The Canadian government has announced the reopening of family sponsorship immigration with several regulation changes.
Starting from January 1, 2014 Canadians will once again be able to sponsor parents and grandparents for immigration. However, the government intends to change several regulations in an attempt to prevent older relatives from becoming burdens on Canada’s health care and welfare systems.
“That’s an abuse of Canada’s generosity,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney with regards to the statistic that 25 percent of parent and grandparents of sponsors are living off welfare benefits after the first 10 years in Canada. “”If this was about family reunification, what’s going on? It seems to me that that sort of thing constitutes an abuse of Canada’s generosity.”
The government plans to raise the minimum income requirements by 30 percent as well as extend the commitment period from 10 years to 20 years. They will also be more stringent about proof of income as well as who, exactly, can be considered a dependent.
There has been a moratorium on parent and grandparent sponsorship cases since 2011, as the government has been trying to tackle a growing backlog that has resulted in wait times of up to eight years. Accordingly, the plan is to accept no more than 5,000 new applications in 2014.
Canada is home to more immigrants than ever before, according to the latest survey information released by Statistics Canada.
Though the survey method itself is the subject of some controversy, the data shows that approximately 20.6 percent of Canada’s population is foreign born. This is up from the previous census results of 19.8 percent in 2006. This is not only the largest percentage in Canadian history, but also the largest of the G8 countries.
However, critics are questioning the results of the survey, saying that voluntary questionnaires are not as reliable as the previously used mandatory long-form census. Still, officials with Statistics Canada say that the high response rate to the new survey yielded a “high quality of results.”
The questions on immigration show that most newcomers are of Asian and Middle Eastern background and are living in suburban regions. The survey found that The Philippines were the top source of newcomers, with a footnote to say that this data differs from Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s numbers, perhaps adding fuel to critiques of the new survey method.
Newcomers are, on average, younger than the Canadian population at 31.7 and 37.3 years old, respectively. The vast majority is settling in Canada’s three most populous cities – Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, though other regions are seeing an increase in new arrivals.
Not surprisingly, the survey showed an increase in Canadians of Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu and Muslim faith, much of which likely correlates to the rise in immigration from Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
Source: National Post
The latest statistics show that more and more immigrants are choosing to settle in the Western Prairie provinces rather than in Ontario.
According to data obtained through the National Household Survey, which has just replaced the old mandatory long-form census, there has been a sharp decline in immigration to Ontario since 2006, while more newcomers are heading to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Alberta had the highest jump in proportion of immigrants, with 12.4 percent of new arrivals choosing that province in 2011 compared to 9.3 percent in 2006. Manitoba welcomed 5 percent of newcomers in 2011 while Saskatchewan was the destination of choice for 2.3 percent.
Immigrant advocates are concerned that the change in numbers could induce a shift in funding for resettlement programs. Despite the drop in newcomers arriving each year, Ontario still is home to a vast majority of immigrants. With a foreign-born population of 46 percent, Toronto will soon be made up by a majority of immigrants.
Furthermore, those new arrivals that choose to settle out West are often arriving through the skilled worker and entrepreneur streams, while most sponsored relatives and refugees are still heading to Ontario.
“If Ontario gets more refugees and refugees require more intensive settlement assistance than some other classes of immigrants, then you need a more nuanced formula,” said University of Toronto Law professor Audrey Macklin.
Overall immigration to Ontario is down from 52 percent of newcomers in 2006 to 43 percent in 2011.
Source: Vancouver Province