Immigration to Canada

Immigration to Canada is the process by which people migrate to Canada to reside there. The majority of these people become Canadian citizens. After 1947, domestic immigration law and policy went through major changes, most notably with the Immigration Act, 1976, and the current Immigration and Refugee Protection Act from 2002.

In Canada there are four categories of immigrants: family-class (closely related persons of Canadian residents living in Canada), economic immigrants (skilled workers and business people), refugees (people who are escaping persecution, torture or cruel and unusual punishment), and the humanitarian and other category (people accepted as immigrants for humanitarian or compassionate reasons). In 2016, Canada admitted 296,346 permanent residents, compared to 271,845 the previous year – the highest admissions levels since 2010.[1] Of those admitted, 53% were economic immigrants and their accompanying immediate families; 26% were family class; 20% were either resettled refugees or protected persons; and 1% were in the humanitarian and other category.[1]

According to data from the 2016 census by Statistics Canada, 21.9% of the Canadian population reported they were or had ever been a landed immigrant or permanent resident in Canada – nearly the 22.3% recorded during the 1921 Census, which was the highest level since the 1867 Confederation of Canada.[2] More than one in five Canadians were born abroad, and 22.3% of the population belonged to visible minorities, of whom 3 in 10 were born in Canada.[2]

In 2013–2014, most of the Canadian public, as well as the major political parties, supported either sustaining or increasing the current level of immigration.[3][4] A 2014 sociological study concluded that "Australia and Canada are the most receptive to immigration among western nations".[5] In 2017, an Angus Reid poll indicated a majority of respondents believed that Canada should accept fewer immigrants and refugees.[6]

Canadian immigration policies are still evolving. In 2008, Citizenship and Immigration Canada made significant changes to streamline the steady flow of immigrants, such as changes reducing professional categories for skilled immigration as well as caps for immigrants in various categories.[7] In 2015, Canada introduced the Express Entry system, providing a streamlined application process for many economic immigrants.[8] Additional changes were made in April and May 2017.[1] In November 2017, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced that Canada would admit nearly 1 million permanent residents to Canada over the following three years, rising from 0.7% to 1% of its population by 2020.[9] This increase was motivated by the economic needs of the country facing an aging demographic, with the number of senior citizens expected to double by 2036 alongside a decline in the proportion of working-age adults.[9]


Canadian pop from 1851 to 1921
A collection of four maps showing the distribution of the Canadian population for 1851 (Newfoundland 1857), 1871 (Newfoundland 1869), 1901 and 1921 by historical region.
Come To Stay
Come to Stay, printed in 1880 in the Canadian Illustrated News, which refers to immigration to the "Dominion".

After the initial period of British and French colonization, four major waves (or peaks) of immigration and settlement of non-aboriginal peoples took place over a period of almost two centuries. The fifth wave is currently occurring.

First wave

The first wave of significant, non-aboriginal immigration to Canada occurred over almost two centuries with slow but progressive French settlement of Quebec and Acadia with smaller numbers of American and European entrepreneurs in addition to British military personnel. This wave culminated with the influx of 46–50,000 British Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution, chiefly from the Mid-Atlantic States mostly into what is today Southern Ontario, the Eastern Townships of Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia of whom 36,000 went to the Maritimes. Some of these later made their way to Ontario. A second wave of 30,000 Americans settled in Ontario and the Eastern Townships between the late 1780s and 1812 with promises of land. Some several thousands of Gaelic-speaking Scottish Highlanders from forced land clearances in Scotland migrated to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and parts of Eastern Ontario during this period. It marked a new age for Canada and its people.

Second wave

The second wave, mainly consisting of British and Irish immigrants or the Great Migration, encouraged immigrants to settle in Canada after the War of 1812, and included British army regulars who had served in that war. In 1815, 80% of the English-speakers in Canada who numbered 250,000 were either American colonists, or their descendants. By 1851 their percentage had dropped to 30%. The colonial governors of Canada, who were worried about another American invasion attempt and to counter the French-speaking influence of Quebec, rushed to promote settlement in back country areas along newly constructed plank roads within organized land tracts, mostly in Upper Canada (present-day Ontario), much of the settlements were organized by large companies to promote clearing, and thus farming of land lots. With the second wave Irish immigration to Canada had been increasing, small numbers to organized land settlements but many more arriving to work on canals, timber, railroads and then peaked when the Irish Potato Famine occurred from 1846 to 1849 resulting in hundreds of thousands more Irish arriving on Canada's shores, although a portion migrated on to the United States, either in the short-term or over the subsequent decades. At least 800,000 immigrants arrived between 1815 and 1850, 60% of them British (English and Scottish) and the remainder mostly Irish. This movement of people is known as the Great Migration boosted Canada's population from approximately 500,000 in 1812 to 2.5 million by 1851. Ontario (Upper Canada): 952,000; Quebec (Lower Canada): 890,000 – about a quarter of whom spoke English as a first language; the Maritime provinces: 550,000. The French-speaking population was roughly 300,000 in 1812 and had increased to approx. 700,000 by the 1851 census. Demographically it had swung to a majority English-speaking country.

The Dominion Lands Act of 1872 copied the American system by offering ownership of 160 acres of land free (except for a small registration fee) to any man over 18 or any woman heading a household. They did not need to be citizens, but had to live on the plot and improve it.

Also during this period, Canada became a port of entry for many Europeans seeking to gain entry into the U.S. Canadian transportation companies advertised Canadian ports as a hassle-free way to enter the U.S. especially as the U.S. began barring entry to certain ethnicities. The U.S. and Canada mitigated this situation in 1894 with the Canadian Agreement which allowed for U.S. immigration officials to inspect ships landing at Canadian ports for immigrants excluded from the U.S. If found, the transporting companies were responsible for shipping the persons back.[10]

Clifford Sifton, minister of the Interior in Ottawa, 1896–1905, argued that the free western lands were ideal for growing wheat and would attract large numbers of hard-working farmers. He removed obstacles that included control of the lands by companies or organizations that did little to encourage settlement. Land companies, the Hudson's Bay Company, and school lands all accounted for large tracts of excellent land. The railways kept closed even larger tracts because they were reluctant to take legal title to the even-numbered lands they were due, thus blocking sale of odd-numbered tracts. Sifton broke the legal log jam, and set up aggressive advertising campaigns in the U.S. and Europe, with a host of agents promoting the Canadian west. He also brokered deals with ethnic groups that wanted large tracts for homogeneous settlement. His goal was to maximize immigration from Britain, eastern Canada and the U.S.[11]

Third wave (1890–1920) and fourth wave (1940s–1960s)

Ad to attract Immigrants to wheat belt in 1898
The government promoted cheap wheat lands in the Prairies. 1898

The third wave of immigration coming mostly from continental Europe peaked prior to World War I, between 1911–1913 (over 400,000 in 1912), many from Eastern or Southern Europe. The fourth wave came from Europe after the Second World War, peaking at 282,000 in 1957. Many were from Italy and Portugal. Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia was an influential port for European immigration; Pier 21 received 471,940 Italians between 1928 until it ceased operations in 1971, making Italians the third largest ethnic group to immigrate to Canada during that time period.[12] Together, they made Canada a more multi-ethnic country with substantial non-British or non-French European elements. For example, Ukrainian Canadians accounted for the largest Ukrainian population outside Ukraine and Russia. The Church of England took up the role of introducing British values to farmers newly arrived on the prairies. In practice, they clung to their traditional religious affiliations.[13]

Periods of low immigration have also occurred: international movement was very difficult during the world wars, and there was a lack of jobs "pulling" workers to Canada during the Great Depression in Canada.

