In a bid to ease the economic pressures linked to ageing population, Canada will now welcome a minimum of 300,000 immigrants annually in 2017. Canada’s minister of Immigration, John McCallum announced the new plan, one of the first of the Justin Trudeau government.
“In 2016, we jumped to 300,000 largely as a consequence of our special actions on Syrian refugees. What I am announcing today is that for 2017 we will make that 300,000 permanent and it will become the foundation for future growth in immigration,” said McCallum, adding that this rate is “40,000 above the historic norm.”
According to HT, such a change in the immigration plans is likely to benefit Indians. Immigration lawyer Ravi Jain in a statement said that the new plans could be helpful for students from India. “With the higher number of economic class immigrants coming in every year going forward, there will be room for the government to award higher points for Indian international students so that they can once again more smoothly transition to permanent residence,” said Jain to HT.
“The 2017 levels plan will put Canada in a strong position for the future and support our overall economic and social development as a country,” Mr. McCallum said. A government statement said the 2017 levels are “a thoughtful, responsible approach that takes into consideration Canada’s need for more immigrants while balancing our fiscal responsibilities.” The target number of immigrants from 2011 to 2015 was 2,60,000, but swelled to 3,00,000 this year because of what McCallum called the “special circumstances” of the Syrian refugee crisis.
More than half of the newcomers will be job seekers and investors admitted under an economic class. The remainder of the newcomers will include spouses, children or parents of naturalised citizens, refugees, and others admitted on humanitarian or compassionate grounds.
Notably, the announcement of this plan comes ahead McCallum’s seven-day visit to India.