The number of Indians to have successfully achieved the goal of Canada immigration has effectively doubled within the three year period from 2016 to 2019. In 2016, 39,705 Indian nationals became permanent residents (PR) of Canada. In contrast, 80,685 Indians had moved to Canada between January and November 2019 – a massive increase of 105%, with the month of December.
These figures are based on the National Foundation of American Policy’s analysis of data released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. This rise is attributed to the increasingly stringent immigration policies being introduced in the USA, which have in turn prompted Indians to choose Canada – with its liberal and merit-based immigration pathways (such as Canada Express Entry) – as their first preference.
Another reason for this trend is an increase in the number of Indian students moving to Canada for the purpose of gaining an education in the country’s reputed institutions. While 76,075 Indian students entered Canada in 2016, this number witnessed a jump of 127% – to 172,625 in 2018. After completing their education, many of these students apply for a Canada Resident Permit Visa, which allows them to extend their stay – and opens a route to permanently living and working in Canada.
As per data from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, denial rates for the H-1B Visa – one of the most popular pathways for Indian tech workers seeking short-term immigration to the USA – have also surged from 6% in the 2015 fiscal year (October-September), to 24% in the first three quarters of FY 2019. On the other hand, many provinces and territories in Canada are experiencing an urgent demand for tech workers and engineers.
Thus, Indian tech workers are more seriously considering the Canada PR Visa as a rewarding alternative to temporary residence in the USA. Denial rates for continuing employment in the USA have also risen from 3% in FY 2015 to 12% in 2019. Waiting periods for Green Card applications can extend for up to 150 years for Indians. Restrictions have also been imposed on international students. This has created an atmosphere of uncertainty among aspirants.
In this scenario, the USA’s northern neighbour has emerged as a much more accessible immigration destination, owing to the high probability of visa approval under refreshingly innovative Canada immigration pathways such as the Provincial Nominee Programs, Atlantic Immigration Pilot, Global Talent Stream, Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, etc. This trend is expected to continue until the USA relaxes its immigration system and addresses application backlogs.
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