Canadianization was a high priority for new arrivals lacking a British cultural background.[14] Immigrants from Britain were given highest priority.[15] There was no special effort to attract Francophone immigrants. In terms of economic opportunity, Canada was most attractive to farmers headed to the Prairies, who typically came from eastern and central Europe. Immigrants from Britain preferred urban life.[16]


Exclusionist cartoon in Saturday Sunset magazine by N. H. Hawkins, Vancouver, 24 August 1907

Prior to 1885, restrictions on immigration were imposed mostly in response to large waves of immigration rather than planned policy decisions, but not specifically targeted at one group or ethnicity, at least as official policy. Then came the introduction of the first Chinese Head Tax legislation passed in 1885, which was in response to a growing number of Chinese working on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Subsequent increases in the head tax in 1900 and 1903 limited Chinese entrants to Canada. In 1907 a major riot against Asians took place in Vancouver, BC. In 1923 the government passed the Chinese Immigration Act which excluded Chinese from entering Canada altogether between 1923 and 1947. For discriminating against Chinese immigrants in past periods, an official government apology and compensations were announced on 22 June 2006.

Fifth wave (1970s–present)

Canadian Children Immigration
Fifth wave Canadian children celebrating Canada Day, Vancouver, 1 July 1999

Immigration since the 1970s has overwhelmingly been of visible minorities from the developing world. This was largely influenced in 1976 when the Immigration Act was revised and this continued to be official government policy. During the Mulroney government, immigration levels were increased. By the late 1980s, the fifth wave of immigration has maintained with slight fluctuations since (225,000–275,000 annually). Currently, most immigrants come from South Asia, China and Caribbean and this trend is expected to continue.


The term Canadian as a term of nationalism or citizenship was first used under the Immigration Act, 1910, to designate those British subjects who were domiciled in Canada. All other British subjects required permission to land. A separate status of "Canadian national" was created under the Canadian Nationals Act, 1921, which was defined as being a Canadian as defined above, their wives, and any children (fathered by such citizens) that had not yet landed in Canada. After the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, the monarchy ceased to be an exclusively British institution. Because of this Canadians, and others living in countries that became known as Commonwealth realms, were known as subjects of the Crown. However, in legal documents the term "British subject" continued to be used and "Canadians" were officially British Subjects born or regularly domiciled in Canada.

Canada was the first nation in the then British Commonwealth to establish its own nationality law in 1946, with the enactment of the Canadian Citizenship Act 1946. This took effect on January 1, 1947. In order to be deemed a Canadian citizen on January 1, 1947, one generally had to be a British subject on that date, or had been admitted to Canada as landed immigrants before that date. First Nations people were later included by amendment in 1956. The phrase British subject refers in general to anyone from the United Kingdom, its colonies at the time, or a Commonwealth country. Acquisition and loss of British subject status before 1947 was determined by United Kingdom law.

Canada offers Canadian citizenship through naturalization. In 2006 the Canadian government reduced the landing fee per immigrant by 50%.[17] In June 2017 the implementation of the first of a series of important reforms to the Citizenship Act took effect. These reforms restored many of the previous requirements that were in place for more than 3 decades in Canada before they were removed and replaced with more stringent criteria by the former Conservative government in 2015. The most important changes include permanent residence is now a requirement for 3 years out of 5 years during the period immediately prior to filing the application. There is no longer a physical presence rule. Persons aged 14 to 54 years must pass knowledge of Canada test and demonstrate a basic ability in either of English or French, Canada's official languages. Revocation of citizenship must follow a more formal and balanced process.[18][19] On 15 February 1977, Canada removed restrictions on dual citizenship. Many of the provisions to acquire or lose Canadian citizenship that existed under the 1946 legislation were repealed. Canadian citizens are in general no longer subject to involuntary loss of citizenship, barring revocation on the grounds of immigration fraud.

Statistics Canada has tabulated the effect of immigration on population growth in Canada from 1851 to 2001.[20]


Emigration from Canada to the United States has historically exceeded immigration, but there were short periods where the reverse was true; for example, the Loyalist refugees; during the various British Columbia gold rushes and later the Klondike Gold Rush which saw many American prospectors inhabiting British Columbia and the Yukon; land settlers moving from the Northern Plains to the Prairies in the early 20th century and also during periods of political turmoil or during wars, for example the Vietnam War. There are over 1 million Canadians living in the US (many millions more descendants of Canadian immigrants to the US – New England alone is 20–25% of Canadian descent) and 1 million Americans living in Canada.

Immigration has always been offset by emigration: at times this was of great concerns of governments intent on filling up the country, particularly the western provinces. The United States was overall the primary destination followed by reverse migration. As a result, the population of Canada at Confederation (1867) was 3.75 million, or 10% of the US population, this average was maintained from about 1830 to 1870. It dropped to 6% by 1900 due to large emigration to the US and in spite of large-scale immigration to Canada. Emigration to the US was only 370,000 in the 1870s; averaged a million a decade from 1880 to 1910; almost 750,000 from 1911 to 1920 and 1.25 million from 1921 to 1930.They consisted of both native born Canadians and recent immigrants from various, mostly European nations. Between 1945 and 1965 emigration to the US averaged 40–45,000 annually. It was not until 1960 that the population of Canada reached the 10% mark again, or 18 million. Today (2017) with over 35 million people, Canada has 10.8% the population of its southern neighbour. In times of economic difficulty, Canadian governments frequently resorted to deportation and coerced "voluntary" deportation to thin out ranks of unemployed workers; however, by the time of the Mackenzie-King government it was realized that this was an improvident short-term solution resulting in future labor shortages (that immigration was initially intended to overcome).[21]

Immigration rate

In 2001, 250,640 people immigrated to Canada, relative to a total population of 30,007,094 people per the 2001 Census. Since 2001, immigration has ranged between 221,352 and 262,236 immigrants per annum.[22] On 2017 the Liberal government announced Canada will welcome nearly one million immigrants over the next three years. The number of migrants will climb to 310,000 in 2018, up from 300,000 in 2017. That number is projected to rise to 330,000 in 2019 then 340,000 in 2020.[23][24][25] The three main official reasons given for the level of immigration are:

COB data Canada
  • The social component – Canada facilitates family reunification.
  • The humanitarian component – Relating to refugees.
  • The economic component – Attracting immigrants who will contribute economically and fill labour market needs.

The level of immigration peaked in 1993 in the last year of the Progressive Conservative government and was maintained by Liberal Party of Canada. Ambitious targets of an annual 1% per capita immigration rate were hampered by financial constraints. The Liberals committed to raising actual immigration levels further in 2005. All political parties are now cautious about criticizing the high level of immigration. Consequently, immigration levels to Canada (roughly 0.7% per year) are considerably higher per capita than to the United States (about a million, or 0.3%, per year). Further, much of the immigration to the United States is from Latin America, with relatively less from Asia; the United States only admits about twice as many immigrants from Asian countries like China, India, the Philippines, and Pakistan as Canada, despite having nine times the population. Due to this, the largest minority in the United States is the Latin American population, while Canada's largest minority is its Asian population.

