More than 40,000 Filipinos became permanent residents of Canada in 2014, making the Philippines the top source country for Canadian immigration last year. The Philippines had previously been the top source country in 2012, with China having been the top source country in 2013.
Canada also issued nearly 47,000 visitor visas to Filipinos in 2014, a 56 percent increase since 2006.
The number of new permanent residents from the Philippines is up from 14,004 in 2004, a near three-fold increase in just one decade. Many of the Filipino newcomers originally came to Canada under the Live-In Caregiver Program, now simply the Caregiver Program after modifications made last November. The government of Canada’s immigration plan for 2015 states that it aims to convert between 26,000 and 30,000 caregivers to permanent resident status this year.
In just a few short decades, Canada’s Filipino community has grown to become one of the country’s largest immigrant demographics. The more than 700,000 people of Filipino descent in Canada make up one of the country’s larger diaspora communities, and this number is increasing constantly. Filipino workers in Canada are important to both the Canadian and Philippine economies. While workers in Canada help to fill important labour shortages, families and friends in the Philippines benefit from remittances sent from Canada.
About half of Canada’s Filipino population lives in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), with Vancouver hosting the second-largest Filipino population in Canada and Winnipeg also home to a large number of Filipinos.
“Oftentimes, individuals will first come to Canada as temporary workers, leaving spouses and children behind. But many Filipinos have also worked hard to bring their immediate families to Canada. Once permanent residence is achieved, they are then able to reunite with their families in Canada,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Canada’s generous family sponsorship rules allow permanent residents to sponsor not only children and spouses, but parents and grandparents as well. These include the popular Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program as well as the new Super Visa Program, which offers long-term visitor visas to qualified applicants. The introduction of these family reunification programs has contributed to the upsurge in new arrivals from the Philippines.
“Within the broader Filipino community in Canada, we have observed success after success of smaller communities that have flourished across the country. The story of Filipino immigration to Canada is a story shared between a proud people and a welcoming land.”
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