition, only citizens can hold a Canadian passport or be exempted from the residency requirements that permanent residents must adhere to.
In 2006, 85.1% of eligible permanent residents went on to become Canadian citizens. This is almost double the rate of the United States. A full 91% of new permanent residents intended to eventually become citizens. Regardless of whether or not they are citizens, an overwhelming majority of immigrants (93%) express that they are proud to be Canadian and feel that they belong in Canada.
New citizens generally exercise their rights to participate in Canadian politics, with 80% of long-term citizens voting regularly in elections. Overall, immigrants are just as politically engaged as their Canadian-born compatriots.
Many of the people who choose to immigrate to Canada do so to give their children a better life. Overall, the numbers show that this appears to be the case for many children of immigrants, who thrive both academically and professionally.
Children whose parents were born outside of Canada are more likely to earn degrees than those whose parents were born in Canada. Moreover, Canadian immigrant children perform higher on Programme for International Student Aptitude (PISA) tests than students in the United States or France.
Once they enter the workforce, second-generation immigrants report 6-10% higher earnings than workers at the same point in their careers whose parents were born in Canada. Immigrant children are well represented in a variety of fields, and many have even gone on to significant national and international fame.
The Final Word
These new figures help to paint a fuller picture of how immigrants succeed after coming to Canada. They are indicative not only of the high caliber individuals that Canada attracts each year, but also of the country’s success in integrating newcomers into the wider Canadian society.
“In Canada, we are proud to define Canadians by their commitment to our values and our society,” said Attorney David Cohen. “These numbers are indicative not only of the high caliber individuals that Canada attracts to its shores, but also of our country’s success in integrating newcomers as the years go by.”
Thank you to Richard Kurland and Lexbase: The International Information Network for Canadian Immigration Practitioners for providing the figures quoted in this article.
To find out if you are eligible for one of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.