Immigrant population growth is concentrated in or near large cities (particularly Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal). These cities are experiencing increased services demands that accompany strong population growth, causing concern about the capability of infrastructure in those cities to handle the influx. For example, a Toronto Star article published on 14 July 2006 authored by Daniel Stoffman noted that 43% of immigrants move to the Greater Toronto Area and said "unless Canada cuts immigrant numbers, our major cities will not be able to maintain their social and physical infrastructures".[26] Most of the provinces that do not have one of those destination cities have implemented strategies to try to boost their share of immigration. While cities are a popular destination for new immigrants, some small towns have seen an influx of immigration due to economic reasons and local schools districts are working to adjust to the change.[27]

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, under the Canada–Quebec Accord of 1991, Quebec has sole responsibility for selecting most immigrants destined to the province. Of course, once immigrants are granted permanent residency or citizenship they are free to move between and reside in any provinces under Section 6 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

2017 border crossings

Asylum seeker illegally entering Canada from Roxham Road, Champlain, NY
A Mountie at the Quebec-New York border in Lacolle directs a man entering Canada illegally to a nearby tent for processing

In August 2017 the border between Quebec and New York saw an influx of up to 500 illegal crossings each day, by people seeking asylum in Canada.[28] Canada increased border patrol and immigration staffing in the area, and reiterated that crossing the border illegally had no effect on one's asylum status.[29][30] It is reported that there over 38,000 irregular migrants arrived in Canada since early 2017. For the same reason both Ontario and Quebec have requested the central government to provide $200 million or more to cover their cost of burden to house and provide services to asylum seekers. Related to asylum seekers, Canada joined 164 countries in signing the UN Global Compact for Migration in 2018. The 2017 government claims it is for following careful measures and to meet international obligations in accommodating irregular migrants.[31]

Immigration categories

There are three main categories to Canadian immigration:

Economic immigrants

Citizenship and Immigration Canada uses seven sub-categories of economic immigrants, and includes skilled workers under these classes: Quebec skilled worker class,[32] federal skilled trades, the federal skilled worker program, the provincial nominee class and the Canadian experience class.[33]

The process is done by submitting an online profile to the Express Entry pool, under one of 3 federal Canada immigration programs or a provincial immigration program. The highest ranked candidates are getting invited to apply for permanent residence.

The business immigration programs that offer permanent admission to Canada:

  • Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP)[22]
  • Quebec Entrepreneur program
  • Quebec Self Employed
  • Federal Start-UP Visa program

Individuals with a certain net worth can also apply for permanent residence via certain programs.[34] For business owners and investor immigrants that do not fit into the Start-Up business class or Quebec Provincial programs, there is a Federal Owner Operator LMIA pathway that if executed correctly can lead to permanent admission to Canada.[35]

The high-profile Skilled worker principal applicants group comprised 19.8% of all immigration in 2005. Canada has also created a VIP Business Immigration Program which allows immigrants with sufficient business experience or management experience to receive the Permanent Residency in a shorter period than other types of immigration.

As of May 1, 2014, the Federal Skilled Worker Class opened once again accepting 25,000 applicants with intake caps at 1,000 per category. A New Economic Action Plan 2015 took effect in January 2015 in which the skilled worker program will be more of an employer based program. The current list of accepted occupations for 2014 includes many occupations such as senior managers, accountants, physicians and medical professionals, professionals in marketing and advertising, real estate professionals and many more.[36] The changes in 2015 moved permanent residency in Canada away from the "first come, first served" model, and towards a new structure that took on permanent residents based on Canada's economic need. The new system is called "Express Entry".[37] In Alberta in particular, an Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) [38] allows skilled workers, along with their families, to make application for permanent residency, and several large Alberta employers with operations in rural areas actively recruit employees from abroad and support them and their families in seeking permanent residency.[27]

Effective August 2, 2016, all home buyers who are not Canadian citizens nor have landed immigrant status are obliged to pay a 15% Property Transfer Tax when purchasing residential property in the Greater Vancouver Regional District.[39]

Family class

Under a government program, both citizens and permanent residents can sponsor family members to immigrate to Canada.


In 2010, Canada accepted 280,681 immigrants (permanent and temporary) of which 186,913 (67%) were Economic immigrants; 60,220 (22%) were Family class; 24,696 (9%) were Refugees; and 8,845 (2%) were others through working holidays, internships, and studies.[40][41]

Under Canadian nationality law an immigrant can apply for citizenship after living in Canada for 1095 days (3 years) in any 5-year period provided that they lived in Canada as a permanent resident for at least two of those years.[42] The opposition parties have been advocating providing one-year free residency visa for refugees as a chance to increase their living standards until they're ready to migrate back to their home countries, rather than uprooting them from their heritage and culture in forms of relief.[43][44]

Tents for asylum seeker processing on Canadian side of Roxham Road border
Tents set up on Canadian side of border between Quebec and New York in 2017 to process asylum applicants entering Canada illegally

A person who is seeking asylum in Canada must be first considered eligible by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada(IRB).[45] The IRB classifies eligible refugees into two separate categories:

  • Convention Refugees: Someone who is outside and unable to return to their home country due to a fear of persecution based on several factors including race, religion, and political opinion.[45]
  • A person in need of protection: Claims for asylum under this category are usually made at a point of entry into Canada. Those claiming to be a person in need of protection must be unable to return to their home country safely because they would be subjected to a danger of torture, risk for their life or risk of cruel and unusual treatment.[45]

After entry and eligibility interview the asylum seeker is either allowed or declined admission. Those who are admitted submits in writing their reasons of admissibility. The refugee board hears their case after 60 days and in favorable terms the claimants are accepted as refugees.[46] If the claims are not seen appropriate by the interviewers, the asylum seekers may be deported, and there are many instances that make a persons claim ineligible for referral to the IRB. Notably those who seek entry into Canada through the U.S. were the Canada–U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) is applied.[45] The STCA is responsible for limiting refugee eligibility to enter Canada and the rejection of several hundred claims a year since its implementation.[47] The Canadian Border Services Agency(CBSA) reported a drop in the number of claims from 6,000–14,000 before its implementation to an average of 4,000 claims per year after its implementation.[48] Asylum claimants have been subjected to "indirect-refoulment", a consequence of a persons claim in Canada being refused under the STCA, subjecting them to deportation to the destination in which the person was originally seeking asylum from, due to more conservative immigration and refugee policies in the U.S.[49]

Refugees in detention

Asylum seekers arriving at a point of entry on the Canadian border have been subject to incarceration and detention, due to the passing of Bill C-31 in December 2012.[50] Often, claimants are subject to detention for failing to provide sufficient identification documents, which is in violation with the United Nations Refugee Convention, to which Canada is a signatory.[50] In 2010–2011, Canada detained 8,838 people, of which 4,151 of them were asylum seekers or rejected refugee claimants.[51] There is a requirement to the maximum time limit spent in detention upon being released, a situation which has been subject to criticism held in contrast to areas in Europe: Ireland (30 days), France (32 days), Spain (40 days), and Italy (60 days).[51]

Settlement workers

Settlement workers help immigrants into Canada understand their rights and responsibilities and find them programs and services they need to integrate with the new culture and the prospects of a livelihood. They motivate organizations to hire immigrants and support immigration through recruiting new members/ employees. They work with government agencies, school boards, libraries and other community organizations with networks of resources.[52] These working relationships also help to provide families with the tools necessary to manage the changing identities of new immigrant families to Canada.[27]

Illegal immigration in Canada

Estimates of illegal immigrants in Canada range between 35,000 and 120,000.[53] James Bissett, a former head of the Canadian Immigration Service, has suggested that the lack of any credible refugee screening process, combined with a high likelihood of ignoring any deportation orders, has resulted in tens of thousands of outstanding warrants for the arrest of rejected refugee claimants, with little attempt at enforcement.[54] A 2008 report by the Auditor General Sheila Fraser stated that Canada has lost track of as many as 41,000 illegal immigrants.[55][56]

Sources of immigration

Canada receives its immigrant population from almost 200 countries.

Permanent Residents Admitted in 2017, by Top 10 Source Countries[57]
Rank Country Number Percentage
1  India 51,651 18
2  Philippines 40,857 14.3
3  China 30,279 10.6
4  Syria 12,044 4.2
5  United States 9,100 3.2
6  Pakistan 7,656 2.7
7  France 6,600 2.3
8  Nigeria 5,459 1.9
9  United Kingdom and Colonies 5,293 1.8
10  Iraq 4,740 1.7
Top 10 Total 173,679 60.6
Other 112,800 39.4
Total 286,479 100
Permanent Residents Admitted in 2016, by Top 10 Source Countries[58]
Rank Country Number Percentage
1  Philippines 41,791 14.1
2  India 39,789 13.4
3  Syria 34,925 11.7
4  China 26,852 9.1
5  Pakistan 11,337 3.8
6  United States 8,409 2.8
7  Iran 6,483 2.2
8  France 6,348 2.1
9  United Kingdom and Colonies 5,812 2.0
10  Eritrea 4,629 1.6
Top 10 Total 186,375 62.9
Other 109,971 37.1
Total 296,346 100
Permanent Residents Admitted in 2015, by Top 10 Source Countries[59]
Rank Country Number Percentage
1  Philippines 50,846 18.7
2  India 39,530 14.5
3  China 19,532 7.2
4  Iran 11,669 4.3
5  Pakistan 11,329 4.2
6  Syria 9,853 3.6
7  United States 7,522 3.0
8  France 5,807 2.0
9  United Kingdom 5,451 2.0
10  Nigeria 4,133 2.0
Top 10 Total 165,672 61.5
Other 106,173 38.5
Total 271,845 100

Statistics Canada projects that, by 2031, almost one-half of the population could have at least one foreign-born parent.[60] The number of visible ethnocultural composition of population will double and make up the minority of the population of cities in Canada.[61]

Canadian immigrant population by country of birth (as of 2016)

Immigrant refers to all those who hold or have ever held permanent resident status in Canada, including naturalized citizens.[62]

Rank Country of birth Population Portion of immigrants in Canada Portion of Canadian population Notes
N/A  Canada 27,610,898 N/A 78.55%
1  India 668,565 8.87% 1.9%
2  China 649,260 8.61% 1.85% The official name is "People's Republic of China". These figures exclude Hong Kong and Macau, which have separate lines below in this table.
3  Philippines 588,305 7.8% 1.67%
4  United Kingdom 499,120 6.62% 1.42% From England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
5  United States 253,715 3.36% 0.72%
6  Italy 236,635 3.14% 0.67%
7  Hong Kong 208,935 2.77% 0.59% Special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.
8  Pakistan 202,255 2.68% 0.58%
9  Vietnam 169,250 2.24% 0.48% Many from the former Republic of Vietnam
10  Iran 154,420 2.05% 0.44%
11  Poland 146,470 1.94% 0.42%
12  Germany 145,840 1.93% 0.41%
13  Portugal 139,450 1.85% 0.4%
14  Jamaica 138,345 1.83% 0.39%
15  Sri Lanka 131,995 1.75% 0.38%
16  South Korea 123,305 1.64% 0.35%
17  France 105,570 1.4% 0.3%
18  Haiti 93,485 1.24% 0.27%
19  Romania 90,310 1.2% 0.26%
20  Lebanon 88,740 1.18% 0.25%
21  Netherlands 88,475 1.17% 0.25%
22  Guyana 87,680 1.16% 0.25%
23  Mexico 80,590 1.07% 0.23%
24  Russia 78,685 1.04% 0.22%
25  Ukraine 73,030 0.97% 0.21%
26  Colombia 70,040 0.93% 0.2%
27  Morocco 69,655 0.92% 0.2%
28  Iraq 68,490 0.91% 0.19%
29  Trinidad and Tobago 65,035 0.86% 0.19%
30  Algeria 64,625 0.86% 0.18%
31  Egypt 64,620 0.86% 0.18%
32  Taiwan 63,770 0.85% 0.18%
33  Greece 62,715 0.83% 0.18%
34  Bangladesh 58,735 0.78% 0.17%
35  Syria 52,955 0.7% 0.15%
36  Afghanistan 51,960 0.69% 0.15%
37  El Salvador 48,075 0.64% 0.14%
38  South Africa 44,660 0.59% 0.13%
39  Nigeria 42,430 0.56% 0.12%
40  Croatia 40,040 0.53% 0.11%
41  Hungary 36,825 0.49% 0.1%
42  Bosnia and Herzegovina 36,135 0.48% 0.1%
43  Serbia 33,320 0.44% 0.09%
44  Ethiopia 32,790 0.43% 0.09%
45  Peru 29,615 0.39% 0.08%
46  Brazil 29,315 0.39% 0.08%
47  Ireland 28,320 0.38% 0.08%
48  Japan 27,245 0.36% 0.08%
49  Somalia 27,230 0.36% 0.08%
50  Kenya 27,150 0.36% 0.08%
51  Israel 26,735 0.35% 0.08%
52  Turkey 26,710 0.35% 0.08%
53  Chile 26,705 0.35% 0.08%
54  Democratic Republic of the Congo 25,655 0.34% 0.07%
55  Fiji 24,660 0.33% 0.07%
56  Malaysia 23,785 0.32% 0.07%
57  Cambodia 23,320 0.31% 0.07%
58  Ghana 22,910 0.3% 0.07%
59  Australia 21,115 0.28% 0.06% Includes Norfolk Island.
60  Czech Republic 21,065 0.28% 0.06%
61  United Arab Emirates 20,990 0.28% 0.06%
62  Venezuela 20,775 0.28% 0.06%
63  Tanzania 20,600 0.27% 0.06%
64  Saudi Arabia 20,080 0.27% 0.06%
65  Argentina 19,430 0.26% 0.06%
66   Switzerland 19,040 0.25% 0.05%
67  Belgium 18,935 0.25% 0.05%
68  Bulgaria 18,635 0.25% 0.05%
69  Cameroon 18,570 0.25% 0.05%
70  Cuba 17,850 0.24% 0.05%
71  Moldova 17,605 0.23% 0.05%
72  Tunisia 17,435 0.23% 0.05%
73  Guatemala 17,275 0.23% 0.05%
74  Mauritius 15,900 0.21% 0.05%
75  Austria 15,845 0.21% 0.05%
76  Albania 15,365 0.2% 0.04%
77  Kuwait 15,235 0.2% 0.04%
78  Thailand 15,075 0.2% 0.04%
79  Eritrea 15,010 0.2% 0.04%
80  Ecuador 14,965 0.2% 0.04%
81  Laos 14,475 0.19% 0.04%
82  Slovakia 14,410 0.19% 0.04%
83    Nepal 14,390 0.19% 0.04%
84  Indonesia 14,280 0.19% 0.04%
85  Barbados 14,095 0.19% 0.04%
86  Jordan 13,295 0.18% 0.04%
87  Uganda 13,210 0.18% 0.04%
88  St. Vincent and the Grenadines 12,945 0.17% 0.04%
89  Denmark 12,515 0.17% 0.04%
90  Kazakhstan 12,450 0.17% 0.04%
91  Singapore 11,820 0.16% 0.03%
92  Ivory Coast 11,325 0.15% 0.03% Also known as Côte d'Ivoire.
93  Belarus 11,190 0.15% 0.03%
94  Sudan 10,820 0.14% 0.03%
95  Spain 10,700 0.14% 0.03%
96  Dominican Republic 10,605 0.14% 0.03%
97  Zimbabwe 10,495 0.14% 0.03%
98  Macedonia 10,300 0.14% 0.03%
99  Grenada 10,265 0.14% 0.03%
100  New Zealand 9,880 0.13% 0.03% Includes Niue and Tokelau.
101  Nicaragua 9,865 0.13% 0.03%
102  Finland 9,525 0.13% 0.03%
103  Burundi 8,470 0.11% 0.02%
104 Myanmar Myanmar 8,215 0.11% 0.02% Also known as Burma.
105  Slovenia 8,210 0.11% 0.02%
106  Palestine 8,210 0.11% 0.02% Composed of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
107  Honduras 7,790 0.1% 0.02%
108  Kosovo 7,610 0.1% 0.02%
109  Senegal 7,515 0.1% 0.02%
110  Malta 7,465 0.1% 0.02%
111  Paraguay 7,305 0.1% 0.02%
112  Sweden 6,630 0.09% 0.02%
113  Uruguay 6,535 0.09% 0.02%
114  Uzbekistan 6,385 0.08% 0.02%
115  Libya 6,300 0.08% 0.02%
116  Rwanda 6,105 0.08% 0.02%
117  St. Lucia 6,100 0.08% 0.02%
118  Latvia 5,875 0.08% 0.02%
119  Macau 5,750 0.08% 0.02% Special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.
120  South Sudan 5,540 0.07% 0.02%
121  Guinea 5,190 0.07% 0.01%
122  Lithuania 4,980 0.07% 0.01%
123  Brunei 4,485 0.06% 0.01%
124  Bolivia 4,400 0.06% 0.01%
125  Bhutan 4,250 0.06% 0.01%
126  Armenia 4,165 0.06% 0.01%
127  Cyprus 4,020 0.05% 0.01%
128  Costa Rica 3,950 0.05% 0.01%
129  Norway 3,885 0.05% 0.01%
130  Azerbaijan 3,845 0.05% 0.01%
131  Zambia 3,715 0.05% 0.01%
132  Madagascar 3,555 0.05% 0.01%
133  Togo 3,350 0.04% 0.01%
134  Estonia 3,200 0.04% 0.01%
135  Angola 3,120 0.04% 0.01%
136  Sierra Leone 3,040 0.04% 0.01%
137  Kyrgyzstan 2,980 0.04% 0.01%
138  Yemen 2,960 0.04% 0.01%
139  Dominica 2,775 0.04% 0.01%
140  Benin 2,760 0.04% 0.01%
141  Panama 2,620 0.03% 0.01%
142  Georgia 2,570 0.03% 0.01%
143  Qatar 2,485 0.03% 0.01%
144  Liberia 2,480 0.03% 0.01%
145  Republic of the Congo 2,460 0.03% 0.01%
146  Bahrain 2,390 0.03% 0.01%
147  Antigua and Barbuda 2,310 0.03% 0.01%
148  Djibouti 2,235 0.03% 0.01%
149  St. Kitts and Nevis 2,105 0.03% 0.01%
150  Mali 2,095 0.03% 0.01%
151  Belize 1,995 0.03% 0.01%
152  Burkina Faso 1,980 0.03% 0.01%
153  Montenegro 1,865 0.02% 0.01%
154  Bermuda 1,845 0.02% 0.01%
155  Bahamas 1,635 0.02% 0%
156  Chad 1,595 0.02% 0%
157  Oman 1,540 0.02% 0%
158  Mongolia 1,420 0.02% 0%
159  Tajikistan 1,310 0.02% 0%
160  Mozambique 1,255 0.02% 0%
161  Gabon 1,080 0.01% 0%
162  Central African Republic 1,055 0.01% 0%
163  Suriname 1,050 0.01% 0%
164  Namibia 1,035 0.01% 0%
164 Others 1,035 0.01% 0% Includes a small number of immigrants who were born in Canada, as well as other places of birth not classified elsewhere.
164  Seychelles 1,035 0.01% 0%
167  Niger 1,030 0.01% 0%
168  Mauritania 905 0.01% 0%
169  Botswana 850 0.01% 0%
170  North Korea 780 0.01% 0% The official name is 'Democratic People's Republic of Korea'.
171  Luxembourg 675 0.01% 0%
172  Malawi 670 0.01% 0%
173  Gambia 665 0.01% 0%
174  Martinique 640 0.01% 0%
175  Montserrat 610 0.01% 0%
176  Iceland 590 0.01% 0%
177  Aruba 580 0.01% 0%
178  Guadeloupe 515 0.01% 0%
179  Puerto Rico 505 0.01% 0%
180  Turkmenistan 500 0.01% 0%
181  Curaçao 470 0.01% 0%
182  Isle of Man 415 0.01% 0%
183  Swaziland 400 0.01% 0%
184  Jersey 360 0% 0%
185  Réunion 295 0% 0%
186 Saint Pierre and Miquelon St. Pierre and Miquelon 290 0% 0%
187  French Guiana 280 0% 0%
188  Cayman Islands 270 0% 0%
189  Papua New Guinea 235 0% 0%
190  New Caledonia 220 0% 0%
191  Guernsey 195 0% 0%
192  French Polynesia 185 0% 0%
192  Sint Maarten 185 0% 0%
194  Cape Verde 170 0% 0%
195  Gibraltar 160 0% 0%
196  Samoa 155 0% 0%
197  Comoros 140 0% 0%
197  Tonga 140 0% 0%
199  Northern Mariana Islands 120 0% 0%
200  Guinea-Bissau 110 0% 0%
200  Monaco 110 0% 0%
202  Lesotho 105 0% 0%
203  United States Virgin Islands 90 0% 0%
204  British Virgin Islands 85 0% 0%
205  Liechtenstein 65 0% 0%
206  Anguilla 60 0% 0%
206  Equatorial Guinea 60 0% 0%
206  Turks and Caicos Islands 60 0% 0%
209  Greenland 55 0% 0%
210  Maldives 50 0% 0%
211  Solomon Islands 40 0% 0%
212  Faroe Islands 35 0% 0%
213  Guam 30 0% 0%
213  Palau 30 0% 0%
213  Vanuatu 30 0% 0%
216  Bonaire 25 0% 0%
216  Nauru 25 0% 0%
216  São Tomé and Príncipe 25 0% 0%
216  East Timor 25 0% 0% Also known as Timor-Leste.
220  Andorra 20 0% 0%
220  Kiribati 20 0% 0%
220  Marshall Islands 20 0% 0%
223  Falkland Islands 10 0% 0%
223  Federated States of Micronesia 10 0% 0%
223  Saint Barthélemy 10 0% 0%
223 Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha St. Helena 10 0% 0% Now known as St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.
223  Wallis and Futuna 10 0% 0%
223  Åland Islands 10 0% 0%
Total immigrants 7,540,830 100% 21.45%

2011 immigration statistics

Number of immigrants granted permanent residence in Canada in 2011 by source country[63]
Rank Country Number of immigrants admitted Proportion of total Notes
1  Philippines 34,991 14.1%
2  China 28,696 11.5% Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan included separately.
3  India 24,965 10%
4  United States 8,829 3.5%
5  Iran 6,840 2.7%
6  United Kingdom 6,550 2.6%
7  Haiti 6,208 2.5%
8  Pakistan 6,073 2.4%
9  France 5,867 2.4%
10  United Arab Emirates 5,223 2.1%
11  Iraq 4,698 1.9%
12  South Korea 4,573 1.8%
13  Colombia 4,317 1.7%
14  Morocco 4,155 1.7%
15  Algeria 3,800 1.5%
16  Mexico 3,642 1.5%
17  Egypt 3,403 1.4%
18  Sri Lanka 3,104 1.2%
19  Nigeria 2,768 1.1%
20  Ukraine 2,455 1%
21  Bangladesh 2,449 1%
22  Lebanon 2,335 0.9%
23  Saudi Arabia 2,299 0.9%
24  Germany 2,254 0.9%
25  Ethiopia 2,038 0.8%
26  Jamaica 2,021 0.8%
27  Afghanistan 1,977 0.8%
28  Israel 1,967 0.8% Does not include the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, or the West Bank.
29  Taiwan 1,894 0.8%
30  Russia 1,887 0.8%
31  Romania 1,723 0.7%
32  Vietnam 1,682 0.7%
33  Brazil 1,519 0.6%
34  Japan 1,475 0.6%
35  Venezuela 1,446 0.6%
36  Tunisia 1,368 0.5%
37  Moldova 1,349 0.5%
38  Turkey 1,339 0.5%
39  Somalia 1,256 0.5%
40    Nepal 1,249 0.5%
41  Syria 1,181 0.5%
42  Kuwait 1,179 0.5%
43  Cameroon 1,166 0.5%
44  Mauritius 1,120 0.5%
45  Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,058 0.4%
46  South Africa 1,036 0.4%
47  Jordan 1,025 0.4%
48  Australia 979 0.4%
49  Cuba 938 0.4%
50  Peru 876 0.4%
51  Eritrea 874 0.4%
52  Hong Kong 820 0.3% Special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.
53  Guyana 761 0.3%
54  Dominican Republic 759 0.3%
55  Kenya 750 0.3%
56  Ireland 662 0.3%
57  El Salvador 658 0.3%
58  Poland 657 0.3%
59  Belgium 633 0.3%
60  Netherlands 629 0.3%
61  Qatar 615 0.2%
61  Trinidad and Tobago 615 0.2%
62  Italy 572 0.2%
63  Libya 544 0.2%
64  Honduras 542 0.2%
65  Senegal 523 0.2%
66  Burundi 518 0.2%
67  Ghana 511 0.2%
68  Portugal 506 0.2%
69  Ivory Coast 503 0.2%
70  Sudan 488 0.2% Now divided into Sudan and South Sudan.
71  Malaysia 485 0.2%
72  Albania 471 0.2%
73  Singapore 458 0.2%
74  Thailand 455 0.2%
75   Switzerland 448 0.2%
76  St. Vincent and the Grenadines 447 0.2%
77  Ecuador 437 0.2%
78  Rwanda 436 0.2%
79  New Zealand 410 0.2%
80  Zimbabwe 388 0.2%
81  Indonesia 368 0.1%
82  Kazakhstan 367 0.1%
83  Bulgaria 356 0.1%
84  Belarus 355 0.1%
85 Myanmar Myanmar 311 0.1%
85  Fiji 311 0.1%
86  Argentina 298 0.1%
87  Uganda 288 0.1%
88  Oman 285 0.1%
89  Hungary 281 0.1%
90  Guatemala 276 0.2%
91  St. Lucia 262 0.1%
92  Palestine 261 0.1% Includes the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
93  Guinea 252 0.1%
94  Spain 248 0.1%
95  Sweden 244 0.1%
96  Benin 233 0.1%
97  Tanzania 229 0.1%
98  Armenia 227 0.1%
99  Bahrain 209 0.1%
100  Cambodia 196 0.1% #
101  Yemen 188 0.1%
102  Chile 183 0.1%
103  Bosnia and Herzegovina 178 0.1%
104  Costa Rica 173 0.1%
105  Grenada 169 0.1%
106  Greece 163 0.1%
107  Togo 154 0.1%
108  Kyrgyzstan 152 0.1%
109  Uzbekistan 146 0.1%
110  Azerbaijan 141 0.1%
111  Georgia 138 0.1%
112  Denmark 129 0.1%
113  Czech Republic 128 0.1%
113  Mali 128 0.1%
114  Sierra Leone 127 0.1%
115  Slovakia 125 0.1%
115  Djibouti 125 0.1%
116  Macedonia 124 0%
117  Croatia 123 0%
118  Madagascar 120 0%
118  Nicaragua 120 0%
119  Burkina Faso 117 0%
120  Barbados 110 0%
121  Latvia 104 0%
121  Paraguay 104 0%
122  Niger 97 0%
123  Mongolia 96 0%
124  Finland 95 0%
125  Austria 93 0%
126  North Korea 91 0%
127  Botswana 90 0%
128  Bolivia 82 0%
129  Republic of the Congo 79 0%
130  Uruguay 77 0%
131  Zambia 75 0%
132  Norway 71 0%
133  Gabon 65 0%
134  Chad 59 0%
134  Bahamas 59 0%
135  Panama 56 0%
136  Cyprus 54 0%
137  Tajikistan 53 0%
138  Liberia 49 0%
139  Malawi 45 0%
140  Antigua and Barbuda 43 0%
141  Lithuania 42 0%
141  Brunei 42 0%
142  Dominica 41 0%
143  Belize 40 0%
144  Angola 38 0%
145  Mauritania 34 0%
146  Bermuda 31 0%
147  Macau 29 0% Special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.
148  Luxembourg 28 0%
149  The Gambia 27 0%
150  Serbia 25 0% Now divided into Serbia, and Montenegro.
151  Namibia 24 0%
151  Martinique 24 0%
152  Laos 23 0%
152  Cayman Islands 23 0%
153  Turkmenistan 19 0%
154  Estonia 16 0%
154  Suriname 16 0%
155  Malta 14 0%
155  Swaziland 14 0%
155  St. Kitts and Nevis 14 0%
156  Central African Republic 12 0%
156  Seychelles 12 0%
157  Slovenia 10 0%
158  Guadeloupe 6 0%
Other countries 2,326 0.9%
Country not stated 58 0%
Total 248,748 100%

Disabilities and accommodation

In 2011 and 2012, several families were denied immigration to Canada because members of their family have an autism spectrum diagnosis and Citizenship and Immigration Canada felt the potential cost of care for those family members would place an excessive demand on health or social services.[64][65] People with autism disorders can be accepted if they are able to depend on themselves.[65]

The federal government were asked by businesses to expand programs for professional immigrants to get Canadian qualifications in their fields. In response, the Canadian Council on Learning was created by the federal government to promote best practices in workplace learning. Additionally the credentials of the immigrant workers are assessed through Canadian agencies by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for immigration.[66] This ideally reduces the gap of education and suitable jobs. However, strains of discrimination within the society leads to a systemic process of rejecting and discouraging immigrants, this sort of statistical discrimnation is prevalent in the anti-oppressive culture.[67] Quebec in 2017 stated that the province prohibit offering or receiving a public service to people covering their faces like wearing chador, niqab or burka. The reasoning behind the bill was to ensure protection of Quebeckers, but the discriminatory strain of the political ideology was reported to be aimed at articles of certain religious faiths. The bill is under question of Canadian policy in regards to tolerance for accommodation.[68][69][70] A qualitative study found that taste-based discrimination is more prevalent in cities rather than semi-urban areas. The major factors that contributed to less hostility were regional differences in industrial composition and attendant labour demand.[71]

The Quebeckers have been urging the province to charge additional fees from the immigrants before landing Quebec for French language training, so that the newcomers can start training in the language and culture of the community for better integration. The earnings differential between immigrants and Canadian-born individuals in Quebec is at a narrow by about 20 percent due to the lack of same average literacy scores. This is close to dysfunction when the Canadian Council on Learning in 2008 reported that almost half of Canadian adults are below the internationally accepted literacy standard for coping in a modern society.[72] Across Canada, businesses have proposed to allow unpaid or basic pay internships, which are currently considered illegal in many provinces (both in government and private) and poses as a major obstacle to integrate immigrants into the working sector. The lack of policy leadership in this sector has resulted in a "catch-22” situation where employers want experience, but potential employees cannot get experience without a job/ internships.

Recent Canadian attitudes towards immigration

An October 2016 study of Canadian values by pollster Angus Reid[73] gave a conflicting picture that about 68% of those polled said they wanted minorities to do more to fit into the mainstream, the same number also said they were nonetheless happy with how the immigrants were integrating themselves into the community. Further, 79% of Canadians believe immigration policy should be based on the country's economic and labour needs, rather than on the needs of foreigners to escape crises in their home countries. In an analysis of the survey, Reid wrote that although Canadians' commitment to multiculturalism is not increasing, and in the wake of North American and European nationalist movements have affected the Canadian attitudes and have started to develop a preference to colorism in certain provinces. Reid also expressed his uncomfortableness in the increasing illiterate refugee immigrants that can affect the Canadian society. However, he found that the majority of newcomers and refugees feel that they are treated fairly and welcomed as a "Canadian".[74]

A 2017 Poll found 32% of Canadians said too many refugees were coming to Canada, up from 30% in 2016. The 2017 poll also asked respondents about their comfort levels with surface diversity, like around people of different races and religions, a question that was also asked in 2005–06. This year, 89% said they were comfortable around people of a different race, down from 94% in 2005–06.[75]

In 2018, an Angus Reid Institute poll, found that two-thirds of Canadians—67 per cent—agreed that the situation of Illegal immigration to Canada constitutes a "crisis" and that Canada's "ability to handle the situation is at a limit". Fifty-six per cent of respondents who voted Liberal in the 2015 election and 55 per cent of NDP supporters agreed that the matter had reached a crisis level, while 87 per cent of respondents who voted for the Conservatives in the last election called it a crisis. Six-in-ten respondents also told the firm that Canada is "too generous" toward would-be refugees, a spike of five percentage points since the question was asked last year.[76][77]

In a 2019 poll, by EKOS Research Associates, found about 40 per cent of Canadians feel there are too many non-white immigrants coming to the country. They consider that the increased non-tolerant trends signifies the growing presence of misinformation and fear-mongering, peddled by a small number of politicians and emerging far-right groups that urge white ethnonationalism.[78]


In L'Express, the French news magazine, Canadian academic and environmental activist David Suzuki called Canada's immigration policy "disgusting" (We "plunder southern countries to deprive them of their future leaders, and wish to increase our population to support our economic growth") and insisted that "Canada is full" ("Our useful area is reduced").[79]

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Further reading



External links

Canadian Citizenship Act 1946

The Canadian Citizenship Act (French: Loi sur la citoyenneté canadienne), S.C. 1946, c. 15, is an Act of the Parliament of Canada which separated Canadian citizenship from British nationality.

Cape Verdean Canadians

Cape Verdeans in Canada are Canadian residents whose ancestry originated in Cape Verde. Cape Verdean immigration to Canada began in the late 19th century with just a few people. The first Cape Verdean immigrants arrived aboard ships which would pick up passengers in Cape Verde. Cape Verdean immigration grew noticeably in the 1960s as Cape Verde suffered drought, famine, economic decline, poverty, and conscription.

According to Canadian census data of 1991, only 55 people of Cape Verdean birth were then living in Canada. This figure seems to be low since Cape Verdeans are known to reside in several major Canadian cities, including Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. In Toronto alone their number is estimated to be at least 300 (including those born in Canada), a number that is likely to increase in the incoming years.

Université de Montréal professor, Deirdre Meintel, estimates the number to be closer to 500. She attributes this to various factors including immigrants from Angola and Mozambique who are of Cape Verdean descent. Additionally, some Cape Verdeans may have identified as Portuguese or Black Canadians, making an accurate number difficult to obtain. Unofficial estimates by Cape Verdean community leaders and officials put the population at 4,000. The population has become large enough to create a Caboverdeano Clube in Toronto and support Cape Verdean restaurants. The immigrants typically come from the islands of Brava, Fogo, Maio, and Santiago. Deirdre predicts that with time the Cape Verdean-Canadian population will continue to grow.

Chinese Immigration Act, 1923

The Chinese Immigration Act, 1923, known today as the Chinese Exclusion Act, (the Act) was an act passed by the Parliament of Canada, banning most forms of Chinese immigration to Canada. Immigration from most countries was controlled or restricted in some way, but only the Chinese were so completely prohibited from immigrating.

Economic impact of immigration to Canada

The economic impact of immigration is an important topic in Canada. While the immigration rate has dropped sharply from its peak early in the 20th century, Canada is still among the countries in the world that accept most immigrants per capital.

The per capital immigration rate to Canada has been relatively constant since the 1950s, and recent years have seen a steady increase in the education and skill level of immigrants to Canada. However, over the last 25 years the economic position of newcomers to Canada relative to the native population has steadily declined. A 2007 Statistics Canada study shows that the income profile of recent immigrant families deteriorated by a significant amount from 2000 to 2004. Recent immigrants themselves are far more likely than native born Canadians to initially have low incomes, with income and employment rates increasing towards the national average with more time spent in Canada.

Ethnic origins of people in Canada

Given here are the ethnic origins of Canadian residents (citizens, landed immigrants, and non-citizen temporary residents) as recorded by them on their 2016 census form. The relevant census question asked for "the ethnic or cultural origins" of the respondent's ancestors and not the respondents themselves.

As data were collected by self-declaration, labels may not necessarily describe the true ancestry of respondents. Also note that many respondents acknowledged multiple ancestries. These people were added to the "multiple origin" total for each origin listed. These include responses as varied as a respondent who listed eight different origins and a respondent who answered "French Canadian" (leading to him/her being counted once for "French" and once for "Canadian"). As with all self-reported data, understanding of the question may have varied from respondent to respondent.

Fairness Commissioner (Ontario)

The Fairness Commissioner (French: Commissaire à l’équité) is the Officer of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario responsible for ensuring Ontarians with professional credentials from foreign countries can have fair access to regulated professions. The position was created by the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, which came into effect December 2006.

German Canadians

German Canadians (German: Deutsch-Kanadier or Deutschkanadier) are Canadian citizens of ethnic German ancestry. The 2016 Canadian census put the number of Canadians of German ethnicity at over 3.3 million. Some immigrants came from what is today Germany, while larger numbers came from German settlements in Eastern Europe and Russia; others came from former parts of the German Confederation like the Austrian Empire and some emigrated from Switzerland.

Great Migration of Canada

The Great Migration of Canada (also known as the Great Migration from Britain) was a period of high immigration to Canada from 1815 to 1850, involving over 800,000 immigrants. Though Europe was becoming richer through the Industrial Revolution, population growth made the relative number of jobs low, forcing many to look to the New World for economic success, especially Canada and America.

History of Chinese immigration to Canada

In the late 1770s, some 120 Chinese contract labourers arrived at Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island. The British fur trader John Meares recruited an initial group of about 50 sailors and artisans from Canton (Guangzhou) and Macao. At Nootka Sound, the Chinese workers built a dockyard, a fort and a sailing ship, the North-West America. Regarding this journey and the future prospects of Chinese people settlement in colonial North America, Meares wrote:

The Chinese were, on this occasion, shipped as an experiment: they have generally been esteemed as hardy, and industrious, as well as ingenious race of people; they live on fish and rice, and requiring low wages, it was actually not a matter also of economical consideration to employ them; and during the whole of the voyage there was every reason to be satisfied with their services. If trading posts should be established on the American coast, a colony of these men would be a very valuable acquisition.

The next year, Meares had another 70 Chinese shipped from Canton. However, shortly upon arrival of this second group, the settlement was seized by the Spanish in what became known as the Nootka Crisis. The Chinese men were imprisoned by the Spanish. It is unclear what became of them but likely some returned to China, while others were put to work in a nearby mine and later taken to Mexico. No other Chinese are known to have arrived in western North America until the gold rush of the 1850s.

History of immigration to Canada

The history of immigration to Canada extends back thousands of years. Anthropologists continue to argue over various possible Models of migration to the New World to modern-day Canada, as well as their pre-contact populations. The Inuit are believed to have arrived entirely separately from other indigenous peoples around 1200 CE. Indigenous peoples contributed significantly to the culture and economy of the early European colonies and as such have played an important role in fostering a unique Canadian cultural identity.

Statistics Canada has tabulated the effect of immigration on population growth in Canada from 1851 to 2001. On average, censuses are taken every 10 years, which is how Canadian censuses were first incremented between 1871 and 1901. Beginning in 1901, the Dominion Government changed its policy so that census-taking occurred every 5 years subsequently. This was to document the effects of the advertising campaign initiated by Clifford Sifton.

In 2006, Canada received 236,756 immigrants. The top ten sending countries, by state of origin, were People's Republic of China (28,896); India (28,520); Philippines (19,718); Pakistan (9,808); United States (8,750); United Kingdom (7,324); Iran (7,195); South Korea (5,909); Colombia 5,382; and Sri Lanka (4,068). The top ten source countries were followed closely by France (4,026), and Morocco (4,025), with Romania, Russia, and Algeria each contributing over 3,500 immigrants.

Hong Kong Canadians

Hong Kong Canadians or Canadians of Hong Kong origin (Chinese: 香港裔加拿大人 or 加拿大港人) are Canadian citizens who identify themselves to be of Hong Kong descent. The largest wave of immigration to Canada from Hong Kong occurred during the late 1980s and early 1990s, chiefly as the fear of uncertainties concerning the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997.

The vast majority of Canadians of Hong Kong origin are ethnically Chinese, though some choose to eschew their "Chinese" identity. They often trace their ancestry to Cantonese, Hakka, Hoklo, and Toisan cultural groups.

Many Hong Kong Canadians hold multiple citizenships, often possessing Canadian and HKSAR passports. Some Hong Kong Canadians have returned to Hong Kong from Canada since 1997 and have resettled in the territory permanently. As of 2014, Hong Kong has the highest concentration of Canadian citizens in Asia, with approximately 300,000 Canadian citizens of all ethnic backgrounds living in the city.In Canada, the majority of Hong Kong Canadians reside in the metropolitan areas of Toronto and Vancouver.

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

Established in 1989, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (commonly referred to as Immigration and Refugee Board or simply the IRB), is an independent administrative tribunal that is responsible for making well-founded and fair decisions on immigration and refugee matters, efficiently and in accordance with the law. Established by an Act of Parliament, the IRB decides on refugee applications made by individuals who land in Canada and make an asylum claim to be in need of protection.


Indian Canadians or Indo-Canadians are Canadian citizens whose heritage belongs to any of the many ethnic groups of Republic of India. The term East Indian is sometimes used to distinguish people of ancestral origin from India in order to avoid confusion with the First Nations of Canada. Statistics Canada specifically uses the term Asian Indian to refer to people who trace their origins from the modern day Republic of India.

According to Statistics Canada, Indian-Canadians are one of the fastest growing communities in Canada, making up the second largest non-European ethnic group in the country after Chinese Canadians.Behind several communities, Canada contains the world's tenth largest Indian diaspora. The largest group of Indo Canadians are those of Punjabi origin, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the Indo Canadian population. The highest concentrations of Indo-Canadians are found in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, followed by growing communities in Alberta and Quebec as well, with the majority of them being foreign-born.

Malaysian Canadians

Malaysian Canadians are Canadian citizens who are of Malaysian descent. The 2016 Canada Census recorded 16,920 people self-identifying as Malaysian Canadian or of at least some Malaysian descent, but only 1 820 of these self-identified as solely Malaysian Canadian. Earlier Canada 2001 Census recorded 20,420 first-generation Malaysian Canadians, 8,660 of whom resided in Ontario.

Mexican Canadians

Mexican Canadians (Spanish: Mexicano-canadiense, French: Mexicain canadien) are Canadian citizens of Mexican ancestry or a Mexican-born person who resides in Canada. According to the National Household Survey in 2011, 96,055 Canadians indicated that they were of full or partial Mexican ancestry (0.3% of the country's population).

Mexican people are the largest subgroup of Latin American Canadians.

The Mexican ancestry population in Canada is quite small despite Canada's proximity to Mexico and especially when compared to the United States where as of July 2014, there were 35,320,579 Mexican Americans comprising 11.1% of the population (see Mexican American).

Mexican Canadians trace their ancestry to Mexico, a country located in North America, bounded south from the United States; and many different European countries, especially Spain, which was its colonial ruler for over three centuries.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (French: Ministre de l'Immigration, des Réfugiés et de la Citoyenneté), previously the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (French: Ministre de la Citoyenneté et de l’Immigration), is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: the federal government department responsible for immigration, refugee and citizenship issues. The Minister is also responsible for the Immigration and Refugee Board.

The current minister is Ahmed Hussen.

Permanent residency in Canada

Permanent residency in Canada is a status granting someone who is not a Canadian citizen the right to live and work in Canada without any time limit on their stay. To become a permanent resident a foreign national must apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), formerly known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada, under one of several programs.

Tajik Canadians

Tajik Canadians are Canadian citizens of Tajik descent. According to the 2011 Census there were 2,400 Canadians who claimed Tajik ancestry. Presently in the province of Quebec there are living around 500 families of Tajiks from Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Israel, etc. They reside in Montreal (more than 250 families), Quebec City, Sherbrooke and Granby cities (30 families). More than 500 Tajik families are living in the Toronto area. Only 250 families of Tajik Bukharian Jews reside in Forest Hill in Toronto. Around 200 Tajik families are living in the Calgary area and the city of Vancouver.

The Ward, Toronto

The Ward (formally St. John's Ward) was a neighbourhood in central Toronto, Ontario, Canada in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

It was bound by College Street, Queen Street, Yonge Street, and University Avenue and was centred on the intersection of Terauley (now Bay Street) and Albert Street.

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